The motion picture studio Lionsgate will be working with Twitch and MLG to put on a month long tournament February 5-22, culminating in a championship showdown with $10,000 on the line.
While this represents the first time a major Hollywood studio has partnered with eSports and streaming organizations, it isn't entirely without motivation. Lionsgate is sponsoring the tournament in an effort to market the Blu-ray release of Ender's Game on February 11th. Ender's Game, both a novel and a film, is about a boy named Ender Wiggin who is sent to a remote space station for special leadership and combat training. The tactical tutelage that Ender endures is roughly analogous to the strategies professional StarCraft II players display on their own sci-fi battlefields.
“Lionsgate understands that gamers are more than a niche, they are everyone,” said Ben Goldhaber, the director of content marketing at Twitch. “By leveraging Twitch’s community of 45 million gamers, many of whom spend hours playing and watching sci-fi inspired games, creating an eSport event around Ender’s Game on our platform makes perfect sense.”
MLG, in partnership with GameOn, will run the Ender’s Game on Blu-ray Tournament. MLG will directly invite 12 players, and fans have the opportunity to vote on the remaining four players. Voting will take place from now until February 5th at http://gameon.gg. In total, over $20,000 in prizes are being awarded to skilled players.
What kind of play can we expect out of this tournament? Check out one of the games from MLG's 2013 Grand Finals.