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Microsoft, U.S. Army Present "Halo 3" Championship

Microsoft Game Studios and the U.S. Army today announced that U.S. gamers will have a chance to prove their skills in the first ever "Halo 3" Championship Tournament, hosted exclusively on Xbox LIVE.

The tournament kicks off in April 2008 and is complete with prizes for winners and finalists. Registration will begin in March.

Gamers will have the opportunity to participate in a series of "Halo 3" Basic Combat Training exercises leading up to the tournament. Designed specifically to prepare gamers for the Championship Tournament, these Basic Combat Training sessions will help gamers hone their skills with different weapons groups by offering exclusive training videos.

Registration for the first of three training sessions begins on Jan. 7, with gameplay beginning exclusively on Xbox LIVE on Jan. 19. Winners of these Basic Combat Training sessions will receive prizes, including Microsoft Points, exclusive "Halo 3" art, and more.

The Basic Combat Training schedule is as follows:

· Registration begins: 1/7, Training begins: 1/19 – Sniper School

· Registration begins: 1/28, Training begins: 2/9 – Heavy Weapons

· Registration begins: 2/18, Training begins: 3/1– Vehicles

To further ensure that players are trained to the top of their games, the Army is also hosting a Branded Destination Experience site on Xbox LIVE. When the program begins, gamers will be able to access the site via their Xbox LIVE dashboard, gaining access to a Tips and Tricks section containing several videos and dedicated to providing the best combat strategies and advice experts have to offer. Gamers can even download free Themes and Gamer Pictures to commemorate their participation in "Halo 3" Basic Combat Training.

Gamers will be able to sign up to participate by logging onto the official Web site here: http://www.xbox.com/usarmy. Official rules and additional information can also be found on the site

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