IGN Entertainment, a video games media company, and Caesars Entertainment have formed a partnership to bring IGN Pro League (IPL) gaming tournaments to Caesars casinos. The live tournament event-IPL 3: Origins, featuring the franchise StarCraft II from Blizzard Entertainment-will take place this month at Caesars Atlantic City, in the Circus Maximus Theater.
“Games will continue to be a dominant entertainment medium of the next 20 years, and the time is ripe for eSports to make its mark as a mainstream form of entertainment that can produce the next genre of celebrity in sports,” said David Ting, general manager of eSports and vice president of research & development at IGN. “We believe that pro video gaming can become as popular as mainstream sports such as basketball, tennis and wrestling, and we are thrilled to partner with Caesars to bring video games to the forefront.”
The Atlantic City tournament is the first time professional video gaming will hit the stage at Caesars-a major step in elevating video games as a spectator sport. For the inaugural Atlantic City event, IGN will bring together 32 of the top StarCraft II players to compete for $100,000 in prizes. In advance of the tournament, IGN will set up four online qualifying tournaments, where the top two players of each qualifier will be guaranteed at least $1,000 in winnings and free travel and accommodation for the event. There will be 256 competitors competing live at the venue. From these, 16 will be chosen to compete among 32 finalists live on stage in the Atlantic City event.
“Atlantic City is the top entertainment destination on the East Coast, and the location of Caesars Atlantic City at Center Boardwalk is prime for events such as the IGN Pro League tournament,” said Don Marrandino, eastern division president for Caesars Entertainment. “We are thrilled to host this one-of-a-kind event in October and look forward to a fantastic weekend of intense video game competition.”