Any opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of compLexity Gaming or its parent company.
by JP “moogle” McDaniel
In the Starcraft competitive community, South Korea is regarded as the mecca of e-sports. Countless articles have been written about the ‘national past time’ over there and just how big it is. If you aren’t familiar with it all, feel free to google — I’m not going to rehash all that content. I want to talk about Starcraft 2 and South Korea instead.
You’ll see this picture linked in pretty much every one of the articles you find on Google. It is pretty crazy, though.
Right now the biggest SC2 event in the world is the Global Star League put on by GOMtv.net. Each month a tournament consisting of a $170,000 prize pool is going on. First place earns just around $85,000. Think about that for a second. Second place is around $25,000. The finals match has $50,000 on the line — talk about player pressure. You would expect a tournament of this size to be once a year, but instead it is once a month. That is pretty incredible.
The part that is really interesting is the fact that the event is open to anyone as long as you can be in South Korea for a months time. That is, if you qualify in the first place. For Season 1 there were over 2,000 players in the prelims. I have not heard the number for Season 2 prelims but they should still be open at time of print. Players are randomly seeded into a 64 player bracket and must win. It is no small feat, but in the first Season four foreigners managed to make it out: LiquidTLO, EG.IdrA, TorcH, and Artosis. All four players were eliminated by the RO32 though.
The tournament has one match left in the RO4 (HopeTorture (T) vs. oGsEnsnare (T)) which will be played Thursday at 4:00 AM CDT. The grand finals will be taking place on Saturday at 4:00 AM CDT between the winner of the RO4 match discussed above, and “a Fruit Dealer (Z)”. If you’re looking to watch the match live you can view it at GOMtv.net as long as you have a login. The HQ stream is $20 but you get access to all VODs from the season. Without the $20 you can only view the first games.
While Season 1 is exciting and all, the real excitement for Starcraft fanatics is Season 2 and 3. Throughout the first season, some of the biggest Starcraft 1 South Korean professional players announced that they were going to switch over to Starcraft 2. Names like NaDa, JulyZerg, and Boxer have all said they will most likely be playing in the upcoming seasons. When big names like that begin to play and try to master the game, real innovation begins.
Make sure to stay tuned to GOMtv as the best players in the world will always be in attendance. With the insane prize pool you can always expect the competition to be fierce. See ya next time.