A Korean television network is offering up substantial cash prizes in an effort to woo top players to StarCraft 2.
StarCraft is a big deal in South Korea, with hundreds of professional gamers competing for fame and riches every year. It should come as no surprise then that, less than a month after its release, StarCraft 2 will be added to the country's televised tournament scene. GomTV has announced the formation of the Global StarCraft 2 League (GSL), putting together a combined prize pool of $500,000 for tournaments throughout the rest of 2010.
During each of the year's four remaining months, GomTV will air monthly tournaments pitting sixty-four players against each other for individual prizes of up to 100,000,000 KRW ($85,700 US). A preliminary tournament, to be held on August 28th, will determine which players get to compete in the monthly bouts.
Although professional StarCraft players take home a higher salary than the Korean average, the rewards for this tournament are significantly higher than what is typically expected. GomTV hopes that by offering substantial rewards, they can woo many of the players steadfastly sticking to the older StarCraft: Brood War expansion. It is not currently known how much of the prize pool, if any, is being put up by StarCraft-developer Blizzard, who has recently granted GomTV exclusive broadcast rights to their titles.
Of course, the other major enticement for participants in the 2010 GSL tournaments is a chance at placement rights in the 2011 series. The top ninety-six players of 2010 will be divided into two brackets. Placement in either guarantees a spot in a number of competitions to be held next year, all of which are building up to the Blizzard Cup finals in Seoul.
All of these tournaments will be televised globally. English-language commentary will likely be provided by Nick Plott, who previously recorded voice-over for the network's Brood War league.
Think that you're good enough to compete? The GSL is open to players of all nationalities, and it isn't unknown for good American or European players to appear on the Korean scene. However, if you'd like something a bit closer to home, the American Major League Gaming league will be holding a StarCraft 2 tournament in Raleigh, NC at the end of August.