Ready Up: MLG hosts first LoL Arena, HD code giveaway, plus SC2 at Assembly

Rob Zacny at

Major League Gaming hosts its inaugural League of Legends Arena tournament this weekend, hosting pro teams Azubu Blaze, Team Black, Curse Gaming NA, and reigning MLG LoL champs Team SoloMid. The round-robin tournament, comprised of a series of best of three matches, starts at 5 pm Eastern / 11 pm CEST today and continues through Sunday, when the first and second-place finishers in the round-robin square-off in the final at 5:30 pm Eastern / 11:30 CEST. The winning team takes home $10,000, while the losing teams take home... nothing! Nothing but the sting of failure, and perhaps some lovely tourist shots of Manhattan.

As was the case with the StarCraft 2 arena a couple weeks ago, fans can watch the LoL tournament for free, or they can purchase a $10 pass for high-definition streaming. Whether you watch for free or in HD, you can rest assured that you are still watching a better sportscast than NBC's Olympics coverage. You can see the full broadcast schedule here.

MLG have been kind enough to provide us with four HD viewing codes which we will be giving away via Twitter today at 4 PM Eastern / 1 PM PST. Everyone can watch the Arena at www.majorleaguegaming.com/live.

While Team SoloMid (TSM) and Curse are likely familiar to anyone who follows competitive LoL, since TSM has won just about everything under the sun including the MLG Spring Championship and Curse has long been a regular at LoL tournaments, the other two teams might be less familiar. Azubu Blaze is a Korean team that recently won the OnGameNet Spring Championship, and their appearance this weekend marks the first time a Korean LoL team has competed in North America. Team Black are a new European team that won their Arena slot through the European qualifiers, where they beat CLG Black and Orbit Gaming.

By the way, if StarCraft 2 is more your thing, you can catch the last day of competition at the ASUS ROG Summer tournament at Assembly 2012 tomorrow. The broadcast starts at 4 am Eastern / 11 am CEST. You can catch it on Twitch.tv. Could be fun to watch while you're waiting for the MLG streams to start.