Editor’s note: Ryan Smith is a longtime gamer and freelance writer who lives in Raleigh, NC. A graduate of East Carolina University with a degree in business and marketing, he has written in the past for WRAL Tech Wire and GameArgus.com. He currently plays Xbox 360 and PC as well as Nintendo DS. For story ideas, tips and feedback, he can be reached via e-mail (ryannicksmith@gmail.com)

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – “Gears of War 3” won’t be out until Sept. 20, but this Friday at Raleigh’s Major League Gaming event there will be an expo match featuring three games between Th3 Nsan3z – Gears of War, or GoW, 1 & 2 Pro Circuit National Champions – and Team Epic.

Team Epic, which includes Donald White, Alex Connor, Richard Wilt and Jonathan Taylor, will face the two-time National Champion Gears players in three fully commentated games.

“We’re pulling out all the stops; we’ll be featuring the best team ever to play GoW on the Pro Circuit,” MLG says.

The games will be streamed live via the Halo: Reach live stream. Live streams of the matches also can be watched here.

These Gears 3 gladiators will join the other 1,000+ competitors in other games such as Halo: Reach on Xbox360, Call of Duty: Black Ops on PS3, with League of Legends and Starcraft II on PC.

This also comes alongside news of a Mortal Combat PlayStation 3 tournament that will be featured in the Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and PlayStation booths for a shot at the $7,000 prize pool.

The players with the longest winning streaks during open play on Friday and Saturday will join the top eight players from the online qualifier in a single elimination tournament held on Sunday at the MLG booth stage.

By the way, Gears went “gold” on Friday and thus is ready for production. Catch a new trailer here.

Around the gaming world

Notch, the creator of Minecraft, has been embattled in a recent lawsuit with Bethesda Softworks, over the name of his upcoming title Scrolls. Scrolls, Bethesda says, is far too close a name to their famous RPG series The Elder Scrolls.

To settle things, Notch via his blog has challenged Bethesda to a game of Quake 3. 3 vs 3, winner takes all. If Notch’s team wins: Scrolls stays the title. If Bethesda Wins: They pick the name.

Considering Bethesda owns id Software, Quake’s developer, Notch went on to say “Quake 3 might have been a bad choice.”

Get the latest news alerts: Follow WRAL Tech Wire at Twitter.