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Major League Gaming has signed a multi-year, seven-figure partnership with Doritos to create a new competitive franchise for the upstart sports league.
Starting in 2010, MLG will launch a skills competition aimed at discovering up-and-coming talent from the competitive videogame arena. According to MLG president and CEO Matthew Bromberg, the new competition is being modeled after the National Football League’s Scouting Combine, which precedes the league’s college draft.
Like the NFL version, MLG’s new annual event will hopefully provide a formal mechanism for new professional gamers to break in. “Our hope is that these guys get discovered and are drafted into the pro ranks,” he said. The new talent could possibly come from MLG’s fan base. “This gives our consumers a chance to find out, ‘am I good enough?’” Fans will be able to watch the event either in person or via MLG’s Web site.
The new competition will be sponsored exclusively by Doritos, marking its first activity with the league. Bromberg said that the combine concept was custom created in conjunction with Doritos. “We wanted to do something that really transforms the fan experience, and something that was really novel.”
He believes that the multi-year nature of the deal also provides a solid vote of confidence for professional gaming as a business overall. “It’s no longer the leap of faith it once was,” he said.