MLG’s Eastern Conference Championship in Atlanta is just around the corner, and from the looks of things, it’s going to be insane. The MLG block of the hotel is totally booked out, which means that this tournament is going to be packed to the gills with fierce competition in both our Last Chance Qualifiers and the big-money Conference Championships. We have increased and expanded the prize money in certain areas since MLG LA, meaning that more people will be taking home a chunk of the loot than ever. Anyone who couldn’t make it out to the event would be well-advised to follow the tournament at home both by watching it on VoD and keeping up with it on the homepage. With v3, keeping track of the tournament from home will be better and easier than ever with all of the new and enhanced features. Since some of these features have never been seen before, I thought this would be a good time to explain how it all works so you can get the best out of your experience during the tournament.

Finally, A Bracket System That Works!

I’m not gonna lie; this is something that we have been in need of very badly. And it’s not for lack of trying that we haven’t had one in the past. In fact, some of you may recall the various attempts we have made at running a bracket throughout the season, and unfortunately all of them have blown up in our faces. We’ve been hit with faulty software, communication flow issues and monkey wrenches, and all of it has added up to the lack of any solid way to display online brackets during the events. Well as you can see, we went all-out with our v3 redesign, and that included adding an amazing new bracket system that (wait for it) actually works!

During the tournament, a link to the brackets for both Halo 2 and SSBM will be posted on the Events Page. Simply click on the links to be taken to a fully-realized, up-to-the-minute recreation of what’s going on at the tournament. Unfortunately there will be no bracket for the Eight-Man FFA rounds, because there is no feasible way to do a bracket for them, but all of the action starting at the Championship Bracket will be documented and displayed for all to see.

The new online brackets are freakin sweet!

Through the Brackets Page you can view a list of every team present at the tournament, as well as view their seeding, overall record, and current position on the bracket. By clicking on any given match-up, a pop-up window will appear and give you all of the details on that match that were put into the system. This is where you will find the games played in that match-up, who won, the score, and any additional information that is pertinent to that match. During the later rounds, when we have the resources to do so, we will be reporting even more detailed results, including individual performances during each game (individual kills/deaths/assists/objective scores) that really help to tell the story of what happened.

These brackets will replace a great deal of the “Quick Updates” that we used to post on the old site, since this is a much easier and more organized way to view all of the match info during the tournament. However, we will still be converting the “Video Game Headlines” section of the homepage to the “Event Updates” section during the tournament, so we can post announcements and information that don’t belong on the Brackets Page. We will also post FFA results the old-fashioned way in the “Event Updates” section since they are not supported by our brackets. To truly follow what goes on, you will want to be checking back to the Brackets Page and the Event Updates section throughout the weekend. But there is really no substitute for being able to watch the games for yourself, so be sure to be watching on VoD for all of the heart-pounding match-ups. If you do not have VoD, head over to the MLG Store and buy your season pass today for only $20.

MLG Betting Table

You can access MLG’s Betting Table by highlighting “Forum” on the homepage menu, and then choosing “See the Bookie,” which will take you here.

As we announced upon the launching of our new site, MLG now has a simulated betting system in place so that users can place virtual money down on whatever players or teams they favor to win a round or event. This weekend will be the first time this new system has seen any action, so let me outline the way it works and we’ll have you sharking mlgCash with the best of ‘em in no time

Right now, every registered user on the site has $500 in mlgCash (I shouldn’t have to say this, but please keep in mind that this is not real money this is all just for fun). This money can be used to place bets on our tournaments, starting with MLG Atlanta this weekend. Later today, we will be releasing a list of possible winners of our Halo 2 4v4 LCQ and FFA, as well as our Halo 2 CC 4v4 and FFA. Pre-tournament Smash lists may not be possible because of the fact that we allow at-the-door registration for the event and we simply don’t know who’s definitely coming until they get there. For each of the above-mentioned events, we will offer between 5 – 10 choices for you to bet on winning that category, as well as the predicted chances they have of winning. All of this (at least for Halo) will be determined by Anakin, who has the clearest and most objective view of all of the players and teams this season, since he’s the Commissioner and has been following the proceedings very closely.

Here’s an example of how it will work: Sometime today we will post all of the pre-tourney bets for each event. Let’s say we’re looking at the Halo 2 CC 4v4. There will be 5-10 choices of teams that could possibly win the event, as well as the predicted chances of them winning (which will clue you in to the risk involved in betting on any once choice). Also included will be an option for “other” if you think none of the offered choices will win the event. Obviously, a riskier bet will reap a greater reward — but that bet has a lesser chance to pan out for you. Safer bets will pay out less if you are right, but are more likely to actually pan out.

As you bet, keep in mind that you can place multiple bets in each category. You can also place as much or as little money as you want on each bet. Going back to the Halo 2 CC 4v4 example, you can place $100 on Team X and also $50 on Team Y if you want. Granted, it’s only possible for one of those bets to be right, but it helps you to spread out the risk of your betting and gives you a better chance of a return on something. You could place bets in any increment on every single one of the options if you wanted to, as long as you don’t exceed your mlgCash reserves. Remember though that to start out with, you will only have $500, and none of the pre-tournament bets will be paid out until after it can be determined if your bet was right or wrong, meaning that your pre-tourney betting money will be tied up for a while during the tournament. However, spending all of your money on pre-tournament bets does not mean that you won’t have anything to be with during the tournament, because as we release each new bet during the tournament, we will credit every user on the site with $25. This keeps the game going and allows people who have lost all their money to continue to participate. Make no mistake though, the people who make smart bets will end up with a whole lot more mlgCash than the ones who don’t.

As you follow the tournament from home throughout the weekend, we will be adding new bets to the Betting Table page for the various individual matches that are going on at the time. Here’s the estimated breakdown for the rounds that we will be offering bets on:

Note: These are tentative, depending on what we are able to fit in. We’ll be doing this on top of running the tournament, so we’ll do our best with the time and resources that we have.

Halo 2 LCQ FFA – Semi-Finals and Finals
Halo 2 LCQ 4v4 – Semi-Finals and Finals
Halo 2 CC FFA – All 1v1 rounds
Halo 2 CC 4v4 – All Rounds from Round 2 Onward
Smash LCQ 2v2 – TBA
Smash LCQ 1v1 – TBA
Smash CC 2v2 – TBA
Smash CC 1v1 – TBA

As soon as we know who will be in a given match-up, we will post the bet on the Betting Table page for you to place your bets on. Each time this happens, we will credit everyone with that additional $25 to ensure that the game keeps moving. We will pay out all dividends before the next round begins, so you will be able to use your winnings for Round 5 to place bets on Round 6, for example. At the end of the tournament, we will tally up who made the most money overall during the event, and that person will be awarded an additional $1,000 in mlgCash. There is a leaderboard on the Betting Table page that displays who the overall richest member are, as well as who has the best winning bet percentage, so those who are successful will be on display for all to see. Grab your lucky charms and we’ll see you at the table this weekend!