Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm prepares for launch with 21 hour livestream

Phil Savage at

In the run up to Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm's release later today, Blizzard are hosting a 21-hour global livestream of launch events, community features and the final of the Day[9] hosted King of the Beta tournament. Those wanting to watch the full event will need to stock up on a body destroying amount of caffeine - the Irvine launch event, including the tournament final, doesn't kick off until 4am GMT.

How to find a StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm launch event near you

T.J. Hafer at

Much as we've all had a love-hate relationship with brick and mortar game stores, some of my fondest memories as a PC gamer have been lining up in the freezing cold with dozens of other gamers to grab the next big collector's edition at midnight on launch day. If you're hoping to have that experience with Heart of the Swarm, Blizzard has created a dedicated page to find launch events in your area.

Day[9]'s bright idea to grow the StarCraft 2 eSports scene: high school leagues

Evan Lahti at

StarCraft 2's longtime player/commentator/ambassador Sean "Day[9]" Plott is one of the best interviews in gaming. He's universally candid, positive, relatable, and unlike some game developers, he's got nothing to hide. He's also full of good ideas—another one of which was mentioned last weekend to GameSpot during the World Championship in Shanghai. In that interview, Mr. 9 was asked to look into the long, six- or seven-year future of StarCraft, and tell us what he'd like to see in such a crystal ball. His response: StarCraft in high schools.

Team Fortress 2 charity tournament roster announced: Day[9], Valve, Notch, and more

Evan Lahti at

The good people at TF2 Mixup (actually a collaboration between Gamers United, Vanilla TF2, eXtv, and Kritzkast) are gathering another League of Extraordinary Internet People to fight for the benefit of children in Team Fortress 2. Announced today, the line-up includes StarCraft 2 emissary Day[9], TF2 creator Robin Walker, YouTuber Freddie Wong, Notch, Counter-Strike pro cArn, and me, apparently.

Firefall Fest starts next week, livestreams to feature Day[9], Wil Wheaton, Nathan Fillion

Tyler Wilde at

Next week from October 22-27, Firefall's developers will be livestreaming the game with celebri-guests such as Day[9], Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day, and Nathan Fillion. Two three-hour streams will run every day from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. with a new guest for each. There are prizes, too, because when are there not? Viewers will have the chance to win an AMD gaming desktop, Razer Blade gaming laptop, and other things one might use for PC gaming.

StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm videos show new multiplayer units in action

Tom Senior at

Here they are, the new multiplayer units we'll be getting to grips with in StarCraft 2's first expansion, Heart of the Swarm. They're a tricky bunch to be sure. The zerg have a new breed of burrower that churns out malicious slugs FOREVER. Their snake-like fliers can drag distant units away with their tongues. The Protoss Oracle can encase minerals in a glowing forcefield of denial, and the new Battle Hellions can transform into close combat robots. You can get a closer look at how the Protoss and Zerg units will work in a match context with this battle report video spotted by Evil Avatar, shoutcasted by Day9 and Blizzard's Rob Simpson. Those long-range Protoss Tempest ships look strong.

The Week in eSports (3/16/12)

Rob Zacny at

As we head into the last weekend before the MLG Winter Championship in Columbus next weekend (and hot on the heels of the IEM tournament) a small group of players are gathered at Full Sail University in Orlando for the Red Bull LAN. It's one part mini-camp, with high-level StarCraft players working on ways to improve their game and get ready for upcoming competitions, and one part exhibition tournament. Quantic's Kim "SaSe" Hammar and Johan "NaNiwa" Lucchesi will be there, along with Evil Geniuses' Lee "Puma" Ho Joon and Park "JYP" Jin Young and a number of other strong competitors. Sean "Day[9]" Plott and Marcus "DjWHEAT" Graham will be there as well. You can read more about the Red Bull Lan over at Team Liquid, where Day[9] gets into a little more detail.

I've never seen one of these, and I'm really interested in the "training camp" aspect of the Red Bull LAN. As I've watched more competitive gaming, what I find most impressive is the mental endurance and resilience on display at the highest levels of play. Playing brilliantly in a match is one thing, but having to sustain that over the course of a weekend and dozens of matches is another. I'm hoping the coverage coming out of the Red Bull LAN gets into that a bit.

Oh, and if you have some time to kill, why not watch the SC2 final from IEM last week, between MC and Puma, posted at the top.

PCG US Podcast #280: Not California (+ an interview with Day9!)

PC Gamer at

This week, Evan, Dan, Josh, and Lucas circle the wagons to address new cyberpunk FPS Hard Reset and 2K's recent comments that "strategy isn't contemporary" in light of its changes to XCOM. Josh recalls his pool party-filled time at SOE's Fan Faire and tells us his impressions on PlanetSide 2, and Evan tells us what a great time he's having on our new GoldenEye: Source server, tackles Tribes: Ascend, and more!

At the end of the podcast, Lucas sits down with one of PC gaming's most-loved men, Sean "Day9" Plott, to talk eSports, why attacking in StarCraft 2 is good, and his favorite card game.

PC Gamer US Podcast 280: Not California

The Sunday Video Pwn

Matt Purslow at

Two new Duke Nukem trailers hit the web this week. One covers the history of one of PC gaming's most recognisable characters, but it's the above video that had me scratching my chin the most. Duke Nukem Forever is actually going to get released, which is great, but I cant help but feel that Gearbox are pushing just a little too hard. The above trailer is amusing, but I can't shake the awkward feeling of misogyny that seems to ooze from it. Is pixelated pornography a step too far, or is it just harmless fun? Debate in the comments.

The week in PC gaming video

Matt Purslow at

At PC Gamer, we love StarCraft. A lot. When we're not playing StarCraft, we're probably thinking about it, or watching it online. We love Day9's daily updates. Here, Day9's normally cheeky little face is removed from sight with the death of his webcam, and thus our hero must resort to other options. Naturally, many comic moment ensue.