MLG Raleigh draws record crowd (Thank you Starcraft II)

E-sporting events are breaking viewing records faster than the old ones can be written, but are there red flags on the horizon?

The surge of popularity in strategy games is overwhelming in growth, to say the least. We’re used to seeing events being all the rage in such countries as Korea, but now we’re getting a flavor for it in the West, and about time too. Is it all that surprising? The games are designed for the e-sports scene, and they are refreshingly original. Innovation is what sticks out like a sore thumb in recent years, as first person shooter genres are having a clone wars situation to deal with. Other genres are suffering too, as we have seen the fall of JRPGs and rhythm based games. Meanwhile, OSGs are climbing the e-sports scene. MLG Raleigh brought in at least 130,000 concurrent subscribers, according to Venture Beat.

Typical now: huge MLG crowds. Source: ComicBookBin

“Each event the company has held this year has broken a previous record for attendees and online subscribers”, MLG chief executive Sundance DiGiovanni said. It is impressive considering the global competition that exists for tournaments. MLG must compete with the draw of television stations and online streaming sites that dedicate themselves to gaming, all who compete for the attention of gaming spectators. As even reported by MLG, “viewers from 173 countries watched the LIVE streams and more than 3 million hours of video were consumed throughout the weekend”. MLG must expand globally for its growth to be sustained, and with that come a few hurdles, the most prominent of which is being taken seriously. For example, the top MLG Starcraft II teams are considered stepping stones for GSL’s talent. Considered. Many people are forgetting GSL Korea Vs The World, which demonstrated Korea isn’t as dominating towards other countries’. Why am I not mentioning Blops or Reach? They don’t carry the same level of appeal across the world, and Americans dominate the genre so hard it would be incredibly difficult for other countries to catch up. But I digress. The point is that MLG, a wonderful showmanship of the gamer’s passion, has a ways to go in winning the mindshare of spectators the world over, but all signs point to sure-fire success.

For the curious, the featured games were:
Starcraft II
League of Legends
Halo: Reach
Call of Duty: Black Ops

The original broadcast schedule can be found here.


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