MLG: Taking E-Sports to the Next Step – Written by Sean “Blazek” Emes, Edited by Jordan “Doomhammer” Kahn
The Major League Gaming (MLG) Winter Arena was a highly controversial topic a few weeks back, sparking lots of debate on the Pay-per-view structure and raising the question is eSports ready for this jump? By the end of the weekend, the nay-sayers were silenced and MLG had clearly showed that not only can it be done, but it can be excellent. With notably few technical issues, the only real problem was trying to pay attention to just one game! Even this was alleviated by MLG’s drag and drop stream features and numerous stream setups, allowing rapid switching between games and even the ability to watch all four streams at once!
The Event itself was simply amazing. With 32 of the best Starcraft 2 players from around the world flown into New York to compete, the three day tournament offered over $26,000 in prize money. The matches themselves were all entertaining and every player proved themselves to be the best in the world. The North American favorite, HuK, fell short of the top, but took third after playing some incredible matches during the first two days. The final matches featured DongRaeGu, who was following the momentum of a great comeback from Losers Round 2 and managed to take the first set 2-1. But at the end of the day he was taken out by the MLG Champion, MarineKing.
With most of the fires out and the dust subsided, the event was a hands down success. It proved that gamers not only want quality content but that we are willing to pay for it. Riding the wave of this success, MLG‘s CEO, Sundance DiGiovanni, announced at the conclusion of the Winter Arena that two more arena events will be coming in the spring season. Great news for North American eSports, and it shows the next direction MLG will be expanding. While it might not be the only future of eSports, it’s definitely a strong step in the right direction!
So where does this leave us? The MLG Winter Championship is just a few weeks away in Columbus, Ohio, with even more games and money up for grabs! While many competitive titles haven’t been sharing the same success as Starcraft, a rising tide lifts all boats and growth of eSports for one title is a growth of eSports in general. It is far more possible for other competitive titles to grow following in the wake of Starcraft’s success. Call it a gateway eSport if you will.
Article written for Geek To Me and reproduced with permission of the author and vVv Gaming.
Follow Sean “Blazek” Emes on Twitter!