Here is an awesome post from iD Gaming Academy Regional Manager John, recapping his recent visit to the Major League Gaming Championships in Providence, Rhode Island!
Every professional athlete is working toward an ultimate prize. Baseball players take the field dreaming of winning the World Series. Football players battle week after week in hopes of bringing their team to the Super Bowl. Athletes all over the world train for years just for a chance to compete in the Olympic Games. In the world of competitive gaming (e-sports) as it has come to be known, no title in North America – and few titles worldwide – rival that of MLG Champion.
This past weekend, the MLG (Major League Gaming) Championships were held in Providence, Rhode Island, and included Call of Duty: Black Ops, Halo Reach, and League of Legends. The prize pools for the event were some of the biggest in MLG history, with almost $600,000 up for grabs. The winning Call of Duty team took home $50,000, the Halo Reach winners earned $100,000 to split, and the League of Legends champions received a prize of $15,000.
I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the event, catch some of the amazing action, and spread the word about our game design summer programs for teens!
When I arrived at the Rhode Island Convention Center on Thursday night to set up, I was blown away by the sheer size of the venue. It was hard to believe that they could need this much space for a video game tournament! That disbelief was quickly dispelled when I arrived the following morning to put the finishing touches on the iD Gaming Academy booth.
Three hours before the doors were set to open the area was packed with players, fans, and vendors. I finished setting up and turned around to see two of the best Starcraft II players in the world sitting ten feet away from me eating their breakfast. That was how I met Evil Genius’ Huk and Idra, with Huk fresh from his win at MLG Orlando and Idra being the highest seeded player going into the Providence event.
I took a moment to say hello and wish them luck in the competition, and then started to prepare for what I knew was going to be an amazing experience!
At 1:00 PM the doors to the event opened for MLG Gold Members. From that moment on, there was a constant flow of people in and out of the giant exhibition halls. With our booth located right next to the only entrance and exit, I got to talk to hundreds of people throughout the weekend. The amazing thing that I found was that we were all brought together by a similar passion – an absolute love for video games, competition, and technology!
I met so many diverse and interesting people that to mention them all would require a novel rather than a blog post. I will, however, mention a few people who were so much fun I couldn’t pass them up! Early in the event on Friday, I met Fyro and his girlfriend Sharebear. It was their first MLG event and they didn’t know what to expect. I got to tell them all about our programs and they were so interested in our summer teen academies that they are considering applying to teach at iD Gaming Academy! Fyro was at MLG to compete in the open bracket of the tournament as a Zerg player. He got a tough match in his first round but was able to conquer his second match on Saturday. While Fyro did not expect to win, he loved playing in the event and is looking forward to future MLG competitions.
One of the most impressive players I met while at the event was Justin of Fnatic Classic. Justin stopped by the iD Gaming Academy booth Friday evening and was blown away by the game design courses we offer! I noticed the Fnatic MSI logo on his shirt and asked if he was competing. I was thrilled to discover that Justin was competing in the Halo Reach event. As we talked, Justin also revealed that he had just completed his Game Design degree at New England Institute of Technology; and he was thrilled at the possibility of appearing as a guest speaker for iD Gaming Academy students! Justin and Fnatic Classic finished 4th in the Halo tournament and walked away with $28,000!
MLG Providence was an experience I will never forget. Seeing so many players and spectators from around the world (over 27 countries were in attendance) come together to share their passions for video games was mesmerizing.
Plus, the tournaments themselves were absolutely amazing. I will not reveal any more spoilers here but you can visit Major League Gaming for all the championship results!
Special thanks to Jarratt, Ava, Christie, Andrew, Grace, Max, Craig, and Latonia for all their help in making iD at MLG a success!