No Need For Apologies, MLG

On April 1st, 2011 gamers came to Dallas, Texas in order to compete in the eighth Major League Gaming tournament for bragging rights and prize money. The tournament boasted players competing in Halo: Reach, StarCraft 2, and Call of Duty: Black Ops. With such big-name titles being played by some of the best gamers around, it’s no wonder that this year’s tournament was a record-breaking event in trms of viewers, either online or in person. In fact, with 150 countries tuned into the action, live High Quality and Standard Quality streaming for online viewers eventually shut down due to overcapacity strains.

Even though the MLG website tried to bring the streaming back up, their hardware couldn’t support so many people viewing the competition. Since this happened, MLG has published a public apology to the fans of the MLG community who were denied access to view the tournament.

Now, even though I was one of the many people whose streaming of online games was cut short, I have recently decided that the MLG should not apologize.

Despite my frustration that the Cosmopolitan cocktail I made, my comfy Star Wars pajamas I had on, and the fire roasting next to my computer chair all ended up being cut short by this blackout, I can’t help but find this blackout as bittersweet. Even though I didn’t get to watch all of the games that I wanted to, I realized that the popularity of professional gaming is expanding way beyond a cultural niche into something much greater.

Why apologize for having more fans than expected: so many that it even crashed your server? I believe that the sacrifice of having the live streaming disabled is well worth the larger message delivered by the blackout. Even though I only got to watch a couple of the hundreds of games that happened during the tournament, I still got a glance at the huge popularity of one of, if not the biggest, tournaments in MLG history.

Despite the short-lived streaming, I could still feel the energy of the crowd heard when someone got stuck in the head in Halo: Reach, the laughter of a less-than-subtle tea bag after a great kill, and the booming “Ohs!” that followed a nasty head shot in Black Ops. At times, the audio stream would switch to what was heard over players’ headsets, so I could hear the teamwork required to take all the flags in a Domination match. The call-outs, the flanking tactics, and the satisfaction of great kills were all offered for my listening pleasure. The beauty of the commentary, crowd, and call-outs from players harmoniously blended into an experience unlike anything I’ve ever heard or seen in gaming. In short, even though the live streaming was cut short, I still got a glimpse into the power and excitement of an MLG tournament.

So, MLG, don’t apologize for exceeding all expectations. Don’t apologize for showing the world how the gaming community has exponentially grown over the years. And definitely don’t apologize for showing the world the player-bonding, the electricity, and the fun of the tournament. Even with the video crash, we all got a glimpse into your ever-expanding universe. The success of the tournament cannot be overshadowed by a technical malfunction. Instead, people of MLG, we must look at the success had by the pro circuit.

By showing me a glimpse into the niche world of professional gaming, my eyes were opened to the endless possibilities of videogame tournaments. So I thank you, MLG Dallas, for your successes, not your faults. I hope you have learned that you can’t underestimate the popularity of video games and will be prepared for the next tournament, expecting to exceed the high standard that Dallas has set. The hype of these tournaments is now reaching its full potential and I hope that you reap its rewards and take advantage of your fanbase’s excitement for these games.

Just don’t let this blackout happen again.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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