Qualifying Rounds Begin for Verizon PlayLinc TrackMania Online Game Tournament

NEW YORK - It's time for online gamers of all skill levels to start their engines, as qualifying rounds for the first-ever Verizon PlayLinc TrackMania Tournament are under way.

Sponsored by broadband leader Verizon, video game developer Nadeo and game technology developer Super Computer International (SCI), the tournament features the popular, family-friendly racing game, TrackMania Nations.  In the game, players compete by racing virtual cars around futuristic tracks, performing fantastic auto acrobatics with just a click of the arrows on the players' computer keyboards.  The player with the fastest time around the track wins.

Registration and qualifying rounds last until Nov. 14.  All registrants will receive a free download of TrackMania Nations, and the Verizon PlayLinc game browser that will connect them to other gamers to race against on six qualifier tracks. 

"We've designed this tournament to be fast-paced, family friendly and, above all else, really fun," said Jason Henderson, games product manager for Verizon. "TrackMania Nations is easy to play and appeals to both experienced and amateur gamers.  The PlayLinc game browser will make it easy for entrants to race against their competitors, talk to one another and keep track of how they're doing on their qualifier times.  It's going to be a blast."

Players can register for the tournament and receive the free TrackMania Nations and PlayLinc downloads by visiting http://verizon.playlinc.com/tournament.

Entrants can race as often as they like and must beat the qualifying time for all six tracks during the qualification period in order to qualify for the tournament finals, which run from Nov. 16-19.  Tournament finals will consist of three tournament tracks -- where time trials will determine who moves on -- and the final tournament track where 10 contestants will race against each other in elimination rounds.  The top three in each elimination race will advance to the next round until the final elimination round, where single elimination will determine the top 10 racers for the Championship.

Tournament prizes are:

  • First Place --  $20,000

  • Second Place --  $8,000

  • Third Place --  $5,000

  • Fourth through 10th Place --  $1,000

Verizon PlayLinc is a next-generation game browser and messenger that provides gamers with a single, easy-to-use interface and all the tools they need for a superior playing experience.  PlayLinc's industry-first suite of capabilities includes:

  • Ability for gamers to launch their own servers for free, giving them total control over whom they play with and eliminating expensive server-rental fees.

  • Support for PC and console games, expanding the universe of games that players can enjoy together via their PCs.  The service is compatible with about 1,600 PC and console games.

  • True server-based voice capabilities that allow up to 32 players to communicate with one another in real time.  Other services rely on using peer-to-peer VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) services.

  • Seamless integration of America Online's AIM(r) messaging service, providing gamers a connection to more than 80 million active users, along with industry-leading chat capabilities.

  • Game Area Network (GAN), which allows players to host any LAN-enabled multiplayer game on a virtual LAN -- whether on console, PC or handheld.

  • In-game and on-game chat and Internet browsing, letting players send and receive IMs and surf the net without having to leave their game screen.

  • Buddy tracking, team management and other tools that make team or clan play more organized and enjoyable.

Verizon's recent introduction of PlayLinc was the result of the company's relationship with SCI, a leading provider of high-performance game-server hosting solutions, gameplay-related services and fully integrated gaming portals. 

About Verizon
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 55 million customers nationwide.  Verizon Business operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks.  Verizon Telecom is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers.  Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 252,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.  

About Super Computer International
Super Computer International, Inc (SCI) is a well-established provider of gaming client applications, on-game display technologies, backend infrastructure and support for high speed online multiplayer video gaming. SCI has contracts to provide gaming technologies to the majority of the top developers and publishers of multiplayer video games and is considered the next leader in all-in-one multi-platform end-user technology. For more information visit www.supercomputerinc.com