Cologne, Germany – March April 3rd 2013 – Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced a new StarCraft® II World Championship Series for 2013 that establishes the first-ever official global ranking system for StarCraft II eSports. Operated in partnership with the world's premier eSports organizations — Turtle Entertainment (ESL), the Korea eSports Association (KeSPA), Ongamenet (OGN), GomTV, Major League Gaming (MLG), and Twitch — the WCS features elite StarCraft II competition in three leagues (European, Korean, American) and provides a unified, cohesive global structure for players, fans, and major tournament organizers. In the WCS, players in each league will compete in three seasons and clash in three global season finals, earning points within the WCS's global ranking system for their performance along the way. The fierce competition will then culminate in a global grand final at BlizzCon® in Anaheim, California this November, where the top-ranked players for the year will compete for the title of StarCraft II World Champion.
Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment:
"The structure of the StarCraft II World Championship Series is the result of an ongoing collaborative effort between Blizzard and our partners. Our collective goal was to make StarCraft II eSports even more exciting and easier to follow for fans than ever before. On the heels of the successful launch of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm™, we're all very excited about the present and future of StarCraft II eSports."
The new structure kicks off with WCS Korea GSL on April 4. OGN will produce season 2 in Korea, with WCS Korea StarLeague. GomTV and OGN will alternate operation of the WCS Korea seasons, with participation from KeSPA's elite players. Both of the league operators in Korea will work in collaboration to broadcast all WCS Korea action in Korea via their respective online and TV broadcast platforms. Operation of the European and American leagues will be managed by Turtle Entertainment (ESL) and MLG, respectively. Scheduling and other information related to the European and American leagues will be announced at a later date.
Twitch will broadcast all competition worldwide on its online platform through a unified StarCraft II destination, where fans can watch the action from all regions free in ad-supported 720p HD.
To learn more about the StarCraft II WCS, visit www.starcraft2.com/wcs .
Electronic Sports League
Electronic Sports League and the company behind, Turtle Entertainment, is the leading gaming company in the field of competitive gaming and electronic sports. Founded in the year 2000 the company is currently offering eSports competitions in more than 46 countries including Brazil and China. Core of Turtle's services is it's online portal called Electronic Sports League (ESL) which became a highly popular destination site for competitive computer gamers around the world. The portal reaches up to ten million visits a month (IVW) generated by more than 4 million registered users.Turtle Entertainment offers its competitions worldwide using these specific brands: Electronic Sports League (ESL), ESL Pro Series, Intel Extreme Masters, ESL Major Series, ESL TV, Consoles Sports League. Turtle Entertainment has been broadcasting ESL events via ESL TV, ESL's web-TV service, since 2007. The headquarter has more than 115 employees and is located in Cologne, Germany. Turtle Entertainment owns the majority of the Chinese eSports league PGL (Pro Gamer League) since 2007 and is locally active with subsidiaries or franchises in over 17 countries. Further information is available at www.turtle-entertainment.com .
Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft® and the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® series, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. ( www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry's most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes fourteen #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company's online-gaming service, Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.