NEW YORK—May 19, 2011— Major League Gaming (MLG), the world’s largest competitive video game league and GOMTV's Global StarCraft II League (GSL), have announced a historic League Exchange Program that will send the best MLG players to compete in the GSL and allow top Korean talent to play LIVE for the first time at an open-registration tournament in the US. Beginning with the MLG Pro Circuit Competition in Columbus June 3-5, and continuing through the 2011 season, MLG will invite and provide travel for four Korean pros to compete playing Blizzard Entertainment’s blockbuster real-time strategy game, StarCraft ® II: Wings of Liberty ™ on PC at each LIVE tournament.
The inaugural four GSL Pro players competing in Columbus are ST_Bomber (STARTALE, Code A Champion and Next Season Code S), SlayerS_MMA (Slayers, Code A Ro.4), IMLosirA (Incredible Miracle, Code S) and FOXMoon (FOX). These players will be placed directly into the Championship Pools and placement in the Pools will be determined by GSL rank.
“We’re incredibly pleased to partner with MLG on this groundbreaking arrangement. This is very exciting news for the global StarCraft II community,” said Jooyang Oh, Director of eSports, GSL.
“Our mission at MLG is to advance the sport of competitive gaming and with GSL as our partner, we can continue to do that on a global scale,” said Sundance DiGiovanni, CEO of MLG.“Our collaboration is truly revolutionary and we are excited to bring together the top players in the world for intense competition.”
"Major League Gaming and GOMTV are world-class eSports partners, and we're pleased to see them collaborating on this historic international player exchange," said Paul Sams, COO of Blizzard Entertainment. "In addition to providing some incredible entertainment for fans of competitive gaming, this partnership also represents a great opportunity to expand the global eSports audience."
Based on the outcome of the MLG Columbus Pro Circuit, the top three non-Korean finishers will earn placement into GSL’s Code A tournament with all travel and accommodation expenses provided by GSL. Beginning with the MLG Pro Circuit Anaheim on July 29-31 and continuing through the 2011 season, the 1st place finisher will be placed into the GSL Code S and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th place non-Korean finishers will be placed into GSL Code A.
Coming off of an action-packed Pro Circuit opener in Dallas last month, the Columbus competition is the second of a challenging, six-city US Pro Circuit tour that places the most talented players alongside their toughest opponents. In addition to the four Korean Pros, more than 200 players from around the world will compete in StarCraft II at the Columbus Pro Circuit, including Dallas winner dignitas.Naniwa, second place finisher ROOT.Kiwikaki, and Idra from Team Evil Geniuses who placed first at the MLG Pro Circuit event last year in Washington DC. Other notable players to watch include TLO and Tyler both from Team Liquid.
More than $1 million will be awarded throughout the year making this the largest MLG season to date. Fans can purchase spectator passes online or on-site at the Columbus Convention Center. Those that can't make it in person can watch in real-time all weekend in standard or high-definition at www.majorleaguegaming.com. Three live streams will be dedicated to the three featured games and a fourth live stream will offer commentary, interviews and highlights.
The Pro Circuit Schedule
June 3-5: Columbus, OH– Columbus Convention Center
July 29-31: Anaheim, CA - Anaheim Convention Center
August 26-28: Raleigh, NC - Raleigh Convention Center
October 14-16: Orlando, FL - Gaylord Palms Resort&Convention Center
November 18-20: Providence, RI– National Championship
Rhode Island Convention Center
ABOUT MAJOR LEAGUE GAMING
Founded in 2002, Major League Gaming (MLG) is the dominant media property exclusively targeting the approximately 40 million consumers in North America who have a passion for playing video games as a competitive social activity. The company exclusively represents the best professional gamers and gives millions of aspiring gamers around the world an opportunity to compete, improve their skills, and socialize through our thriving online competitive community and live Pro Circuit competitions. For more information: www.majorleaguegaming.com.
ABOUT BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT, INC.
Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft® and the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. ( www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes thirteen #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online-gaming service, Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.