StarCraft 2 is in the midst of the Battle.net World Championship Series (WCS) national qualifiers. The worldwide tournament aims to crown a world champion, and to get the only real Blizzard-run tournament series onto the e-sports stage. Currently, there are many organizations and tournaments run all over the world, and the WCS is the newest.
In order to qualify for the series, existing organizations in 28 countries and regions were given the ability to submit players as “seeds” into the WCS. Some offered them as tournament prizes in existing events, others had qualifier tournaments to give them out. Some of these were in small regions, such as individual South American and European countries, and others were in existing competitive areas, like Korea, the U.S., and Canada.
Once seeds were established by the many dozen individual tournaments all over the world, the next stage, which is currently ongoing, are the national qualifiers. These are the first tournaments in the WCS, strictly speaking. Most of the national tournaments in the series are run in conjunction with other major tournaments, for example, Major League Gaming (MLG) events or North American Starleague events (NASL). The top placed individuals (number varies by location) in each country’s national tournament are then moved onto the next stage, the regional championships, which establish the top players for each continental region: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania.
After the national tournaments, the top placers will travel to the final, global championship in Shanghai, China, to declare this year’s world champion. This will be Blizzard’s premiere tournament this year, as there will be no BlizzCon and hence, no BlizzCon tournaments.
So far, the tournaments have been very well received. The local nature of the tournament has given rise to new, largely unrecognized players emerging as local heroes in the StarCraft community. With a large number of tournaments in the series, many of them sharing physical tournament space and broadcast time as established events, it has already built up a great reputation and following.
The most recent national tournament was WCS Canada. Canada has some very good players, most notably EG.HuK. HuK was the presumed best player by many, having a fantastic record in various tournaments, including MLG and the prestigious Code S of the GSL (Global StarCraft League). However, there were a lot of great players in the tournament, and his difficult matchup against relative newcomer Scarlett knocked him down to the loser’s bracket, where he was taken out rounds later by TT1. He still took home a seed to the North America Regional Championship, but Scarlett was the star of the show. Losing no matches and only a single game, Scarlett claimed the $6,000 first prize, the best seed for the Regional Championship, and a lot of notoriety. She is celebrated for her skill and for being the most successful female StarCraft 2 player to date.
To learn more about the WCS, check out the following links: