Tour Major League Gaming's StarCraft II Summer Arena On Our Exclusive Behind-The-Scenes Visit


Photo: Ana Douglas / Business Insider

30-two players from all the over world converged at Major League Gaming’s (MLG) headquarters in New York City this past weekend for the StarCraft II (SC2) Summer Arena.Up for grabs was a total of $26,000 in prize money (split between the winners), as well as an all-expenses paid trip to the Summer Championship in Raleigh later next month for the top 16 players.

We were lucky enough to attend this exclusive event and over the weekend managed to meet some big name players and casters, including MLG Co-Founder and CEO Sundance DiGiovanni, Manuel Schenkhuizen, aka “Grubby,” and Sean Plott, aka “day9” (SC2 casting legend), as well as some up-and-comers.

One of them, Zerg player Gage “Sasquatch” DuBose, had just recently moved into the Team “Complexity” house. Along with his three other teammates, the 18-year old now practiced eight to nine hours a day. And all that practice certainly came in handy as his first game of the weekend was against the highest seeded player from the Spring Championship, Yang “Alicia” Joon Sik of Team “SlayerS.”

Another new face at the event was 16-year old, Chris “Illusion” Lee. He had also just moved into his team house (San Diego-based Team “Quantic Gaming”) for the summer. The rising junior’s passion for the game was evident in our interview, stating that he was “travelling the world playing games, so it was pretty cool.” He also reassured us that managing his professional SC2 career and high school life was “pretty easy and not too taxing,” where during the school year, he always manged to get in at least six hours of practice in a day.

In a dramatic final, “Alicia” was eventually ousted by Yoon Young Suh, aka “Taeja” in a 4-2 victory. The 17-year old Terran player took home an impressive $10,000 in prize money.

Now check out our exclusive behind-the-scenes tour, courtesy of MLG.

The event started Friday, July 20 and lasted three days. We showed up Friday afternoon and knew we had made it to the right place when we saw the iconic Major League Gaming sign.

The office is all the way up on the 32nd floor. That's Ray Grube – he's the official greeter and makes sure everyone feels welcome when they arrive.

The view was absolutely amazing! This is the view that Katie Goldberg, VP of Communications and PR, gets to look at every day.

We checked out MLG's kitchen where we found boxes of water and Dr Pepper stacked up against the wall. Despite what some people may think, playing video games is a lot of work and it showed! By the end of the weekend, the players had gone through hundreds of these drinks.

Here's a couple of players just hanging out and relaxing before their next game.

Here are some players, fans, and coaches hanging out in the Dr Pepper lounge.

Even a professional gamer has to eat. Friday night's food of choice? Chinese food!

Here's Anton Ferraro and Amen Obasuyi – they make sure everything is running smoothly on the Dr Pepper stream.

And here's Camber Weiss and Sherveen Mashayekhi hard at work. They run MLG's social media streams and were constantly Tweeting out the results of matches.

This poster was designed by one of MLG's summer interns. Here's a shot of the poster once all the players had signed it.

And here he is again posing with his well-earned prize. Congratulations, Taeja!

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