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A Brief History of Major League Gaming

If you know about esports, you’ve heard about Major League Gaming. Here’s a quick overview of how MLG became a household name that people remember.

Esports have come a long way from where they started many years ago. What was once something that people only dreamed about is now a thriving community of players and fans from all over the world. One of the pioneers of esports was Major League Gaming, or the MLG as most people knew it. MLG would go on to bring esports to a new level of popularity. We’re going to give you a brief history of Major League Gaming so you can see where it got its start.

Humble Origins

The idea of people playing video games professionally wasn’t really an accepted idea until the twenty- first century. Once video games moved beyond their “only-for-kids” persona, plenty of adults and professionals started to show off their skills. MLG was founded in 2002 by Sundance DiGiovanni and Mike Sepso. For years, MLG tournaments were small events that had small prizes, but it wouldn’t stay that way for long.

Games Expansion

MLG came into its own as it expanded the games that one could play professionally in their leagues. Halo started as the most popular of the games that MLG held tournaments for, but the list soon grew to include other genres as well. Some of the games that would go on to have their own league in the MLG include:

  • Gears of War
  • Starcraft & Starcraft II
  • League of Legends
  • Call of Duty
  • World of Warcraft
  • Rainbow Six

Broad Appeal

As the years went on, MLG saw more and more mainstream success. Eventually, you could even watch some of the larger MLG tournaments on mainstream television networks. The introduction of the Call of Duty franchise as well as League of Legends gave the MLG its largest fanbase ever. With the addition of fighting games such as Tekken and Soul Caliber, MLG quickly shot to the top of the esports arena.

Activision Acquisition

Almost all MLG’s assets transferred over to Activision Blizzard at the end of 2015. Activision Blizzard stated that the acquisition was intended to be the first step in creating a full cable channel devoted entirely to esports. Although that hasn’t happened quite yet, Activision Blizzard has kept the MLG’s vision of esports alive by hosting tournaments for a variety of games—even ones that the company itself doesn’t publish or create.

This was only a brief history of Major League Gaming, but we hope you learned a little bit about how professional esports got its start. Whether you’ve been playing since the beginning or you’re just starting out, Glassy Eyewear’s gaming eyewear is exactly what both the professional and the novice need to succeed.