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.
To give a quick recap: The WCS will have an upper "Premier" tier, corresponding to South Korea's GSL Code S (which is now the WCS Korea Premier League), and a lower "Challenger" tier, which corresponds to the GSL Code A. Since this is the first season of the new format, there will also be a Qualifying league for Premier this season, to fill out the bracket of 32 from the 24 invited players from a given region. For a more detailed breakdown, look no further than our post from last week .
The total prize pool for 2013 adds up to $1.6 million, with the largest chunk ($100,000) going to the 2013 World Champion, and a hefty $40,000 going to each of the three, regional Premier League champions in each season. Thus, if you have what it takes to win all three of your regional Premier League Season Finals and the Global Finals this year, you could make $220,000 playing StarCraft on prize money alone. That's about $50,000 more than a U.S. Senator.
As players battle it out for spots in each season's Premier League finals, they will also be earning ranking points based on their placement at each competition. At the end of the three seasons that comprise the 2013 WCS, points will be tallied from all three regions to determine who will move on to the 2013 Global Finals, where the first StarCraft 2 WCS World Champion (under the new system) will be crowned.
You'll also notice that Blizzard has left open the ability for non-WCS tournaments, like DreamHack, to award WCS ranking points in fairly generous amounts. What differentiates a Tier 1 and a Tier 2 third-party tournament, we're not sure yet. The official site states that third-party tournaments will have to go through "a formal approval process with the Blizzard eSports team" to be granted the ability to award WCS points.
League play for the Korean WCS Season 1 has already begun. Europe and America are to follow on the 23rd and 28th, respectively. We'll keep you posted all year on when and where to watch the WCS. You can also get more info on Blizzard's dedicated eSports page .