03 Aug

Wow. This past MLG Anaheim event was an absolutely surreal experience. With the MLG having a heavy east coast presence, there are many localized teams that aren’t able to make the journey across the country due to a number of reasons when the MLG hosts its singular west coast event. Traditionally this seems to have folks walking away with a generally underwhelming experience from a spectator attendance standpoint. This year’s west coast show was a break in that chain of history with yet again another record setting event for the MLG on multiple levels.

The production value of the live streams that the MLG has spent a huge focus on this year have been met with a resounding success. With 30,000,000+ stream views world-wide and double the spectators of the record setting Columbus event, it’s clear that the MLG has found a rhythm that has been embraced by the community. One of the most difficult things to do is to find a balance that translates to a show that’s entertaining to watch for both an online and live attendees. Picking the right games that translate to both of those very different experiences is something that the MLG has definitely done well this year. The Halo series has been the hallmark of what defined the MLG for years, and has been the building block of their success. The Halo community has been the foundation for the MLG. Much of the MLG’s success definitely goes out to so many of the early adopters from the Halo community that poured their blood, sweat, and tears into a league that they believed in, and that has allowed the MLG to only get better over the years. The CoD community with all of the players and fans who spend countless hours pitting against each other in one of the biggest FPS games being played, and has felt left out of live events from previous years, has also played their part in growing their presence at the live events. This presence has shown the world that they’ve got the drive to move competitive gaming far beyond what it currently is. Then there’s StarCraft…

Being what I will refer to as a PC gamer, I’ve been waiting for the MLG to really embrace PC games. The World of Warcraft PvP part of the league last year was great, but I always felt like there was so much more out there that could be embraced and bring the MLG to the next level. With the addition of Starcraft 2 to the pro-circuit for 2011, and the overwhelming success it has brought to the MLG after just three events, it has become crystal clear that there will be even more of a focus on PC games in the years to come. The global participation of the community for this game is something that has allowed for that sweet spot of entertainment for the spectators both online and at the event, and is definitely taking MLG to that next step as a global leader in competitive gaming. I wouldn’t be surprised to see even more of a push for similar games on the circuit in the near future.

As always, congrats go out to the winners of the event:

Halo Reach: Eon Instinct
CoD Black Ops: Quantic Leverage

With Raleigh just a few short weeks away, and the momentum that is charging this season, it will be exciting to see yet another record breaking event. You can also bet there will be a scramble from many of the teams and players to dethrone these champs as quickly as possible.

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