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Gateway to stage universe's biggest computer games contest

Coming to a Country store near you

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Gateway is next month staging what it claims will be the world's biggest computer games tournament.

The event is to take place in 320 Gateway Country shops in North America. Lucky winners stand to gain around $300,000 in combined prizes.

Contestants will be divided into four age groups, 4-9, 10-13, 14-18 and 19 and up. In total, more than 2,000 winners are being promised the chance to nab prizes worth between $50 and $8,000.

The Gateway Country Challenge will run on two weekends - November 4 to 5 and 10 to 11. Microsoft and Intel are also in on the action, and gaming fanatics will have one chance each weekend to try their luck on Microsoft's Midtown Madness II game.

The highest scorer in each age group will get a voucher for a Gateway PC and $5,000.

"Gateway recognizes that computer games can be a great family activity and that families should be able to try products out before they buy," said Keith Martin, Gateway Country stores president.

"By operating our own stores right in people's communities, we can showcase the latest in computer games and serve as a resource so families can learn more about what is available."

In Gateway's third quarter results, out yesterday, the San Diego-based vendor saw net profit grow to $152.6 million, from $113.1 the previous year, on net sales of $2.5 million from $2.2 million. Half its profit came from software and services.

Computer gamer league Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL) is running the gaming extravaganza. More details can be found here.

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