If you have played Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat, Quake, Unreal Tournament, Blizzard’s StarCraft or WarCraft II, or any of Bungie’s Halo games, you are probably familiar with the world of video game competition to some extent.
StarCraft has captivated Korea so fanatically that they televise matches, and Counter-Strike matches have been aired online via Half-Life TV and thousands of fans have been logged in at once to watch CPL matches. The CPL, or Cyberathlete Professional League, is an organization that puts together professional tournaments, where winnings can be as high as $100,000 for a team. Quake and Counter-Strike have been the organization’s biggest games, but it has delved in other Half-Life mods as well. The MLG, or Major League Gaming, is also a large organized international league that hosts video gaming tournaments and competitions, though are centered more on the console games where as The CPL capitalized more on the online PC games.
Getting into and being a part of competitive gaming in the past could have been a tricky experience, having first to meet the right people online, be skilled enough in your game of choice, learning about IRC (if you played on the PC, this is a must), and really breaking down the games you play to become as skilled as you’d need to be in order to stay alive for more than five seconds.
However, as of a January 14th, 2008 agreement between the Major League Gaming and ESPN is one step closer to thrusting the world of competitive gaming into our living rooms. ESPN.com, the most well known sports news deliverer has entered a content agreement with Major League Gaming and ESPN will be the primary host for news of the competitive video gaming world. ESPN will step up the game and make professional video gaming presented just like any other professional sport.
ESPN will be on site at every professional MLG circuit competition and report the news for various ESPN outlets. They will also host on their website exclusive streamed matches, player interviews, and statistics.
GotFrag? is one of the major hubs in the online PC competitive gaming world, though if you have never competed in a video game, the chances of you knowing what GotFrag? is are very slim. GotFrag? does provide its fan and the community with updates player stats, interviews, and news in its scene, which is not too different from the information ESPN will now be bringing you.
The exciting change? ESPN is a household name, and this content agreement will make competitive video gaming part of the norm instead of making you a power geek for knowing anything about it. Maybe now, with ESPN supporting video games, paranoid old timers won’t blame violent games on violent behavior any more than they blame football and steroids for violent behavior.