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Overview

Professional Halo 3 player Tom Taylor, or TSquared.

Major League Gaming is a professional e-sports league currently dedicated to providing the most intense and exciting competition possible for the best Halo 3, Super Smash Brothers Brawl, Starcraft 2, Tekken 6 and World of Warcraft players in the world to demonstrate their respective mastery of such games. With finely tuned gametypes and settings aimed primarily at fueling competition and providing fair outcomes in a tournament setting, the professional players are able to fully showcase both their individual skill and their ability to function coherently as a member of a team. With a humble beginning as a minor series of tournaments revolving around the original Xbox classic Halo: Combat Evolved, Major League Gaming has evolved over its lifetime to become a thriving and legitimate professional league, with grand circuit events taking place in various locations throughout the United States and Canada. Recently MLG expanded its audience even further by signing a deal with ESPN -- this resulted in a partnership for event coverage at each Pro Circuit stop, known as "ESPN Saturday Night", and produced the "ESPN MLG Top 10" series of videos that highlights skillful plays from Halo 3 professionals and fans alike.

As of 2/8/09 the MLG modified its 2008 "rolling rank points" system to even out the competition in the league. These changes were only made to the Major League Gaming. Although several changes were made the major change was to make the tournaments move quicker. Also this new system allegedly will create a more fair ranking system for the 32 teams in competition at each of the tournaments.

In 2009 MLG acquired various new sponsors including Stride gum, Dr Pepper, Old Spice, Doritos and Hot Pockets, further expanding the size of the corporation and gaining many more spectators through their new advertising. The league continues to grow with each event as the company get more and more sponsors, enabling them to sell more spectator passes and provide a higher quality viewing experience.

The 2010 season of MLG began on the 17th April in Orlando, this event marks the beginning of the final year in which Halo 3 will be featured as the main game on the circuit, soon to be replaced by Halo: Reach in 2011.

Halo 3

Halo 3 is the current main attraction of the MLG, as its teams are the most endorsed and its tournaments pay the most for winning. Fans come from around the globe to spectate a MLG Halo 3 tournament, and it even has announcers commentating on plays. MLG have always used the Halo games as their main competitive titles due to the nature of the multiplayer component of the series, though there has been increased controversy and criticism both in and outside of the league regarding whether or not Halo 3 is fit to be used as a competitive title as it is generally regarded to much less skill-based than the original Halo: Combat Evolved and other games like Shadowrun are considered to be more competitive.

Current 2012 Pro Circuit Games

Starcraft 2

Halo: Reach

Mortal Kombat

Soul Calibur V

King of Fighters XIII

Halo

Ever since the league begin, the Halo series has been the 'flagship' title of MLG. Despite the varying levels of competitive play provided by each iteration in the series, the Halo games have always remained a staple of the MLG Pro Circuit, and many of the top pros have continued to place highly in MLG in each of the various Halo games. As of September 2010, there have been 50 MLG events held featuring a Halo game in some capacity, the following table shows the location of every event, and the roster of the winning team.

EventWinning TeamRoster
New York City 2004The Dream TeamShizz, Darkman, Alex, Zyos
Philadelphia 2004Shoot to Kill (StK)StrangePurple, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, Clockwork
Dallas 2004*StKStrangePurple, Ogre 1, Ogre 2
Chicago 2004Team FFAWalshy, Zyos, Gintron, Killer N
Atlanta 2004Team FFAWalshy, Zyos, Gintron, Killer N
Seattle 2004DominationWalshy, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, Killer N
San Francisco 2004YES!!Zyos, T2, Scythe, Slim
Los Angeles 2004Business DecisionStrangePurple, Nistic, Sergio, Saiyan
Boston 2004The ChargersTupac, Toxin, Saiyan, Killer N
New York City National Championships 2004DominationWalshy, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, Killer N
Washington DC 2005**StKWalshy, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, Saiyan
San Francisco 2005StKWalshy, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, Saiyan
Houston 2005StKWalshy, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, Saiyan
Orlando 20053D (rename from StK)Walshy, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, Saiyan
St Louis 20053DWalshy, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, Saiyan
Philadelphia 2005Str8 RippinT2, Zyos, Fonzi, Foulacy
Vegas 2005Trademark GamersT2, Zyos, Fonzi, Foulacy
Nashville 2005iGamespotGandhi, Zyos, Vash, Defy
Seattle 2005iGamespotGandhi, Shockwave, Karma, Defy
Los Angeles 20053DWalshy, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, Saiyan
Atlanta 20053DWalshy, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, Saiyan
Chicago 20053DWalshy, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, Saiyan
New York City National Championships 20053DWalshy, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, Saiyan
Meadowlands 2006Final Boss (rename from 3D)Walshy, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, Saiyan
Dallas 2006Final BossWalshy, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, Saiyan
Anaheim 2006Final BossWalshy, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, Saiyan
Chicago 2006Final BossWalshy, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, Saiyan
Orlando 2006CarbonShockwave, Gandhi, Karma, Ghostayame
New York City 2006CarbonShockwave, Gandhi, Karma, Ghostayame
Las Vegas National Championships 2006CarbonShockwave, Gandhi, Karma, Ghostayame
Charlotte 2007Final BossWalshy, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, Strongside
Meadowlands 2007Final BossWalshy, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, Strongside
Dallas 2007CarbonShockwave, Gandhi, Karma, Ghostayame
Chicago 2007Final BossWalshy, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, Strongside
Orlando 2007Str8 RippinT2, Legit, ElamiteWarrior, Neighbor
Las Vegas National Championships 2007Final BossWalshy, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, Strongside
Meadowlands 2008***Final BossWalshy, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, Strongside
San Diego 2008Str8 RippinT2, Legit, ElamiteWarrior, Neighbor
Orlando 2008Triggers DownSK, Hysteria, FearItSelf, Snipedown
Tornto 2008Str8 RippinT2, Legit, ElamiteWarrior, Snipedown
Dallas 2008Triggers DownSK, Hysteria, FearItSelf, Karma
Las Vegas National Championships 2008Str8 RippinT2, Legit, ElamiteWarrior, Snipedown
Meadowlands 2009Triggers DownSK, Hysteria, Heinz, Pistola
Columbus 2009Str8 RippinT2, Legit, ElamiteWarrior, Snipedown
Dallas 2009Triggers DownSK, Hysteria, Heinz, Pistola
Anaheim 2009Triggers DownSK, Hysteria, Heinz, Pistola
Orlando National Championships 2009Believe The HypeCloud, Clutch, Demon D, Maniac
Orlando 2010InstinctRoy, Lunchbox, ElamiteWarrior, Cloud
Columbus 2010InstinctRoy, Lunchbox, ElamiteWarrior, Cloud
Raleigh 2010Final BossOgre 2, Victory X, FearItSelf, Pistola
Washington DC 2010Final BossOgre 2, Victory X, FeatItSelf, Pistola
Dallas National Championships 2010Final BossOgre 2, Victory X, FearItSelf, Pistola
Dallas 2011****Status QuoFlamesword, Ace, Enable, Assault
Columbus 2011InstinctOgre 2, Pistola, Roy, Lunchbox
Anaheim 2011InstinctOgre 2, Pistola, Roy, Lunchbox
Raleigh 2011InfamousaPureGangster, Lethul, Blaze, RyaNoob
Orlando 2011DynastyDestin, Tizoxic, Heinz, Formal
Providence National Championships 2011InstinctOgre 2, Pistola, Roy, Lunchbox
Winter Championship 2012Status QuoEnable, Flamesword, Snakebite, Royal 2

*For this event, the Halo:CE tournament was changed to a 3v3 and so Clockwork was dropped from the StK roster

**This event marked the introduction of Halo 2 to the MLG Pro Circuit

***This event marked the introduction of Halo 3 to the MLG Pro Circuit

****This event marked the introduction of Halo: Reach to the MLG Pro Circuit

2008 National Champions: Str8 Rippin

Str8 Rippin, the 2008 MLG Halo 3 National Champions. From left to right: League Co-founder Mike Sepso, Eric "Snipedown" Wrona, Kyle "Elamite Warrior" Elam, Brian "Legit" Rizzo, team captain Tom "T-Squared" Taylor, and coach Aaron "Ace" Elam.

After a season filled with plenty of highs and lows, impressive victories and disappointing losses, and one especially dramatic team change, Str8 Rippin broke free from the rest of the pack to become the first MLG Halo 3 National Champion. The combined efforts of players Kyle "Elamite Warrior" Elam, Bryan "Legit" Rizzo, Eric "Snipedown" Wrona, and team captain Tom "T-Squared" Taylor held off the tremendous challenge from rival team and eventual runner-up Instinct, led by captain Dave "Walshy" Walsh, as well as other top teams such as Carbon, Final Boss, and Triggers Down. The team walked away from the tournament in Las Vegas as the 2008 Halo 3 champions, and with $100,000 in prize money. The win also secured their spot as the number-one seed for the 2009 Pro Circuit season-opening Meadowlands tournament.

2009 National Champions: Believe the Hype

The final event of the 2009 season will go down in history as one of the most controversial and surprising of all time. The team that took home the $100,000 paycheck was Believe The Hype, who originally entered the event as an underdog, holding the 7th seed at the time, nobody expected them to perform so well but through an intense series of close matches and shocking upsets, the team consisting of 'Cloud', 'Clutch', 'Demon D' and 'Maniac' managed to pull off an historic victory over some of the leagues most respected and hardened veterans. In second place was Team Classic, yet another underdog who managed to take down the top teams on their way to a $60,000 prize. Perhaps most shockingly of all was the fact that the previous national champions and fan favourites Str8 Rippin only managed to place a disappointing 6th, while the dominant force of Triggers Down only managed a placing of 5th, after being in the top 2 all year long. These poor placings would lead to both Str8 and tD dropping members of their squads after the event in an attempt to better themselves and get back on top in the 2010 season. The champions themselves, Believe The Hype, also chose to make some team changes after the event despite their dominating performance, dropping the captain Cloud and all-round player Clutch in favour of two new young teammates in the form of 'Destin' and 'A Pure Gangster'. In fact, every single team who finished in 8th place or better at this Orlando event decided to change their roster in some way for the 2010 season. Only time will tell how effective these changes prove to be as the 2010 season goes on.

MLG Pro Circuit

The MLG Pro Circuit takes place in six different cities around the US and Canada, five tournaments leading up to the National Championships. The winning team of a tournament walks away with $20,000 and the National Championship winner gets $100,000. Needless to say, anyone who is a dedicated Halo 3 player would want this kind of paycheck.

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