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Report: Activision Buys E-Sports League's Assets (esportsobserver.com) 45

An anonymous reader writes: Major League Gaming (MLG) is one of the biggest e-sports operations out there. Or it was, until Activision Blizzard purchased most of its assets for $46 million. MLG's CEO has been removed, and nobody's quite sure what will become of the league once Activision is done with it. MLG has been struggling for some time, and it's expected that most of the sale's proceeds will go toward paying off debts. Shareholders are not pleased. Analysis at Forbes notes that "MLG has been most closely tied with Call of Duty for a long while now (though recently Activision partnered with MLG rival ESL for a new COD league), and has a history with Starcraft 2, both Activision Blizzard titles. It could make sense that in order to bolster their eSports division, Activision would assimilate MLG, though parts of this sound more like a liquidation of assets rather than MLG continuing to operate under its own banner, just with a new owner." Others note with skepticism the idea of a game publisher buying an e-sports league, which could lead to concerns about how games from other publishers are treated.
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Report: Activision Buys E-Sports League's Assets

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  • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Saturday January 02, 2016 @12:53PM (#51226983) Journal
    MLG hasn't succeeded as well as they'd hoped, and Blizzard really, really wants esports to take off, and are willing to put serious resources into it.
    • by Shinobi ( 19308 )

      Blizzard's not exactly built themselves the best track record when it comes to arranging their own tournament, the Starcraft II WCS. For example, one year, Blizzard arrogantly decided to have ALL the regional finals during the same weekend, which also happened to be the week that the biggest DotA 2 event in the world took place, The International. I'll let Totalbiscuits, a well-known person from the Starcraft II scene, including as a team owner affected by Blizzard's decision, words illustrate how happy man

      • tbh I think Blizzard is trying to reduce the number of tournaments. A lot of people feel like there were just too many, thus they didn't matter. Fewer tournaments would bring in the hype more. Or something.
        • by Shinobi ( 19308 )

          Not really, they just wanted the WCS to be the central point. However, it was not competently managed. And you can sort of see the after-effects nowadays. Homestory Cup finals ran just after Legacy of the Void was released, and the finals had less viewers than the random streaming from CSGO players had in aggregate, and Homestory Cup isn't exactly a small no-name tournament. In fact, I think they may have attracted more viewers than WCS did this year.

          • ok, so what do you think Blizzard should do to increase viewership?
            • by Shinobi ( 19308 )

              The question isn't what I would do, it's what I COULD do to turn it around. But I'd start by adding a system similar to Dota 2's Compendium. Cynical marketing move, sure, but it does evidently help to get people interested. More timely responese to balance issues also.

            • Blizzard is dying. WOW is almost a dead game compared to what it used to be. Starcraft is on life support as an Esport soon to die. HOS (LOL ripoff) is a huge flop compared to LOL. Overwatch (TF2 ripoff) will be a flop as an Esport. Diablo still has a fanbase. Hearthstone is the only healthy and growing game/community/Esport Blizzard has.

      • I doubt that one scheduling decision had much of an impact on anything. I don't know how to gauge the overlap in the audience of SC2 and DOTA2, but my guess is that it's rather small. LOL and DOTA2 may be fungible products, but SC2 is an entirely different beast, for a very different audience (that isn't growing right now). I would love this buyout if it meant that SC2 will return to MLG, because it's the only esport that I care about. I'm just not sure how committed Blizzard are to SC2, now that it's clear
        • by Shinobi ( 19308 )

          The overlap in viewership is pretty large. Hell, Team Liquid had to split Dota2 coverage over to a website of its own, because it overshaded the SC2 coverage on the main Team Liquid site.

          Totalbiscuit, as a team sponsor and a professional SC2 caster seriously watched TI3 when his own players didn't play matches in the WCS regional finals. That tells you about the overlap.

        • I'm just not sure how committed Blizzard are to SC2

          Committed. They just increased the amount of money they are going to spend on pro Starcraft this year.

          now that it's clear there will be no new expansions

          Another expansion is already being planned, based on the back story of Nova.

  • Hi again. Looks like youâ(TM)re still using an ad blocker. Please turn it off in order to continue into Forbesâ(TM) ad-light experience.
    I guess it's not ad-light then.

    Oh well, I didn't need to read that after all.

    • Forbes is clearly paying Slashdot for placement, because they reliably have the shittiest article on every subject we discuss here with a link from them. Brace yourself, more Forbes links are coming

  • > Others note with skepticism the idea of a game publisher buying an e-sports league, which could lead to concerns about how games from other publishers are treated.

    What's the problem? It doesn't matter that a chess tournament doesn't include a bit of Scrabble, or that the FA Cup doesn't include baseball.

    I presume that people compete by playing Call Of Grand Theft Warcraft 97 against each other, and you don't have one person playing Call Of Grand Theft Warcraft 97, one playing Minesweeper, and one playin

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court