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Competitive gaming's legitimacy gets a boost, as gamers will compete at ESPN's next X Games

For the first time in history, Major League Gaming pros will compete at the X-Games.

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[For more coverage on the MLG-ESPN partnership, be sure to read GameSpot sister site onGamers]

As the debate about whether or not competitve gaming is a legitimate sport continues, one of the world's biggest authorities on the subject, ESPN, has lended some fodder to the argument that eSports does indeed have a place alongside other, "legitimate" sports. ESPN and Major League Gaming announced today that for the first time in history, MLG pros will compete at ESPN's X-Games for a shot to take home a medal.

MLG and ESPN announced a partnership today that will bring the first-ever Major League Gaming X Games Invitational to the inaugural X Games Austin in June. Eight of the world's best Call of Duty teams will compete in a three-day tournament for a shot at a medal.

MLG will have a dedicated area showcasing the event at X Games Austin. The gaming tournament will be featured next to other X Games events in fields like BMX, Moto X, and skateboarding. Famous rapper Kanye West will also perform at X Games Austin.

It's unclear how much of the ESPN/ABC X Games TV broadcasts will focus on gaming, but MLG says highlights of the tournament will air on both networks. The complete tournament will air exclusively on channels on the web, mobile apps, and the MLG app for Xbox 360.

"The popularity of competitive gaming and the MLG Pro Circuit is at an all-time high with millions watching the best gamers compete each month on," MLG EVP of sales, Don Reilley, said. "This collaboration with X Games will help further bring MLG to the mainstream while we provide advertisers with quality exposure and deep engagement with our fan base on across all platforms."

If you'd like to attend X Games Austin person, you can buy a three-day pass for $89, which also includes access to the MLG tent. For $189, you can get an "extremely limited" VIP upgrade, which gives you reserved seating at the MLG tent, a behind-the-scenes tour, meet and greet opportunities with top Call of Duty players, and a swag bag.

MLG is making numerous and significant moves of late. Earlier this year, the group announced expansion plans for Brazil, and just last week the firm revealed that it will build the world's first dedicated gaming arena off the coast of China.

For more eSports/competitive gaming news and analysis, be sure to read GameSpot sister site onGamers.

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