MLG vs KeSPA Broadcast starts Thursday

Highlight players include IIyes "Stephano" Satouri, The Tyrant Lee "Jaedong" Jae Dong, and others. Groups absent from list include Korean eSports Federation.


Update: Sasha "Scarlett" Hostyn recently told GameSpot that she is dropping out of the tournament, as her laggy connection makes it impossible for her to play on the Korean server. The original story stated that Hostyn will be competing against the Ultimate Weapon Lee "Flash" Young Ho. The story has been edited to reflect that change.

Update 2:MLG has updated its schedule with with the latest match-ups. On Wednesday October 10 at 7pm ET, MLG Prizefights featuring DOTA 2 will offer Evil Geniuses vs Quantic Gaming. On Thursday October 11 at the same time, the StarCraft II Online Qualifiers continue. And on Friday October 12, the best of MLG will take on the best of Proleague for a $10,000 first prize, paid trips to Dallas, and Group Play spots (pay-per-view only). The complete up-to-date broadcast schedule can be viewed at the MLG website.

The broadcast schedule for the MLG vs ProLeague Invitational (MvP) has been released, with 48 of the world's best players competing, including the top 24 ranked KeSPA players. The action kicks off this Thursday, September 27th, with the North American and European players taking on KeSPA's best, the first time many of these competitors have squared off.

Highlight week 1 matchups include Blizzard WCS European Champion Ilyes “Stephano” Satouri taking on The Tyrant Lee "Jaedong" Jae Dong, and Evil Geniuses' Greg “IdrA' Fields battling OSL two-time Champion Heo "JangBi" Yeong Moo.

The MvP Invitational will be played entirely online, with the regular season consisting only of games played between regions, with no intra-region play until the playoffs. Matches will be played cross-server. By the time the playoffs hit, all 24 KeSPA players will have played all 24 global players. The regular season ends October 15th with the playoffs beginning October 19th, and the Grand Finals on October 29th. The finals will be a $10,000 winner-take-all affair, featuring one player from MLG and one from KeSPA.

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Absent from the list of competitors is any representation from any of the teams under the Korean eSports Federation, representing teams in Korea not under KeSPA, with the exception of SlayerS. All six Korean players invited, among them Jang "MC" Min Chul, Fnatic's Han "aLive" Lee Seok, and Lee "PuMa" Ho Joon, are signed to western teams SK Gaming, Fnatic, and Evil Geniuses, respectively. Incredible Miracle's Hwang "LosirA" Kang Ho and Prime's Lee "MarineKing" Jung Hoon are said to have turned down invites.

“It was most likely because the ESF teams only got 8 invites and KESPA got 24”, FXOpen eSports Director Joshua Dentrinos told GameSpot, one of the teams part of the ESF. “When KESPA hasn't helped develop MLG as much as ESF teams have.”

Last month both organizations clashed as KeSPA pulled their players from the GSL, with ESF retaliating by pulling their players from OSL. After several back-and-forths and mediation with Blizzard, both parties came to an agreement to play in both leagues, with KeSPA players making their debut in GSL's Code A this morning. Although an agreement was made, it's not clear if either organization has gotten closer to each other over this period of time.

"We've got some really amazing players in the MvP Invitational”, MLG SVP of eSports Strategy Lee Chen told GameSpot. “I don't have any specifics to share about why eSF won't be participating int he tournament, but we're obviously fans of their teams and players and look forward to seeing them at future tournaments.” The ESF players are currently playing in MLG's regular Fall invite-only Online qualifiers.

The MvP Invitational will be streamed in 1080p and is a return to Pay Per View, costing $9.99 to watch. MLG had previously used a PPV model for their StarCraft 2 Arena events. Broadcasts will be held from MLG's New York City studios with new hosts Nick “Axslav” Ranish and Alex “Axeltoss” Rodriguez. Most content will air Monday's and Friday's, with instant access to VOD's. A full schedule can be found at this link here.

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