If you've ever been on the receiving end of a profanity-spewing 14-year-old's headset-enabled tirade, you probably know that some people take video games quite seriously. Seriously enough to start calling video game competitions eSports, and to jump from one continent to the next to face off in person and compete for big cash prizes.
This weekend, these serious eSportsmen gather at the Dallas Convention Center for Major League Gaming's 2012 Fall Championship, where they'll compete for $150,000 in prizes in Halo 4, StarCraft II, Mortal Kombat and Tekken Tag Tournament 2. Here's what gamers and spectators can keep an eye out for between death matches and zerg swarms.
First Blood Some games are being previewed on the MLG circuit before they even hit the shelves. Halo 4, the latest installment of the alien-blasting first-person shooter franchise, is being tourney tested by 850 gamers before its November 6 release. Qualified gamers compete in teams for $40,000 in cash prizes.
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PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, PlayStation's response to Nintendo's Super Smash Bros crossover fighting hit, is also receiving the tournament preview weeks before its November 20 release. Attendees play and compete for a chance to win $5,000 in prizes.
And Mom Said You Were Wasting Your Time For those gamers who would rather stay in the proverbial basement, the competition includes speakers from Full Sail University, a Florida-based school that specializes in video games, game design, animation and related geeky fields. Attendees will get a crash course in making their own video game characters and a taste of what it feels like to justify all of those hours scrambling for headshots.
Gaming Gadgets and Garb Product booths are a con staple, and this event is no exception. But at MLG everything is designed with gaming in mind. Most products are pretty obvious, such as competitive-grade gaming PCs and ergonomic controllers, but gaming eyewear and other specialized tools have only the most hardcore attendees in mind. When a gamer stares at a screen so much that he needs special shades, you know he's dedicated.
Major League Gaming is the world's largest eEports organization, with millions of viewers in more than a 100 countries. Earlier this year, the 2012 MLG Pro Circuit boasted more viewers from the male 18-24-year-old demographic than the Rose Bowl. Spectators, however, can view the competition and commentary live for $35 Friday through Sunday at the Dallas Convention Center.