We're pleased to announce StarCraft II region linking, an exciting upcoming change that will connect a number of StarCraft II communities around the world for multiplayer matchmaking and communication purposes. In conjunction with the start of Season 3, we’ll be linking the European and Russian StarCraft II communities together; North America and Latin America will also be linked together, as will Korea and Taiwan.
Region linking will benefit players in the connected regions in a number of ways. First and foremost, a linked community means a larger pool of players to improve our automated matchmaker. Whether you're an elite Grandmaster or a Bronze-league all-star, more players in the mix means that we'll be able to find you a matchup more quickly and more accurately. Players will also get access to a broader range of custom map games, which in turn means wider audiences for mapmakers. Those of you who have friends in the linked region will also be able to add them to your Battle.net friends lists once the region linking is complete.
For the vast majority of players, the process will be seamless. Just log in, play, and say hello to all of your new friends (with a sneaky drop in their mineral line). For more information about region linking, check out the FAQ.
Region Linking FAQ
Q. What is region linking?
A. Region linking is the process of connecting multiple Battle.net regions to each other for multiplayer matchmaking and communication purposes. The North America and Latin America regions will be linked, Europe and Russia will be linked, and Korea and Taiwan will be linked. In effect, the players within the linked regions will be put together into a single group instead of two separate ones -- benefitting players in these linked regions in a number of ways.
Q. Why are you doing this? What are the benefits of region linking?
A. Having a larger pool of players means the automated matchmaker for ladder games will be faster and more effective at finding opponents at or near your skill level. Similarly, more players means faster queue times for custom games, which benefits both players and map creators.
From a social perspective, players will be able to create character and Real ID friendships with people from the newly linked region, which they couldn’t have before.
Q. When will this happen?
A. The region linking process will happen at the same time as StarCraft II Season 3, which is currently scheduled for the week of July 25.
Q: Will region linking affect which game-client languages I have access to or the payment methods I use?
A: No. The client languages and game-access methods available to you in your region will not change when regions are linked. You will simply be able to play and connect with an even larger group of players.
Q. Do I have to do anything?
A. No -- linking will happen automatically.
Q. Does this mean that the ladders of linked regions will be combined?
A. Yes, players from linked regions will be combined into a single ladder. This means you'll have access to a larger pool of players at all skill levels to play against, which will improve the experience for players no matter what league they play in.
Q. How will this affect my matchmaking rating (MMR)? Will I need additional placement matches?
A. Your MMR will be unaffected by region linking. Placement matches will be handled the same way for the start of Season 3 as they were for Season 2.
Q. Will playing with players from the linked region impact my in-game latency?
A. All players in the linked regions will be connecting and playing through the same data centers that they were using prior to region linking, which is the main reason why linking these regions together is fairly straightforward. There should be no impact on game performance.
Q. I'm a map creator -- do I have to republish my maps or do anything differently?
A. No special action is required. All of your published maps will be retained during the region linking process.
Q: How does region linking affect the Grandmaster league?
A: After region linking, players from linked regions will be combined into a single ladder. This applies to the Grandmaster league as well, and there will only be a single Grandmaster league between the linked regions.