The year started off with some big news.
Initial reports — which started appearing on the first day of our new year — have now been confirmed: North American e-Sports powerhouse Major League Gaming has been purchased by Activison Blizzard.
The sale, which went through without stockholders knowing, is not entirely surprising considering MLG has been struggling with major debt issues over the last year. The $46 million will apparently go towards paying off most of the company’s remaining debt.
Known for its large gaming tournaments across North America, MLG has had trouble of late, needing to compete with companies taking control of their own games’ e-Sports championships. Valve and Blizzard both control their own championship series’, and the Riot-controlled League Championship Series is very strict about what its players can do outside of their own official tournament. Activision itself even gave its Call of Duty world championships to MLG’s European rival ESL early last year.
The question is, what does Activision want with MLG? The events we have come to expect are almost certainly a thing of the past. Blizzard has always held the finals for its RTS goliath StarCraft 2 at the annual Blizzcon, but has otherwise outsourced the World Championship Series events leading up to it to companies around the world. But with the acquisition of one of the biggest tournament organizers in the world, it’s very possible this may change in the future.
Tyler Morse is a Contributing Editor for aybonline.com.