Major League Gaming’s summer season starts on Friday with a StarCraft 2 Arena tournament, and we’ve got some premium passes to give away to PC Gamer readers before the tournament starts on Friday at 5:30 Eastern. Unlike previous arenas, however, the Summer StarCraft 2 Arena will also offer a free, standard-definition stream showing the Main Stage matchups, while premium viewers will have access to high-def video and the premium stream. The casters for this weekend are Dan "Artosis" Stemkoski, Sean “Day” Plott, Marcus “djWheat” Graham, Shaun "Apollo" Clark, and Ben "MrBitter" Nichol. If you want a free HD pass, however, I’ll be giving away two to commenters on this post who request one, and two to the Code Stoat to do with as he sees fit. For those who are not blessed by the Code Stoat, however, you can still get a Summer Arena pass for $10.
MLG Pro Circuit
If you were to look only at the championship winners who came out of MLG Spring Arena this weekend, you might think there were no real surprises. DongRaeGu winning a StarCraft 2 championship is just something we have come to expect by this point, and Team Solo Mid looked dominant from the beginning of the tournament.
But you probably wouldn't have predicted that DRG would take his StarCraft 2 championship from twelfth-seeded Alicia (Yang Joon Sik, Korean Protoss), who had just swept MarineKing out of the loser's bracket final.
Another MLG season draws to a close this weekend in Anaheim, and a look at the offerings illustrates just how much the MLG has changed over the course of this one spring season.
League of Legends appears for the first time at an MLG championship in 2012 [thanks to reader IceSin for the correction], taking its place along StarCraft 2 as a major focus for the MLG. The Summer Season will see League of Legends get its own Arena event, just like StarCraft 2. A group of pro gamers from the Korean e-Sports Association (KeSPA) will be at MLG tomorrow for an exhibition tournament, an event that helps mark the end of the Korean giant's exclusive focus on Brood War and the Korean competitive landscape. Finally, Anaheim will also play host to the USA National finals for the StarCraft 2 World Championship Series, Blizzard's international competition aimed at picking one world champion from among all the major pro-gaming markets. The fragmentation that often defined professional StarCraft 2 is giving way to a more cooperative attitude, and an international focus.
The MLG isn't about to let a little thing like 84-degree temperatures stop them from having their Winter Season championship in Columbus, OH this weekend. Over one thousand players will compete for $200,000 in prize money from tomorrow through Sunday. As usual, StarCraft is the star of the show for PC gamers, with $76,000 in prize money and $25,000 of that going to the first-place finisher.
In a sign of how quickly the MLG's StarCraft 2 competition is growing, this year's first-prize is five times what it was was in the 2011 Pro Circuit season.
You can still buy tickets if you want to watch in person. For those of us who are unlikely to find ourselves in the Columbus area this weekend, however, there will be six HD streams for the competition, four of them dedicated to StarCraft 2. Two streams will be free, others will come with either a Gold Membership or an HD pass for this event.