Tag: Major League Gaming

Why isn’t World of Warcraft played competitively?

Every once in awhile I run across someone asking “why doesn’t WoW have an eSports community?” And often it’s followed by a complete unawareness to the history of competitive WoW and remarks like “if we held WoW tournaments they could definitely be as popular as League of Legends and StarCraft 2!” Today I wanted to clarify why WoW isn’t an eSport and why you don’t find tournaments for it nowadays.

Note: I understand that there are WoW teams and tournaments, what we’re talking about is why WoW is barely ever mentioned in eSports or played at any major tournaments.

First, WoW has been played competitively. It used to be featured at Major League Gaming events and Blizzard has hosted tournaments for it at BlizzCon. MLG included it in their pro circuit from 2008-2010 and dumped tens of thousands of dollars of  prize money into it. BlizzCon has continued to include it in their events with last years World Championship (2012) having close to $200,000 in prize money. The problem in recent years is that there isn’t a consistent tournament schedule which severely deters players from pursuing a professional career. Of course that could be remedied if there were simply more tournaments. So how come there isn’t?

A very prominent argument against WoW is that it’s simply too complicated for eSports. Players have access to dozens of unique abilities that are spammed in quick succession making it far to difficult for spectators and commentators to keep track of what’s going on. This is a great point because the best eSports are ones that have successful commentary. StarCraft 2, League of Legends, and Dota 2 all have less abilities and thus more emphasis is placed on their use. Commentators can follow it closely and analyze whether or not it was a successful decision and how it will play out in the match. In WoW the abilities are used so quickly that commentary comes down to merely generalizations that become boring: “ok, he’s got a DoT, now he’s cleansing, here come the heals, now they’re returning damage…” This may sound fine at first, but would get highly repetitive match after match. The alternative of course being that if abilities were used more slowly, commentators could remark on the actual decisions: “incoming DoT is corruption, cleanse is used, incoming heal is lay on hands, ooh I don’t think he should have used that there, instead he should have buffed him with divine protection and used flash of light, that would have been more economical, now he’s going to have trouble…” But since abilities move too quickly, commentators aren’t able to delve deeply into the strategy that’s going on.

The above point should be distinguished from another similar argument: “WoW is too complicated for eSports in reference to the actual amount of abilities”. This is something I completely disagree with. StarCraft 2, Dota 2, and League of Legends all require a high level of understanding to properly interpret what you’re seeing. This argument neglects to realize the actual computations. WoW arena always had specific team compositions that were more powerful than others (like tiers in fighting games). Out of the 11 classes, high level arena play would use maybe 3-4 of the classes. Each class has 20-30 unique abilities, but only a handful are used regularly. That’s a max of 120 items to remember, and probably closer to 60. League of Legends on the other hand has over 100 champions, of which roughly 20 are used regularly. Each has 4 abilities that are always used with 6 items that are always used. But the same 6 items aren’t selected by everyone, meaning that there are dozens of items you would need to memorize. So there are approximately 200 items and let’s say only 50 of them are used on a regular basis. That’s 20*4+50 = 130 items to memorize. Millions of League of Legends fans have done this easily. The argument that WoW is simply too complicated to understand only hinges on the fact that things happen so quickly, not that there are too many abilities.

Note: you may argue that I didn’t include gear which would add a new level of complexity, but this really isn’t the case because in professional WoW tournaments, gear is open for players to select before the match. This negates their effect because players already know what to select. It’s not a decision they have to make on the field based on what’s happening, and thus it’s need for memorization is negligible.

The game is too old.” This argument is immediately dismissed when you consider that Brood War, DotA, and Counter-Strike 1.6 have been played for around a decade each, even when new “fancier” titles were released to replace them. If WoW was a good eSport, people would play it regardless of the graphics or age.

There’s no developer support.” That’s always a valid point to consider, but it hinges on the reception they receive from the competitive community. I would imagine Blizzard learned everything they needed to know in the few years of running WoW tournaments with BlizzCon and MLG. It clearly didn’t pan out like other titles and died for a reason. Developer support is important, but only if people are going to play your game. For example, look at ShootMania: Storm right now, there is strong developer support, but the competitive community isn’t really picking it up. Of course that doesn’t mean that smaller niche communities aren’t important. One of the coolest aspects of eSports is all the small communities centered around less popular titles like WoW, Quake Live, and Enemy Territory.

Gear requirements are a problem.” This argument differs from above and actually is a problem in my opinion. The core game requires non-professional players to work for their PvP gear as opposed to a game like Guild Wars that offered a mode with all gear unlocked. This is problematic because it places a large barrier at the beginning of your competitive career. And we clearly see this because only a small percentage of WoW players bother with arena. They realize the time and effort necessary to earn the gear and thus don’t bother competing.

WoW arena is boring to watch.” This is sadly one of the primary problems plaguing competitive WoW. While you may argue that “boring” is a subjective term, companies disagree and instead look at numbers and measure ROI. WoW never had impressive turnout at MLG events compared to other titles and when considering that a different more popular title could replace it for the same cost, the decision is simple. People found it boring and hard to spectate and it was reflected in the numbers. A great example of why it’s boring, as mentioned above in the abilities section, is the difference between MOBA/RTS abilities and MMO abilities. Because there are so many used in rapid succession it leads to a “watering down” effect, which diminishes the noteworthiness of each used ability. Whereas when you have less abilities used more sparingly, it is exciting and critical to time their use accurately. The strategy is deeper and more apparent.

Lastly, balancing isn’t handled in the right context, and this is the real killer and ultimate reason why WoW isn’t played competitively. Since MMO’s have a variety of different environments, Blizzard is forced to balance across the board, rather than focusing on an individual category. PvE, raiding, arenas, battlegrounds, and world PvP all require different ways to balance properly because they utilize different variables. But since there isn’t separate balancing changes for each, we are fed blanket balance changes that attempts to satisfy them all at a mediocre level. Add on top of this the fact that Blizzard is constantly patching the game, and you have a competitive community that cannot train and perfect their skills. This completely destroys any chance of forming top tier talent and thus any real competitive community. Until this aspect of the game is remedied, WoW will never be an eSport.

Secret last point: I almost forgot to mention random crits. The fact that players can random crit one another for high amounts of damage and not respawn is another serious flaw in competitive game design. The best eSports titles avoid or eliminate any random chance since randomness impedes skill.

Having Realistic Expectations in eSports

Last night I published a short opinion piece about having realistic expectations in eSports. Specifically it was in regards to getting paid from eSports positions and the Major League Gaming Fall Championship.

The first point I went on to make was my theory about why such a small percentage of people get paid from eSports. It’s because these organizations, while appearing large and successful from the outside, are actually operating on razor thin margins. This instability in a volatile market means we need to treat them like start-up companies. They are only able to hire the absolute best candidates because a single bad employee could literally put the company out of business. And we see this every 6-9 months, with another organization going under. So as an individual interested in pursuing eSports professionally, understand that you have a long road ahead. You must prove your worth by creating value over a consistent period of time. Only then will they consider paying you.

The second point I wanted to make was that as fans we need to have proper expectations when dealing with tournaments. I saw a number of angry Tweets on Friday and Saturday from HD purchasers who said they would never buy MLG again. This saddens me because 1. they are giving you a free pass for the next event and 2. this industry is really young. eSports has only been around in its current context for ~12 years and the technology we’re using make everything possible only 3-4 years. No matter how much money someone throws you, hosting an event at this stage of the game is going to result in problems. MLG took a risk by switching streaming partners (I’m assuming because of a better deal or simply to “test the waters” and take power away from Twitch), which results poorly. It’s going to happen as things evolve. Please give them a chance to grow and support whatever they do so we can have a bright future. Of course I should also clarify by saying that complaining and holding people to standards is a good thing, just don’t count them out completely.

Here is the full video:

Other Tags: MLG, TwitchTV

Why are the Koreans so damn good at StarCraft?

The other day I released a video called “Why are the Koreans so damn good at StarCraft?” In it I discussed my thoughts regarding work ethic and how it impacts eSports. Foreigners seem ill-equipped to deal with the strict training regimens Koreans and other Asian countries are currently employing. Instead American players are spending more time “branding” themselves by streaming and developing personalities. While this can be very entertaining and enlightening in regards to strategy and other topics, it shows at tournaments. So many of our international venues are dominated by Asian players who consume the top 5, top 10, and even sometimes the top 15 spots. In the most recent MLG, Naniwa, the last foreigner hope, was beaten out at the 13th-16th Ro6 slot! While this might not be a problem for some who closely follow the GOM or KeSPA tournaments, it is a problem for most. Having a more even split gives many fans someone to really root for and tournaments would be infinitely more exciting if our “home team” was competing at the end.

The other problem mentioned in the video is one of speculation. If Koreans are training ~12 hours / day, and foreigners start to catch up, what would happen? Would the Koreans start to train more? And if they do, what happens if being a pro gamer means you dedicate virtually ever waking minute to training? I can see a future where an elite group of highly disciplined gamers dominate every tournament because they use polyphasic sleep to achieve a 4-hour daily sleep routine and spend the rest training. Can we stop that from happening? Or is it even possible for the mind to achieve that level of focus?

Just some thoughts to mull over, here is the video:

Other Tags: MLG, SC2, StarCraft II, Brood War

The Problem with Competitive FPS

Today I published a new eSports opinionated piece called “The Problem with Competitive FPS”. Within, I talk about some problems plaguing the dying competitive FPS scene like a lack of developer support, a poor spectator experience, a lack of novel complexity (or whatever you want to call it, refer to paragraph below), a high required level of strategic knowledge, volatile communities, and a lack of unifying support. All these come together in a perfect storm of total destruction that is killing the once fruitful and exciting genre of FPS eSports.

I also forgot to mention the idea of the “illusion of strategic knowledge” that MOBA/RTS games give viewers. By focusing on resources, player movements, and other interface related details people may have the illusion that they understand what’s going on, but actually don’t and wouldn’t be able to answer the tough “why” questions.

Other Tags: CSGO, CS:GO, MLG, Halo, FPS, First-Person Shooter

Major League Gaming Winter Arena (2012), Pay-Per-View Experience

This weekend I had the pleasure of watching the MLG Winter Arena, something I hadn’t initially planned on doing. It was Friday morning and I was trying to decide whether to click the big, yellow pay button on Twitch.tv. $20 for a traditionally free event just didn’t seem worth it, especially since there was ASUS ROG and a pile of work in front of me. But as I stared at the MLG logo I realized that I couldn’t miss it. There’s just something about MLG events that’s too appealing to pass up. So here is my experience as an eSports Pay-Per-Viewer.

The Platform

The first thing you noticed after launching the live stream was their new interface. It was sleek and sexy, and intelligently designed. I was actually very surprised because generally these kind of in-house things suck. But this overlay for the Arena was awesome. The designer Kyle Magee (@KyleJMagee) did a fantastic job and you can tell he definitely spent time thinking about how people would use it. So the first shout out I want to give is to him.

The performance throughout the tournament was adequate. There were very few lag spikes (except during the finals), and the 1080p stream was crystal clear. The biggest technical problem was the multiple login requests from Twitch.tv. If the stream you were watching asked for your credentials, it killed the other streams and you’d have to login multiple times. Fortunately the Twitch staff got that fixed up after Friday.

Overall the visual and auditory experience was something I would expect from ESPN or another corporate entity. The graphics, transitions, music, pre-show content, everything was very impressive and a huge leap for eSports. I laughed to myself as I recalled opening multiple tabs, resizing windows, and manually switching audio to watch games for last years events. Not anymore ladies and gentlemen, not anymore!

The Casters

As always the casting team by MLG did an amazing job. The line up was: Nick “Tasteless” Plott, Dan “Artosis” Stemkoski, Marcus “djWHEAT” Graham, JP “itmeJP” McDaniel, Rob “robpsimpson” Simpson, Tobias “TumbaSC” Sherman, and Tim “Robintivo” Frazier. Oh and yes, Day[9] wasn’t there, apparently his schedule didn’t work with the event. They also had players like Paulo “CatZ” Vizcarra and Manuel “Grubby” Schenkhuizen casting games as well. It was a great line up and had some hilarious moments all weekend long.

Perhaps the coolest part of the casting setup was the main stream and the “side-table” (is there an official name?). After two main casters covered a game, they would turn to an additional two casters that would talk about their analysis. It was an awesome little back-and-forth that added a lot to the viewing experience.

Overall the Arena was very professional in terms of its casting selection. Everyone looked sharp (although not everyone thought so) and casted great. The only change I would make here, and it was originally stated by iNcontroL, was the “low production” white rooms:

Really don’t like the white room casting thing for MLG. Has a low production feel to it. @MLG @MLGSundance — otherwise great so far!

— Geoff Robinson (@EGiNcontroL) February 25, 2012

The Games and Players

I’m not going to break down individual games since there’s plenty of coverage out there, but I will say that they were awesome! Some of the biggest names in StarCraft were battling it out this weekend, so game after game was a treat to watch. If you couldn’t afford, or refused to pay the $20 PPV charge, you’ll definitely want to check out these games once they’re released.

I tuned into ASUS ROG this weekend as well, but when you compared brackets it was easy to see which tournament was more appealing. Don’t get me wrong, there were some big names at Assembly, and their tournament was great, but MLG’s line-up was just so sick.

Another feature that added interactiveness to the matches was their use of the @Poll service for phones and Twitter. Before and during matches you could send in your vote for who was going to win (or who you wanted to win). It added another level of fun to the tournament but wasn’t explained very well. The first few I sent failed because I didn’t realize you were ONLY supposed to put “@Poll ######” NOT “@Poll PLAYERNAME ######”. So I missed some vital voting sessions but it all worked out in the end. They also had a Twitter account @MLGAllAccess which was giving out prizes for guessing when players would GG and how long matches would run. Another great idea.

Lastly MLG made sure to reduce down-time as much as possible by providing on-screen brackets, match overviews and updates, and interviews with players. It all flowed smoothly and definitely was in improvement over having commercials or graphics and music.

And for those of you who know @G4MR on Twitter, he wrote up a recommended games list on his blog. Check it out. I’ll be sure to add more links if I find some good ones.

So was it worth the $20?

Yes and no. This event was a great idea, it was run amazingly well, and delivered an experience I am happy to pay for. But here’s where we draw the line. On the one side you have people serious about eSports, like myself, the players, die-hard fans, etc. We are the people this event was successful for. On the other side you have the vast majority of StarCraft 2 fans, a group unwilling to pay for this event. For them, PPV may not be worth it.

But I believe this is a great step for legitimizing eSports. Any industry that has depth offers more to those who continually pursue it. We often times see the world at a surface level, thinking that that’s as far as it goes. “eSports is about free content”, “this will ruin eSports”, “no one wants this”, etc. And that’s a perfectly valid reaction to be honest. We have expectations for MLG and they changed them. But I think the problem isn’t that this event cost money, it was that our perspective of the event was never clear. We shouldn’t look at these Arena’s as a traditional tournament. It’s something entirely new, designed for a new audience, and providing a new level of content. I think the outrage that surrounded this Arena was unjust because people weren’t looking at it the right way. These Arena’s are a great idea because they showcase which organizations and individuals are serious about eSports and/or StarCraft. They give serious news sites and blogs a chance to publish “exclusive” content that will help drive viewers to their site. “Who won? What matches were good? How was the experience? Did anything crazy happen?” These questions can only be answered by people who are trying to make headway in this industry. Someone had to do it first, and MLG got plenty of negative press for it, but I think it turned out great and really showed the world that eSports isn’t a joke and it’s not going to die, because there’s serious business behind it (or at least potential).

So, what I’m trying to say, is that PPV did some good this weekend and catered to a more serious audience. It has the potential to help eSports grow tremendously as long as we treat it properly. If all events start going PPV, no one will win and eSports will shrink drastically. If we find a nice balance of free and PPV events the industry will entice new talent through the lure of profitable ventures and become something worth doing for a lot more people.

A list of other random things

Here is a list of other random things that didn’t fit into the main article:

Prior to, and during the event, a philanthropist thread on Reddit was helping poor gamers get PPV passes! What a generous community of awesome people. :)

Minor improvements to the overlay could be: mouse disappears after x-amount of time (mine wasn’t doing this for some reason). Indicate we are logged into Twitch.tv and have a premium pass. Ensure that whoever is playing right now is listed somewhere. Occasionally the “update message” wasn’t displaying who was playing on each stream.

In case you didn’t know: the first game each day was free to watch, then a “pay wall” went up. There were no commercials, only website ads on the info panels (panels you could open and close at will). Every match was available to watch live.

Of the “80 hours of content” or whatever they advertised, I watched around 25 hours myself. I don’t think it was really possible to watch more than that: Friday ~4pm-12am, Saturday ~12pm-9pm, Sunday 12pm-7pm. Does that look right?

Sundance mentioned two important things. One, the event was successful and there will be more. And two, there might be an Arena event for LoL in the works?

MKP didn’t know he won at first. It was a very weird ending to the event and brings up a good point: players need to learn how to win and lose better! Show some emotion guys, it’s kind of awkward otherwise. I know, I know, he was overwhelmed, blah blah blah. Just throw up a fist or something.

“As Video Gaming Goes Pro, Viewers Pay Up” – NPR interview with Husky. Tweeted during the event, haven’t actually listened to it quite yet.

And GameSpot coverage by Slasher. This is a great step for GameSpot, recognizing eSports and helping out.

Other Tags: MLG, StarCraft II, SC2, PPV

Major League Gaming Anaheim 2011 – Wrap Up Coverage

Championship Sunday has ended and MLG Anaheim has come to a close. Now it’s time to sort through the mess and find the best videos, photos, articles, and posts floating around the webs. Check back here for updates! Note: this is primarily Starcraft 2 information. If you’re here for Halo: Reach or Call of Duty: Black Ops, well you’re in the wrong place.

If you’re looking for tournament brackets and results, then you’ll want to check out Team Liquid’s coverage page. If you’re looking for replay packs, MLG announced that they will NOT be providing them! Instead they will be distributed to casters who will broadcast them on their channels. People were extremely happy about this as you would imagine…


I think the first and most obvious link I should provide is to MLG’s official video sources: MLG.TV and YouTube.

Anaheim’s introduction was extra special with day9 and djwheat exchanging an intimate moment.

The Anaheim relay race (DeMusliM got a wee bit injured).

I thought this was funny: Idra turns his back after JP asks him and Cruncher to shake hands.

In case you missed it: Jinro’s nuke against Choya (HD).

And of course day9 and djwheat dancing.

For a mix of videos coming out of Anaheim, you’ll want to check out pro team channels and organizations publishing on YouTube: compLexityINSIDER, myEGnet, Hyper Crew TV, ESFI World

Of course teams and big fancy eSports organizations aren’t the only ones pumping out videos from the event. Individual gamers, fans, and rando’s are putting up stuff on YouTube as well: AskJoshy, rakakase, itmeJP

NEW: Jason Lake interviewed about eSports by ESFI

Top Photos and Galleries

This is a sweet interactive 360 panorama of the venue floor. And another panoramic view.

Obviously the best photos will undoubtedly be from eSports teams and organizations since they have the budgets to afford nice cameras, so check these sources out first: Evil Geniuses, compLexity, HyperCrewTV, WellPlayed.org Twitpic / Flickr, ESFI, MLGSC2Scores, CheckSix, Sixjax

And just as with the videos, individual photographers are uploading as well: Joshtacular, SirScoots, Leah Jackson, Anna Prosser

The Astro Gaming booth always looks so awesome.

You might have heard of QXC and his sign.

miniwheat makes an appearance.

I think they ended up adding some more chairs for the SC2 crowd, but I’m sure it wasn’t remotely enough.

NEW: an epic picture of day9.

NEW: rofl, race change.

Best Articles and Posts

If you’re interested in reading some personal accounts of the MLG Anaheim experience, blogs are probably your best friend. Here are some I ran across: compLexity’s blogs

Can White-Ra do the impossible


I think overall the event went really well and, almost as expected, began breaking previous stream records. MLGLee and Sundance both tweeted something about it (and another from Sundance). The fans and viewers seemed pleased overall with a few complaints here and there about memberships not working. Of course you’ll have some people who do nothing but bitch (like this guy).

I was hoping I’d come across some funny and/or witty tweets as I watched the #MLG hashtag search on Twitter, but most people just reported things. Anyway, I think this ended up being my favorite tweet of the event.

The first comment on this photo is pretty straightforward.

Also be sure to keep an eye on sites like SC2 Ratings which can help you determine which games to watch if you missed some.

The longest match was between Boxer and Rain lasting an epic 1:12:56 (game time).

If there’s anything I missed let me know. And over the week following the event I’ll be keeping an eye on various sources and add anything interesting I come across. Other thanks for reading and see you online!

Other Tags: MLG, COD BLOPS, StarCraft II, SC2, Pro Circuit

Major League Gaming Anaheim 2011 – Articles and Posts

Authors and fans will be clacking away all weekend publishing an array of articles ranging from total crap to delectably awesome. We’ll do our best to sort through them all and deliver what you need.

NOTE: This article will be updated all weekend, so refer back for changes.

(Source : Article : Author)


Cadred : MLG Anaheim Preview : mYNDIG

ESFI : The top 3 top 5s for MLG Anaheim 2011 : Derek Staley

ESFI : ThisIsJimmy battles MLG Anaheim Open Bracket : Ted Ottey


MLG : MLG Pro Circuit Replays

coL : compLexity Gaming blogs : various

FNATIC : FNATIC blogs : various

TL : No replays released from Anaheim : various

Tweets [sic]

For fun I thought I’d post my favorite tweets from this weekend (in order of when I found them).

“Just ate a lot of crab. Now time to go home, take my pants off and enjoy a night of StarCraft 2.” - mrgibb

“Lol so many fuckin bros here its gross” - diego_armijo

“Glad to see all of the 8 halo fans in California made it out today to spectate” - JeremysCoLd

“looking forward to watching #MLGtonight, and for the first time since i started following (2006) i will not be watching a console game” - sasmacdonald

“Boner atm because im at #mlg anaheim right before it kicks off!” - Spiritombreeder

Other Tags: MLG, COD BLOPS, StarCraft II, SC2, Pro Circuit

Major League Gaming Anaheim 2011 – Photos and Video

As MLG Anaheim rages on, both eSports organizations and players snap, crackle, and pop out images left and right. We’ll do our best to find and aggregate these sources all in one spot.

NOTE: This article will be updated all weekend, so refer back for changes.

(where applicable – Source : Media : Author)

Photos taken by organizations

Evil Geniuses : photos on yfrog

compLexity : photos on yfrog

Hyper Crew : photos on yfrog

WellPlayed.org : photos on twitpic flickr

ESFI : photos on twitpic

MLGSc2Scores : photos on twitpic

check6 : photos on twitpic

Photos taken by individuals

MLGLee : photos on twitpic

MLGBen : photos on twitpic

MLG_SolidJake : photos on yfrog

SirScoots : photos on yfrog

Leah Jackson : photos on yfrog

Anna Prosser : photos on yfrog

Brent Ruiz : photos on twitpic

David Bentz : photos on twitpic

mlgcassO : photos on twitpic

Vincent Samaco : photos on twitpic

SrPablo : photos on twitpic

WolfEcho : photos on twitpic

Mark Julio : photos on twitpic

Adam Schodde : photos on yfrog

ArKiVe_ : panoramic view of the venue

Videos taken by organizations

coL : videos on youtube

G4TV : eSports Roundup With Major League Gaming: Talkabout : Leah Jackson

Hyper Crew: MLG Anaheim 2011 Entrance Line

Videos taken by individuals

MLGAnTiPRO : MLG Relay Race Anaheim 2011

IBesTMaN : Team Liquid Relay Race – MLG Anaheim Part 1 and Part 2 (longer 2 part version)

Other Tags: MLG, COD BLOPS, StarCraft II, SC2, Pro Circuit

Major League Gaming: Columbus (2011) – My Live Experience

The weekend has wrapped up and MLG Columbus is officially over. I had the pleasure of attending in person and I wanted to enlighten my readers with my thoughts, insights, and suggestions.

First, if you have the money, DON’T drive. Myself and three others drove 11+ hours to get to MLG, in a small car on horribly bumpy roads (apparently Illinois doesn’t actually use the toll money to improve their highways). If you are going to drive: DON’T drive back hung over on the hottest day EVER with NO air conditioning! Monday’s 11 hour car ride back was disgustingly hot and sticky…

Second, upon arriving in the host city, make sure you actually check out the hotels connected to the convention center. When we arrived we chcked out the Drury, expecting it to be booked or extremely expensive. Instead they had rooms for a reasonable price that included free breakfast and dinner! It was a pretty sweet deal.

Now onto the actual convention. The lines to get in were pretty long. You’ll either want to get a VIP ticket like I did, arrive really early, or arrive after the doors have opened. Otherwise you’ll be standing for quite awhile. The upside to standing around is that you can meet other gamers and if you’re lucky the players.

Which brings me to my next point: meeting the pros, casters, and community “celebrities” for the first time was actually pretty weird. You kind of realize that these are real people and not just mystical figures you see on streams and casts. One thing to note here is that if you’re planning on meeting the casters, guess again. They are even more busy than the pros and constantly behind-the-scenes working. A few rare times you’ll catch them running around, half-awake, frantically trying to figure something out. My recommendation, say hi, but let them be so they can do their job. If you stick around long enough, they’ll more than likely have a moment to pop out, sign autographs or talk with you.

Speaking of casters, I heard the stream was pretty good this time. The only real upset I heard was when that epic storm hit and flooded part of the convention center. But otherwise it was good, right?

Now let’s talk about the matches. First be prepared, after attending a live event like this, to forever be disappointed with watching streams and replays alone. The roar of the crowd added such powerful emotions to each match, it was simply amazing. The first day when we got seats at the main stage I literally almost teared up to see how much passion and intensity was surging through the crowd. eSports at its finest. I would say the best moments were: the opening match between Idra and MC, TLO’s nuke against IncontroL, the Moon vs Slush baneling landmines, MMA destroying his own command center, the Losira Nydus worm network against MC (starts at 1:00:00), the speech Sundance gave us just before the final matches, and the final matches themselves. Obviously there were plenty more, but these ones really stick out in my head as ones where the crowd went absolutely nuts.

Personally the most disappointing thing about MLG was Idra. Here’s why. When you were growing up did you watch Indiana Jones (the 3 originals)? Well I did and I loved them. Harrison Ford is the man, and I had such a great time pretending I was an adventurer like him. Well when I heard they were making a new movie, I was obviously ecstatic. I eagerly awaited the release and when I finally saw it I was crushed. So much build up, so much anticipation, and then BAM! My world crumbled around me (thanks Spielberg, you asshole). Anyways, this is what Idra’s matches were like. I like watching him, I rooted for him all event, and I was so excited for his game against MC. But when it finally happened he early GG’d and just gave them away. I couldn’t believe it. All this hype just to be completely thrown away. That was by far the low part of the weekend for me.

Alright those are the few fleeting thoughts and opinions I wanted to throw down in an article. Now it’s time for what I normally do on Spawn Room and provide you with a long list of resources so you can find everything you need to review this epic event! As usual, if I miss anything that needs to be included, email, Tweet, or Facebook me a message. Thanks for reading!

Brackets and Results

The full championship braket and open bracket on MLG.

The leaderboards on MLG.

Comprehensive team results on Team Liquid.

Matches and Videos

Official MLG Columbus VOD’s on MLG.

MMA Hadoukens Idra (or Kamehameha, whatever).

YouTube channels with coverage: MLG, Team Liquid, WellPlayed, AskJoshy, Team Complexity, Cyber Sports Network, Edward Starcraft, Evil Geniuses, and ESFI World.

HuskyStarcraft also covered a few matches. MrGlobalHD uploaded a bunch (or all) of the matches on YouTube.

Photos and Image Galleries

Official MLG photo albums.

Team photo galleries: Team Dignitas, Team Complexity, Team FNATIC, vVv Gaming

The Calm Before the Storm by Team Sixjax.

WellPlayed on yfrog. AskJoshy on twitpic. StarCrackShow on yfrog.

Raelcun’s two photo threads on Team Liquid: one and two (warning: may take awhile to load).


All you need to get ready for MLG Columbus by MLG.

Sixjax Gaming has a few MLG blog posts that are interesting and full of pictures.

NEW: Milkis, the translator for the Koreans, wrote up a two part article/post on Team Liquid: Part 1 | Part 2

Note: I’ll be adding more to this article as I find useful or interesting things to add.

Other Tags: MLG, Pro Circuit, COD BLOPS, StarCraft II, SC2, LoL

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