Major League Gaming, which runs online video-game tournaments in North America, has inked a deal with media conglomerate IMG Worldwide to expand internationally.
According to the companies, MLG will rely on IMG to help with "distribution, programming, and marketing agreements" across the globe with "select broadcast and broadband partners." The companies will also hold championship events and collectively search for "new talent." The ultimate goal, the companies said, is "to establish competitive gaming as a preeminent sport worldwide."
Among its services, IMG produces sports programming around the world, offering more than 18,500 hours of televised content annually. The company said the content "originates from more than 200 clients and events," including the National Football League, Wimbledon, and the Australian Open.
MLG arranges online tournaments for games, such as Starcraft 2 and Halo: Reach, across several platforms, including game consoles and PCs, and has a social network for gamers.
The company also has its Pro Circuit, allowing some of the better players in North America to take on one other face to face in six cities across the U.S. Its eighth season opens April 1 in Dallas.
MLG is one of several companies that have tried to create a worldwide professional video-game organization. The MLG's top competitor is perhaps the World Cyber Games, which is held once a year.
Where the MLG and World Cyber Games have so far succeeded, several organizations have failed. The Championship Gaming Series, for example, showed promise in 2007, airing on DirecTV and offering the winner a $500,000 prize. By the end of the 2008 season, that league had shut down.