Halo 2 Tournament Nears Finish LineRace to Save Earth in Worldwide Halo 2 Tournament Nears Finish Line Regional Finalists Named in First Global Xbox Live Contest Qualifying finalists from 22 out of Xbox Live’s 24 regions have been identified and will advance to the championship round in the world’s first global Xbox Liveâ Halo 2 tournament. The United States and Japan regional contests are currently underway, with the winners being determined by the end of May. The winners from each locality will vie for the honor of being crowned Xbox Live Halo 2 World Champion, playing entirely online via Xbox Live. The global championship rounds will be played on Friday, June 10 in double elimination rounds. The 24 regional winners will be sectioned into four pools of six players each. The top three will move on to the next round, while the bottom three from each group will move into a elimination bracket; once a regional champion loses twice, they are eliminated. Each round will last 10 minutes. The final matches will be played on the new Halo 2 map, Warlock. Local start times for the final rounds will be based on Greenwich Mean Time. Having all 24 regions participate in one global tournament is a first for Xbox Live, which makes the following gamers trailblazers in a new era of online gameplay and competition. Because each Xbox Live region was guaranteed a spot in the final round, each country has crowned its own Halo 2 champion. Below is the list of the Xbox Live regional champions to date: 1. Australia: Cabel 2. Austria: Billykater 3. Belgium: Project BE 4. Canada: I DaMan I 5. Denmark: GermanFreak 6. Finland: Iw1K1LL 7. France: I theos I 8. Germany: Pr0gamer 9. Hong Kong: Runningboy 10. Ireland: TheBar0n 11. Italy: N3LucifeRLS 12. Japan: To be crowned 13. Korea: Oddwing 14. Mexico: MexLoco 15. Netherlands: King Tuur 16. New Zealand: Bob69er nz 17. Norway: ZpiKey 18. Singapore: tidusSG 19. Spain: IlopsI 20. Sweden: Shellman 21. Switzerland: Otcho Boy 22. Taiwan: I Kobegod I 23. United Kingdom: o0Lethal0o 24. United States: To be crowned The worldwide champion will receive, in addition to the country champion prize package, a 50 Samsung Flat Screen DLP HDTV, a Samsung HighDef DVD Player, a personalized Xbox Live Halo 2 Worldwide Champion Trophy featuring a 24 karat gold Halo 2 game disc, and $1,500 in cash. Halo 2 is one of the highest rated and top selling video games of all time, with more than 6.7 million copies sold worldwide since November 2004. It was also one of the most profitable entertainment initiatives of the past year, pre-selling 1.5 million copies in the U.S. and taking in more than $125 million in its first 24 hours of release – that is more than any opening weekend for a major motion picture in history. As Xbox Live continues to redefine online gaming, Halo 2 features superior online multiplayer capabilities, evidenced by the fact that Xbox Live gamers have logged a record-breaking 240 million hours playing Halo 2 since its launch. To date, more than 2 million unique users have played Halo 2 online on Xbox Live. Now in its third generation of transforming and uniting Xbox game communities, with more than 300 games planned by end of holiday 2005 and now with presence in 24 countries worldwide, Xbox Live has set the bar for online games entertainment. As the first global, unified online console games service, Xbox Live continues to take online gameplay and entertainment to unprecedented heights. With a rapidly growing global community, Xbox Live offers best-in-class games, intelligent matchmaking, tournaments, unique programming and integration with Xbox.com — there is simply nothing else like it. The service continues to provide more and more ways for members to meet, interact and stay engaged with each other.