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Major League Gaming secures $11.3M for eSports
Major League Gaming secures $11.3M for eSports
March 13, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

March 13, 2012 | By Eric Caoili
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More: Console/PC, Social/Online, Business/Marketing



New York City-based organization Major League Gaming, which hosts tournaments and events for competitive games in North America, has raised $11.3 million in a new round of funding.

This latest financing, which brings Major League Gaming's total amount raised to nearly $70 million, hints at continued and increasing interest in professional eSports, from both gamers and investors.

The release of StarCraft II, renewed interest in fighting games, and emergence of Multiplayer Online Battle Arena/Defense of the Ancients (MOBA/DOTA) titles like League of Legends have helped fuel eSports' popularity in recent years.

MLG has hosted gaming tournaments since 2002, touring various cities with its Pro Circuit events, where players compete in games like StarCraft II and Halo: Reach. It broadcasts those competitions live on its site, which receives around 8 million users each month.

The company had its biggest year in 2011, as the number of unique visitors during its Pro Circuit Season increased by 225 percent over the previous year. 241,000 people tuned into its Providence National Championships event alone last November.

MLG's latest funding is part of a $13 million targeted round of financing, according to an SEC filing submitted by the company on Monday.


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Comments


Taylor Seim-Brown
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@ Christian

I cannot speak for the fps or fighter fans, because I am not among them. But I do feel like I can speak for RTS fans, specifically MLG customers, because I am one. I watch Starcraft because I like Starcraft. It is not just the best game in the genre, it is the most loved and easily accessible. Any game that they would produce very likely could not match SC because it would not have the international support that SC does.

Starcraft is MLG's biggest title, they devote more streams to it than any other game, it draws the biggest crowds and gets the best stage. Most Starcraft fans watch much more than just MLG. Most weekends will have a big tournament with good production value, many of which match or beat MLG's production value. In addition to the big tourneys, there are dozens of weekly cups which draw lots of talent for a fan to enjoy. There are many weekly shows about SC, and there are hundreds of live streams. In other words, Starcraft fans are not wanting for content. I'm writing this at 4:30 in the morning on the west coast, and I just checked randomly, there are about 7k people watching the featured streams on http://www.teamliquid.net/sc2.

Starcraft has an infrastructure that most other games, even very popular ones, simply do not have. It is highly unlikely that Starcraft fans would transition from watching this game, which is highly competitive, highly entertaining, and easy to access to only watching some game that they could only watch during an MLG event, which only happen a few times a year.

Perhaps Halo players have less game loyalty, but for many SC fans, and definitely for me it's Starcraft or bust.

Travis LeBlanc
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Any game that MLG would produce wouldn't have the international support because, as I said, of their ability to advertise. StarCraft isn't and shouldn't be the only game that e-Sports is based on or relied upon, but in recent years, it's become MLG's business to cater to a specific game just because of the following it brings. That's why Halo's dying, and why StarCraft will eventually die.

I'm not sure what you mean by your last bit about the game loyalty and such, but basically what you're saying is... StarCraft or no participating, which is the mindset of every player in MLG, which is why it hasn't gotten the exposure it deserves.

Tomas Majernik
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Only if it was that easy to make a quality competitive game...

Look how long did it take Blizzard to make Starcraft 2 and look how many other developers and their games failed to become mainstream esport. Check CS 1.6, which is still the most popular competitive fps game despite tons of new shooters and new CS Source. And based on what i have heard, CS Go doesn`t look like a new fps giant (http://bit.ly/x23jvR).

I would support the argument that games themselves are one of the reasons behind recent esports boom. I have seen almost all big tournaments lately and I can tell you that SC2 and LoL has like 20x more viewers than CS everytime. To futher support this, I would recommend You to check live streams of LoL and SC2 players. Stephano (SC2 zerg player) had 15k viewers watching him playing ladder few days ago!


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