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StarCraft II

Developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is a military-style science fiction strategy game set in real-time that first hit computer screens around the world in July 2010. The game itself is split into three instalments, with Wings of Liberty acting as the base, while Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void supply additional content. This latest edition is a sequel to the hugely popular StarCraft series first launched in 1998.

Focusing on the ongoing saga between the fictitious Protoss, Terran and Zerg races, StarCraft II continues the original story that was mapped out in StarCraft: Brood War. The single-player game, which features significant upgrades on the original, sees each group battle against one another, with the ultimate goal being survival. Controlling the exploits of Jim Raynor, players must lead an insurgent group against the autocratic Terran Dominion.

As well as single player mode, Blizzard Entertainment offers players the chance to battle online through the company’s gaming service. It is from here that the game expanded, with teams being formed in order to compete on an international stage. Micro-management skills are crucial, in what is a high tempo strategy game; forethought and planning are also necessary in order for players to succeed.


The original StarCraft proved especially popular in South Korea, so much so that two of the country’s television stations, Ongamenet and MBCGame, each launched their own ‘Starleague’ in the early 2000s. The competitions were extremely popular, attracting millions of viewers and lavishing more than US$4 million worth of prize money on various winners. Both leagues folded in 2012.

Nowadays, StarCraft II contests run throughout the year and prove very popular, with major tournaments attracting huge numbers of fans. There are three different levels of competition available for players to enter; Premier events, Major events and Minor Events. Premier Events often take place offline and feature some of the very best players in the world battling it out for six-figure prize pools. Major Events are usually played out online between top-tier players, with prize money often reaching the five-figure mark whilst Minor Events, although offering huge levels of competition, offer significantly smaller prize pools than Premier and Major events.

Elite performers can enter into the World Championship Series, a year-long event that showcases a players skills in front of a worldwide audience. Competitors must accumulate points in two separate standings; –WCS Korea (played in Seoul, South Korea) and WCS Circuit (played at venues around the world) – with the ultimate aim of reaching the top eight positions in the WCS Standings by the end of the year. These players then go forward to face off for a total prize pool of more than $500,000.