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Video Gamers Get $5 Million

The Championship Gaming Series will pay elite video gamers in excess of $5 million this year, the league announced in outlining the 2007 season.

Calling itself "the first global professional gaming league," Los Angeles-based CGS will start North American qualifying play on April 28, with a player draft taking place June 12 at the Playboy Mansion. Six city-based teams of 10 players will come together, the "athletes" competing in games such as FIFA 07 soccer and Dead or Alive 4.

DirecTV’s  The 101 channel airs CGS action.

"We will be paying salaries and bonuses to our players in excess of $5 million during the 2007 season," stated CGS Commissioner Andy Reif. "The time has come for a new era of professional gaming as sports entertainment."

Reif will soon announce dates for CGS events in beyond North America, with the World Championships slated for Los Angeles in October.