In what is surely one of the most groundbreaking events in recent eSports history, two of the premiere StarCraft 2 leagues, Major League Gaming (MLG), and the Korean Global StarCraft 2 League (GSL) are parterning up for an unheard of exchange program.
Starting with MLG's next live competition in Columbus on June 3-5 and continuing through the rest of the 2011 season, the top three finishing players per MLG event will be sent, all expenses paid, to South Korea to compete in GOMTV's GSL for a whole month. Then in exchange, the GSL will send four Korean pro players to participate in each MLG event all expenses paid by MLG.
It's not often that you see two leagues working together in eSports as they're often competing for viewership and sponsors. To see two of the best leagues partner up is pretty spectacular for the StarCraft 2 scene, especially from a viewer perspective. Read on to see all of the details surrounding the partnership.
Before I show you the details around the event let me explain how the GSL works as it's unlike how most other eSports leagues work. Basically they use a tiered system; the 32 best players are placed in Code S, below them is Code A, and below them is Code B. You must qualify to place in each league and it's extremely difficult to place in these leagues as these players are considered some of the absolute best in the entire world.
GSL leagues last a month and the winner of Code S receives $87,000. The matches are broadcast 5 nights a week on television in Korea and streamed online in English. You can catch the GSL stream at the GOMTV Website. So with that in mind let's take a look at how the new MLG/GSL partnership will work:
MLG Pro Circuit Players Competing in the GSL
- At MLG Columbus, the Top 3 non-Korean finishers will each be placed into GSL Code A.
- At every 2011 Pro Circuit Live Competition after MLG Columbus, GSL placement will occur as follows:
- Code S status will be awarded to the highest placing player, within the Top 3, regardless of country of origin, who does not already have Code S status.
- Code S status will not be awarded if all of the players placing 1st-3rd already have Code S Status.
- Code A status will be awarded to the next three highest placing non-Korean players.
- If Code S status is awarded to a Korean player, or not awarded at all, Code A status also will be awarded to the 4th highest placing non-Korean player.
- All travel and accomodation expenses for these players will be provided by the GSL.
GSL Pro Players Competing on the MLG Pro Circuit
- MLG will invite four Korean pro players to each Pro Circuit Live Competition.
- These players will be placed directly into the Championship Pools, one into each Pool.
- Their placement in the Pools will be determined by their GSL rank.
- All travel and accomodation expenses for these players will be provided by MLG.
- For MLG Columbus, we will also be inviting a player from the CSN tournament, currently in progress. This player will be seeded into the Open Bracket, and their travel and accomodation expenses will be covered by CSN.
The following four GSL Code A pro players will attend MLG Columbus:
- ST_Bomber (Terran)
- IM.Losira (Zerg)
- SlayerS_MMA (Terran)
- FOXMoon (Zerg)
The reception following this announcement has been tremendously positive. The format of the partnership is pretty equal for both sides, as the Koreans will get to bypass the MLG Open Tournament and the MLG finalists will get to bypass Code B and Code A, and overall fans are going to get a fantastic show.
Not only that, but pro gamers are excited about the announcement as well. Johan "Naniwa" Lucchesi, the winner of MLG Dallas, the first pro circuit event of 2011 said, "I hope to play Bomber because playing better players is more fun," after hearing about Koreans coming to MLG.
- DETAILS: MLG Dallas Highlights: The Best Moments From Major League Gaming's First Pro Circuit Event of 2011
As for me I'm personally stoked about the news. It's always fun to watch the best of the best compete against one another but it's never fun to see leagues compete. I think it's great that the two, with the help of Blizzard, have worked this out to provide the best content for fans of StarCraft 2. Often eSports is a drama filled enviornment so it's nice to see things like this working out and making almost everyone happy.
We'll have to see how the Koreans perform at MLG Columbus later next month but it will surely be exciting. G4TV.com will be covering the event, including a live stream, so be sure to tune in!
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