The Pandanet-AGA City League officially starts this weekend, January 26-27. In its first year, the League features 28 teams from North American cities and regions, divided into four leagues. The teams in each league will play round-robin team matches on the Pandanet Internet Go Server. Each league’s top finisher moves up to the next higher league at the end of the season, while the bottom finisher moves down to the lower league, etc.”Pandanet has provided a generous cash prize fund for the top leagues,” reports Thomas Hsiang. In addition, the teams are encouraged to seek regional sponsors to pay for the players’ game fees and other team activities.
The inaugural top leagues feature many of the best and strongest North American players. In A-League, they are: Los Angeles, captained by Andy Okun and including Beomgeun (Evan) Cho, Daniel Daehyuk Ko, Curtis Tang, and Seung Hyun (Kevin) Hong; Boston, captained by Ke Lu and including Huiren Yang, Jie Liang, Guochen Xie, and Yunzhe Zhang; DC captained by Keith Arnold and including Jie Li, Eric Lui, Yuan Zhou, and Daniel Chou; NYC, captained by Cole Pruitt and including Andy Liu, Michael Chen, Will Lockhart, and Yingzhi Qian; Vancouver, captained by Cathy Liu and including Matthew (Zi Yang) Hu, David Lu, Qi Zheng, and Bill Lin; Seattle, captained by Michael Cho and including Edward Kim Dong Baek Kim, Son, and Sung-Chul Cho.
In B-League, the teams are Southern California, captained by Yanchen Sun and including Calvin Sun, Rui Wang, Yixian Zhou, and Andrew Lu; DC-2, captained by Edward Zhang and including Lin Lu, Yangang Li and Liang Yu; Toronto, captained by Colin Zheng and including Tiger Gong, Xiaofei Deng, Sarah Yu, and Hank Xie; Massachusetts, captained by Ke Lu and including Di Zhu, Trevor Morris, Yu Zhong, and Ke Lu; San Francisco, captained by Steve Burrall and including Matthew Burrall, Hugh Zhang, Aaron Ye, and Jeremy Chiu; Montreal, captained by Rémi Campagnie and including Rémi Campagnie, Manuel Velasco, Jean-Sébastien Lechasseur, and Vincent Binette.
The League kick-off closely coincides with the unveiling of the new Pandanet client GoPanda-2, “A web-based client that features stunning graphics and works on many platforms,” says Hsiang. Watch for announcement of the schedule of the first round games and future news on the AGA and League websites.