2011 MLG Pro Circuit
The '2011 MLG Pro Circuit was a series of live events running throughout the year 2011 and was MLG's second season which featured StarCraft II. By participating in these events, players won prize money and accumulated points dependent on their results for seeding purposes at future MLG Pro Circuit events in the season. All 2011 MLG Pro Circuit events were open events (including the National Championship). For the 2011 season, StarCraft II was played alongside Halo: Reach and Call of Duty: Black Ops. Because StarCraft II was released before the start of the season, there were six live events for StarCraft II. StarCraft II competition was given its own full stage at each event as well as a dedicated stream.
The 2011 MLG Pro Circuit featured six live events:
- Circuit / Regular Season
- MLG Dallas 2011 1–3 April 2011
- MLG Columbus 2011 3–5 June 2011
- MLG Anaheim 2011 28–31 July 2011
- MLG Raleigh 2011 26–28 August 2011
- MLG Orlando 2011 12–16 October 2011
- Finals / National Championship
- MLG Providence 2011 18–20 November 2011
Circuit Prize Pool
Each event will have a $14,000 prize pool allocated to winners as such:
Finals Prize Pool
The Finals event will have a $120,000 prize pool allocated to winners as such:
Recap of 2011 Pro Circuit
The 2011 Season for MLG included a lot of firsts. It was the first time that a PC game was on MLG's main stage. It was the first year to see the Pool play and the MLG style Championship Bracket system. It was the first year to see an exchange program which had players from the GSL get flown over to compete in MLG and vice versa. First time they ran two simultaneous streams for one title. They also continually broke viewer-ship records. Even though the season started out rocky later events have shown they can put on very good events and they are liked by players and spectators alike.
The first MLG event of the year, it was plagued by lag both for the players and for the streams. And on the first day some of the open bracket players had to stay around to as late as 2 AM to finish their matches.
The event was also the theatre of a new act of the IdrA/HuK rivalry. The latter indeed made IdrA quit prematurely a game where he had a significant supply advantage by hallucinating several Void Rays, which led to a heated conversation between the two players in the chat.
However this tournament was dominated by NaNiwa. The Swedish Protoss player started his tournament in the open bracket and didn't drop a single game through pool play and all the way up until the finals against KiWiKaKi, ending with a total game score of 26 - 2 at this event.
The Columbus stop was MLG's renaissance. Embarrassed by the stream quality problems that plagued Dallas, MLG introduced a brand new infrastructure for handling their streams, outsourcing the service to (company name).
This event was also the debut of the GSL-MLG Exchange Program. MC, MMA, LosirA, and Moon all traveled from Seoul and competed in pool play. Certainly due in part to the new player exchange, interest in StarCraft II at Columbus was unprecedented. The assembly of fans in Columbus created one of the largest, loudest, most enthusiastic atmospheres for StarCraft II to date. While crowds for successive events have continued to grow, Columbus set the standard for fan attendance.
This tournament was also MMA's coming out party. While the young Terran had already proved himself to be a dangerous player (particularly in the team leagues), his moniker as "son of BoxeR" was still largely unsubstantiated. However, largely on the strength of his new terrifying drop-heavy TvZ style, MMA stormed through the tournament. He went 8-0, only dropping two maps total as he won the tournament in commanding fashion.
Following the pattern laid out by the MLG Columbus, MLG Anaheim took a notable step forward compared to the previous events. With a production now freed of its internet connection issues for good, and an impressive line-up of Korean invites featuring the two-times GSL champion Mvp, the Brood War legend BoxeR, the GSTL most effective player DongRaeGu, and the reigning MLG champion MMA, the MLG Anaheim generated a gigantic fan interest that led StarCraft II to be broadcast from the main stage for the first time of MLG's history.
As expected by many commentators, the Korean invites overwhelmed their host, relegating the best-ranked foreigner to the seventh place of the tournament. The grand finals featured the reigning champion, MMA, against Mvp in a remake of the ace match of the second GSTL finals. Mvp, who had been flawless in his previous matches, with a 5-0 record in group stage and a victory against the ZvT expert DongRaeGu, eventually managed to defeat his opponent, hence winning the MLG Anaheim on his first attendance in a foreign event. BoxeR ultimately took a convincing third place, and would be remembered for his one hour long game against Rain wich ended in a confrontation between two 200/200 all aerial armies as well as for his fratricidal match against his teammate and pupil MMA.
This situation led many fans to speculate on the ability of the foreign players to put on an equal footing with their Korean opponents, and on the possibility that the Koreans takeover the first places of every oncoming MLG.
Last step before the national championships in Providence, the MLG Orlando was the occasion for the StarCraft II community to prove its dedication to the professional scene. MarineKing was indeed able to attend the MLG for the first time thanks to a fundraiser held by SCReddit and organised by Milkis. His participation alongside the former GSL champion Polt, the reigning MLG champion Bomber, and several other strong Korean players such as PuMa, Rain and MC didn't bode well for the foreigners, and the fans prepared themselves for a new repetition of the Korean domination. However, the tournament didn't run as predicted, as HuK and IdrA took respectively the first and fourth place. Both of them had to make their way in spite of a strong opposition; IdrA knocked-out BoxeR and the reigning MLG champion Bomber, while HuK defeated MarineKing and MC.
The outcome of the event were that HuK became the only two-times MLG champion so far, and that the Korean players weren't inaccessible. However, the failure of the seeded foreigners in pool play proved that the gap between HuK and IdrA and the others was enormous. On a more trivial matter, HuK's victory put an end to the curse that prevented players who had already attended MLG to win one.
Circuit / Regular Tournament Format
The tournament format for the five regular season 2011 MLG Pro Circuit events is given below. (Note: The National Championship at MLG Providence 2011 has a modified format.)
- Open Bracket
- 256 Players will play in the Open Bracket til Top 4.
- Top 4 from open bracket will join Top 20 Seeded players in the Championship Bracket pool play.
- The Open Bracket is a double-elimination (including the Losers Open Bracket), best of three bracket.
- Players that lose in the Open Bracket will be placed in the Losers Open Bracket.
- Championship Bracket
- Top 16 Ranked players will be seeded into upcoming events pool play.
- 2011 MLG Dallas will seed top 16 players from 2010 overall rankings.
- As of 2011 MLG Columbus, there will be an additional player in each pool.
- Because of the way Pool Play works, there will be no more Placement Rounds within the Championship Bracket.
- The Top 16 seeded players and 4 GSL invitees will be divided into four pools of five players each.
- The sixth player for each pool will be derived from the four winners in the Open bracket.
- The top 20 seeded players will face off against each other to determine pool standings with the Top 4 open bracket player having to face all 5 players in the pool depending on the standing beginning with the 5th Place player and ending with the 1st Place player.
- The results of Pool Play will dictate where each player is placed in the Championship Bracket.
- Pool Play Results
- 1st Place – Winners Bracket Semi-Finals
- 2nd Place - Losers Bracket Round 7
- 3rd Place – Losers Bracket Round 6
- 4th Place – Losers Bracket Round 5
- 5th Place – Losers Bracket Round 4
- 6th Place – Losers Bracket Round 3
- Extended Series Rules
- If two players meet again for the second time, they will play an extended series, taking the previous best-of-three results into account.
- Best of 3 + Best of 3 = Best of 7
- Best of 3 + Best of 5 = Best of 9
- Best of 5 + Best of 5 = Best of 11
MLG uses various maps created by a Blizzard, GSL and iCCup and republishes them under an MLG tag with slight modifications:
- Neutral lowered Supply Depots are placed below the ramp of every spawning position.
- Close ground distance spawns are disabled.
GSL-MLG Exchange Program
Main article: GSL-MLG Exchange Program
In May 2011 it was announced that starting from MLG Columbus 2011 a player exchange program between GSL and MLG would be in place, allowing the top placing players in MLG to play in the GSL as well as seeding selected GSL players into the MLG Pool play.
The GSL spots are awarded as follows:
- GSL Code S status will be awarded to the highest placing player, within the Top 3, regardless of country of origin, who does not already have Code S status. Code S status will not be awarded if all of the players placing 1st-3rd already have Code S Status.
- GSL Code A status will be awarded to the next three highest placing non-Korean players. If Code S status is awarded to a Korean player, or not awarded at all, Code A status also will be awarded to the 4th highest placing non-Korean player.
- MLG Pro Circuit 2011 Format
- MLG Pro Circuit 2011 announcement
- IdrA vs HuK Hallucinated Voidrays 2011 MLG Dallas
- SC2 on center Main Stage at MLG Anaheim
- MKP goes to MLG Orlando with funds raised by SCReddit and organizational help by Milkis
- 2011 Columbus Format
- Pro Circuit Players Competing in the GSL.