The longest active StarCraft competition has come to an end. KeSPA has announced that the StarCraft ProLeague, a Korean team-based league that started in 2003 with Brood War and ran for fourteen years, would discontinue operations effective immediately. This announcement was made simultaneous with the announcement that five top Korean SC2 teams would also disband effective immediately.
The eight qualifier and four wildcard spots for the upcoming Intel Extreme Masters Season IX event at Fan Expo in Toronto have been set. Over 200 StarCraft II players tried to enter the biggest SC2 tournament in Canada this year but only eight qualified straight through to the group stages.
The beauty of sports is that anyone can win on any given weekend. That saying also extends to eSports. At this weekend’s StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals at BlizzCon, Korean Protoss sOs came in as the underdog 12th seed and beat four higher ranked players en route to winning the 2013 StarCraft World Championship.
On a whim, I watched part of the recent MLG Winter Championships. I’ve never watched MLG before and never played StarCraft 2 or League of Legends. As such, I was, naturally, completely lost at first. Over the course of the couple of matches that I watched, I was able to grasp the basic concept of the SC2 games was to kill all the opposing units but that was all I was able to grasp.
This made me think of stories and columns I’ve read over the last year or so that speculated that competitive gaming and eSports could break into the mainstream as a sport with sizable interest and possibly make the transition to TV.
While it’s entirely possible that competitive gaming might make it to TV, it’s not going to evolve past the niche audience and break into mainstream consciousness anytime in the near future.