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The first major Quake III Arena tournament of the new millenium is almost upon us, the XS Reality Invitational looks set to take gaming to a new level as many of the world's best players converge on Sweden to battle it out to be what will be widely considered the number 1 player alive today.


For those of you who have been living under a rock the XSi is a Quake III Arena 1-on-1 (duel) tournament comprising of 12 of the hottest players from around the world and takes place at Nine Studios in Stockholm, Sweden over the weekend of the 21st to the 23rd of January 2000. The event is the brainchild of Hakeem, Sujoy and Xenon who run XS Reality, they along with help of a host of big name sponsors including Razer and Creative will be making sure everything goes smoothly.


Things kick off on Friday evening (21st) and will run through until Sunday night (23rd), the tournament is structured around an initial league of two 6 player groups with the top 4 from each group progressing onto an 8 player double-elimination final (a player must lose twice to be eliminated from the competition). Each game is a best-of-three affair using the maps q3tourney2, q3tourney4 and q3dm13 with a 15 minutes timelimit. For a full listing of rules click here.


All of the competitors have been hand-picked for their acheivements in Quake 1/2 and previous tournaments which ensures that only the top proven players are in attendance, althought there has been some controversy over the abscence of certain players (such as Blue), however this is inevitable with a finite number of spaces available. See the Players section in the menu for bio's on all the competitors.


Besides being able to say they are the best Quake III Arena player in the world the winner we be gaurenteed to receive some top draw prizes thanks to sponsorship from companies such as Razer, Creative, Everglide, Logitech and Microsoft (boo). At the moment details of prizes are hush-hush but I understand they will be announced in full detail on Friday.


The XSi is one of the first true multi-national tournaments (hopefully the first of many) and will give many people their first close-up look at some of the big names from across the pond (thats USA if your from the UK :)) and the chance to see some of your dream match-ups come true is an exciting prospect, the stakes are high and some egos are sure to take a battering, but whatever happens its guarenteed to be a classic.