Voting is now open to decide which of the seven finalists will have their map used in the Red Bull Battle Grounds tournament in New York City.
New maps are to real-time strategy games what new champions are to MOBAs like League of Legends. The arrangement of resources on the map, the distances between base locations, and special features like destructible rocks or regular lava flows can change player strategy and tactics. The Red Bull TeamLiquid Map Contest (TLMC) launched on October 24, and revealed the seven finalists on November 5. The seven maps have never before been used in professional StarCraft II competition. The winning map, selected by public voting, will be used at the Red Bull Battle Grounds New York tournament on November 23-24. The winning mapmaker will receive $400 USD and a trip to the tournament. Second, third, and fourth place mapmakers will win $300, $200, and $100 respectively. Voting closes at midnight on November 10.
You can try out all seven maps by searching in the custom games section on Battle.net for the [TLMC] tag. The maps were tested in a single elimination tournament on November 2-3. Video of those games and details about each map are available for your scrutiny. One contender is New Polaris Rhapsody, a map by TeamLiquid user Meerel that features destructive lava floods into low-lying map areas every five minutes. Blitzkrieg, a map by TeamLiquid user neobowman, will force changes in unit choice because the shortest path between bases is so narrow that some of the larger units in the game cannot pass through it (and must take a longer route).
Red Bull Battle Grounds New York runs November 23-24 in New York City. The tournament will see eight players compete for a $50,000 prize pool. Seven of the eight players have been revealed: Norweigan player Jens "Snute" Aasgaard, Canadian player Sasha "Scarlett" Hostyn, and South Korean players Jang "MC" Min Chul, Choi "Bomber" Ji Sung, Ko "HyuN" Seok Hyun, Won "PartinG" Lee Sak, and Jo "Golden" Myeong Hwan. GamerHub recently interviewed Aasgaard at New York Comic Con for The Escapist. Tickets to the Red Bull Battle Grounds are still available, starting at $43 USD. The tournament will also be streamed live.