GSL Season One finished, GSL2 starting soon

The Global StarCraft 2 League, hosted by GomTV in South Korea, has finished its first season and is preparing for the second. Amazingly, beyond all expectations, a Zerg player won the whole thing and walked away with $85,000 US. It was an exciting, unpredictable and historical tournament that has certainly raised interest.

I’m a bit disappointed to not see American news reporting on the event, but I guess they have their own paranoia and hype to peddle. Regardless, many people tuned in and the service did an alright job of standing up to the bandwidth demands, although many Low Quality viewers complained. Most importantly, the GSL has established itself as a life-changing opportunity for players all around the world to make huge money, doing what they love.

The season ticket was $20, and I think it was worth it. I’ve spent more money on crappy videogames, junk food and whatever else, and here we have hours upon hours of exciting StarCraft 2 history in the making. The money gets you access to the live events, as well as the Video On Demand. No doubt Blizzard is watching these games to determine how balanced their game is, hurrying the process as more and more people witness the power of cheap strategies, eliminating beloved players.

Next season’s qualifiers are underway, and the most legendary SC1 player “Boxer” has qualified. This will guarantee a huge surge in viewership and Korean interest, which will in turn make sponsors more interested as well. StarCraft 1 is a tough business to succeed in, with much smaller prize pools, so it will be tempting to everyone. I plan to get the next season’s ticket and hopefully watch many more hours of great gameplay.

I just spotted this thread on TeamLiquid.net about some interesting rumors regarding Boxer’s move to SC2 and the general attitude shift towards the new game in Korea. It seems like at least one of the major broadcasters of Brood War will consider sacrificing their old SC1 tournaments in favor of the Global StarCraft 2 League if they can get the exclusive rights. This would be bad if the GomTV player no longer worked (ie. guys like me would have to watch illegal re-streams) and it would also be bad if it affected the English commentators Tasteless and Artosis, but who knows!

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Real patch 1.1, upcoming patch 1.2

So the unofficial patch was fake! The notes given by Blizzard were true, but there was nothing more than that. Things like Overlord speed and cooldowns on the Orbital Command/Nexus were made up. The crazy “psi cliff vision” thing? Gone too unfortunately. Not much changed, and therefore, I feel like I’m still waiting for Zerg to become less demanding. Thankfully the next patch is supposed to help that.

The new patch notes (here) for what’s coming up include an increase to the Roach’s range attack. Fungal Growth will also prevent Stalker’s from blinking, and their buildings are going to get noticeably meatier, health points-wise. Bizarrely, the Barracks are also going to require a Supply Depot before they can be built (which will only effect the construction of an early Barracks, since after that Terran will need to have a Supply Depot anyway) and the Reaper’s speed upgrade is going to require a Factory, making it impossible to “Reaper rush” with the speed upgrade.

Looks like the Spine Crawler will not receive more health points, only research and tech buildings. However, while this will slightly punish two cheese strategies (Reaper rush and Stalker blink madness) it doesn’t change much overall. If we assume that the range upgrade to the Roach is only +1, and not suddenly +2 or so, then it will be a significant but not drastic shift for Zerg.

Also to be included are custom hot keys, which is an excellent feature, even if I’m not sure how I will use it yet.