What’s that sound? Why, it’s the tap-tap-tapping of contestants duking it out in the Starcraft II World Championship Series! After months of blood, sweat and qualifying rounds, we finally get to see the top players go head-to-head with all of Heart of the Swarm's new units and strategies in the season one finals.
We're coming up on the biggest weekend for StarCraft II eSports in 2013 so far, with both the Korean and American WCS Season 1 finals concluding the first round of Blizzard's new, worldwide tournament format. The Korean finals between INnoVation and Soulkey will have already started by the time you read this, but you should be able to check out the WCS archives shortly after the broadcast. The American finals, beginning with the Round of 8, will run throughout the weekend.
A potential bank holiday scenario: You're halfway through a long weekend buried face-deep in a monitor, blasting through some games. Then, all of a sudden, your body kicks you out of the digitally enhanced stupor, complaining of aching fingers and a distended bladder. Look, you're getting older. There's no shame in that. Luckily, with the WCS Europe Season One finals, due to take place this weekend, Blizzard can help you extend that gaming marathon through the vicarious thrill of watching professionals at work.
Last week, we got a look at the format for the 2013 StarCraft II World Championship Series in the North America region. Today, Blizzard released a detailed explanation of the global prize pools and point system for the new face of top-level competition. If you like eSports, looking at large sums of money, and purple-tinted infographics, this might be the most personally relevant thing you read today.
With the announcement of the new, unified World Championship Series for StarCraft II, the structure of competitive play is going through a lot of changes. Here in North America, Blizzard is partnering up with Major League Gaming to crown a continental champion using a format similar to South Korea's GSL. It can be a little confusing at first glance, so we've broken it down into a simple, straightforward explanation.
We're fast approaching the launch of Blizzard's unified Starcraft 2 eSports league, the 2013 World Championship Series. The WCS Korea is already underway, and within the next few weeks, both WCS Europe and WCS America will be providing free streamed Heart of the Swarm matches for viewers worldwide. Today they've announced the kick-off dates for each part of the upcoming season, and revealed the adjusted selection process being used to pick the inaugural competitors.
IPL, IGN's in-house eSports league, has been in limbo since restructuring earlier this year, when IGN expressed that it would no longer be operating the organization. Rumors of potential buyers abounded, but today, Blizzard Entertainment announced that it has locked in a deal for "technology and assets" from IPL to support "online content initiatives." A number of former IPL employees will be joining Blizzard's eSports team, while some others will be forming a new team "creating high-quality web and mobile content in support of Blizzard games."