Blizzard has formulated new StarCraft II WCS 2017 changes that should breathe life into the game’s falling esports narrative.
Having heard the community’s feedback this year, the developer is switching gears for the next competitive season. In order to expand its audience reach, Blizzard has decided to bring multiple global events that pave way to the 2017 StarCraft II World Championship Series.
According to an announcement posted over the weekend, the developer will be working with multiple organizations next year. The collaboration sees AfreecaTV and its Global StarCraft II League (GSL), DreamHack and Electronic Sports League (ESL).
AfreecaTV is primed to host three GSL seasons in 2017. In addition to weekend events like IEM Gyeonggi between seasons, AfreecaTV will also be focusing on a regular stream of StarCraft II esports. Unlike before, action-packed streams of GSL will allow better viewing times for the global audience, especially North American residents.
Through DreamHack, Blizzard plans to maintain the WCS Circuit. The tournament organizer will be hosting four championship events with direct seeds into the Global Finals. Winning any of the upcoming DreamHack Austin, Summer, Valencia, and Montreal events will land you in the year-end main event. Additionally, players will gain important WCS points just by competing in DreamHack.
As for ESL, IEM Katowice in Poland will mark the largest gathering of professional StarCraft II players in the year. The major global event will provide a valuable opportunity for both Korean and Circuit players to size each other up. Similar to DreamHack, the winner of IEM Katowice will also get a direct ticket into the WCS Global Finals.
“GSL vs. the World” is another global event that StarCraft II fans should know about. Scheduled for summers in Korea, the all-star event will send out invitations to your favorite StarCraft II players. Information on the selection/voting process and structure of the event will arrive soon.
Finally, do note that a portion of the proceeds from War Chest go into the 2017 StarCraft II World Championship Series prize pool. Currently, the pot sits at $2 million but could see significant increment as players start purchasing the in-game bundle.
With the new StarCraft II WCS 2017 changes, Blizzard has simplified its tournament format. Followers of esports should find it easier to follow the year-long journey, as well as keep tabs on favorite players. The developer also confirmed that the same batch of changes will likely be retained for WCS 2018.