GomTV Global StarCraft II League begins!

It’s here: the biggest e-sports tournament in history, hosted by the Korean broadcaster GomTV. After only a month of being released, this officially sponsored tournament boasts a first place prize of $85,000 US, with $25,000 for second place, and a lot more prizes for those beneath. This is an extremely important and exciting time for not only StarCraft II, but for videogaming worldwide, I believe.

There have been a lot of small tournaments for SC2, even in its Beta phase, with prizes of a few hundred, or sometimes even a few thousand dollars — but nothing compares to this. The initial reaction was one of dismay, excitement, but also of disbelief to some extent. Could it really be? Well the first games have played already, and I opted to pay the $20 fee to buy a season ticket, giving me access to high quality live streams and the archived Videos On Demand. There have been almost 50,000 views of first matchup between American player IdrA and a Korean player whose name isn’t written in roman text. I believe that traffic is only for foreigners, since GomTV actually broadcasts the games on television in Korea itself. I wonder whether it includes only the paying viewers, or the free live stream as well. Either way it indicates a healthy interest, and hopefully enough to keep the whole thing rolling strongly.

Thanks to the lousy negotiations between GomTV’s company, Gretech, and other StarCraft broadcasters (caused by Blizzard’s decision to sell all broadcasting rights of Blizzard games to Gretech [which in turn was caused by those broadcasters’ attempts to illegally sell the broadcasting rights of StarCraft: Brood war!],) there is a chance that StarCraft II will have the spotlight to itself in the next few months, which could be a bad or a good thing depending on the way they receive the massive tournament. It has no prestige, history or even a game that is considered well balanced, but that money is extremely serious, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it made the news in North America if for no other reason than because of the fact that foreigners have been moving there to play this game competitively. The release of SC2 got news stories, so why not this?

The best part of all is the English commentary, provided by Tasteless and Artosis, two very informative and entertaining SC1 commentators/analysts from America. I look forward to watching all the games, seeing the strategies employed by the best Koreans, and rooting for the whities who are against the odds.

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About Mr. Wolfe
Mr. Wolfe has earned somewhat of a reputation due to his commendable feats of self-restraint while discussing and analyzing the world around him.

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