Blizzard Crafts One SCII Championship To Rule Them All

By Nathan Grayson on April 5th, 2012 at 8:33 am.

Proving once and for all that the height of evolution is the DOOMSDAY LASER.
E-sports are complicated – and not just because they involve phrases like “300 actions per minute.”  Planet Earth, you see, is broken up into these colossal rocks – oft-believed to be kept afloat by a colorful assortment of giant sea turtles – called continents. And within these continents are countries, states, cities, and provinces, each with their own rich cultures and unique perspectives. Which is terrible, because that makes it nearly impossible to answer the most important question of all: Who’s best at StarCraft? Happily, Blizzard’s proposed a solution.

It’s called the Battle.net World Championship, and it’s set to be “ the culmination of more than 30 eSports events run by Blizzard and tournament organizers” – putting it safely outside the Loneliest Numbers range, occupied by one, two, and their collective tears. So, how does it work? Blizzard’s official announcement summarized it as follows:

“The goal of the StarCraft II World Championship Series is to identify a true global champion, as players enter and qualify through open tournaments starting at the national level. The National Championships are designed to allow local heroes to rise to the top and be recognized in their country. The top finishers at each National Championship will earn spots at their continental Finals events, which will be an all-out brawl between neighboring countries to decide who will represent their continent at the Battle.net World Championship.”

National qualifiers, meanwhile, will allow intrepid masters of the StarCraft craft to shine from, well, just about anywhere. Described as “the most open opportunity to participate in a global-scale tournament that Blizzard Entertainment has ever put forth,” they’ll encourage local tournaments to award national spots at organizers’ discretion. Nab a spot, and Blizzard will handle travel expenses – possibly in the form of a catapult to superstardom.

Sounds positively wild, honestly. Start dates and prize pools will be announced “soon,” but until then, get a feel for the stories these things can spawn here. Now raise those stakes with the entire free world.

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36 Comments »

  1. namad says:

    how come RPS doesn’t report on the GSL? blizzard has never been the authority on e-sports or championships… lots of people have put on lots of tournaments… you can only really determine if a tournament was really a measure of the best of the best, AFTER it’s over, not before… there’ve been lots of tournaments over time and how much seriousness and importance gets placed on them… it’s something you have to earn, after the fact, blizzard doesn’t have it automatically just because they made the game… most global championships that first determine national championships end up becoming a joke, like the WCG that got run, and was a giant joke to the e-sports community, a travesty, prove this is different, or at least report this sort of news less biased.

    • starclaws says:

      Ya I’d love it if RPS branched into eSports more. Gotfrag had potential but fell out. A whole section could be devoted just to eSports. Copenhagen is running now as well as EvoSport Proleague. GSL/GSTL is nearly always running and there are tons of minor tournaments all the time that many people don’t even know about for most games.

      As for Blizzard building a International tournament. The only problem is Korean players might not be represented properly unless they get in the open tournament slots.

      • Fietfire says:

        You should check out http://esfiworld.com for eSports news. I know that RPS has a good relationship with them, and post updates every once in a while showing the recaps of some major ESFI coverage.

  2. Stevostin says:

    Well if you want to know who’s the champ’, there are stuff like this :

    http://www.gosugamers.net/starcraft2/rankings

    gosugamers ranking was pretty spot on for WC3. I lost track a bit with SC2 and the way it works makes sure that if there’s a great deal of national tournaments then the ranking will push up countries hosting most of them (Korea anyone ?). If you watch individual encounter story for each player that seems to be the case here : not a lot of Euro / Korea games, and not one sided when they occure.

    I wonder… International games were more common in WC3. Why not here ? Maybe because of SC2 success in Korea ?

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      Stephano’s zerg play is mind blowing, any zerg players should watch Day9′s recent videos on him

    • jjujubird says:

      Those rankings aren’t perfect but at least the top 10 has most of the names it should (perhaps not in the right order) and #1 is definitely correct.

  3. tomeoftom says:

    I don’t understand the localisation of e-sports coverage. What does it matter where players are from? Shouldn’t you just go straight to the best and most interesting players? Why are people so averse to watching Korean players, especially when the english commentary from Tastosis is so good?

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      I think the idea is less to reassert that one of the amazing Korean players is the best than it is to bring a wider range of people into the championships so that countries where there is relatively little e-sports get a chance to compete and be drawn into the community.

    • jjujubird says:

      I love watching all high-level play. Koreans do some especially cool things. I liked Day9/wheat a tad more than Tastosis for the MLG casts, although both teams are great. Even JP and Simpson weren’t horrid, although I think Simpson is definitely the weakest caster of the 6.

  4. Bork Titflopsen says:

    I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of fanboys suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

  5. pkt-zer0 says:

    Is there any particular reason why people like reusing this same pre-alpha screenshot for all SC2-related articles? It’s a bit weird.

    • Groove says:

      This, so many times.

      You may as well use some fan art, or a screenshot of SC1, for how little this shot represents the game.

      • jimmm25 says:

        Is that this screenshot is? I guess that explains why I was wondering how those warp prisms learned how to shoot.

        • Groove says:

          Those warp prism-like units are early sentries.

          The more you know!

    • Khemm says:

      Speaking of pre-release screenshots. Why does the final version look worse in many ways?
      http://gamezblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Starcraft-2-Terrans2.jpg
      Terran structures used to look much better if you ask me, more detailed.

      • Premium User Badge beekay says:

        “More detailed” doesn’t mean “better,” especially in a game which is largely designed for serious competitive play.

      • Groove says:

        Whether they look better or not is a subjective opinion, but old-build terran structures were not more detailed.

        Compare this to the factory in your picture, if anything it’s gained detail by having better textures:

        http://www.theuen.com/images/buildings/factory.jpg

      • jjujubird says:

        They probably went for a less detailed approach to minimize lag, since a lot of people play the game on old machines. I think they did an amazing job of balancing low sys reqs with the game still looking good. The game looks great even with the simpler art.

        Another thing to consider is that huge battles with each unit being meticulously detailed will make it harder for the players to see what’s going on because it’s too busy. This could actually make it harder to micro.

    • Sic says:

      This is far later than alpha. It’s basically some time before beta.

      Still, of course, your point stands.

  6. oahqnam8045 says:

    I had play starcraf many year ago, and now i still love it. I spend about 5~6 hour each day to play starcraf and warcraf. Blizzard game is the best
    game avatar moi nhat

  7. MrMud says:

    I will just say it, this is dumb.
    The SC2 talent pool is vastly concentrated to a few countries (mainly korea) and if they only get to send one or two people to a big finals that also includes people from scrub countries then the finals will be a joke.

    • Premium User Badge MonkeyMonster says:

      but this is the point – we know lots of koreans are good, but if there are singular countries that might have a rising star who does deserve some focus – by stopping the vast majority of quarter, semi’s and the final etc from being from a few countries then surely good thing. It may be a total whitewash – it might not. It will be more interesting to a non-massive fan (moi) to see how the rest of the world does bear up against the asia juggernaut.

    • jjujubird says:

      I agree with both comments. To accurately find the best players then yes, it absolutely would be best to have pool/open play with as many people as possible included from all countries. Narrow it down from there, regardless of regional distribution. If 12 koreans make it but only 5 europeans or americans, so be it.

      However from an intrigued spectator’s perspective it will be fun to see some new faces/new strats that we may not have seen before from unexpected directions.

      • MrMud says:

        The problem is that you will end up with a grand finals tournament filled with bad games.
        Are games between the best players in the world against some diamond player from Nigeria really going to be that interesting?

  8. Teronfel says:

    Good idea,finally Blizzard getting more involved with e-sports.

  9. clumsyandshy says:

    Time to get serious then, just bought the game two days ago and loving it so far. Maybe I’ll have to wait till’ next years tournament though…

  10. jjujubird says:

    That screenshot! Very old, must be from alpha/beta or something.
    The graphics are different for the almost all the buildings (most notably the bunkers) and some of the units (sentries and stalkers). Also you see the medics from the campaign.

  11. DK says:

    Wow now that’s irony. The very same Blizzard that won’t let people from different countries play Starcraft 2 together hosting a “global” tournament. Do they even know what the word means?

    • Groove says:

      They have region locks in place because the high-level game just isn’t possible at the kind of latency you get playing someone on the other side of the world.The tournament will require physically moving everyone together to make the game playable.

      • Unaco says:

        So the Region locking is for the ‘high level’ game? What about me and a couple, casual IRC friends, in US and Europe… why can’t we play together? We don’t really care about that extra 50-100ms.

        • Groove says:

          Because you touch yourself at night.

          (I’m not blizzard, I don’t know. I just know that’s why they don’t have world-wide ladders)

      • DK says:

        It’s yet another limitation no-one asked for, justified by a problem that Blizzard invented just so they could had something to “solve”, with the end result of having to pay Blizzard protection money if you wanna play with all your friends.

        “So you wanna play with that american? That’s gonna cost you extra. Oceans are awefully big. Those tiny packets need escorts. $$$”