Even though MLG is viewed by the general public as more of a meme instead of anything else, Major League Gaming is a rather important part of the e-sports scene. The news that Activision Blizzard has purchased MLG for $46 million will basically mean that currently, ESL has remained the main independent e-sports organization in NA.
Presently, it is unclear if Major League Gaming will be completely dissolved and absorbed into the massive company named Activision Blizzard or if it will remain more or less the same, the only difference being the fact that it will be backed by funds from Activision. The reason why MLG accepted the deal was because it was drowning in debt for the last couple of months.
But, this sale came with a hefty amount of criticisms from other stockholders. Delaware law states that stockholders are not required to be informed by the purchase of a company if the majority of large shareowners agree. This is criticized because most of the sum gained through the agreement will be used to pay off debts and loans, leaving them pretty much in the dust when it comes to the value of their held shares.
With this, Activision Blizzard becomes even more gigantic than before. Even though this is just speculation at this point, this purchase may hint at a bigger investment in e-sport scenes for games like Starcraft, that has died out over the past few years, being thoroughly replaced by MOBA’s like League of Legends and DOTA 2. Call of Duty may get a boost as well, but it still has a long way to go if it hopes to reach the level where Counter Strike GO is currently at.
Although Heroes of the Storm is considered relatively casual in comparison to other MOBA’s, it might also benefit from a bigger MLG inclusion. World of Warcraft PVP arenas and events have pretty much died out, but with the release of the Legion expansion, they might surface once again. Hearthstone is pretty much established in e-sports, even if its tournament popularity fades in comparison to its massive Twitch viewer base.
Most likely, Overwatch will be a major part of the e-sports scene once it launches if one would simply look at its immense popularity while the game was only in its beta phase. Its release backed up by an already established MLG platform will make tournaments and events easier to create and conduct by Activision Blizzard.
It’s currently unclear if e-sport events will switch to ESL instead of sticking to the MLG or Activision scenes. Most likely, upcoming tournaments for CS GO, Halo, and Smite, which were planned for MLG, will remain in effect, without any large changes in location or prize pools.
Taking into account the fact that Activision Blizzard has purchased MLG for $46 million, even if it comes to the dismay of smaller stockholders, this move may bring some benefits to Activision Blizzard games in the longer term. Only time will tell if the e-sports scene will modify greatly after this purchase is fully completed.