March 16, 2012 at 2:31 PM ET
Twenty-four of the best "Halo: Reach" and "StarCraft 2" players the world of professional gaming has to offer face off this weekend, at the first of five Red Bull LAN training camps scheduled throughout this year.
The ace cyber-athletes go head to head Friday, Saturday , and Sunday evenings at Full Sail University, one of the country's biggest and most recognized institutions for those seeking a career in video games.
In addition to students being able to attend the proceedings, the event will be live streamed via Red Bull, Twitch.tv, the internet's premier destination for e-Sports programming, and day9.tv, the home base for one of the biggest names in world of competitive "StarCraft" gaming.
There are four streams in total, one dedicated to "Halo" and the rest for "StarCraft." Each will have expert commentary and analysis, and will be totally free to watch.
The weekend's event is competitive in nature, but there is no grand prize. Instead, it's an intensive training session to prepare everyone for next weekend's MLG (Major League Gaming) Winter Championship in Columbus, Ohio.
At the center of it all is Red Bull's training facility that they tout as being state of the art. Even though the live-streams start at 6PM EST each day, training officially commences much earlier in the day. Each participant is expected to clock in about 10 hours of practice everyday.
For those interested in the world of e-Sports, the Red Bull LAN Training Invitational is a unique opportunity to see some of the world’s best game players work out their strategies, before a big show.
Matthew Hawkins is an NYC-based game journalist who has also written for EGM, GameSetWatch, Gamasutra, Giant Robot and numerous others. He also self-publishes his own game culture zine, is part of Attract Mode, and co-hosts The Fangamer Podcast. You can keep tabs on him via Twitter, or his personal home-base, FORT90.com.