StarCraft® II

WCS 2013 FAQ (UPDATED 4/10/2013)

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Community Manager
Hello everyone -

We wanted to centralize all the questions we've been answering about WCS 2013. This will be the new home for updated FAQ's regarding the new 2013 WCS system.

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Questions answered on 4/10/2013

Can players change their World Championship Series region at any point during the year?

For the 2013 World Championship Series only, there will be an optional, one-time region change between Season 1 and Season 2. Players who would like to compete in another region in Season 2 will need to play in the Season 1 Qualifier and Challenger Division of the region they are looking to switch to. This will essentially mean that there will be players finishing their Season 1 commitments in their current region, while establishing their position in a new region.Any requests for exceptions must be submitted to Blizzard and will be considered.

When does a player have to decide which region he will compete in?

When a player competes in a Season 2 qualifier for a World Championship Series event, he or she will be locked to that region for the remainder of 2013.

Do the players need to live in the region to be in World Championship Series of the same region?

For season 1 no, but note that all players are required to travel to compete in the offline portions of their league. Also note that all World Championship Series Korea matches are already offline—players must be able to play in those matches in Korea if they choose to compete in WCS Korea.

If a player competes in the World Championship Series Korea Code B (Qualifier Division) this week, does it disqualify him or her from playing in the WCS America or WCS Europe for 2013?

Technically this would be the case as such a player would be committing to the seeding process for KR's Season 2 Premier League (Code S). However, we are interested in ensuring players are not locked into a region due to confusion or lack of information.

If a current Code S (Premier) player decides they want to compete in another region for Season 2, what exactly needs to happen?

Season 1 Code S players who would like to play in a different region for Season 2 will need to simultaneously participate in the Season 1 Qualifier Division of the region they are targeting, alongside their play in Season 1 Code S (Premier). Doing so will forfeit their Code S (Premier) position for Season 2, as well as lock them into the new region for the remainder of 2013.

If a player wants to stay in Korea to train but chooses to compete in the World Championship Series America or the WCS Europe, how would that work?

A player can live and train in Korea but must travel to all offline events to compete in the other regions.

Are flights to WCS events paid by Blizzard or by teams?

The leagues will be responsible for player travel to offline events, but flights will only be booked from a region within a region. So, players competing in World Championship Series Europe will have their flights to the offline events booked from a city in Europe. Players residing outside of the region they are competing in must travel on their own to that region, and the league will cover the rest of the flight to the city that the offline event is taking place in. This only applies to the events leading up to the WCS Season Finals. For the Season Finals and BlizzCon, all travel will be covered, including international flights.

Are any players being invited into World Championship Series America and WCS Europe for Season 1?

Yes. For Season 1, 24 players in each region have been extended invitations to compete in WCS America and WCS Europe based on their performance in past StarCraft II tournaments. We will be announcing what commitments players will be making by the end of this week.

When will World Championship Series America and WCS Europe start?

The qualifiers for Season 1 World Championship Series Europe start on April 14 (Pacific Time, so April 15 in Europe), and the qualifiers for WCS America start on April 20. Further details will be announced soon.

How long do the players need to be available for the offline events?

For Season 1, players in the WCS America and WCS Europe regions will need to be available for approximately 3–4 days for offline events. All WCS Korea matches are played offline. In the future, we will be looking to extend the offline portions of both WCS America and WCS Europe, so please be aware that this will change in coming seasons. Players will be expected to participate in all offline portions of the league they are committing to.

Will established players outside of the three regions be given invites to participate in any of the World Championship Series events?

Yes. Invitations have been sent to certain players outside of the three main regions. We will be announcing the player commitments by the end of this week.

Is the prize pool the same across all regions or do partners put in additional prize money on top of the Blizzard prize money?

All of the regional leagues will have identical prize pools and point distribution. The partners will not be adding additional prize money to the prize pool.

The prize pool breakdown for the remaining part of 2013 is as follows:
  • Each Regional WCS League Season - $100,000
  • Each Global Season Finals - $150,000
  • WCS Global Finals at BlizzCon - $250,000


A detailed explanation of how the prize pool breaks down by placement will be published later this week. Please note: Blizzard has not announced this information to date.

Can players compete in events outside of their chosen World Championship Series region?

Yes! Players are able to compete in non-World Championship Series events outside of their region. There is no restriction placed on player participation in any outside tournament, and some non-WCS events will grant WCS points. Further points-related details will be published soon.

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Questions answered on 4/08/2013 via Reddit

Is it possible to see a calendar for the entire year? When do Seasons 1, 2, 3 start in every region?

We are working hard on compiling a complete calendar for the entire year, in the meantime we plan to announce the start dates for Season 1 of the NA and EU leagues tomorrow night. We understand that players and teams need to schedule their time for the rest of the year, and we will do our best to post the dates for Seasons 2 and 3 shortly after.

What are the key differences between the KR, EU, and NA leagues?

Our goal has been to make the leagues as identical as possible in terms of structure, based on the GSL model. As a result of working with different league partners, there will be minor format differences that arise based on the legacy of a particular league.

How does a brand new player who wants to compete in WCS get involved?

In general, we are working to adopt a similar process in each region based off of GSL's three-division "Code" structure. Each regional league will have three divisions (Qualifier, Challenger, and Premier) that will feed into each other. In regards to Season 1 of this year, GSL is operating per usual and will continue moving into future seasons. For North America and EU, we will be announcing the plans surrounding Season 1 this week but it will likely include some invitations as well as an open qualification.

Thanks for your patience. We know everyone is anxious to get this information, and we're working hard to get it to you as quickly as we can.

Are the prize pools the same between the leagues?

Yes. All of the regional leagues will have identical prize pools and point distribution.

The prize pool breakdown for the remaining part of 2013 is as follows:
  • Each Regional WCS League Season - $100,000
  • Each Global Season Finals - $150,000
  • WCS Global Finals at BlizzCon - $250,000


In regards to NA and EU, how does a player qualify for Season 1 "Premier League"?

As we mentioned in the question above, we are working hard to get the exact details out to you as soon as we can. In short, Season 1 will be an exception and will likely include some invitations that we will send to top players in each region as well as open qualifiers, but all future seasons will adopt a three-division system (Qualifier, Challenger, and Premiere) that will appropriately qualify players into the top division for future seasons.

Have you considered a residency requirement for the Leagues? Wouldn't it make sense to require players who are playing in your region's tournament to live in your country?

We have discussed implementing a residency requirement but feel that this would add additional complexity, especially for players outside of the three main regions, and particularly for 2013. This is the kind of thing we'd really like to avoid if at all possible.

Many people feel that the abrupt global change, combined with locking players to the region they play in for the entire year, is remarkably unfair to KR players, especially those currently competing in GSL?

We too agree that Korean players currently playing in GSL were put in a difficult situation regarding making a year-long commitment to a WCS league as GSL started right on the heels of our announcement. With this being the case, we will be making a one-time exception at the end of Season 1 to allow players to make a change in their regional commitments for the rest of 2013. If a player currently playing in GSL would like to make a change at that time then they will be able to do so. We will have more information on exactly how this process will work well in advance of the conclusion of Season 1.

What is the point system?

We are working hard to finalize all the details surrounding the WCS points system. At the moment, we are mostly ironing out exactly how points earned outside the WCS leagues will integrate into the system. We should be able to announce the initial system next week, although some some adjustments will probably need to happen as we move forward.

How lucrative (in terms of points) is it to compete in a tournament like NASL, DreamHack, or Iron Squid?

Players who qualify for the World Championship at BlizzCon will have to compete in the WCS. That said, points earned from outside the WCS Leagues should be meaningful in terms of qualification and seeding at that tournament, especially for those who might be on the edge of qualifying.

How much of the tournaments for each season will be played online?

The intention is that most of the Premiere league (all in the case of WCS KR) for each region will be played offline in a studio, but we are working with MLG and ESL on the details. We might need to have additional online matches in 2013 based on logistical challenges that may arise.

What steps is Blizzard taking to ensure that cheating/hacking is not going to take place for matches played online?

Our goal is to minimize the number of online matches and eventually to eliminate the need for them, for as long as online matches will take place we will be taking great precaution to monitor and ensure fair play. We will be working with our tournament partners to ensure best practices and the integrity of each league.

We are aware that there are certainly questions that remain. As another step in process, Blizzard is intending to host a Reddit AMA regarding WCS, so please stay tuned for the exact details in the coming days!
Edited by Cloaken on 4/11/2013 1:26 PM PDT
woot!
anything new here?
Just a collection of all the old stuff in one place.
Cloaken did you anticipate the Korean presence in the NA and EU regions? With the amount of Koreans competing at these regional events, i'm not sure if we will see any NA players make the major tournament. Also, it discourages myself from attempting to qualify for the tournament.

Plus, if it is just to encourage the best players to compete, I would suggest just eliminating the reigon-based tournaments altogether and just have global qualifiers. Otherwise, it creates a bias for Korean players whose team will pay for their flights to the other regions (ie foreign teams).
This is just a BIG FAIL

1) You are not allowing local players to compete each others as in previous WCS. They may not be GM but they were happy just to participate and be part of it.

2) This WORLDCS will become Korean Championship Series, serioulsy, were you even thinking when planning this whole thing?

Im very very dissapointed I will not be able to even participate or anything.
ROOTCatZ weighs in.

http://www.reddit.com/r/starcraft/comments/1c1slt/my_views_on_wcsregional_based_leagues_region/
Edited by Popsecret on 4/10/2013 9:52 AM PDT
You guys have ruined the WCS. Justify it all you want. Having scenarios like 20 koreans like Jaedon, Oz, Sage able to play in NA. Is a travesty and completely ruin Starcraft world wide.
Catz summed it up better than anyone really.

Koreans will just qualify from regions that aren't their own, because they have the backing to be able to put in more training than foreigners do.

All you're effectively doing by allowing koreans to participate in european/NA leagues is icreasing the number of Koreans that will be in the Finals.
EPIC! THIS..........IS.................ESPORTS!!

this.....is....BLIZZSPORTS.........!!!!

Blizzard this is so awsome, looking foward to this!
Edited by Risk on 4/10/2013 11:20 AM PDT
It's such a shame that we've got so many ragers purely for the FIRST STEP in the process of building an international infrastructure for tournaments. YES, it may mean that right now things will be confusing weird, but we're working here towards a LONG TERM endeavour. Stop being so judgemental and wait it out.
What's the point of "locking regions" and calling it the WORLD Championship Series, when the finals are just going to be Koreans only... Bad move Blizzard, bad move.
What's the point of "locking regions" and calling it the WORLD Championship Series, when the finals are just going to be Koreans only... Bad move Blizzard, bad move.


The system is in its babyhood, the problems will be kneeded out and fixed/
04/10/2013 01:14 PMPosted by Risk
What's the point of "locking regions" and calling it the WORLD Championship Series, when the finals are just going to be Koreans only... Bad move Blizzard, bad move.


The system is in its babyhood, the problems will be kneeded out and fixed/


So we should accept a bad system because the system is in "its babyhood"? I don't think so. Blizzard isn't the new kids on the block, they should be able to run a competent global tournament.
So we should accept a bad system because the system is in "its babyhood"? I don't think so. Blizzard isn't the new kids on the block, they should be able to run a competent global tournament.


They will with time.

Try organizing a world-wide league for anything with no mistakes and no loopholes.
04/10/2013 01:59 PMPosted by Risk
So we should accept a bad system because the system is in "its babyhood"? I don't think so. Blizzard isn't the new kids on the block, they should be able to run a competent global tournament.


They will with time.

Try organizing a world-wide league for anything with no mistakes and no loopholes.


They have 10+ years of practice of organizing world-wide tournaments. This isn't the first WCS....... You're acting like this has never been done before. An all Korean WORLD Championship Series is simply unacceptable. Players from all countries should be represented. If Blizzard wanted just the Best Overall Players, they could've just kept the GSL.
04/10/2013 02:16 PMPosted by Hans


They will with time.

Try organizing a world-wide league for anything with no mistakes and no loopholes.


They have 10+ years of practice of organizing world-wide tournaments. This isn't the first WCS....... You're acting like this has never been done before. An all Korean WORLD Championship Series is simply unacceptable. Players from all countries should be represented. If Blizzard wanted just the Best Overall Players, they could've just kept the GSL.


Clearly you haven't done your research. If you read from multiple sources, you would know that season 1 of this is gonna be somewhat chaotic because they are organizing and getting a premier league of players organized.

Season 2 things will all be straightened out.
Hm, still waiting to hear about how the Challenger League Qualifiers (Code B) will work for NA and EU in Season 1. A few of our boys on iMpulse really want to participate but the only info provided has been about the 24 invites.
I really liked the possibility of what could have happened here. We could have had a more even region locked WCS where spots weren't based on sales, but smaller group of key regions based on performance. I was SO happy Blizzard was getting more involved and finally supporting E-sports on the same level as Riot.

Instead, we've now got a situation where NA/EU teams can't take this as the opportunity it should have been to invest/grow their brand. Look at CLG cancelling it's intended expansion as an example. The cause of this is the Koreans, who you really can't blame, that are going to want to compete in these regions for a better shot at the prizes. Finally, this means that players who already have the money to travel have a much easier chance at accumulating the points they need.

I was REALLY REALLY excited about how promising this could have been. Now, I'm not sure.
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