Major League Gaming, DreamHack, and the Electronic Sports League have announced a partnership for next year that “aims to unify and align DreamHack, ESL and MLG’s eSports activity on a global basis to further competitive activity, benefit players and spectators, alleviate the taxing event schedule, eliminate confusion about global standings and help nurture the development of North American and European players,” according a joint press release.
The immediate benefits are substantial. In addition to creating a “master tournament calendar” so that MLG, DreamHack, and the ESL can eliminate conflicts (a major issue in the eSports world, and especially for StarCraft), the partnership should standardize practices across the leagues.
The press release promises a universal ranking system for seeding and qualification, and a unified competition structure for the major tournaments across all three tournament organizers. It also points out that the three leagues will be able to cross-promote and utilize “a shared roster of commentators and broadcast talent.”
“The groups hope that the partnership will be the foundation for global cooperation between all eSports organizations,” their statement said.
Should cooperation become truly global, we will likely see higher-quality competition across all events as players and teams are able to compete around the world without causing massive conflicts. Whether Asian eSports organizations ultimately sign onto this remains to be seen, but just having North American and predominantly European leagues like these three working together should solve a number of conflicts.
The announcement comes on the heels of MLG’s announcement of 334% viewership growth in 2012, going from 3.5 million unique viewers in 2011 to 11.7 million in 2012. With eSports having so much momentum right now, it’s wise of the major stakeholders to begin moving out of one another’s way so that the product does not become diluted through overextension (which has been a fear at times this year).