Major League Gaming
|Current season or competition:
2012 MLG Pro Circuit
MLG logo depicting a video game controller.
|Country(ies)|| United States
|Most recent champion(s)||MLG Dallas 2012
League of Legends:
5v5: Azubu Blaze
Final Boss: 4 (2004-05, 07, 10)
JWhoJCash: 3 (2007-09)
|Official website||MLG Website|
Major League Gaming (MLG), founded in 2002 by Sundance DiGiovanni and Mike Sepso, is a North American professional Electronic sports organization, headquartered in New York City, New York. MLG has held official video game tournaments throughout the United States and Canada. Major League Gaming competitions have been broadcast on television, ESPN.com, and other broadband sites. The company has also been involved in television production, and game development. MLG's aim is to elevate computer and console game tournaments to viable competitive and spectator events. Major League Gaming acquired Agora Games on August 18, 2009.
The MLG Pro Circuit roster currently includes Starcraft II and League of Legends for the PC. Mortal Kombat, Soul Calibur V, and King of Fighters XIII for the PlayStation 3 are the only console games. Starcraft II is currently commentated by DJ Wheat, Day 9, Rob Simpson, Tasteless, Artosis, JP, dApollo, and Totalbiscuit, with other personalities coming on time to time. Fighting games are commentated by Juicebox Abel, Tom Brady, and Bibulus. No League of Legends casters have been announced yet.
Major League Gaming also hosts a series of online qualifier ladders for the online-only pro circuit titles leading to the national championship. In the past, MLG hosted Super Smash Bros Melee tournaments during the 2006 MLG Circuit and other games such as Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Tekken 5, Gears of War, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas, Shadowrun, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2, Call of Duty 4, and Gears of War 2.
Each team/player must purchase a team pass to compete. These passes normally go on sale several weeks in advance of the next Pro Circuit event. Passes are limited, so participants are encouraged to purchase a pass as soon as they go on sale.
On February 6, 2009, MLG Commissioner John Nelson addressed the MLG community about changing the format for the 2009 pro circuit. Semi-pro teams now have the opportunity to gain pro status. The rolling rank points system and the championship bracket were also modified.
In March 2010, it was announced that fighting games would return to the pro circuit, with Tekken 6 exclusively on the PlayStation 3, and the return of the Smash competition with Super Smash Bros. Brawl. These two games appeared in the season opener in Orlando, along with the league's flagship, Halo 3, which entered its third season with the league. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 made its debut on the Online Pro Circuit on MLG's GameBattles website for PlayStation 3. Originally, the game was on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Due to excessive hacking on the Xbox 360 console via JTAG hacks, it was stripped of its "Pro Circuit" branding. Prize payouts remain the same on both consoles. PlayStation 3 players are eligible to accumulate Pro Points. Those who have enough Pro Points at the end of the 3rd season of the Online Pro Circuit are eligible to compete live at the MLG Nationals held in Dallas. Those competing on the Xbox 360 do not earn pro points and will have championships held online. On July 30, 2010, it was announced that StarCraft II was to be added to the Pro Circuit. It made its official debut at MLG Raleigh.
The 2011 Circuit featured four titles: Halo: Reach, Starcraft 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops and the mid-season addition of League of Legends. Also returning, something that the MLG Pro Circuit hasn't seen since the 2005, is Pool Play. The top 16 teams were seeded in 4 pools of 5 teams, where the 5th team would play an undefeated amateur team. The team with the best record throughout pool play advanced to the winner's bracket semi-finals, securing themselves a Top 6 finish.
The 2012 MLG competitions saw many title changes in the Pro Circuit. Starcraft II was brought on as the league's main title. Fighting games for the PS3 and League of Legends were announced as additional titles. Halo: Reach is no longer on the Pro Circuit, nor is Call of Duty: Black Ops. Call of Duty was dropped from the circuit due to the cease of funding MLG received from PlayStation to put the title on the circuit. The 2012 tournament format has also drastically changed, with the introduction of seasonal events. The new format features 4 quarterly seasons; within each season are 2 Arenas and a Championship. The Championship features all Pro Circuit titles, and has a free SD broadcast option. The Arenas are PPV events and for now only feature Starcraft II, and are broadcast in HD from MLG's Studio in New York. 
Also in 2012 came many new partnerships for MLG. So far, MLG has partnered with CBSi to increase its broadcast capabilities and to integrate with CBSi's website, GameSpot.com. This new partnership hopes to increase exposure of MLG to a larger more casual audience.
During 2012, MLG has also partnered with KeSPA (Korean eSports Association) in a multi-year agreement. This agreement allows MLG exclusive access to KeSPA's Starcraft: Brood War players. The partnership will see KeSPA Brood War pros come to the US to compete in MLG events throughout the year. The participants will not be allowed to compete at any other foreign tournaments without MLG's approval. The deal took effect in June, when KeSPA Brood War pros participated in an exhibition event at MLG Anaheim.
Beginning on November 2, 2012, with the commencement of the MLG Fall Championship in Dallas, TX, Halo was reintroduced to the pro circuit. Halo 4, which was publicly released on November 6, was one of the five games scheduled for competitive play at MLG Dallas.
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