Video-game champions compete in Grand Final

LOS ANGELES — The Olympics of the video game world launched Thursday with players from 58 countries marching through the Los Angeles Convention Center waving their nations' flags. Over the next four days, more than 400 gamers will compete at the 10th annual World Cyber Games Grand Final for more than $250,000 in prize money, as well as new gear.

"We're quite confident," said Johan "face" Klasson, who will be representing Sweden while playing the first-person shooter "Counter-Strike" with his team. "I think the strongest opponents this year will be the Ukrainian team, also known as Navi. They've been playing really well in tournaments all over the world. Those are the ones we have to look out for."

Players who previously qualified at regional competitions held across the globe are here to face off in such games as "Guitar Hero 5," "Forza Motorsport 3," "FIFA 10," "Tekken 6" and "Warcraft III."

After the World Cyber Games launched in Seoul in 2001, the Grand Final has been held over the past 10 years in such cities as Singapore; San Francisco; Seattle; Monza, Italy; and Cologne, Germany.