(This article primarily focuses on the MLG event, as my other article more or less focused on the Playstation Booth in the event, which can be found [here].)
Three days of gamers coming together to play video games might seem like another basic convention styled event, but this was different. This was the 2011 MLG, set in Dallas, Texas. Pro-gamers fought against other pro-gamers in various modes of Halo: Reach, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and Starcraft II, with results pertaining to these specific competitions found on the MLG website.
Day One started off without a hitch, as players competed with each other to get further into their respective brackets. Most of my observation was focused on Call Of Duty: Black Ops and Halo: Reach, but day one had all three events going on at the same time. Trying to watch all three, whilst working in a booth is not that easy, but whenever there was something exciting, the crowd would erupt into an almost deafening cheer, and everyone participating was so into the action that the energy was almost infectious. Players would come around and tell me who was winning the current tourney, or who was up next, my head actually had a hard time of comprehending the information overload. The surrounding booths were also filled with interesting content, as there were booths for Alienware PC‘s, Astro Video Gaming Equipment (they provided the Astro A40 Headsets used officially by MLG), Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, Dr. Pepper (free drinks were available to everyone, with no limit other than how much your bladder can hold), Bic Flex 4 (they had a 8 console 360 station dedicated to Halo: Reach), Stride Gum/Warheads Candies (all free, I saw gamers with heavy bags of candies), and NOS Energy Drink.
Day Two emerged, and the event started off normally. But after 12:00 PM, the situation had changed drastically, as reports came in that there were problems with the internet connection. And nobody suffered more than the players participating in the Starcraft II portion of the event. Considering that Starcraft II is meant to be played online, it came with no surprise that when the internet connection crashed, matches were delayed until the situation could be remedied. To make matters worse, those who could not attend live streamed the matches, and when the interweb tubes choked, so did their streaming video. Many gamers suffered during that dark time, those playing and those watching, but after the MLG staff hastened to fix the problem, matches were back online. The rest of the day was more or less back on track, as matches continued on, and finals were being planned for the third day. So far MLG has said they will be aware of the problem, and will be prepared for it when they do the next event in June. And as exciting as MLG is were, this is a reminder that not everything goes as planned, though I have to hand it to the MLG staff who handled the situation very efficiently, and a majority of the gamers and spectators at the competition were very understanding about the problems happening.
Day Three was the last day for competition, and the swarms of people who had swamped the arena in the previous days had thinned out. Only those waiting with baited breath were left to see who would win the Dallas event for their respective games. I won’t spoil the final results of MLG 2011, as they have been posted on the MLG website, but after seeing pro-gamers playing professionally (especially in the Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2 vs 2 Pro-Gamer match held at our station), I can tell you that the event was very awesome live, and those who are going to attend the next event set in Columbus, Ohio (June 3rd to the 5th) are going to have a blast.
More info [via MajorLeagueGaming.com]