Major League Gaming (MLG) is the home of professional gaming and it has been since 2002. Today we are in 2015, professional gaming has been around for 13 years and has grown tremendously since it started. The atmosphere, locations, games / consoles, and prizes have all changed in these past 13 years.
When Major League Gaming first started most people thought of it as a joke more than anything. People thought, professional gaming really? Yes really professional gaming was a thing then. It did not get a lot of attention from outsiders and or non-gamers, but that would change. The atmosphere at the beginning of MLG was nothing spectacular, the only emotional feeling you could get would be from the players, and the tiny amount of spectators. It was equivalent to watching a sports game with a tiny amount of viewers. Over the time period the atmosphere grew to a whole new level; over time of course. Today the atmosphere is crazy. You can feel the intensity as a viewer, you can see the hype from the players, and there are actual crowds of people watching. Not only are they watching but they are supporting their team, just like a sporting event. Fans make signs, and cheer for their favorite teams and players. Looking into the future, this will only continue to grow. There will be more fans as time goes on and that means more of an atmosphere and excitement. Also, as time goes on new players will come into the scene and add more excitement to the atmosphere. I guess we will see what happens.
At the beginning of MLG tournaments were held in banquet halls. The events were held in these locations for a while. I do not know when MLG had gotten their arena but currently there is an MLG arena in Columbus, Ohio. This is where all the MLG events are held. In the past there were no events in other countries or states. Now there are events across the states and in other countries, during the summer time there was an event in Texas called the X-Games just like the athletic X-Games, but this is for games. The winner got gold medals just like in the other X-Games. Also there are tournaments called G-Finity and UMG. Over this past summer there were 3 events in 3 different European countries. For the future I can see this having some growth. I believe there could be multiple arenas for MLG events and there could be more countries for tournaments. Also, when events were held in the banquet halls players had the monitors and systems lined up on long tables. As time went on and as events were held in other places like the arena, booths were made. Now players are playing in sound proof booths, with a divider next to other booth separating them. There is also a big overheard above the booths for people to watch the game. On front of the booths are the teams logo and name. I think that this will remain the same in the future with minimal changes.
The games have changed over the years as well. When MLG started there games played on the older versions of PlayStation, Xbox, and even Nintendo systems. There were games such as Super Smash Bros. Melee, Soul Caliber, Call of Duty, and Halo. As time went on to more modern consoles newer games were added and so were computers. Currently there are the modern consoles and computers being used in professional gaming. Some of the games are Call of Duty, Halo, Smite, and League of Legends. This will continue in the future as well. The new versions of games will be played on the new consoles when they come out.
As time went on so did the amount of prize money. When Major League Gaming started the prize money was only in the hundreds. That prize money is divided among the number of players per team. So if the prize was $ 100, each player only got $ 25, so not much money at all, it was something but nothing special. As time went on the prize pool increased to the smaller thousands and continued to grow. Now prize pools are in the higher thousands, hundreds of thousands and even some are worth a million dollars. Now if the prize pool is $ 500,000 the first place team does not get all that money. That $ 500,000 is disbursed among the top eight teams or so and then broken up based on the number of players.
In conclusion professional gaming has come a long way, going from nothing worth of recognition to where it is today, It is a very successful and entertaining scene. It has had a lot of success and I expect this will only continue to grow and be more popular as time goes on.