Virgin Gaming’s ‘Premium’ subscription service gives amateur gamers another way to spar for cash

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Virgin Gaming is attempting to grow its eSports business with a new “Virgin Gaming Premium” subscription service that eliminates per-match fees while providing members with a host of other services. Previously, the company’s income came largely from participants in wagered matches being required to pay a fee, along with tournament entry fees. Premium eliminates the wager match fee, and also includes free access to daily and weekly leaderboards as well as tournaments, for $4.99 per month. A subscription also includes the ability to create custom leagues, access to members-only help tools, and discounts from Virgin Gaming’s partners.

For those unfamiliar with eSports, Virgin Gaming offers a very different type of service than, say, Major League Gaming does. MLG is a professional sports organization devoted to bringing a curated selection of competition-driven video games into a tournament setting. Virgin Gaming, on the other hand, is more all-inclusive. While there’s the potential for anyone to get into a big-ticket MLG competition through skilled play, VG opens up that possibility to any takers. In addition to tournaments, players can go head-to-head in wager matches. It’s like getting together with your buddies to play poker, only replace the deck of cards with Halo or Madden or any other game supported by VG.

To put it another way: If MLG is the NFL equivalent in video games, Virgin Gaming is the Yahoo! Fantasy Sports equivalent. Anyone can play.

“Virgin Gaming Premium is a bigger, more enhanced version of our current service, with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and prizes, all new friend leagues, and partnerships with hot lifestyle brands,” Virgin Gaming CEO Robert Segal said in a prepared statement. “We believe we are fulfilling a unique need in games today by allowing friends to assemble their own private leagues and we are hard at work to deliver a world-class experience for all of our players.”

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