MLG and ESPN team up for first-ever eSports event at X Games Austin
MLG X Games Invitational to take place at X Games Austin June 6-8.
This article was originally published on GameSpot's sister site onGamers.com, which was dedicated to esports coverage.
Major League Gaming and ESPN X Games are teaming up for the first-ever MLG X Games Invitational at the inaugural X Games Austin from June 6-8, 2014, at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas. As part of the X Games experience, players will be awarded X Games medals and MLG’s Pro Circuit competition will be showcased with Skateboard, BMX, Moto X, Rally and Stadium SUPER Trucks, renowned musical performers.
MLG will invite the top five Call of Duty teams based on MLG Pro Points rankings and the top three finishers - CompLexity, EnVyUs and OpTic Gaming - from the recent Call of Duty Championship, to compete in the three-day invitational to be played on Xbox One.
Highlights of the tournament will air during ESPN/ABC X Games telecasts and the complete tournament will air on the MLG.tv platform.
“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.tv,” said Don Reilley, MLG's EVP of Sales. “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 MLG.tv across all platforms.”
"It's going to be [MLG] bringing our high-level production into a really full weekend. We're looking to build something here that hopefully becomes a tradition at both the summer and the winter X Games over time," MLG CEO Sundance DiGiovanni told ESPN.
For other teams qualifying, five Call of Duty teams will be selected based on the NA Ghosts Pro Points Rankings released on Tuesday, May 13th. While there is no prize money up for grabs, players will be treated to the other X Games athletes at the event.
"Pros will be competing for X Games medals and also receive all expenses paid trips to compete, VIP treatment throughout the weekend including access to athlete amenities at the event", a MLG spokesperson told onGamers.
Tickets for the MLG Tournament at X Games Austin are available at www.ticketmaster.com/xgames. A three-day MLG ticket is available for $89 and provides access to the MLG tent in addition to all X Games activity. For $189, fans can purchase a 3-Day MLG Premium upgrade to secure reserved seating in the MLG tent, a behind-the-scenes tour, meet and greets with top Call of Duty players, a gift bag including MLG merchandise, gaming gear and more.
MLG declined comment to onGamers on further plans with ESPN.
In 2008 MLG and ESPN partnered to distribute then 2008 MLG Pro Circuit Competitions content for Halo 3. This included 'exclusive streamed matches, pro player interviews, and scores and stats'.
“ESPN is committed to serving our fans, and we recognize the growing popularity of pro video gaming,” said ESPN's General Manager of Digital Media John Kosner at the time in 2008. “Adding MLG content to our already-comprehensive offering will help us to continue to deliver the best news, information and entertainment to our growing gaming audience".
Last week MLG announced they would be building a MLG Arena in China. MLG co-founder Mike Sepso told onGamers that MLG also has future plans to hold events inside stadiums in the United States, and has "been working on partnerships with existing stadiums and arenas and we will be announcing those later this year".
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