At a prelaunch event in San Francisco, representatives from U.K.-based Tournament.com announced new details about its site where gamers can compete in multiplayer deathmatches for cash.
The company has secured a license that allows it to be the exclusive provider of online play-for-cash tournaments with Valve's games. Tournament.com reps at the event said that since the titles it will host (Counter-Strike: Source and Half-Life 2 at launch with more titles to be added) are games of skill, not chance, wagering on the outcome of the matches is allowable in most states. Still, gamers in 14 U.S. states which have gambling laws that don't differentiate between games of skill and games of chance will be blocked from participating.
Marcus Pearcey, director of Tournament.com, stated that the stakes for most matches will be about a buck, with high-stakes matches maxing out at $10, the theory being that low-stakes matches will generate interest and allow people to compete without burning through their bankrolls. To allay fears that overenthusiastic noobs will empty their back accounts, get owned, and then be forced to move back in with their parents, individuals will be able to deposit a maximum of $150 into their Tournament.com accounts each month. The company will generate revenue by taking a cut of the pot from each match; the percentage Tournament.com will keep has not yet been finalized.
When asked about combating cheating and the possibility of individuals working together, Pearcey said that the company's proprietary anticheat software, Tournament Anti-Cheat, which was developed with assistance from academics at Cambridge University, would be able to determine when groups were working together and eliminate other types of cheats.