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Multiplay i41 Opening Ceremony

KitGuru is over at Multiplay i41 to cover one of the biggest gaming events in the UK !  Massive crowds have gathered at Newbury Racecourse this weekend for the LANtastic Multiplay i41 event. Outside, tents have been pitched deep into the turf as strong winds threaten to repeat last year’s flying exhibition where one poor soul actually managed to take off inside their tent!    KitGuru played it safe and stayed in the main arena this time.

Gamers from all over the UK meet here for an action paced event with a ton of prizes up for grabs. The main competitions draw players from across the seas with the possibility of grabbing a big chunk of cash.

The main kick-off event is much more easy going, with plenty of loot/swag/booty for all.

Each of the main sponsors gets stage time and, between getting volunteers to engage each other for cool prizes, many t-shirts, mouse mats, M&Ms, lanyards and other booty makes its way into the assembled hoard in a constant aerial bombardment – where you can brave shoves and elbows to recover the best bits.  Happy days!

The main stage is massive and takes several days assembly. When you see the crew bolting this stuff together, you almost expect Lemmy to be riding through on a Harley. This is serious stuff.

Massive main stage assembly, complete with main sponsor banners, will soon be covered in gamers

Multiplay MD, Craig Fletcher, easily works the crowd into a freebie-grabbing frenzy.

Sitting attentive, but when the freebies are thrown - they'd elbow relatives for kit

The opening ceremony gives sponsors a chance to throw TONS of freebies into the crowd. There are also some pretty decent games. One of the most popular is ‘Four volunteers run around the show to see how many t-shirts they can borrow and wear at once’ with a 10 minute time limit. The winner this year ?   Young lady with TWENTY SIX !

How to increase someone's body mass by 100% in 10 minutes - counting was frenzied

Remember, this entire event is streamed live around the world on a variety of IPTV channels. That means that these chaps who volunteered to give their all to Nelly Furtado, were actually doing so to an audience that will eventually hit several hundred thousand. And the web never forgets. Give up on real friendship lads, go watch the entire back catalogue of Glee!

Live, on a stage and broadcast to the world. Shake your money makers!

For i41, Thermaltake was a key sponsor, on hand to promote its Tt eSports range of gaming keyboards, mice and headsets. At the opening ceremony, they ran the ingeniously named ‘Silicon Challenge’ which saw competitors attempt to hold buckets of builder’s sand out in front of them the longest. Bravado quickly turned to shudders and tears followed by collapse, while the audience was in hysterics. KerrBear from Team Infused was on hand to adjudicate and hand out prizes.

These gamer chaps have over developed hands but lack the true upper body strength needed for this game

Gamers play until they drop. When things get desperate, they look to chemicals and Kick were on hand to provide them in a handy-sized, fruit-flavoured drink.

Kick replaced Monster as the energy drink of choice at this winter's Insomnia event

Most of the top teams were on hand to show younger gamers the ropes, especially with almost every sponsor running some kind of Black Ops tournament on their stands. More on that later.

This event really brings the teams together in a way that no other UK tournament does. Here we have rival team captains from Team Infused and Team YOYOTech, buddying up under the shadow of the StarCraft II banner. Must be love!

The awesome power of Christoforou and Kerns: Reminds you of Klingons drinking before battle, right?

KitGuru will be reporting from the event later, so stay tuned and be sure to visit our partner www.multiplay.com for all your gaming needs!

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