Major League Gaming made official on 18 December, their intention to tie up the top pro video gamers with 3 year contracts involving serious money. Seven professional gamers signed deals recently with the League, including all 4 members of the National Champions, Team Carbon, and 3 members of Str8 Rippin. These pros will join Final Boss and Str8 Rippin’s team leader, Tsquared, to round out the signing of the top 3 teams in the League.
MLG, by signing the top 3 teams, is positioning itself to be the dominant force in this rapidly growing sport. We believe that MLG sees, as do we, the enormous growth potential for pro gaming. Video gaming’s gross revenues already surpass Hollywood’s box office receipts.
Pro video gaming has an accessabilty factor unlike any other popular sport. Broadband connections are making it possible for anyone with an Xbox to dream of training hard and becoming a champ. The gamer’s talent and ability is the only limiting factor… not politics, connections, and not finances. In our opinion, this level playing field will set the stage for explosive growth.
Also, there is a social factor present in pro gaming, that is often ignored in discussions like this. Video games have long been rebuked as instruments responsible for stunting the social growth of Our Nation’s Youth. Quite the contrary, modern gaming trends are connecting players socially. It is human nature to want to be a part of a group or a ‘clan’. This sense of ‘belonging’ and attaining prestige and rank within this new social order, will ensure the success and longevity of pro gaming.
If this sounds like you, and you’re not sure where to start pro gaming, visit my website for a newbie’s guide.
MLG has brought pro gaming even more into the Public Eye, since they have started televising the MLG Pro Circuit on USA Network. Television means advertising revenue, and ad revenue makes the pro gamers a valuable property. You heard it here first: We predict a Tony Hawkesque wave of endorsement offers will follow soon. As professional video gamers start to gain a demi-celebrity status, it will be very advantageous for game hardware companies to have their product being seen in use by a star cyberathlete.
Add this to a pro team’s income, like Team Carbon, who just won $100,000 this December for winning the National Championship in Vegas… AND their MLG contract for a cool $million. Payoffs like this are going to produce some very serious competition. How long before some of the big players get in on this? Imagine a few Team Microsofts or Team Bunjies on the pro tour. See the potential?