Explosive thumb action as gamers descend on Castle

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Hundreds of gamers will be on duty at the latest round of the European Gaming League as it calls in to the Norbreck Castle next weekend.

The EGL is returning to Blackpool, after a two-year break, for its 13th outing as gaming enthusiasts vie for their share of £10,000 in cash prizes.

More than 300,000 viewers are expected to log-in to watch the action online, but Fylde gamers can join in the fun, with spectator tickets available in advance or on-the-door.

Call Of Duty: Ghosts is the headline game for the weekend, with teams of four drawn from around the world to take part.

EGL launched in 2010 at the Liverpool Echo Arena, and runs three tournaments a year at venues including the Emirates Stadium and Leicester Square in London – as well as Stockholm in Sweden, and hosting online tournaments.

Organiser Joshua Nino De Guzman said: “These events are our real showcase, bringing together the very best of our online competitors aiming to win thousands and thousands of pounds and other prizes as well as the EGL champion’s title.

“There will be 160 Xboxes all being played at once. There are some big teams expected, which attract quite a following.

“Some players are even becoming popular enough to be having fans seek their autographs. That’s more a European thing, which we’re a bit too cool for here – but it’s something we’re trying to break down.

“You can draw a comparison to any major sporting event. It’s like going to a football stadium; there are real moments of tension, like when someone plays a big move or if a major team loses.”

For amateur gamers, the two-day event is a chance to see top players up close and to see some of the industry’s best equipment in use.

“Come along with no expectations and be ready to see some extraordinary talent which you might not have thought possible,” said Joshua.

* EGL13, Norbreck Castle, Saturday and Sunday. Spectator passes cost £10 from www.live.egl.tv/shop.