SEA/Oceania guaranteed two qualifier spots.
By Alex Walker on November 22, 2013 at 8:38 am
Blizzard announced changes to next year’s World Championship Series last night, a move that Starcraft 2 gamers unfortunate enough to be born outside of South Korea have so far welcomed. Ongamers, the brand new eSports media venture under the wing of CBSi/Gamespot, posted a pretty exhaustive breakdown and it’s safe to say the masses — for now — are happy.
The basic changes are this. The bottom 16 players from this year’s Premier league in North America and Europe will be demoted to the 32-player Challenger league, with qualifier tournaments being held to fill the remaining spots. 16 best-of-five matches between the qualifiers and Premier League rejects will take place and the winners will go straight into the group stages of the Premier League. Making it through the Premier groups gives you an auto-berth to the next season, which Blizzard expects to last around 10 weeks.
Once the first season is done, the format will revert to a 32-player system between Challenger and Premier. Korea will continue to use the GSL format, with Blizzard recognising that “Korea needs to operate a little differently”. GomTV are now the sole partner for Starcraft 2 WCS in the country and to honour the increased challenge of beating Korean Starcraft 2 players in Korea, the prize pool has been notched up a little.
The most important part of all of these changes is the reservation of slots inside WCS America for Oceania/South East Asia. Two players from our neck of the woods will be guaranteed a spot in the qualifiers, although it’s worth noting that Australia’s mOOnGlaDe and New Zealand’s Petraeus managed to break into the Challenger bracket on their own accord. Whether they’ll receive these reserved slots automatically or they’ll be handed out to new players hasn’t been announced, but that’s certainly something to watch out for.
There’s way too many changes to go through them all, so you should read the blog yourself if you’re so inclined. Either way, it means more chances for local Starcraft with a little less Korea. Until the finals, anyway.
Source: Thanks, Ongamers