Major League Gaming (running the WCS America Premier League) and Electronic Sports League (running the WCS Europe Premier League) have been busy contacting pro StarCraft 2 players in an effort to see which region they are planning to play in for the WCS 2013 season. Both organizers are planning to announce their respective league’s invited players on April 12th.
Both MLG and ESL have sent out emails to players detailing the formats of their Premier League, which you can read about below. These details, as they have not been officially announced yet, are preliminary and may still be changed.
WCS America Premier League format (MLG)
This league is composed of two group stages leading into an eight-player, single-elimination playoff. The first group stage, consisting of 32 players, will be held entirely online. The 16 who advance from the first will take part in the second group stage, hosted at the MLG studio in New York near the end of May. The eight top placing players will qualify for the Regional Finals – again held at the MLG studios – on the weekend of June 1st. The top 5 from the Regional Finals will earn a spot in the Season 1 Finals. Similar to its European counterpart, WCS America is expected to hold a series of qualifier tournaments that will earn players spots into the Premier and Challenger divisions. This hasn’t been confirmed yet for WCS America, however.
The losing 16 players from the initial group stage will drop into the Challenger League – played entirely online – to give players a chance to requalify for the WCS Premier League’s following season.
For those players that advance to the in-studio rounds of play (group stage 2 and beyond), MLG will only be covering travel expenses for players living in the Americas. However, if a player first travels to any city in the United States, MLG will then pay for their flight to the MLG studio from that U.S. city.
Pro players that MLG contacted must notify MLG of their intent to participate in the America region by end of day on April 8th.
- WCS America Premier League Group Stage 1 (Online) – April 28, 29, 30; May 1, 5, 6, 7, 8
- WCS America Premier League Group Stage 2 (MLG Studio) – May 20, 21, 22, 23
- WCS America Premier League Regional Finals (MLG Studio) – Weekend of June 1
- WCS America Challenger League Bracket (Online) – May 12, 13, 14, 15, 26, 27, 28, 29
- WCS America Challenger League Group Stage (Online) – June 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19
WCS Europe Premier League format (ESL)
Other than being managed by ESL, the WCS Europe format mirrors WCS America’s. A series of online qualifiers will be held from April 14th-17th where a number of spots for both the Premier and Challenger divisions will be up for grabs. Four tournaments will be held starting on April 14th, and up to 512 players can take part. ESL will also be announcing their lineup of invited Premier League players on April 12th.
The in-studio WCS Europe tournaments (group stage 2 and beyond) will be held at the ESL TV studios in Cologne, Germany. Flight and hotel will be provided at no cost to players who are traveling from within Europe.
|April 14: Online Qualifier #1|
|April 15: Online Qualifier #2|
|April 16: Online Qualifier #3|
|April 17: Online Qualifier #4|
|April 23: Group A (online)|
|April 24: Group B (online)|
|April 25: Group C (online)|
|April 30: Group D (online)|
|May 1: Group E (online)|
|May 2: Group F (online)|
|May 3: Group G (online)|
|May 4: Group H (online)|
|May 14: Group A (Cologne, Germany)|
|May 15: Group B (Cologne, Germany)|
|May 16: Group C (Cologne, Germany)|
|May 17: Group D (Cologne, Germany)|
|May 25: Playoffs Ro8 (Cologne, Germany)|
|May 26: Playoffs Ro4 & Grand Final (Cologne, Germany)|
As confirmed by Blizzard representative in a Q&A thread on Sunday, each regional final’s prize pool will be identical: $100,000. The prize purse breakdown WCS Europe is proposing to players can be seen below, although it was noted that it is not final yet.
- 1st place: $35,000
- 2nd place. $15,000
- 3rd/4th place: $8,000
- 5th place: $4,000
- 6th place: $3,500
- 7th place: $3,000
- 8th place: $2,500
- 9th-12th place: $1,450
- 13th-16th place: $1,000
- 17th-24th place: $500
- 25th-32nd place: $300
No residency requirement
Blizzard noted in their Q&A that they are trying to avoid any residency requirements for any of the three leagues. 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.
The Blizzard representative also noted in the Q&A that they are still working out a points system. “At the moment,” he said, “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.”
Click here to read more about the 2013 StarCraft 2 World Championships Series format as described by Blizzard.