Championship Gaming Series runs out of quarters
'The concept was ahead of its time'
For two short seasons, The Championship Gaming Series tried to transform the sun-starved denizens of musty, Cheeto-dusted basements into glorious "e-sport" cultural icons.
The scheme of making video game playing a legitimate sport had its fair share of obstacles. For instance, there's some trouble in that watching a TV broadcast of other people playing video games only just beats chewing tinfoil. But throw in enough dramatic lighting and breathless commentating and you can call anything entertainment.
What finally killed the self-professed "first worldwide professional video game league" was its lack of profitability. Lamenting CGS was "an idea whose time came too early," the company announced it has lost its major media backers - BskyB, STAR, and DirectTV - and is closing its doors.
"Our goal was to be ahead of the curve in the e-sports space, and we conceived of CGS as a true sports league," the company announced today. "We invested wholeheartedly in the venture and presented viewers with a top-notch production, but the economics just didn't add up for us at this time."
CGS modeled itself after the US National Football League, complete with full-time team managers, qualifiers, and a player draft. The competition was broken into six regions: US/Canada, Latin America, Europe, Middle East/Africa/South Asia, China/East Asia, and Australia. Drafted players received a base salary of $30,000 with potential bonuses based on performance.
The league featured a handful of games during its two season run: Counter-Strike, FIFA 07, Dead or Alive 2, and Project Gotham Racing. The second season swapped the latter two for FIFA 08 and Forza Motorsport 2. Those noting CGS' distinct preference for Xbox 360 software in its console games selection can rest assured Microsoft was a major sponsor.
CGS also held a World of Warcraft arena match tournament this year, although the game wasn't a part of its regular season.
Despite several big name sponsors putting their money behind the league, the company said "it became increasingly clear as this ambitious project evolved, that profitability was too far in the future for us to sustain operations in the interim."
Costly events like hosting its inaugural draft at the Playboy Mansion in 2007, and its second draft at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas in 2008 couldn't have helped the company coffers either.
CGS even reportedly had plans of building a dedicated game playing arena and training center in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
The league's closest rival, the World Series of Video Games, also was forced to pull its plug back in 2007.
Is this the end of the "e-sports" craze? Perhaps the dingy LAN party and living room full of drunken friends is all the glitz and glamor video game tournaments need after all. ®
this is why we can't have nice things.
I find it ironic that you have probably the exact opposite opinion towards something such as NFL or NBA. The problem with that the streams of a pro circuit for Major League Gaming (MLG www.mlgpro.com) had over four million live in just the 2008 season. You are making statements over a topic you are very unintelligent on and I recommend you do your homework before blogging about your stereotypical rant over something beyond your dim witted mind's grasp of something more important than you may believe. As for your comparison to chewing "Tin foil" is slightly less entertaining than watching a broadcast of competitive video gaming. The same could be said for people who competitively play football "It's basically throwing an oblong ball around and running away from the opposing team out of fear of getting a multitude of men on top of you." Yet you call that entertaining and involving talent when they are successful at outrunning someone? I'd say a touchdown is equivalent to a game winning kill when it's 49 to 49 kills tied on a pro game of halo that may decide who gets a check for a $100,000 tournament. As well as your insult towards people that play games competitively that they live in basements and eat poorly and don't go outside. That's just people like you that are uncultured in Major League Gaming, seeing as there is a minority of overweight gamers that are professional as you claimed the stereotype "Cheeto dusted" and that most of them are in great shape and they fly all over the world and go on vacations to places. And you claim everyone that plays video games lives in basements yet most professional gamers can afford nice houses, which odds are, you cannot. As for video games being of no skill to play with professionals, I would love to see you play a game against a professional gamer in Halo 3, and see just how many kills you get on him/her. My guess is 25 to –1; the -1 being you... Just a guess. And to let you know a rising MLG star, Tom “Tsquared” Taylor is now the icon for Dr. Pepper. His face will be on 175 million bottles of Dr. Pepper. No one cares though. (Howard, if you see this; i want extra credit... k, thx, bai.)
Obviously, this clears the decks for...
Pro-celebrity Air Hockey! No? Ho about Pro-Celebrity One man And His Dog? Jethro , from Settle with his dog Blackie vs Paris Hilton and some dishrag thing in a purse? OK, how about Pro-Celebrity Boxing? Obviously, we can't match the current prize funds in pro boxing, but perhaps we can tempt a few retired boxers back into the ring. It'd be a smash! Who wouldn't pay to watch Mike Tyson vs Tara Palmer-Tompkinson?
Should have looked at South Korea
They've been doing it for years with Starcraft and a few other games, and it makes a fortune over there.
That being said basing anything of American football and concentrating on Counterstrike was bound to fail.
Now if they'd used Tribes 1 or 2....that could have been a lot more interesting.