How my idea became Minecraft's biggest tournament

Scott Major holding up an MCC coin at his desktop setup
Scott Major organises MCC, Minecraft's most popular tournament [Scott Major]

Scott Major organises the biggest tournament in Minecraft - the world's best-selling video game.

The MC Championship, known as MCC, returns this weekend with some of the game's most popular online personalities from across the world.

It began as a small idea in the head of the 28-year-old Scottish YouTuber, who says he was shocked when it reached the size it did.

Scott's event reached a record audience during Covid lockdown, when more than 900,000 viewers watched online.

The MCC lobby in Minecraft - full of players and bright colours.
The tournament quickly grew in size during the pandemic, as players returned to the game [Noxcrew]

With space for 40 competitors, Scott said he was suddenly "batting away people with a stick” who wanted to take part.

It all began in 2019 when Scott, known online as 'dangthatsalongname', wanted a new kind of Minecraft tournament - that was well-run and not too competitive.

"We try to focus on fun, so there is no prize money for winning," he says.

The winner gets a pixelated in-game trophy, commemorative coin and ultimate bragging rights.

He spoke with his friend ‘Noxite’ - the founder of Nottingham-based, Noxcrew - who create Minecraft content.

And within months the first Minecraft Championship was born.

It is broadcast live on YouTube, Twitch and other streaming platforms.

Players building with colour
The tournament puts Minecraft content creators to the test once a month [Noxcrew]

Scott says MCC was "regularly praised" when it began, but as it grew in size and ambition it brought new challenges.

Some Minecraft content creators, even Scott's close friends, were on a waiting list for more than a year to get involved

"Suddenly it flipped and that was mentally taxing", he says.

"Even though it’s just people online and it’s just words, eventually it does take a toll and it’s hard to only read the good comments.

"I got severe anxiety through the online space," he said.

Scott attributes much of the criticism he received to the pressures of lockdown.

"I’m an openly gay content creator and I grew up in the west of Scotland, so I had pretty thick skin growing up," he says.

"But suddenly there were these people who didn’t like me, and my existence was shown to them on a monthly basis."

Scott considered quitting several times when he says it began to impact his mental health.

“We don’t get paid for MCC, it’s done by our own love and drive for the game."

"Even though I would have people harassing me, the creators I knew and were interacting with were telling me how fun it was.

"That’s what brings people from different communities together and lets them form friendships that they wouldn’t have been able to do before," he said.

Scott said MCC made the previously separated Minecraft community feel more like one.

The tournament was like a "world-colliding moment," Scott said.

“That was always my goal – bringing the community together."

Selfie at Twitch con
Scott and friends at the first in-person MCC event in Las Vegas 2023 [Scott Major]

Minecraft was released by Mojang Studios in November 2011 and has now sold over 300m copies.

The building block game has a huge following among children and adults due to its sandbox nature - meaning if you can imagine it, you can create it.

During MCC players take part in eight different games in teams of four.

Some are influenced by other games like bingo, Mario Kart and the TV gameshow "Hole in the Wall".

"Noxcrew build video games inside Minecraft," he adds. "It’s taking Minecraft to its limits of what it can do.

MCC's decision dome
MC Championship uses custom textures to customise the Minecraft game [Noxcrew]

Scott organises the MCC teams and creator talent, while Noxcrew - a company of over 30 staff - runs the operational and development side of the event.

They use custom models, sounds and textures to transform Minecraft into an immersive gameshow.

Noxcrew co-owner Joe Arsenault said MCC started at the perfect time during the pandemic, just before the first lockdown.

"The Minecraft tsunami exploded and the game got really popular again," says Joe

He describes MCC as "an entertainment project, disguised as a competition".

"It would be challenging to host something that’s really intensely competitive and has the integrity you need to be an e-Sport," Joe adds.

"Minecraft's a goofy game, it's just a block guy with facial hair who punches trees with fists – its ridiculous and we just accept that it's fine."

One MCC competitor, FalseSymmetry, thinks the tournament has been good for the game [Katy (FalseSymmetry)]

MCC competitor FalseSymmetry (also known as Katy) was the first woman to win the tournament four times.

The 32-year-old has been a YouTuber in the Minecraft community for over 10 years and thinks the tournament had a positive impact on the game.

"Playing in MCC has always been an absolute blast," she says.

"I don’t think there have been any events I've played in that I haven’t enjoyed."

She adds: "It has helped bring consistency to competitive Minecraft games... as well as bringing so many creators together that otherwise may never have collaborated.

"The amazing community around the game is what has kept it going," she added.

After a five month hiatus, the tournament launches its fourth season on Saturday 4 May.

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