Major League Gaming
MLG splits with Blizzard, no longer hosting StarCraft 2 World Championship Series
In the first season of the StarCraft 2 World Championship Series, a weeks-long tournament created by Blizzard, the North American branch of the event was handled by eSports stalwart Major League Gaming. However, MLG has announced that they will no longer be working with Blizzard on the tournament.
“After coordinating on WCS America Season 1 and careful consideration, we have decided to transition away from operation of WCS America and refocus efforts on producing our own eSports competitions,” said MLG CEO Sundance DiGiovani in a statement. “It was a pleasure working with Blizzard on the inaugural season, however given the structure of the relationship and the impact on the organization, players and community, we feel that it will better serve the eSports ecosystem to run tournaments independently.”
“WCS is a massive resource drain on any organization that hosts it,” said John 'Total Biscuit' Bain as quoted by PCgamesN. Bain was occasionally a commentator for MLG's WCS matches. “Blizzard do not in fact give you all the money you could ever need to run the event and MLG was put in a ridiculously difficult position to recoup costs because they had to host at an EU-unfriendly time. So you lock out your biggest audience by default and are then expected to recoup via sponsorship and ad revenue? What? The amount of money MLG had to spend with no possibility of return to run WCS was outrageous.”
The duties of running the North American branch of the WCS will now reportedly pass to the North American Star League. A much smaller and less influential league, the NASL was mostly left out of the World Championship Series in the original plan. Recently, the NASL began focusing on World of Tanks and the future of their involvement in StarCraft 2 became uncertain until yesterday.
It's a shame to see MLG give up the reins, because they had done a pretty good job so far, despite some hiccups in the productions. That said, the NASL has had experience running a regular season-style of StarCraft 2 tournament in the past so they may be able to bring their own particular expertise into the fold.
MLG's efforts will be shifting back to their own large-scale tournaments. The next of which will be the MLG Spring Championship held later this month June 28-30 in Anaheim.