Esports organisation Major League Gaming (MLG) has outgrown its old venues and will be moving onwards and upwards with its first esports event in a professional sports arena this week.
Ordinarily the home of NHL side Columbus Blue Jackets, the Nationwide Arena will this week play host to thousands of screaming Counter-Strike fans baying for virtual blood instead of the usual ice hockey crowds.
The arena will host the MLG Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) Major Championship from April 1st to April 3rd. There’ll be a $1 million (£701,000) prize pool which teams will battle it out for. The event is sold out with 9,500 live fans to be present during the event.
MLG is now owned by Activision Blizzard and, as reported by Fortune, Mike Sepso, Senior Vice President at Activision Blizzard and former president and co-founder of MLG, said: “Our competitions have grown so large that we had to go to sports arenas. It’s the progression that all of eSports is moving towards.”
Attendees at the Majors will see some of the new ideas that MLG are implementing in a bid to improve the events from a spectator point of view. That includes both those there in person and those watching from home or on the go. There’ll be large individual player screens detailing stats about their performance with information delivered in real time. This same data will also be available for display on live streams.
Sepso said: “We’re trying to provide fans with the full range of information that exists in an eSports competition. There’s a lot more going on in an eSports match in terms of overall data that fans need to understand than in an NBA game.”