StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

Watch this Starcraft 2 game NOW

Rich Stanton at

Fans of e-Sports rejoice! We've got lots of exclusive coverage coming up in the next few months. Keep your eyes on the site for updates. But, just to get you prepared, here's a teaser: one of the best Starcraft 2 matches we've ever seen.

Great sporting moments are also great human moments. Tears, incredible fightbacks, and skin-of-the-teeth survival in the face of overwhelming odds – this Starcraft 2 match, from the semi-finals of the GSL's World Championship, has it all and then some.

Best of all, it's free to watch. But fair warning: the World Championship has now finished, and if you haven't watched past the quarter-final stage and want to avoid spoilers, don't click through. If you're up for some incredible action, though, join us through the link.

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 rise of a StarCraft 2 pro: Team Dignitas Gamersearch

Tom Senior at

Eight nervous young men peer through the windows of HMV Gamerbase in London, waiting for the shutters to open. They are the best StarCraft 2 players in the country, and they're about to compete in a tournament that could change their lives. By the end of the day, one of them will become a pro gamer.

The first prize is a top of the range Alienware laptop and the top three contestents will take away a share of a £1950 prize pot. When asked why they entered the competition, none of the players mention the prizes. They're here for the opportunity to gain a contract with Team Dignitas, the biggest e-sports team in Britain. Joining them will mean a chance to compete with with the best StarCraft 2 players in the world.


Starcraft 2 mods get official release. New achievements and avatars up for grabs

Owen Hill at

We had a great time playing Blizzard's own Starcraft 2 mods when they were in beta, but now they've had an official release on the US servers (no sign of the updates on the EU ones yet though). Why should you care about them? Because a) they're fun to play and b) you can earn achievements and avatars, which could feasibly get you all kinds of Starcraft 2 street cred.

Read on for the details.


Heads-up: Major League Gaming finals on now

Rich McCormick at

The Sunday night question. How to wind down your weekend? Slippers and a giganto-cup of hot chocolate before drifting happily into slumberland? Or HARDCORE COMPETITIVE GAMING FOR MONEY?

The second one, obviously. Fortunately, if you're at a loose end now, you're just in time to tune into the Major League Gaming Dallas StarCraft II finals. The games have been rumbling on all weekend, with some of the world's best professionals going mouse-to-mouse, casted by delightful talky men Day[9] and djWHEAT. We've included a stream of the games below. Tune in right now, and you'll catch the second set of semi-finals, with the finals to follow at 7pm CST.


StarCraft 2 + Kinect = This

Tom Senior at

Blizzard have made a video showing what would happen if they brought Kinect support to StarCraft 2. Who else thinks this is a brilliant idea? Rich is excited, but he'll take anything that could potentially improve his APM.


The 5 StarCraft 2 players you should be watching – America & Europe

Spencer Wightman, TeamLiquid at

StarCraft 2 has revitalized one of PC gaming's best facets: the feeling of fandom. Live match streaming and YouTube broadcasting has spawned networks of bottomless competitive footage--if you haven't cheered at your keyboard for your favorite player as he makes an impossible Baneling Bust to turn the tide of a tournament, you're missing out. To encourage you to get involved, we've identified our five favorite "foreign" (i.e., not from Korea) SC2 professionals that deserve your spectating, fanmail and low-level worship.


The biggest name in e-sports heads stateside: SlayerS_BoxeR applies to join NASL

Rich Stanton at

Nicknames can say a lot: Lim Yo-Hwan, a man who plays Starcraft and Starcraft II as SlayerS_BoxeR, is nicknamed The Emperor. The story of Starcraft's phenomenal rise in South Korea, and in particular its emergence as an e-sport, is inextricably bound to Boxer's star-crossed career. Today, that career has taken a new turn and created the biggest transfer story in E-sports history.

SlayerS_BoxeR has applied to join the startup North American Star League. The NASL's inaugural season kicks off on Tuesday 5th April, a North American alternative to Korea's superb Global Starcraft League (GSL), with 50 players and a prize pool of $400,000 dedicated exclusively to Starcraft II. So why's Boxer applying? Click more for the details and his application video.


Intern Arena: Will SC2's expansions do more harm than good?

PC Gamer at

Once more, our interns enter the arena to debate to the death on gaming's latest happenings for your entertainment. But first, the thrilling finale to our previous Intern Arena:

Lucas stood victorious over Anthony's body. Anthony lay on the ground, a broken man, crimson blood dripping from his freshly-broken jaw. Lucas held his swordpoint to Anthony's throat, ready to deal the finishing slice that the fans were chanting for. But he hesitated, and instead hurled his sword into Josh Augustine’s chest, killing him instantly. "Are you not entertained?!" Lucas screamed, as Dan and Evan continued their work. "Is this not why you are here?!"

In the shadows, Anthony fought through the pain and crawled to safety, his shattered arms barely able to pull his lacerated body. With a grimace, he turned back to look at Lucas with a cold, hateful stare. "This...isn't...over," he whispered.


New to e-sports? The 10 best Starcraft 2 matches to watch now

Rich Stanton at

At GDC last week Dustin Browder, Starcraft II's lead designer, talked about how Blizzard's development was intensely focused on making the game an e-sport. One of the most interesting points he made is that an e-sport can't just work for its players: it also has to be interesting for spectators.

“We did anything we could to make this a more watchable viewing experience,” says Browder. Anyone obsessed by the intricacies of Starcraft II, and PC Gamer is guilty as charged, would say mission accomplished. But what if you're curious rather than obsessed? Don't know a drone from a battlecruiser? Where to start?

Over the following pages we'll take you through ten awesome games of Starcraft II, old and new, where you'll never see the same strategy twice. They showcase some of the world's top players, commentators, every race combination, and the majority of each race's units. Some of our favourite matches are on GOM.tv, but they require a paid-subscription to watch. Our picks are free for everyone.

We've taken the liberty of preparing a basic glossary, but we'll leave the rest in the capable hands of the casters. No excuses: stick the kettle on, sit back, and let's get ready to rumble.


Blizzard say making StarCraft 2 was "like inventing Basketball 2"

Tom Senior at

Blizzard have been talking about the art and design sacrifices they had to make to ensure that StarCraft 2 would work as an e-sport. The initial designs for the Zerg's monstrous Ultralisks had them filling the screen and towering over enemy units, but this was binned, along with designs for many more units, in the name of making the game easier to watch, and more balanced in competition.


Browder hints at Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm updates. Emphasises importance of e-sports

Owen Hill at

Blizzard designer Dustin Browder has given clues into what we can expect from Heart of the Swarm - the first expansion to Blizzard's Starcraft II. He also stated that the expansion will have as much of an e-sport focus as Wings of Liberty, and made a plea for gamers to embrace the new breed of spectator sport.


Blizzard thinks you're great. Makes video to prove it

Owen Hill at

World of Warcraft. Starcraft. Diablo. We're extremely glad that Mike Morhaime and Frank Pearce founded Blizzard 20 years ago. This video just popped up on Blizzard's youTube channel. Watch it and accept their thanks graciously.

What would you like to thank Blizzard for? I like cloaked Banshees best.


Getting to gold league in Starcraft 2

Rich McCormick at

There are some things I’m just no good at. Maths. Skateboarding. Washing my clothes and folding them up in a cupboard before I need them. Before StarCraft II was released, I had assumed its multiplayer segment would be added to this painful list.

My prior experience came secondhand; stories of Korean men fighting other Korean men at the speed of light. I watched a few videos. “Their poor wrists” was all I could think. People said words like ‘APM’ as if they were real things, made jokes about needing more pylons. Haha! What’s a pylon?

StarCraft II makes you play at least five practice matches before you’re allowed onto Battle.net’s permanently ranked ladder system. I tried one. I knew I’d lose.

I won. I won again. And again. I lost my fourth and fifth games, but we don’t talk about those. I was – as my placement in the silver league now confirmed – Not Bad At StarCraft II. For my spare time, that was bad news.


Blizzard "struggling" to create Battle.net Marketplace

Tom Senior at

Blizzard announced the Battle.net Marketplace at Blizzcon in 2009. The idea was to create a place where players could buy and sell mods and maps for StarCraft 2, but design lead Dustin Browder describes their status as "struggling".


New StarCraft 2 maps on the way, Heart of the Swarm will have separate ladder

Tom Senior at

Blizzard have been talking about Heart of the Swarm and the future of StarCraft 2, confirming that Heart of the Swarm will have its own multiplayer ladders when released, and revealing that a series of new official multiplayer maps for StarCraft 2 will arrive "in the next few weeks."


Some Starcraft II secrets revealed: "What league you’re in does not affect matchmaking"

Owen Hill at

Blizzard have begun to remove the shroud of mystery around Starcraft II's superb matchmaking system.

Click more for the details.


The best Starcraft II mods available now

Tom Senior at

Yesterday Blizzard revealed the three custom game modes they've designed using the StarCraft 2 editing tools. However good they turn out to be, they'll struggle to compete with the wealth of player-made offerings made over the past 6 months using the same kit. The community has done some amazing things. There are mods out there that can turn StarCraft 2 into a fully fledged RPG, a survival horror, a tower defence game or even a game of space combat. Read on for our pick of eight of the best.


Blizzard-made StarCraft II custom games now in beta

Matt Purslow at

Blizzard have made three new custom games available to beta test on Battle.net. The modes are still under development, but Blizzard are keen to get some feedback from the community. More details follow.


Starcraft II training ground opens in South Korea: "Drapes so nerds don't get hurt by the sun"

Owen Hill at

GOM TV have set up a house that's designed to help foreign players train up and eventually qualify for their Professional Starcraft League. Click through for Artosis' guided tour of the Seoul residence and an interview with "John The Translator." He seems like a nice guy.