A short message posted to Twitter this past Tuesday could have turned the middle of next June into an interesting threesome for competitive gaming.
Going going back back to Cali Cali Cali :) MLG is returning to Anaheim 6/13-15, 2014. Details soon!
— Adam Apicella (@MrAdamAp) September 3, 2013
The announcement was regarding Major League Gaming’s Spring 2014 finale, traditionally hosted in Anaheim, CA, informally referred to as MLG Anaheim 2014. In the past, this event is one of the biggest live spectator events in esports and an event that I’ve personally attended in 2012 supporting ESFI’s on-scene coverage of the event. It was awesome.
And then, one of their European counterparts looked at their calendar.
I like @MLG Anaheim, too bad 2014 edition will be on the same dates as DreamHack Summer 2014 @MLGSundance @MrAdamAp
— Hellspawn (@Hellspawnlord) September 3, 2013
The Dreamhack representative went on to reference this press release published in May 2012, two years in advance and also mentioned that the date was included in last year’s post-event release for Dreamhack Summer 2013.
Slasher, reporting for Gamespot, was the first to publish the story in a relatively proper context. Most notably, he made the mention that the date also conflicted with another favorite video game industry pastime—the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo.
With hints from Twitter posts following Adam’s informal announcement, one could conclude that there would have been some backchannel discussions taking place between MLG and the Anaheim Convention Center crew, and, presumably, the publisher/partners who would be lending their games to the show to find an alternative date.
Today, only two days after the initial announcement, a revised announcement was made via the MLG executive’s Twitter account:
We've adjusted our dates to avoid overlap with @DreamHack. The #MLG Championship in Anaheim, CA, will take place June 20-22, 2014.
— Adam Apicella (@MrAdamAp) September 5, 2013
Not a bad turnaround for an organization that seemed to be losing favor with parts of its audience because of the company’s switching games based on business decisions. Personally, I don’t have a problem with MLG playing favorites when it comes to making money and keeping their business afloat so long as they don’t start fixing tournaments or begin catering to a younger audience for the sake of advertising dollars. It’s a business decision and they want to create some cool entertainment that a wide-sepctrum audience can watch and enjoy, and maybe even pay for.
All of this is more impressive when you consider the following, as SirScoots points out:
Locking event dates in are huges task for something the size of MLG. Awesome that @MrAdamAp and gang were able to move the event!
— Scott Smith (@SirScoots) September 5, 2013
I don’t think that MLG simply called up the folks responsible for scheduling the Anaheim Convention Center out and politely asked for the dates they previously arranged to have changed without a legally compelling reason, unless Blizzard or another publisher was at the table with them. I could be wrong about that, but my read on the situation is MLG had to work pretty hard to change the dates for the convention center deal they made for this next summer and the public was clued in by MLG’s SVP out of a need to appeal to their potential audience that they no longer have to decide between one of the best produced events in the business and one that isn’t. It comes down to business.
Though I also would have thought that Twitter isn’t exactly the best way to publicly announce something as big of a deal as MLG Anaheim 2014. I could be wrong about that, too.