Christmas Comes Early for Members of Team Carbon and Str8 Rippin
NEW YORK, NY, December 18, 2006 — Major League Gaming (MLG), the world’s first professional video game league, announced today that it has signed a $1 million dollar team contract with team Carbon, the new National Champion four-man Halo 2 team, as well as $250,000 deals with three members of team Str8 Rippin. With these contracts, MLG now has an unprecedented three teams each signed to million dollar contracts.
MLG made history in June 2006 by signing team Final Boss to a $1 million contract, and Tom “Tsquared” Taylor, Str8 Rippin’s team captain, to a $250,000 contract – the biggest contracts ever awarded to pro gamers. With the new contracts announced today, MLG continues to professionalize gaming by signing more of the world’s top pro gamers to exclusive, three-year deals.
“From day one, MLG has been committed to finding the best players in the world and helping them grow and develop careers as professional gamers,” said Sundance DiGiovanni, co-founder and CMO of Major League Gaming. “These contracts are an important step in advancing the careers of these particular gamers, but they also help establish pro gaming and open doors for more players who aspire to this level of success in gaming.”
Carbon is comprised of a group of young, energetic, and talented individuals – a fan favorite for their personalities and their aggressive play style. While the team was unable to challenge reigning champions Final Boss during the early stages of the 2006 season, their utter unwillingness to accept defeat and notorious fighting spirit finally lead them to overthrow Final Boss at three consecutive events during the second half of the season, ending with the Las Vegas MLG Pro Circuit Championship. Incessantly shooting for nothing but gold, team Carbon bumped Final Boss to second place, deservingly gaining the title of MLG National Champions.
The team is comprised of Chris “Shockwave” Smith, Eric “Ghostayame” Hewitt, Scott “Gandhi” Lussier and Ben “Karma” Jackson.
Shockwave, the team leader who plans to attend college for engineering in the fall, guides the team with his intelligence and quick decision making. But it wasn’t until the silent rising star Ghostayame joined the team as support player in August that team Carbon managed to knock the number one team off of its pedestal.
The team is possibly most renowned for its primary slayer Gandhi and his over-the-top trash talking, frequently sparking controversy and polarizing fans. One of the most respected and the most successful player of the season is Karma – having earned championship titles in both team play and singles, and holding an undefeated streak in individual competition that dates back to 2005.
“We have a lot of fun, but we also work hard as a team to out-strategize and out-maneuver any competitor,” said Shockwave, Carbon’s team captain. “Winning the championship was amazing, but these contracts really seal our standing as professional gamers. It will definitely be a happy holiday in the Carbon households!”
Team Str8 Rippin
Str8 Rippin is a constant force in the league and can always be counted on to make an appearance in the later rounds of tournament play. Despite their stellar resume, the squad plays with a chip on its shoulders and is always out to disprove its doubters through their in-game performance. The team maintained its second place position throughout the season until team Carbon’s rise to the top.
The squad is led by their ambitious and entrepreneurial captain Tom “Tsquared” Taylor who signed an exclusive $250,000 deal with MLG in June 2006. MLG has now extended the deal to the remaining members of Str8 Rippin: Peter “Foulacy” Dietrich, Carlos “Cpt Anarchy” Morales and Alfonso “Fonzi” Chartier.
“I think everyone on our team feels really fortunate to be associated with MLG – pro gaming would not be nearly as popular as it is today without MLG behind it,” said Foulacy. “It’s opened so many doors for us, from meeting new people, to traveling the country for competitions, to being on TV, and now being part of an elite group with these contracts.”
All of the challenges, drama and excitement of young professionals competing in the 2006 Boost Mobile MLG Pro Circuit are currently being showcased as a seven-part series on USA Network Saturdays at 10am ET/PT. The episodes can also be viewed online on MLG’s website www.mlgpro.com, as well as through Comcast at gameinvasion.net and AOL at gamedaily.com/mlg.
About MLG (Major League Gaming)
MLG is the first professional video game league. By raising video game competition to the level of professional sport, the company is creating a sports media business that provides players, developers, publishers, media partners, and advertisers a unique connection to the video game lifestyle enjoyed by 168 million Americans. With the support of major sponsors, MLG operates a pro tour that makes several stops in major cities across the U.S., exclusively featuring the best gamers in the world. MLG produces a variety of online and broadcast-quality programming that showcases MLG’s pros and this exciting new sports entertainment phenomenon. More information can be found at www.mlgpro.com.