Because playing videogames and drinking Dr. Pepper is synonymous with being awesome.

Ironically piggybacking on this week’s news of the televised Championship Gaming Series getting canned, Dr. Pepper announced a sponsorship deal with Major League Gaming’s Tom “Tsquared” Taylor that will plaster the star videogame player’s mug on more than a hundred million bottles of Dr. Pepper next year.

In 2006, Taylor was signed to a multi-year, $250,000 contract with MLG to play videogames professionally. Yesterday, Dr. Pepper and the professional gaming league unveiled an expanded partnership revolving around Taylor and his gaming team “Str8 Rippin.” Through the arrangement, Taylor will be featured on approximately 175 million 20-ounce bottles of Dr. Pepper and Diet Dr. Pepper. The promotion begins in January 2009.

This deal marks the first time Dr. Pepper has featured any of its professional stars – sporting or otherwise – on its labels for national distribution. It’s odd the soft drink company chose someone who spends the large bulk of his time holding a controller and staring at a TV screen over a professional athlete or other celebrity figure.

“It is an amazing feeling to see my face on the new Dr. Pepper bottle,” said Taylor in a press statement. “I’m honored that Dr. Pepper has invested in Major League Gaming and put so much support behind me and my teammates.”

When he’s not fragging the hell out of everything that moves for practice or competition, Taylor also runs – wait for it – a tutoring service that teaches prospective gamers how to play certain videogames even better. Paying money for a game is one thing; paying money for someone to teach you how to play it well is ludicrous. Isn’t that what instruction manuals are for? Isn’t part of the fun of playing a game to get good at it on your own? Guess not.

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