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Major League Gaming

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Major League Gaming (MLG)
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2015 MLG Pro Circuit
Major League Gaming (logo).svg
MLG Logo
Sport Electronic sports
Founded 2002; 13 years ago (2002)
CEO Sundance DiGiovanni
Commissioner John Nelson
Countries United States[1]
Most recent champion(s) MLG Dallas 2012[3]
Halo 4:
4v4: Warriors
League of Legends:
5v5: Azubu Blaze
StarCraft II:
1v1: StarTale.Life
Mortal Kombat:
1v1: REO
1v1: ken11
MLG X Games 2014
Call of Duty: Ghosts:
4v4: OpTic Gaming
Most titles Team:
Final Boss: 4 (2004-05, 07, 10)[4]
Tom Ryan: 35 (2005-12)[5]
Official website MLG Website

Major League Gaming (MLG) is a professional eSports organization. MLG is headquartered in New York City, New York and was founded in 2002[6] by Sundance DiGiovanni[7] and Mike Sepso.[8][9] MLG has held official video game tournaments throughout the United States and Canada. Major League Gaming competitions have been broadcast on television,[9][10],[11] and other broadband sites.[12] The company has also been involved in television production,[9] and game development.[13] MLG's aim is to elevate computer and console game tournaments to viable competitive and spectator events.[10] Major League Gaming acquired Agora Games on August 18, 2009.[13][14] On 18 November 2013, MLG announced that they would be launching their premium streaming service.[15]

Pro Circuit

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, and Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Nintendo Gamecube are the only console games.[16] 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.[17] Fighting games are commentated by Juicebox Abel, Tom Brady, and Bibulus.[18] 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 2004 through 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.[19]


Major League Gaming was founded in 2002 by Mike Sespo and Sundance DiGiovanni.[20] In 2006, MLG became the first televised video game console gaming league in the United States, with their Halo 2 Pro Series being broadcast by USA Network on Boost Mobile MLG Pro Circuit.[21] It moved into the 3 Park Avenue sometime after its founding.

In February 2009, it was announced that MLG got $10 Million in financing from Ritchie Capital Management.[22] 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.[23]

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 Bros. 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.[24] 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.[25]

The 2011 Circuit featured four titles: Halo: Reach, Starcraft 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops and the mid-season addition of League of Legends.[26] 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 lack 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 Pay-per-view (PPV) events and for now only feature Starcraft II, and are broadcast in high definition (HD) from MLG's Studio in New York. [27]

Also in 2012 came many new partnerships for MLG. So far, MLG has partnered with CBS Interactive (CBSi) to increase its broadcast capabilities and to integrate with CBSi's website, This new partnership hopes to increase exposure of MLG to a larger more casual audience.[28]

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.[29]

Beginning on November 2, 2012, with the commencement of the MLG Fall Championship in Dallas, Texas, 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.[30]

In January 2013, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 was introduced into the Pro Circuit.[31]

On 14 August 2013, Call of Duty: Ghosts was announced to be MLG's featured first-person shooter game for the MLG Columbus and 2014 season events. Through 8–10 June 2014 MLG hosted a tournament at the X Games for Call of Duty: Ghosts with the eventual winners being OpTic Gaming including fan favorites Matt "Nadeshot" Haag and Seth "Scump" Abner.

In April 2014 MLG announced that it partnering with Lai Fung Holdings Limited (Lai Fung) and eSun Holdings Limited in building the MLG Arena on Hengqin Island in China, near Macau.[32] The arena, which is scheduled to be completed in 2017, is part of the "Creative Culture City" development planned on Hengqin.

In October 2014 MLG opened the 14,000 square feet (1,300 m2) Arena in Columbus, Ohio .[33] It is located near the Easton Town Center.[34] The first event held at the arena was the Season 3 Call of Duty playoffs.[33]

On November 19, 2013 MLG announced it would be organizing the MLG Major Championship: Columbus Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major on March 29-April 3, 2016 in Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, US.[35] It will be the first Valve Corporation-sponsored CS:GO Major in North America.

List of National Championships


  1. ^ "Major League Gaming (MLG)". 
  2. ^ "Major League Gaming Canada". 
  3. ^ "MLG Dallas 2012 Results". Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  4. ^ "Pro Circuit Archive". 
  5. ^ Tom Ryan (electronic sports player)
  6. ^ "Major League Gaming Company Profile". 
  7. ^ Mudhar, Raju (June 20, 2007). "Major League Gaming shoots into Canada". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  8. ^ "Executive Team | Major League Gaming". 2009-03-16. Retrieved 2009-09-29. 
  9. ^ a b c Devin Leonard, Devin Leonard (August 21, 2008). "Calling master chief A News Corp.-backed professional video-game league is getting a run for its money from two former ad guys.". Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  10. ^ a b Terdiman, Daniel (April 17, 2006). "Major League Gaming goes big league". Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  11. ^ "ESPN:The Life:Video Games:MLG". Retrieved 2009-09-25. [dead link]
  12. ^ "ESPN 360 acquired". ESPN. June 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-30. [dead link]
  13. ^ a b "Agora Games acquired". The Business Review (Albany). August 18, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  14. ^ "Major League Gaming Acquires Agora Games | Major League Gaming". 2009-08-18. Retrieved 2009-09-24. 
  15. ^ "Major League Gaming launches | Major League Gaming". 2013-11-18. Retrieved 2009-09-24. 
  16. ^ Spring Season Games
  17. ^ Starcraft II MLG Casters
  18. ^ MLG Fighting Casters
  19. ^ MLG Competitor Passes
  20. ^ "MLG Executive Team". Major League Gaming. Retrieved September 26, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Major League Gaming -Boost Mobile Major League Gaming Pro Circuit". 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2012-05-25. [dead link]
  22. ^ Magee, Kyle (May 8, 2009). "MLG Secures $10 Million in Series A Financing from Ritchie Capital to Build World’s First Professional Video Game League". Major League Gaming. Retrieved April 8, 2015. 
  23. ^ "MLG Commissioner John Nelson addresses community concerns" (Press release). Major League Gaming. 2009-02-06. Retrieved 2009-02-28. 
  24. ^ "MLG 4v4 Details" (Press release). Major League Gaming. Retrieved 2010-08-15. 
  25. ^ "MLG Starcraft II Announced". Retrieved 2010-08-14. 
  26. ^ Lish (August 12, 2011). "League of Legends Joins the MLG Pro Circuit". Major League Gaming. Archived from the original on 2013-02-01. Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  27. ^ MLG Format Changes
  28. ^ MLG CBSi Deal
  29. ^ MLG KeSPA Deal
  30. ^ Camber Weiss (October 31, 2012). "Guide to the MLG Fall Championship". press release. Major League Gaming. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  31. ^ "MLG Pick Up Black Ops 2 for Pro Circuit Winter Championship in Dallas". Multiplayer. Archived from the original on 2013-02-01. Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  32. ^ Goldberg, Kyle (April 24, 2014). "Major League Gaming to Build First-Ever MLG Stadium in China". Major League Gaming. Retrieved April 20, 2015. 
  33. ^ a b
  34. ^ Feran, Tim (September 24, 2014). "Columbus chosen for first Major League Gaming arena outside of company’s studios". Retrieved May 6, 2015. 
  35. ^ Lewis, Richard (November 2015). "Report: MLG to Host ‘Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’ Major in March 2016". Breitbart. 

External links