Major League Gaming Interview: MLG Senior VP, Adam Apicella


Major League Gaming has seen huge success in recent years, even more than during its impressive inception in 2003. The ever-popular Halo and Call of Duty competitive scenes coupled with surprise hits like StarCraft II have fueled a record-setting event with the recent Pro Circuit stop in Anaheim. Another record turn-out with the next Pro Circuit stop (Orlando, Oct. 14-16) wouldn’t be all that surprising.

With so many AAA competitive games, a thriving community, and packed Pro Circuit events, it’s safe to say Major League Gaming has solidified e-sports as a valuable niche in gaming culture. To elaborate on the success, MLG’s Senior Vice President of League Operations and Productions, Adam Apicella, spoke with GamerNode and answered a few questions regarding the company’s promising future.


GN: Major League Gaming has had a loyal following for years. How has it recently continued its growth trend? And have the announcements of Modern Warfare 3 and Halo 4 made a difference?

AA: MLG has grown exponentially since our inaugural season in 2003. The 2011 MLG Pro Circuit season has been record breaking with the largest prize purse to date, the most epic crowds, and millions tuning in from around the globe to watch the competition LIVE online. Live streaming of the recent Raleigh Pro Circuit (August 26-28) resulted in an all-time high 138,000 peak concurrent online stream viewers. Fans from 173 countries watched the LIVE streams and more than 3 million hours of video were consumed throughout the weekend. While we have seen growth in the number of overall MLG brand fans, we’ve also seen large growth among vertical communities due to the addition of specific game titles. Strong franchises such as Halo, Call of Duty, and StarCraft have contributed to a larger cumulative following. The great communities respective to a title are what makes MLG what it is; truly a melting pot of many different competitive communities.

GN: Are there any games that have surprised MLG with their audience and participant populations?

AA: We are very pleased with the popularity of StarCraft 2 and the growth of the community at Pro Circuit events and online at The global appeal and rabid following has made for a perfect fit on the Pro Circuit. We are seeing huge growth in in-person attendees, as well as through online viewers worldwide.

GN: Games like Halo 3 and Halo: Reach have implemented “MLG playlists” to provide stiff competition and balanced guidelines for play. Black Ops even implemented a “Barebones-Competitive” playlist. Has MLG been working with more developers to provide these well-received playlists in future Call of Duty/Halo games as well as new titles?

AA: Yes. We are currently working with many publishers/developers on a variety of e-sports initiatives.

GN: Where do you see MLG in ten years in terms of technology, growth, and image?

AA: MLG has come so far in the last 10 years, growing in conjunction with the ever evolving technology and video game spaces. It’s impossible to predict exactly where we are going, but know we are dedicated to continuing and providing the gaming community with the best competitive gaming experience possible.

GN: What impact do you think the MLG community has on the gaming community as a whole?

AA: Since our inception, our goal has been to make MLG the premier competitive gaming league while furthering the awareness of e-sports amongst the gaming community and beyond. Over the last eight years, I think we have been able to help grow the gaming community overall by providing them with an ideal forum for broadening their relationships with others and the games they love while fostering competition. Through MLG, players are able to extend their gameplay and game publishers and developers are able to expand the longevity and livelihood of a title.

GN: Thanks for your time, Mr. Apicella, and good luck with the event in Orlando.

mlg orlando

If you’d like to put your skills to the ultimate test – or if you find competitive gaming as wildly entertaining as we do – Major League Gaming’s next stop on the Pro Circuit is October 14th-16th in Orlando, Florida. Spectator passes to the Pro Circuit event are available on the MLG Web site, but if you can’t make it to Orlando you can catch most of the action via the MLG live stream. Partake and who knows, maybe you’ll be part of another record performance.

Major League Gaming


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Author: Brad Tramel View all posts by

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