Officials from professional video game league Major League Gaming (MLG) have announced that the organization has signed the U.S.’s leading four-man Halo 2 team to a $1 million contract and individual player Tsquared to a $250,000 deal, in an interesting development in the increasingly crowded world of competitive video gaming.
The contracts will see Halo 2 team Final Boss and Tsquared playing exclusively within MLG’s competitions. Officials also announced that energy drink Red Bull will become an official sponsor for MLG, after being a long time supporter of Final Boss and its team leader David "Walshy" Walsh, as well as of the broader MLG community.
"Having a true professional league requires that you be able to identify, scout and sign the best players in the world," said Sundance DiGiovanni, co-founder and CMO of Major League Gaming. "We're constantly on the lookout for the next big stars. Our Pro Circuit competitions give millions of gamers a chance to qualify to compete for their opportunity to make big money and gain recognition on the world stage as a pro gamer."
"It's a huge honor to be part of the first gaming team to get this kind of money," said David "Walshy" Walsh. "This kind of contract just shows how serious MLG is about building the League. Three years ago I never could have imagined that I'd be making more money than my parents playing video games!"
Tom "Tsquared" Taylor is the team leader of Str8 Rippin, the only team to beat Final Boss in the 2005 Pro Circuit. Taylor has been the subject of an MTV True Life documentary and is featured in Stuff Magazine's "Successful under 30s list", as well as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Hollywood Reporter. Taylor also runs the company Gaming-Lessons.com, which provides instruction from top gamers.