Welcome to Cadred's Weekly Starcraft 2 Review. Did you miss something within the last week but don't feel like hunting all over the web for it? You've come to the right place.
With hundreds of events occurring simultaneously in the Starcraft 2 scene, it's nearly impossible to stay on top of things. Due to this obstacle, we've decided to make a short and concise version of the top news stories that have transpired within the last week which can be found below.
Starting Saturday November 17th Shanghai was host to the Battle.net World Championships, a tournament which featured a stunning $250,000 prize purse for StarCraft2, with $100,000 to first place. After a range of qualifiers, including national and continental tournaments, the best 32 players of the world were gathered in what is to be the most anticipated tournament of the year.
With upsets across the group stages, including IdrA's victory of the group of death, Stephano and Nerchio's early demises and Rain's PvP loss to BabyKnight, the tournament lived up to the high competitive bar it set itself and delivered a good show for viewers around the globe. The victor would be StarTale PartinG, a player who although he has had a bunch of top5 finishes at premier events had never actually won a title yet. The top 4 would consist of PartinG ($100,000), Creator ($40,000), Rain ($16,000)and Sen ($8,000) respectively.
In the beginning of 2012 StarCraft2 was delighted to see a new tournament being organized in Austin. Called the "Lone Star Clash" the unique feature this premier tournament had, and still has, is that it is ran by students from Texan colleges exclusively, making it a fun spectacle to watch as well as giving it a more relaxed atmosphere. Back then Stephano took first place and $5,000 with a stunning victory over Polt.
Fast forward to Sunday November 11th and you might have a deja vu. At Lone Star Clash 2 it was once again Stephano who took home the gold after a killer run through the upper bracket, going through to the finals being undefeated in map score. Once again he would face one of the strongest Terrans of the time period, StarTale Bomber, in an epic series which went all the way to the very final decider map. It was a nail biter, but Stephano managed to pull through and secure his second Lone Star Clash win, prolonging his title and taking home $7,500 as a cash bonus. Despite his best efforts Bomber had to settle for Silver ($4,000), with CranK and viOLet taking third ($2,500) and fourth ($1,000) respectively.
Last week Blizzard announced the release date of the first full expansion for StarCraft2, Heart of the Swarm. With the official release date set at March 12th of the upcoming year, Heart of the Swarm is now available for pre-order in both digital and physical editions for a retail price of $39.99 USD. Featuring a full new campaign as, well as new multiplayer features and a host of brand new metachanging units, Heart of the Swarm will undoubtedly rejuvenate the SC2 scene.
An early version of the game has been in beta for several months now, featuring a lot of active play and review by the upper echelons of the scene, but is still considered by many to need a lot of work before it is viable for full competitive play, leading to some members of the community speculating that 12 March might actually be too early for the game to be finished.
Exciting news from the e-Sports tournament organizers came out this week as Swedish DreamHack, German ESL and American MLG CEO's came together to discuss a partnership. The three premier tournament hosts will be getting together to push forward e-Sports competition together, announcing cooperation on several different points in order to "step in a united effort to take the sport to the next level while benefiting all of those involved
The partnership will see cooperation between the three sides on the following points:
- A universal ranking system
across organizations for all major game titles directly impacting seeding and event qualification.
- Development of a unified competition structure
for all major titles at all tournaments.
- One event calendar ensuring a minimum or no conflicts
to ease players’ schedules and enables fans across the globe to easily spectate.
- Cross promotion and support for all leagues
to drive further awareness for eSports and league activities, as well as a shared roster of commentators and broadcast talent.
After receiving a rather heavy blow last week, with the retirement of long time member Rain, the fnatic roster hit yet another bump this week, as both Han "ByuL" Ji Won and Seo "Ares" Chang Deok announced their departure from the Australian based organization.
Especially the departure of ByuL will be yet another strong blow to the roster. After making the transition from Brood War over to StarCraft2 the Korean Zerg had shown a great level of steady improvement, going from the academy team to being the ace player of the professional team in just months. Although no official reasons were given for the sudden end of the cooperation between the two parties, ByuL did say he will continue to play and look for a new team. Ares, the other departing member, has already found a new home in the newly formed "Major Progame Team", which was founded in July of this year by Brood War legend Lee "NaDa" Yoon Yeol.
Finally, the word of Sophia "Foxy" Metz has reached us this week that her "Meltdown" project will be expanding to several new locations throughout Europe. For those unknown to the project, Meltdown is a gamer bar focusing on e-Sports, providing e-Sports enthusiasts a place to drink, socialize and enjoy the latest premier tournaments on projectors and TV's around the bar.
With new venues opening in Berlin, London and Stockholm, Meltdown is looking to bring it's successful format of e-Sports and alcohol to new places, bringing along it's well known cocktail menu, as well as organizing weekly tournaments and barcraft for almost all premier tournaments around the world.