Breaking Down the New MLG Website
The new MLG website was previewed on yesterday’s Old Spice Report. I’m excited to see the new changes in the works, considering my disdain for the site’s current state. In case you missed it, here are some screenshots taken directly from the Old Spice Report of the new website. You can add any suggestions over at the LAB on the MLG website. This took me quite awhile to get all nice and pretty so let’s analyze:
The new interface across the site will be universal, duly noted by the interface across the top and the new universal login. The MLG homepage has what most bloggers would consider a “magazine” styled front page. The current site has an image with a slider on the front page that links to an individual article when clicked. The new website looks to retain the same picture driven article posts in the upper portion of the site. On the right hand side you’ll notice the universal login and “Explore MLG,” likely an introduction to the league (Note: Visit Rookie Orientation).
The middle-center of the page houses both the “quick preview” of the video section as well as “MLG Network News.” On the left we can see a “Contests and Promotions” and underneath that are the “Live Competitions.” A cool new function looks to be the “Featured Player” located on the right side of the page. It will apparently showcase/highlight individuals for their successes.
MLG Universal Profile Page
I am going out on a limb and saying that these profile pages are mimicking some Social Networks out there such as Facebook with a little bit of Foursquare. The trophy and ranking system, located in that big blue box, looks like it houses Trophies and “Badges” (hello Foursquare) while highlighting the individual’s “Arena Rank.” Other people browsing your page will be able to:
- Add you as a Friend (hello Facebook)
- Send you a message
- Recruit you
- Block you
- View your reputation
- View your blast message (Hello Status Update)
- Challenge player
- Current game you’re playing
The upper right-hand corner shows, a profile picture and your online status, alerts, teams, matches, messages, credits, and a chat feature. Underneath those two areas, you’ll notice a heavy Facebook influence with a Wall and status updates, via “sharing.” That tab, like Facebook’s tab, allows you to scroll between several other options:
- Wall (More Facebook Action)
- View Matches
- Free Agent Status
- Photos and Videos
On the right sidebar column there is something that looks like the Facebook “boxes” that you often see on profiles. On Facebook those boxes house your Friends, Applications, and general things you “Like.” I’m not sure if MLG is doing something similar with the “Likes” but there is a Teams, Friends, Groups, and Recent Forum Posts all on the right side of the bar.
Overall I feel like they should have just incorporated more actual Facebook elements into the profiles versus creating something like this. Having to re-upload pictures/video, add friends, “like” teams, and join groups seems redundant. The blatant Facebook rip is a little obvious after further analysis. Furthermore they probably paid quite a bit of money when they could have added the Social element by incorporating these things that Facebook already allows through their Developer API.
You would think that MLG would also add more Twitter integration, there doesn’t appear to be anything I can see on these photos, considering the growing #MLG Twitter community.
The Gamebattles page appears to be simplified — Thank YOU!! The top navigation bar has a similar Gamebattles look with the following:
- Online Competitions Home (Home Page)
- My Teams
- My Arenas
- All Tournaments
The upper image looks like a Flash slider that can quickly switch between the Arena, Platform (Xbox 360, PS3, etc.), Competitions, and Ladders. When looking for a match you can simply click the “Find Match” button located on the center image.
The meat of the page has some familiar Gamebattles elements. They include:
- General Info
- Ladder Rankings
- Arena Rankings
- Hall of Fame
- Support and FAQs
One major element I hope to see is integration between Gamebattles and the actual games. I hope MLG is trying to work on bringing the GB ladders to certain competitive titles.
MLG.TV goes live sometime this month, so I won’t break it down. It’s just the same as any other video hosting site on the net. To be honest, I cannot really get excited about MLG.TV, especially considering I can post videos, as a YouTube partner and receive more benefits than what MLG provides through their video outlet. I would love to be able to have a sit down with a ton of the other Pro Players and explain to them the benefits of using a video service that would reward them for their game play or other videos versus populating a video site that does not.
One thing I am hoping they allow is for Pro Teams to schedule scrimmages that allow Pro Teams to Live Stream on their respective Profiles on the MLG Website. Whether that be through MLG.TV or some other Live Stream service. MLG uses currently uses LiveStream, previously named Mogulus, while most of the gaming community uses Justin.tv or Ustream.
I am happy that they are executing an intelligent plan for updating the website. On the competitive gaming side of things, MLG needed a huge overhaul in their presentation. Most of their online properties have remained relatively unchanged for several years. When compared to other web tech companies, like say Facebook, that is a big NO-NO. Facebook has retained it’s core vision, but the site has gone through some dramatic changes. Twitter, like all the others, is on the verge of going on its massive overhaul.
Knowing all I do about the tech world and seeing that MLG is just now implementing a few of these things, lets me know they pay attention too albeit a little slow. I really think they need to look at working out deals with live streaming services for Pro Teams and working on getting those players involved with revenue generating online sources. I believe I am the only Pro player that is an active YouTube Partner (I tweeted I received my first Google Check). I am in no way the most popular past or present Pro Player, but using outlets that do not benefit the Pro Players is a mistake.
Justin.tv is the most popular Live Streaming service, not Livestream (NOTE: Livestream costs too much money for average gamers to utilize). YouTube is the most popular video hosting site. Facebook is the largest social network and Twitter is a communication tool like no other. I believe the company should focus on incorporating more of those properties on the site, not attempting to duplicate elements from a space which has reached the point of non-displacement.
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