posted by HolyMaster,
The best teams from Europe and North America, one Chinese giant, a six digit prizepool, and three days of competition. MLG brings us an impressive package this weekend, maybe even the best since The International. And we're just a day away from it.

Major League Gaming (MLG) is known as one of the biggest event organizers in eSport. After a year of hosting smaller competitions and ladders for Dota 2, mainly focussed on North America, the first big one is finally around the corner.

Two months ago MLG announced a 50,000 USD prizepool, which was a decent sum as it is. But it got raised drastically through the ticket sales. The league invested their winning directly into the prizes for Dota 2. The current total is over 124,000 USD.

Europe, America, and a little bit of China

But let's get to the most important feature, the participants: The dominating teams of 2013, se The Alliance and ua Natus Vincere, are both in the mix. Nevertheless there are a bunch of contestants with realistic chances to prevent another Na'Vi vs Alliance final. eu Fnatic can be considered the third force from Europe, but also eu showed strong performances recently.

us Team Liquid are certainly the best of North America at the moment. us Evil Geniuses and the biggest underdog, us Pretty Boy Swag, joins them as additional local teams.. world Speed Gaming is a strong mix of both continents mentioned. The most important name on the list is cn Team DK though. As the only participant from Asia and one of the best teams in the world, they will add even more excitement to Columbus.

Not attending is us Team Dignitas. Even though the former American powerhouse qualified through the Fall Invitational, they lost their slot due to too many lineup changes, and finally disbanded. The most notable team missing from Europe is presumably ru Team Empire.

Format and schedule

The tournament system is simple. Throw all nine teams into one big group and let them face everyone else within two days. This madness starts at 17:30 local time (23:30 CET) on Friday and ends Saturday night (~midnight for the US, very late night for Europeans). You can find the exact time of every match on our coverage page

Sunday will be all about the deciding playoffs. But only four participants will make it through to that. This is going to force hard fights early on in the competition. The semifinals and final, all best of three (no double elimination) will crown the first of hopefully many MLG Dota 2 champions.

Various livestreams will be provided throughout the whole event. Since the groupstage will have three simultaneous matches, three streaming teams will cover all games in English language:
  • us Alpha - Merlini, Godz, LD, Luminous
  • us Bravo - Bdiz, Capitalist
  • us Charlie - Clairvoyance, Hippie
Multiple Russian (including v1lat) and Chinese broadcasts are also supposed to guide through the tournament as well as a French one. Of course you'll be able to find all important streams at joinDOTA.

Visit our MLG Columbus Coverage page for all important info and updates!