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Blizzard “Leveling Up” Starcraft 2 Competitive Play

Today at a press conference in South Korea, Blizzard Entertainment announced a revamp to its StarCraft 2 World Championship Series, which debuted last year, working with partners to create three equal and parallel leagues in North America, Europe, and South Korea. More than $1.6 million in prize money will be up for grabs for players in 2013, and if you can’t make it to an event, you can catch it from home for free in glorious 720p on TwitchTV.

The world famous game company told the press that it will use both GomTV and OnGameNet in South Korea, Major League Gaming in North America, and Turtle Entertainment’s Electronic Sports League in Europe. There will be three separate seasons in 2013, each with regional finals and a season finals event. A unified global player ranking system will be established with points given to players at each event, culminating with the top 16 players vying for a spot to be called World Champion at the BlizzCon Global Finals.

Blizzard Entertainment CEO Mike Morhaime, in an interview with Gamespot had this to say about the brand new tournament system:

“I think we just look at the whole ecosystem and recognize that it could be a whole lot easier to understand.  There are scheduling conflicts that make players have to make difficult decisions where sometimes you don’t get people playing in the tournaments they think they should be playing in. It’s very hard to follow, to really know what the relative importance of winning various things are. I think it really falls to us, to Blizzard, we’re really the only company in position to work with everybody, to help create a single storyline in the ecosystem.”

Players in North America and Europe will be invited to kick off this first epic season based upon their performances from last year across all SC2 leagues. There will also be some open qualifiers to determine the final player list. On top of that, the top 200 Grand Masters players on the Starcraft 2 Ladder will be invited to join the initial qualifiers. So the competition is going to be quite fierce.

With everything announced, Blizzard feels this will be the best year yet for competitive Starcraft 2. With several developers giving support to the competitive side of their game as of late, Morhaime is thrilled to be able to do as much with their own franchise.

“We think the time is right to level up Starcraft 2 as an eSport.”

Do any of you play Starcraft 2 competitively?  Will you be making a run for world champion?