Watch The Starcraft UK Championships For No-Pennies

Let's take bets on how many seconds I'd last. And in the game.

I’m about as much use as toenails on a strawberry in terms of discussing StarCraft II’s popular, ladder-based multiplayer, so I’m sure you’ll be hanging upon the golden wisdom of my every word as I bring you news that the UK SC2 championships are being held at BAFTA this weekend. To be honest I mostly clicked through because it said ‘free tickets‘ and even though I now earn enough to have three square meals a week the f-word brings me running every time.

Orchestrated by the ESL, the championships involve 16 of the best qualifying players trying to outdo each other in the name of bagging $15k (first place geets $16k, then diminishing returns all the way down to a still-useful $250 for ranks 9 to 16) and a shot World Championship Series Europe Finals. It’s billed as the “UK’s biggest ever professional StarCraft II event” though I can well imagine bigger still will follow over the years.

And yes, you can apply for free tickets to see the showdown in person, or it’ll all be streamed on the internet if you can’t get to London/don’t think there’s quite enough stagecraft in pro-gaming to warrant the trip.

More details on who’s playing who and when, plus pictures of their very serious faces, are over here. It’s 15 chaps and just one chapette, so I’m going to root for her on anti-patriarchal principle. Though I also like the guy who decided that stuffing his face with a pack of crisps made for a imposing profile pic.

The whole shebang starts at 12.00 on Saturday June 30th and is done and dusted by 7pm on Sunday July 1st. There is some sort of sleep happening at some point in the middle, fear not.


  1. NieArch says:

    link to bracket, players and all that stuff.
    Imo lower bracket is waaaaaaaay harder than upper. And Demuslim vs Bling in round 2 kinda sucks, but oh well.

    • dillinger88 says:

      I actually know HighGaiN, he goes to the same Barcraft I do. The fact that Demuslim can be thrown off by weird play gives me a little confidence that HighGaiN could take a match or two off of him. Can’t wait to watch it though.

      With regards to tickets, they’ve been oversubscribed for ages and have already been assigned, so you won’t have much luck getting some now.

    • BlackestTea says:

      Thanks for the link! Liquipedia seems like always the best in terms of information-on-a-glance. It took me way longer navigating the official site to find this stuff – which makes me a bit sad. This should almost be included in the post. Also, Alec you probably meant 6k first prize money (16k out 15k might be overdoing things a little). Looking forward to watching this one, for sure. I know few of the players (with obvious excpetions in Bling and Demuslim), but it’s always exciting to me to see some fresh faces.

  2. Calneon says:

    Probably significant to say that Tastosis are casting it. If only I wasn’t in Scotland for a few months I would be so there.

  3. Fox89 says:

    I’ll be watching this. I suck at SC2 but I do really enjoy watching the pros. I was impressed that the SC2 World Championships managed to stay trending on twitter throughout Sunday when both the F1 and football were on.

    …not that twitter trends are actually important to anything of course. Just shows it’s getting more popular. Hooray for e-sports being recognised! Shame Apollo wont be competing or casting.

  4. Morangie says:

    My money is on hipster Gordon Freeman.

  5. Premium User Badge

    wsjudd says:

    Unfortunately the UK venue is so small that all tickets have already been given out. Applicants are being told to just show up and hope that they can get in – not ideal if you’re travelling for two hours to get to the venue. Massively disappointing – I would have loved to see Tasteless and Artosis in person.

  6. Vorphalack says:

    Tickets: free :)
    Train ticket: £75 return :(
    Food and drink: ~ £40 minimum :(
    Rented room, 5 days: ~ £200 minimum :(
    London t internal transport: ~ £30 minimum :(

    Overall score: -3 :(

    • Creeping Death says:

      This of course begs the question as to why you are staying in a hotel for 5 nights, when 1 would do at about £60-70

      London internal transport… about what… £12 these days for a travel card?
      Food drop by a tesco or something and stock up on snacks.
      The only thing I can’t dispute here is the train ticket (not knowing where you are coming from), but it’s still a hell of a lot cheaper than when I went to coventry. The return was around £150.

      • Vorphalack says:

        > ”when 1 would do at about £60-70”

        The cheapest BnB I could find was asking £40 a night. From the rest of my search that was a fairly competitive rate. If you know somewhere in London that only wants £70 for a 5 day stop then i’m sure people would love to hear about it. As for the food, I was budgeting for snacks from a supermarket. You can spend £40 in a weekend on food without even trying these days.

        But yeah, never ever book return tickets. Advance singles is almost always cheaper for any long distance journey. The return on the route I take would cost about £150, even advance.

    • Obc says:

      now this smiley score meter is something i can get behind ;)

  7. Lamb Chop says:

    Anticipating a Bling and DeMuslim finals means that they’re essentially playing a best of 3 of best of 3s with the tournament structure. JonnyRecco has been making a bit of splash lately too though (beat Sheth in TSL qualifying) and Zerg is relatively strong atm. DeMuslim looked really good against Ret last night in NASL.

    • marlin says:

      English…..any chance? ;-)

      • Koshinator says:

        I understood it perfectly

      • Stijn says:

        Bling, Demuslim, JohnnyRecco, Sheth and Ret are Starcraft 2 players. TSL is another tournament, for which qualifiers have been played over the course of the past few weeks (and a few more weeks to come). Zerg is one of the three races a player can choose in the game. NASL is a league for which the playoffs were recently played.

  8. FionaSarah says:

    Really upset by this, I’m super busy this weekend – the first weekend for months that I’ve had plans. So what happens? My favourite casters and my favourite player are in London for an SC2 event. Of course.

    • Koshinator says:

      Who is casting? (never mind.. found it – geez the esl’s page is hard to navigate easily)

  9. McDan says:

    This is a shame it falls on a super busy weekend for me, me and a coupe of friends would find this really great, oh well. There are other games. Also Alt-text he-yo! You are such a card Alec.

  10. SkittleDiddler says:

    I thought it was a myth perpetrated by Blizzard that people not of Korean descent also enjoy watching these things. I guess I was wrong.

  11. jrodman says:

    Let me know when they have this working in-client.

    • Milky1985 says:

      Why would you want to have an entire game loaded just to watch a match?

  12. Milky1985 says:

    The free tickets are already gone, the last of em were handed out last week and unless yuo applied before about the 14th you weren’t getting (i applied 14th :/)

    You can still get in on the door if theres no shows so thats my plan for sunday (assuming bling and demuslim are still in it).

    Just need to finda barcraft for saturday!