10 years in, StarCraft II Esports is getting a soft reboot
Blizzard and ESL have announced exciting news for the future of StarCraft II esports.
The World Champion Series (WCS), Blizzard's in-house esports league, will be replaced by ESL Pro Tour SC2 & DreamHack SC2 Masters.
We're betting this will be much better for the pro scene than WCS, which pretty much was the kiss of death to SC2 in 2013/2014.
The ESL/DreamHack circuit will run for 3 years and span 6 international events per season. Each season will be backed by a $1.2 million prize pool provided by Blizzard. Season finals will take place at the annual IEM Katowice event.
The 2020/2021 ESL/DreamHack circuit will have a combined prize pool of more than $1.9 million.
This year marks the 10 year anniversary for StarCraft II, a game that was essential for popularizing esports to the mainstream. In 2010 SC2 expanded the esports audience significantly by appealing to mainstream strategy/nerds. Mental, so to speak.
Just look at the 2010 spike for the release of the game.
The complexity of SC2 incubated the audience for more advanced strategy/moba games, which in turn increased the esports community by an order of magnitude.