StarCraft II players from all over the world battle for $25K in prizes and a seat at the Red Bull Battle Grounds Grand Finals in September.
StarCraft II players from ten different countries are battling over a $25K prize pool in Detroit this weekend. The Red Bull Battle Grounds Detroit tournament began Friday, August 22 and runs through Sunday, August 24, streaming live each day beginning at 11 am EST. The winner of the 128-player tournament will take home $8,000 and earn a spot in the eight player Grand Finals in Washington, D.C. on September 20-21.
Sixteen players from Canada and fifteen players from South Korea are competing in the tournament, including two fan favorites: South Korean Zerg player Lee "Jaedong" Jae Dong, and US and Canada dual citizen and Protoss player Chris "Huk" Loranger. An impressive 82 players from the US are competing, with notable players including Terran player Kevin "qxc" Riley and Protoss player Chad "Minigun" Jones. Other well-known players have come from all over the world, including Norwegian Jens "Snute" Aasgaard, Danish player Patrick "Bunny" Brix, Peruvian player Paulo "Catz" Vizcarra, and New Zealander Mackenzie "Petraeus" Smith. Chile, Australia and the United Kingdom are also each represented by a single competitor.
With Red Bull Battle Grounds Detroit so close to Toronto, Canada, non-profit event organizer eSports Canada and Red Bull have partnered to bring a bus full of Canadian fans and competitors to Detroit. On the bus is professional Canadian player Henry "hendralisk" Zheng, semi-pro Canadian player John "NuBrGNi" Victor Kim and up-and-coming player Sam "Sammyuel" Lee. The Escapist spoke to the players and organizers on the bus about the tournament. Ken Silva, Director on the Board of eSports Canada, says, "Toronto has a very large eSports community, we've had a number of events, but everyone who has come out those events has heard of the Red Bull Battle Grounds." The bus was packed with fans, swapping stories about victories, failures, and favorite players. Kim, who was knocked out in the early stages of the tournament, says, "I would root for Jaedong. We met back at [the World Championship Series] and we're good friends. I'm excited to hang out with him again."
The Red Bull Battle Grounds tournament series was previously an invitation-only affair, but began open registration tournaments this year, allowing unknown players to compete against the professionals. The Red Bull Battle Grounds Atlanta tournament was the first to offer open registration. The Red Bull Battle Grounds tournaments are a part of Blizzard Entertainment's World Championship Series (WCS). Players earn WCS points in addition to the cash prizes at the tournament. WCS points determine global rankings, which are used to determine which players compete at the WCS Grand Finals at BlizzCon.
Source: Red Bull Battle Grounds