Major League Gaming (MLG), a professional video game league based in New York City, is using three Broadcast Pix integrated video production systems to produce simultaneous live webcasts of its MLG Pro Circuit events.
Offering more than $700,000 in season prizes, the 2010 MLG Pro Circuit season features team competitors for Halo 3 and World of Warcraft, in addition to individual competitors for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Tekken 6, and StarCraft II. According to Lee Chen, MLG senior vice president of premium services, each tournament event attracts close to 15,000 spectators, including thousands of amateur and professional players, and delivers more than 1.9 million live streams during each event weekend at the league's website, www.mlgpro.com.
LubieRocks, an event production services provider based in Altamont, NY, began working with MLG in 2006. Originally, MLG Pro Circuit events were taped for broadcast on cable networks including USA Network and G4. For the last two years, however, MLG has been streaming coverage of its events live on its own website. According to LubieRocks founder David Elliott, MLG executives decided to make the move to HD production last year.
As a result, MLG upgraded its existing SD equipment to three Broadcast Pix HD video production systems, one Slate 5000 and two Slate 1000 systems, dramatically increasing its production values. Eventually, the plan is to upgrade to Granite systems and produce MLG Pro Circuit coverage in the 1080p HD format.
To accommodate the MLG Pro Circuit coverage, LubieRocks built a portable production system that is housed in two 7ft-long, 6ft-high racks. LubieRocks has already produced three MLG Pro Circuit events using its Broadcast Pix systems this year, including MLG Raleigh last month in Raleigh, NC. Two additional events are scheduled through the end of 2010.
MLG relies on the Slate 5000's built-in Fluent file-based workflow tools during its coverage. Multilayer graphics are loaded in Fluent Macros and recalled in various configurations; for example, a picture-in-picture setup can show the feed of a game being played with an inset of a lipstick camera focused on the player. The webcast productions also include a number of commercials and extensive clips.
At the venue, there are three separate stages for tournament action. The Halo stage features three projection screens, so spectators can follow the action. The center screen showcases the webcast feed, while the two outside screens offer a quad split of game action, so the game can be seen from each player's viewpoint.
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