The 2012 season of the Major League Gaming Pro Circuit is coming to a close this weekend with perhaps the most anticipated Fall Championship event in eSports history. Kicking off in Dallas on Friday and running until Sunday, the event will feature some of the biggest names in StarCraft 2 and League of Legends. If you find yourself scrambling to find the hotkey that explains why you should be excited, relax your micro and simply read on.
The player with the most buzz this year is Lee Young "Flash" Ho from South Korea, a decorated Brood War veteran who made his Wings of Liberty debut earlier this year after the top Korean Brood War organizers announced plans to transition to StarCraft 2. He won his first OSL at only 15. After expressing the sentiment that he felt it would take a couple years to reach a level of skill in SC2 equivalent to his previous Brood War ability, he went on to annihilate the KeSPA Exhibition at the MLG Spring Championships, winning every one of his matches in a straight sweep. He has achieved nigh-messianic reverence among some eSports fans, spawning memes like the one below.
Also on the radar is Sweden's Johan "NaNiwa" Lucchesi , who has had a somewhat controversial roller coaster couple of years. He has switched teams and lost sponsors enough times to cause some eyebrow raising, and even lost a Code S spot in the GSL for "unsportsmanlike behavior" after an infamous probe rush. Despite this, he has had more successes than any other non-Korean player in the GSL Code S, widely considered the most prestigious and competitive level of competition in all of StarCraft 2.
League of Legends
A who's who of heavy-hitting teams will be taking the field in League of Legends this year, including perennial fan favorites Team SoloMid. They will be joined by fellow North American competitors Team Dignitas, Curse Gaming, Dynamic, CLG Prime, and Europe's CLG EU... but facing stiff opposition in the form of Korean teams Azubu Blaze and Najin Sword. You may recall us reporting on Team Azubu Frost criticizing their Western opponents after a dominating run at the $2 million playoffs hosted by Riot earlier this year. The results of this tournament will say a lot about whether South Korea, already dominant in StarCraft 2, can keep the League of Legends crown as well, or if the Western teams can match them.
Whether you're into RTS, MOBA, or both, it's going to be an exciting weekend to be an eSports fan. You can tune into the streams starting Friday at 5 p.m. Central/3 p.m. Pacific.