Back in April the first event of this year’s Major League Gaming Pro Circuit, MLG Dallas, took place. The StarCraft community was hyped to the ceiling about seeing all of the top non-Korean players in the same building, duking it out against one another over three days to find out who could take top-spot. Team Dignitas’ player Naniwa brought his A-game, going into the final match against Kiwikaki with an astonishing 26-0 win/loss record — and while Kiwikaki took 2 games off him in the finals, Naniwa came though to win first prize with a 3-2 victory and a check for $5,000.
The spectator experience, however, wasn’t exactly an A-class performance. For those watching from home, a severely interrupted stream — said to be due to internet issues — meant many fans missed out on a lot of the action from Friday right through to Sunday. The staff are obviously keen to not see any of this happen again, with MLG’s CEO Sundance Giovanni stating: “Since MLG Dallas, we’ve made a lot of changes on the technical level—changes that will ensure that the streams are of the best quality possible, and that the spectator experience, both in the venue and at home, will be top-of-the-line. Our community, players and spectators alike, deserve nothing less than an event of blowout proportions, and that’s exactly what you are going to get in Columbus.” Heck, they’ve even rolled in the satellite trucks this time around — as well as bringing in everybody’s favourite shout-casting duo, Tasteless and Artosis, all way from Korea!
On the first day alone viewers can look forward to huge games, such as Idra vs. MC (MC replaces Bomber after being unable to make it from Korea at short notice), Naniwa vs. Moon and the game that always seems to crop up, Evil Genius’ team-mates Machine and InControl going toe-to-toe. There’s another whole stream on top of that, featuring Day and DJ Wheat, and another two whole days of amazing games to behold across both streams on Saturday and Sunday. The jigsaw pieces are all there and, providing MLG get their stuff right this time, they could fit the best casters together with the world’s best players to create one of the best live StarCraft II events there has ever been.
The tournament kicks of at 5pm local time today (Friday), which works out at 10pm here in the UK. For which a free high quality stream will be viewable to all, allowing those looking to buy a $10 HQ pass a chance to ‘try before they buy’ — but either way a free, lower-quality stream will be available to all right through until Sunday’s finals. Saturday and Sunday’s streams will kick off a little earlier, local time being 11am and 10am respecitively — though us UK folk will still have a late night ahead of us if we want to catch the finals on Sunday, you can catch them at 7pm local (or midnight here in not-so-sunny England). That’s providing there’s zero delays, of which I’m sure there’ll be a few. After all, that’s the nature of e-sports.
Check it out, tell your friends, show your mother and if you happen to visit the MLG website in search of some weird game named Call of Duty, head on over to one or both of the StarCraft streams instead… it’ll be much more exciting!