See What Happens When 16,000 Fans Get Together To Watch People Play Video Games

major league gaming columbus

Photo: Major League Gaming

Major League Gaming recently had its 2012 Winter Championships in Columbus, Ohio.The event attracted 16,000 spectators and hundreds of thousands of viewers online, as 2,000 of the world’s best players duked it out for $200,000 in prizes.

Yes, competitive gaming has become very serious business.

Here’s a look at what happens at one of these huge championship events.

MLG set up thousands of chairs inside the Greater Columbus Convention centre in Columbus, Ohio for spectators

MLG CEO Sundance DiGiovanni took to the stage to welcome the crowd and kick things off

And it was a really big crowd. This is the Starcraft 2 stage — the biggest attraction MLG has to offer

Here's a Starcraft player competing at one of the stations, trying to earn a spot on the main stage

On the stage, they compete in sound-proof booths

Halo: Reach was also featured — here's its stage

More than 2,000 of the world's best gamers were at this event — just look at the line for the Halo: Reach free-for-all tournament

And here are the competition stations, with a crowd looming over everyone's shoulders

PlayStation 3 fighting games were up on a third main stage

Partner booths were set up all around the venue. Dr. Pepper's a big sponsor and they were giving out free cans.

Backstage, broadcasters commentate the gameplay for in-room spectators and the folks watching on live online streams

That's a ridiculously huge crowd — 16,000 spectators in total came to the event

The championships lasted three days, culminating in the big Starcraft 2 finals

It's like any other sport, with fans cheering on their favourite players

18-year-old phenom MarineKingPrime from South Korea took home all the glory in the Starcraft 2 tournament, along with $25,000

Here he is soaking it all in on stage with the casters

It's actually MKP's second straight win — now see how he won the first

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