Doritos and Major League Gaming Turn Consumer Dreams of Becoming Video Game Professionals Into Reality With New “Pro-Gaming Combine”

February 23, 2010

First-Ever Dedicated Amateur Gaming Competition Calls on Fans to Train and Test Skills for a Chance to Compete Alongside the Greatest Names in Gaming

NEW YORK and PLANO, Texas - Video game fans aspiring to become professional gamers now have an open door to pursue their passion.  Doritos tortilla chips, the bold, intense snack brand within PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division, and Major League Gaming (MLG), today unveiled the Pro-Gaming Combine – the first-ever nationwide skills challenge in competitive video gaming history.  Starting tonight at 7 p.m. EST, aspiring video game pros can log on to http://www.doritoscombine.com/ and purchase team passes from MLG for the debut Doritos MLG Pro-Gaming Combine in Nashville, Tennessee March 26-28, 2010.  Passes for individual players go on sale at 7:00 pm ET on Wednesday, February 24, 2010.

Full details about the Doritos MLG Pro-Gaming Combine are available at http://www.doritoscombine.com/, including specifics about the combine format and other upcoming events.  Starting next week fans can also begin to test and hone their skills online in preparation for the first Combine event.

DORITOS MLG PRO-GAMING COMBINE DATES & LOCATIONS
• March 26-28, 2010 Nashville, Tennessee
• May 14-16, 2010 Chicago, Illinois
• July 23-26, 2010 Denver, Colorado
• October 15-17, 2010 Washington, DC

The Doritos MLG Pro-Gaming Combine is a first-of-its-kind initiative, bringing together thousands of amateurs with MLG Pros and League officials across America.  The partnership provides aspiring gamers with a rigorous testing ground that showcases their skills and an opportunity to further gain exposure through MLG’s thriving community of players.

“The partnership with MLG began last year with the goal of bringing pro football’s combine concept to the competitive video game world,” said Rudy Wilson, vice president, marketing, Frito-Lay.  “We know our fans are passionate about video games so naturally we’re excited to be able to bring this program to life.  Putting consumers in control and providing access to what they love most has always been our mantra and it’s exciting to think that the Pro-Gaming Combine will help make professional gaming dreams a reality for many.”

At each three-day Combine, more than 1,200 players will be evaluated by the League in key areas including: slaying power, teamwork/communication, leadership, objective play and support play.  Players who exhibit superior performance in those categories will be called out for more rigorous evaluation by the MLG Scout Team.  Throughout the weekend, players and spectators will have an opportunity to jump into a game with MLG’s Pros and Scouts to show off their skills.  A total of eight Combine winners will be chosen, which will consist of the top four-person team and four individual players.  Each winner will receive:


• $500 cash prize
• Roundtrip airfare of up to $500 per trip to attend the MLG Pro Circuit Event and National Championship Competition (pending eligibility for Doritos Finals Event)
• 3-days lodging to attend the MLG Pro Circuit Event; team pass; ability to play on a Feature Station
• Free entry into the Halo 3 Pro Circuit Event; opportunity to purchase reserved team pass
• Profile page on Doritos MLG Pro-Gaming Combine Web site
• The ability to play on a Feature Station at the upcoming Pro Circuit Competition
• Gaming prize package, including Astro Gaming Headset, Flip Video™ Camera and more
• Combine winner jersey

The series of nationwide Combine events will culminate at the Finals Event, where four players will receive MLG pro status.  Details on the finals and the designation process will be released in the near future.

“Like any other sport, the transition from aspiration to ‘living the dream’ in professional video gaming is very difficult—it takes experience in different competitive environments, training with the better players, hard work, and sometimes a lucky break,” said Sundance DiGiovanni, co-founder and chief brand officer of Major League Gaming.  “We’re thrilled to partner with Doritos to make the competitive video game landscape bigger and better, offering a meaningful platform for up and coming players to find out how good they are and if they have what it takes to stand with the best.”

The partnership between Doritos and MLG is one of many ways the Doritos brand continues to bring its fans access to unparalleled experiences.  The brand’s commitment to fan-empowerment began with the Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” program which has turned the brand’s Super Bowl advertising over to its fans for the last four years.  In addition, Doritos has put consumers in control through a variety of other exciting opportunities in gaming, including its “Unlock Xbox” challenge where fans compete to have their Xbox LIVE® Arcade game concept developed and made available for download worldwide; and the most recent partnership announcement with EA SPORTS to give fans voting power over the next Madden NFL 11 cover athlete.

ABOUT FRITO-LAY
Frito-Lay North America is the $12 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY.  In addition to Frito-Lay, PepsiCo business units include Pepsi-Cola, Quaker Foods, Gatorade and Tropicana. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate Web site, http://www.fritolay.com/, the Snack Chat blog, http://www.snacks.com/ and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/fritolay.

PepsiCo offers the world’s largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 18 different product lines that each generate more than $1 billion in annual retail sales.  Our main businesses – Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade – also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in over 200 countries.  With more than $43 billion in 2008 revenues, PepsiCo employs 198,000 people who are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose.  By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide.  For more information, please visit http://www.pepsico.com/.

ABOUT MAJOR LEAGUE GAMING
Founded in 2002, Major League Gaming (MLG) is the dominant media property exclusively targeting the approximately 40 million consumers in North America who have a passion for playing video games as a competitive social activity. The company exclusively represents the best professional gamers and gives millions of aspiring gamers around the world an opportunity to compete, improve their skills, and socialize through our thriving online competitive community and live Pro Circuit competitions. For more information: www.mlgpro.com.