Editor’s note: Ryan Smith is a longtime gamer and freelance writer who lives in Raleigh, NC. A graduate of East Carolina University with a degree in business and marketing, he has written in the past for WRAL Tech Wire and GameArgus.com. He currently plays Xbox 360 and PC as well as Nintendo DS. For story ideas, tips and feedback, he can be reached via e–mail (ryannicksmith@gmail.com)

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.  — MLG, or Major League Gaming, made its most recent stop during the regular season here in the Triangle at the Raleigh Convention Center. I was able to attend and had a blast – and not only was it fun to watch in person, the matches were streamed live via MLG’s webpage and through partners such as Twitch.tv.

From 173 countries, over 138,000 eSport viewers tuned in to MLG.com broadcasts to watch matches of “Starcraft 2,” “Call of Duty: Black Ops,” “Halo: Reach” and more. MLG would exclaim this is their highest online turnout for eSport streaming to date.

While gamers took refuge from Hurricane Irene to play and watch these incredible matches in person, people overseas and here in the states watched 3 million hours of games in a single weekend via stream. Back in June, MLG Columbus set a record for online viewership of an MLG event – that is until it was beaten by the very next stop during July’s MLG Anaheim.

That brings us to August’s MLG Raleigh, which again broke all previous eSport viewership records for the company. Come the Oct. 14 MLG Orlando, we can expect to once again see the record numbers grow.

MLG, the predominant U.S. form of eSport entertainment, continues to grow, and it seems logical that it will continue to do so as the gaming industry continues to boom and more games find themselves with a competitive community. In South Korea and other areas of the world, competitive video gaming has already taken over a vast majority of entertainment. South Korea has had up to two eSport TV stations, featuring mostly “Starcraft” matches, while tournament events drew live audiences larger than some Super Bowl turnouts.

Personally, I would love to see MLG get to the point where the tour was not all games at once, and there could be a full season for each featured game. We would have the NFL competing with “Starcraft” for viewership, and I think my life would be complete. Of course, we still have a long way to go before that happens, but the de facto national pastime of Korea is “Starcraft,” so in time perhaps the U.S. could see something similar.

Around the Gaming World

2009 Game of the Year winner Batman: Arkham Asylum’s upcoming sequel “Batman: Arkham City,” recently announced the game’s soundtrack. Some heavy hitters from the music world such as Panic! At The Disco, Coheed and Cambria and Daughtry will be writing some original Batman–inspired material for the game. Arkham Asylum holds the Guinness World Record for “Most Critically Acclaimed Superhero Game Ever,” and Arkham City – although I’m not too sure about the soundtrack – looks even better.

The tracks are:

  1. Panic! At The Disco – Mercenary
  2. Coheed and Cambria – Deranged
  3. The Duke Spirit – Creature
  4. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Shadow On The Run
  5. Blaqk Audio – Afterdark
  6. The Raveonettes – Oh, Stranger
  7. ††† (Crosses) – The Years
  8. The Damned Things – Trophy Widow
  9. Daughtry – Drown In You
  10. The Boxer Rebellion – Losing You
  11. Serj Tankian – Total Paranoia

(12. A Place to Bury Strangers – In The Shadow – Collector’s Edition Bonus Track)

The collector’s edition of Arkham City will include a download code for the whole album, plus the bonus track. The soundtrack hits shelves on Oct. 4, while the game itself drops Oct. 18.

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