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Your favorite StarCraft II pros have a lot say when it comes to the WCS, their fans and each other. Get into WCS SoundOff to hear the hopes, dreams and thoughts of the best StarCraft II players in the world.
In this episode TLO, Alicia and StarDust strike a balance between awkward and tongue-in-cheek to share their thoughts on the most overrated players in the WCS system.
The choice to join the Terran ground forces should never be made lightly… but you won’t be going in alone. The Terran frontline is supported by a variety of divisions built to provide swift aid.
Fast and furious, the Hellion can get into a dangerous area quickly and blaze a trail of destruction. If destruction finds its way to you however, the quick and well-trained Medivac will not be far behind the front. They’re accompanied by our aces in the sky and on the ground, Viking pilots provide strategic backing in a variety of different skirmishes. When the time for an ambush arrives, remember that the Zerg aren’t the only ones who can go underground. The Widow Mine packs a nasty surprise, and is ideal for perimeter defense as well as tactical ambushes.
If you seek more knowledge of the Zerg specimens we’ve learned of so far, visit the Science Corner episodes 1 & 2 from Radio Liberty.
If lore is your fancy, check out the story of StarCraft here, or get your very own digital copy of StarCraft: War Stories in Kindle or eBook format.
To ensure that StarCraft II continues to offer a smooth experience for players when Patch 2.1.4 goes live, we’re looking for some extra help testing on the PTR, and that’s where you come in. When you test the new features on the PTR in all the various game modes (Matchmaking, Custom Games, Arcade, vs AI) and reach level 5, you’ll become eligible to win some awesome prizes.
How to Qualify
You’ll have from 19:00 CET on August 26, 2014 to 9:00 CET on September 23, 2014 to reach level 5 on the StarCraft II PTR in order to become eligible for the prizes below. You can check out the official rules here: Patch 2.1.4 PTR Participation Giveaway – Official Rules.
Prizes for participation
To all players who reach level 5 on the PTR:
A one month subscription for Twitch Turbo
To 50 random players who reach level 5 on the PTR:
A Twitch subscription for WCS EU/AM
To one random player who reaches level 5 on PTR:
A pair (2) of 2014 BlizzCon tickets
How to Get In
Accessing the Public Test Realm is easy with the Battle.net Desktop App. Once you've installed and logged into the App, select StarCraft II from your list of games. Next, click the region selection box above the Play button, choose "PTR: Heart of the Swarm" from the dropdown list, and hit Install. If you own a copy of StarCraft II but don’t see a PTR option available, you can enable PTR access by going to Battle.net Account Management and selecting the Public Test Region button under your game license. Once your installation is complete, hit Play to launch the PTR and start digging in to all of the goodies mentioned above.
If you'd like to switch back to the current version of StarCraft II, simply exit the game and head back to the Battle.net App to switch the region selector back to your preferred Battle.net region.
Please note that the Public Test Realm can only be accessed through the Battle.net Desktop App as outlined above. Attempting to launch “StarCraft II Public Test.exe,” found in your StarCraft II installation folder will not grant entry into the PTR.
Download the Battle.net App
Thank you very much for helping us test upcoming StarCraft II features on the Public Test Realm. Your participation will be vital during this extended testing period as we prepare to roll out StarCraft II Patch 2.1.4.
Ever wonder how Xel’Naga Caverns would play out in Heart of the Swarm? Did you discover an unbeatable strategy on Habitation Station only after it left the ladder? Wish you could get Cloud Kingdom back for one more season? Well then the upcoming ladder season is exactly what you’re looking for.
In Season 4 we’re not only going to open up the opportunity for past 1v1 maps to return, but we’re also going to let YOU decide which maps those will be!
The Map Pool of Your Dreams
We’ve seen the feedback – you want a chance to pick your dream 1v1 map pool. On September 24, we’ll release a poll asking which maps you’d like to see in the upcoming ladder season. The seven maps that receive the most votes by October 1 will be added to the Season 4 ladder map pool.
Nominate Your Favorites
Before we open it up for voting, we’d like to hear what maps you think should be on the final poll. You can do this by jumping into our official discussion thread and sharing your thoughts, or providing your nominations on Twitter using the hashtag #dreampool. All past ladder maps are eligible. We’ll be reading your responses and select the most popular maps for the final poll.
You’ll have through September 23 to get your nominations in, so don’t wait too long to share your favorites and let your dream become a reality.
Last month, we brought you our very first Community Map Spotlight. This feature takes a look at some of the best community maps and delves into what makes them great. Additionally, we sit down with the map makers themselves and get some insight into what went into the creation of the maps.
For our second feature, we’re taking a look at a new map from the creator of Habitation Station. This map offers complex attack paths and expansion options for players to explore. Make the right choices and you’ll quickly find yourself secure and safe in a commanding lead. Making the wrong choices and you’ll quickly find yourself spread too thin and open to enemy harassment. Our map this month is Moonlight Madness.
Created by SidianTheBard
While a map overview is a good way check out the general layout, let’s dig a bit deeper. Our strategic overview will make it easy to check out the statistics and interesting features on this map.
Moonlight Madness comes to us from Grant “SidianTheBard” Wachtor. We spoke with Grant to discuss his thoughts on map making and the details behind this map.
Psione: Hi, Sidian. Why don’t we start with you telling us a little bit about your experience in map making?
Sidian: I’ve been making maps for video games all the way back in Brood War. I was never much of a melee map maker in Brood War and mainly just created UMS type maps such as Sunken Defense and Bound maps. After Brood War, I got really into Counter Strike and started using the Valve Hammer Editor to create maps. Again, I’d just make fun maps or “Aim” maps for practice and never really got into the competitive map making for Counter Strike.
Eventually, StarCraft II came out and I just picked up the Editor and kept creating maps. I was pumping out maps on Team Liquid every other week just trying to learn how to map better and better. My first huge break into the competitive mapping scene was during the IPL Map Making Tournament where my map Darkness Falls was picked in their top five and was used during their Map Tournament and Team Arena Challenge. Not too shortly after that, I got second place during the Red Bull Mapping Tournament with Habitation Station, which after its epic showing at Red Bull Battle Grounds New York, I was lucky enough to have Blizzard use it on ladder.
P: There are many who feel that Habitation Station is one of the best maps we’ve seen in StarCraft II and responsible for bringing back the use of High Yield expansions. Has the reputation of this map altered the way you go about creating maps? Do you feel any extra pressure due to its success?
S: I’d love to meet these so called people who feel Habitation Station is one of the best maps, are you sure they exist? Seriously though, I haven’t really changed a whole bunch in how I create maps and as for feeling extra pressure, not really. Generally I’m such a laid back person and I’ve been mapping long enough to know that you really can’t please everybody. No matter what new or innovative map you might create you will always have people telling you why it isn’t good.
P: Since you seem to be pretty aware that it can be difficult to avoid negative feedback, even with the best maps, how do you judge what feedback will improve your maps and what feedback is just negativity?
S: Generally if a player just lists off problems and don’t give their reasoning behind the feedback, and this sounds bad, I tend to ignore them most of the time. You get a lot of people that will comment on your map that just say “Gold base sucks” or “Middle high ground path is bad” but they don’t really give you a reason why they feel the High Yield expansion isn’t good or the middle ground is bad. If they can’t take an extra minute to tell you why they feel that way, why should you really care? There are always plenty of other players out there that will take the extra time and write out their reasoning or even take screenshots and use their pro paint skills to show off their thoughts.
Usually if multiple people are telling you to change something up, you can open up the map, change that certain thing and see how you actually feel about the changes. Play a couple games against the AI or against some friends if possible. Do you like that change? Does the map feel better overall? Does that make it more balanced? The most important thing to remember is that at the end of the day it is your map so if you don’t like the change, you don’t have to go through with it.
P: Where do you find you get most of the ideas or concepts for your maps?
S: I’ve been watching and playing StarCraft II since beta, so I’ve seen how gameplay has evolved over time. Generally, when I’m thinking of new ideas or concepts for maps I try to play around with ideas that we either don’t see any more or help out a certain race that isn’t doing so well. For instance, with Habitation Station, there weren’t really any competitive maps with High Yield expansions around, as they were pretty much considered a joke and never used. Also, what was the last popular two-player mirrored map with lots of airspace? Scrap Station, maybe? But also at the time, Terran were doing fairly poor so when creating Habitation Station I put in concepts that I believe would benefit Terran. Airspace for drops, High Yield minerals for Bio, and a shorter rush distance for aggression. Little did I know, once all was said and done Terran performed the worst out of any race on that map.
P: Can you explain some of your goals when deciding to create Moonlight Madness? What type of map were you looking to make?
S: There was an opportunity with Team Crux and their Map-ximum tournament to get your map play tested. So when creating Moonlight Madness I had one map in my mind. Crossfire. I wanted to create a map with complex pathing and a backdoor into the main. We generally don’t see maps with backdoors anymore because once upon a time they were considered imbalanced and no other maps have tried them out since. If I won this tournament it would be a great chance to get some play testing done on a map with a backdoor again. It’s just another concept that I’d like to see play out in the meta-game today.
P: Can you tell us about the features on Moonlight Madness and your thoughts behind each?
S: First, which I’ve already talked about a bit, is having the backdoor into your main. Any paths leading to the backdoor are actually blocked by rocks and you have collapsible rock towers on your main base ramp so you can seal it off. I think being able to expand either way depending on your strategy, opponent or race gives it the possibility to be different from game to game.
Backdoor in Main Base
Second, there is a potential third base that is farther to reach by ground but has a single wide ramp as the only entrance. We saw a base similar to this in Crossfire. Not necessarily a third, but it was usually a hidden fourth or fifth base. Is this something that Terran or Protoss would use because of how powerful walling or Forcefields could be when holding it? Now you have a choice in thirds, take the gold base, which is tough to hold because there is plenty of harass opportunities with it, take the farther third base which has a single wide ramp or take your backdoor third, which is closer but causes you to have to ping pong between your bases.
There is also the quick-to-take High Yield expansion. Since creating Habitation Station, I’ve been intrigued with having a High Yield base as a possible main, natural, or third base (your choice). I think it brings out many different timing attacks because now you need fewer workers to get that income, so you can bring out that aggression sooner or get that fourth base sooner, etc. Gangnam style is possible on this map; although it takes ~10 seconds longer than it did on Habitation Station.
High Yield Expansion
Lastly, there is the complex pathing around the map.As you can probably tell from the overview, there are a lot of ramps and a lot of different paths on the map. Do you walk towards the center of the map and take control of a Xel’Naga Watchtower even though it might move you out of position? Do you break down the backdoor rocks to give more options of movement or do you keep them up to feel more protected? There are also many droppable pods through out that map which hopefully we could see some awesome Siege Tank, Colossus or Reaper play. Either way, the player gets many choices on this map.
Pathing through the Middle
P: Which feature on Moonlight Madness are you most excited about?
S: It’s honestly hard to just pick one feature because I’m curious to see how they all work together. I really want to see if the bases at three and nine o’clock positions with the single wide ramp will get used as thirds or possible fourths. I’m curious to see if having several places with droppable high-ground is still considered overpowered for Terran even with the introduction of the stronger Queen and the Mothership Core. Finally, the High Yield expansion has a great chance of seeing some awesome play on this map so that excites me. It’s close enough to your main and natural expansion that taking it as a third could be viable, yet it opens you up to many more harassment locations that will keep you on your toes.
P: Which feature on Moonlight Madness are you most uncertain about?
S: The backdoor and the high-ground drop pods. As I’ve mentioned before, we just haven’t seen a map in competitive play that included a backdoor for quite a long time. Even with all the rocks able to block it off, it might still not play out as I’ve imagined.
With the handful of high-ground pods, even though it could be a very easy fix if they turn out imbalanced, it’s still something I worry about because players might find them a huge turn off from the start and not even bother testing the map to its fullest.
P: Are there any ideas or concepts you’d like to see more map makers explore?
S: I’d like to see more mapmakers explore asymmetrical maps. I think there can be some very unique ideas that can help or hurt certain races depending on the spawn position they get. Maybe one spawn point has an in-base natural with a droppable high-ground pod next to it. The other could have a safer third where rocks can open up a backdoor into that base for harassment. You’d then have specific strategies depending on where you spawned and what race your enemy is. Now I don’t necessarily mean completely imbalanced differences, but even the slightest things could make quite a huge impact on the builds.
As for more extreme concepts, I’d like to see more retractable bridges used. A couple mappers (Iezael, Sigma & Scorp) have experimented with it a bit, and we saw the map Fallen Dreams get used in Totalbiscuit’s ShoutCraft. I still think it’s a very cool feature that could make way for some island type of maps.
P: Other than this map, which of your maps are you most proud of?
S: Habitation Station for obvious reasons. I also have an eight spawn map (1v1, 2v2, 4v4, FFA) by the name of Korhal Carnage Knockout which I believe is a really fun map to play with friends. It’s also a very unique setup that we’ve never seen before. Lastly, one of my most recent creations named Color Crush is a very fun, whacky looking map that is inspired by Shakuras Plateau.
P: You mentioned that Korhal Carnage Knockout has a setup that hasn’t been used before. Can you explain that a bit more?
S: It’s an eight spawn map that can be played 1v1, 2v2, 4v4 or FFA and will actually be balanced (yea…kind of!) in all modes! If you’re doing teams you’ll most likely be stuck on only one or two base, but let’s be honest here, how often in team games do you get more than two bases? If you play 1v1 there are certain locked spawn positions so you don’t spawn right next to your opponent. It wouldn’t be very enjoyable to spawn ~10 seconds by ground from them.
Korhal Carnage Knockout
Korhal Carnage Knockout also has collapsible rock towers at each entrance of your base and it has multiple collapsible rock towers towards the middle of the map. Pretty much every base on this map has the possibility to become a semi-island because you can completely shut yourself in with rocks. The middle of the map has a High Yield base and very powerful Xel’Naga Watchtowers that actually give vision into enemy bases. It tries really hard to make players move out into the middle of the map instead of just hugging the edges the entire game.
P: Getting away a bit from your own maps, what are some of your all-time favorite melee maps?
S: Layout wise, Cloud Kingdom. It was such a great map for it’s time and really turned the meta (Colossus turtle, Brood Lord/Infestor) into much more exciting action packed games. Aesthetically, Abyssal City is one of my favorite maps just to look at.
P: Are there any past community maps that you feel flew under the radar and people should check out?
S: I was quite the fan of AEM Isomer created by NegativeZero.
The general mineral layout might seem fairly standard but I love the movement throughout the map. If you don’t want to get choked off on ramps you have to take longer paths around the map. It reminds me of Cloud Kingdom a little bit where you want to move straight through the center because it’s the fastest way to the enemy base, yet then you have to be extremely cautious attacking through a choke point and allowing the enemy to set up a better concave.
If you like using unique strategies and playing on innovative maps, now's your best chance to do exactly that. Moonlight Madness offers something different that provides a fun challenge to players of any level.
We've also made the map easy to find and play. Just navigate to the Custom Games list, browse to Top Played Games and you'll find Moonlight Madness at the top of the list as a featured map.
So grab a friend, jump into a game, and have some fun.
BlizzCon loot explosion! It’s time to take a sneak peek at this year’s BlizzCon in-game goodies for World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III*, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, and the upcoming Heroes of the Storm**—they’re yours whether you’re attending the show in person or watching from home with the Virtual Ticket.
World of Warcraft – Grommloc Pet
Watch your foes flee in terror before this delightfully dreadful baby murloc masquerading as Grommash Hellscream, legendary leader of the Warsong clan.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – Blizzard 2014 Card Back
Infuse your deck with Blizzard spirit by equipping this commemorative card back, forged to resemble the compass design emblazoned in Blizzard’s courtyard.
StarCraft II – Portraits & Decal
Deck out your profile with a pair of portraits, including Hierarch Artanis and another to-be-revealed icon, and prep your army for battle across multiple universes with a Heroes of the Storm–themed decal.
Diablo III – Warlords of Draenor Weapon Transmogrifications
Outfit your heroes with six weapon transmogrification appearances appearances inspired by World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor—one for each of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls’ classes.
Heroes of the Storm – Nexus Mount and Portrait
Rush into the storm atop the ethereal Nexus Charger, and embrace the unknown with the mysterious Nexus Brawler portrait.
This year’s epic collection of in-game goodies will be available to use after BlizzCon begins. Head to the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket page to order or learn more.
*Diablo III content for Windows/Mac version only.
**Heroes of the Storm content will be available once you get access to the game; note that ordering a Virtual Ticket does not guarantee a spot in the alpha or beta tests.
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Patch 2.1.4 is being distributed to all regions throughout the week, and may not be live in your region yet. Please read on to check out the full patch notes.
StarCraft II 2.1.4 Patch Notes
GameHeart’s popular tournament UI has been reborn in the improved WCS GameHeart extension mod.
Players can apply the WCS GameHeart extension mod to any melee map from the Custom Games list.
To create a game using an Extension Mod, enter the Custom Games list, hit the “Browse Maps” button, select any map, and then click “Create with Mod” to choose an Extension Mod from the list.
The WCS GameHeart overlay can then be enabled by navigating to the Gameplay tab in the Options menu and selecting WCS 2.0 in the Observer Interface menu.
More information can be found in our WCS GameHeart blog.
Enhanced Team Colors
Players can now choose to enhance the color of buildings, units, and spell effects via an in-game UI option.
Team color intensity can be adjusted by navigating to the Gameplay tab in the Options menu and adjusting the value on the new ‘Team Color Intensity ‘slider.
Updated Unit/Spell Effects
EMP, Scanner Sweep, Time Warp, and Mothership Core coloring have been updated to adopt team colors.
Team colored spell effects can be enabled under the Gameplay tab in the Options menu by selecting ‘Enable Additional Team Color Textures’
Fixed an issue where the game display could freeze when using certain video hardware.
The Map preferences UI will no longer occasionally display placeholder text.
Fixed an issue that could cause the matchmaking options to become unavailable.
Fixed an issue where parties could sometimes become split when joining Custom Games.
The Ultralisk will no longer lose the Frenzied ability when burrowed.
Fixed an issue where using Abduct or Graviton Beam on a Ghost would sometimes not cancel a nuclear strike.
Carrier Interceptors will no longer pause when attacking a target under the effects of Mass Recall.
The in-game UI will no longer disappear when watching a replay after using the Streamlined Observer UI.
Fixed an issue where music would fail to loop in some Campaign missions.
The Colossus model will no longer appear larger when killed during warp-in on the Phantoms of the Void mission.
Fixed an issue where sound offsets could occasionally be ignored.
Last week, it was announced that we’re allowing the community to choose the map pool for the upcoming ladder season by voting for their favorite ladder maps from past seasons. With over 60 eligible maps, we first asked for your help in trimming down the list for the final poll.
We’ve looked through the nominations posted online and through #dreampool on Twitter and gathered the most popular suggestions. Now with the final poll in place, the voting begins! You’ll have until October 1 to vote on the seven maps that you want to see in Season 4!
Once voting has concluded, we’ll tally up the votes and announce the complete Season 4 map pool in the weeks that follow.
From September 26-27, some of the world’s best StarCraft II players will face off at the DreamHack Open in Stockholm, battling for a first-place prize of $10,000 USD and 750 WCS points. This tournament is one of the last stops on the Road to BlizzCon 2014, where the WCS Global Finals will be played in November, so these points could prove invaluable. Let’s take a look at some of the competitors who have a chance to make it into to the finals as part of the top 16.
Among the favorites is Korean powerhouse Eo “soO” Yoon Su, whose current position as 11th in the WCS standings doesn’t quite reflect his dominance of the competitive StarCraft II scene over the past year. He’s the first player in history to have qualified for the GSL finals (considered by many to be the toughest individual StarCraft II tournament in the world) four times in a row. At the DreamHack Open, soO will fight for his first premier tournament victory—and with it a spot in the WCS Global Finals.
Photo by Helena Kristiansson, esportphoto.com
Another player seeking a chance to compete at BlizzCon 2014 is Norwegian star Jens “Snute” Aasgaard. His determination to make it to the WCS Global Finals is evident: he attended eight tournaments this summer alone, earning 1,625 WCS points. Snute will be aiming to consolidate his current 16h-place WCS ranking with a great performance in Stockholm in order to earn a trip to finals in November.
Also hoping to represent Europe at BlizzCon is Denmark’s Patrick “Bunny” Brix. Currently ranked in 21st place, the Terran player will need to put in a top-notch performance at the DreamHack Open if he’s to make it into the top 16 in time for the finals. But Bunny’s recent form suggests he’s a player on the rise, and sure to be a fierce opponent.
Publication by StarCraft.
Stockholm has an incredible StarCraft II legacy, and more memories are sure to be made in the Globe Arena next week. It was in this very venue that Marcus “ThorZaIN” Eklöf won the DreamHack Open 2012 tournament in front of an adoring home crowd; that Ilyes “Stephano” Satouri was crowned 2012 WCS Europe champion; and that Johan “NaNiwa” Lucchesi proved to the world that he could compete with Korea’s best players in 2013.
Make sure you follow the action live on the WCS Portal. Don’t miss the last stop on the #RoadtoBlizzCon!
Check out what else is happening in Stockholm this weekend:
Howdy there! We will get back to our scheduled programming in just a moment. We just received an update from our undercover source that has been providing us with eye-witness exclusives about some specimen data.
If you remember from before, our man on the inside was regrettably discovered and ousted from the Dominion facilities… but it seems he got the last laugh! Somehow, our informant managed to smuggle out some encrypted hardware with him, and recently sent it our way for your listening pleasure. The informant’s data provided us key intelligence surrounding some of the meaner Zerg biological monstrosities including the Infestor, Corruptor, Hydralisk and Mutalisk.
Now that you’re getting to understand our opposition, decide how you can be the hope for Terran as a foundational or support unit!
If you seek more knowledge of the Zerg specimens we’ve learned of so far, see our previous Science Corner episodes 1 & 2 from Radio Liberty.
The year’s biggest StarCraft II eSports event just got even bigger! The conclusion of the SC2 World Championship Series Global Finals takes place November 7 and 8 during BlizzCon, and this year, we’re moving the action from the BlizzCon floor to the Anaheim Convention Center Arena.
Along with this Arena upgrade comes extra seating capacity, allowing us to offer the StarCraft II community another opportunity to be part of the Global Finals excitement live and in person. On October 7 at 02 a.m. CEST, a limited quantity of tickets to attend the epic conclusion of 2014 series in the Arena will go on sale to the public—here’s what you need to know.
Buy Tickets Here on October 7
Two Days of eSports Action in the Arena
Beginning October 7 at 02 a.m. CEST, we’ll be selling approximately 1,000 tickets to attend the SC2 WCS Global Finals via the online event ticketing service Eventbrite. Each ticket costs $25 (plus a $2.37 service fee; limit 6) and grants you access to seating in the Loge and Terrace balcony sections of the Arena at the Anaheim Convention Center on both November 7 and 8.
If you’ve been following the WCS action all year, this is your chance to /cheer on your favorite players as they battle for a spot in the Grand Finals—and be there live for the last thrilling GG of the 2014 series.
How to Buy
To purchase tickets, visit the Eventbrite ticketing page for the SC2 WCS Global Finals in the Arena beginning on October 7.
Once the sale begins, you’ll be able to select the quantity of tickets you’d like to purchase (up to 6 maximum) and click Order Now. If tickets are still available, you will have several minutes to complete your purchase, after which point the tickets will be released for sale to others.
You will need to provide your own name and contact info, including the email address where you will receive the tickets, at the time of purchase. You will not need to provide the names of any attendees, and names will not be printed on Arena badges. Note that tickets to this event are non-refundable.
Ticket Delivery & Badge Pickup
After successfully completing a purchase, the ticket buyer will receive their tickets via email from Eventbrite. Each ticket contains a unique attendee bar code that will be required to gain entry to the show.
To receive your badges, visit the Anaheim Convention Center Arena box office on Friday between 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. (local time) or Saturday between 9:00 a.m. PST – 6:30 p.m. (local time) and present your ticket and bar code (printed or on your mobile device).
Watch the World Championship Opening Weekend Online
As a reminder, the StarCraft II WCS Global Finals kick off a week before BlizzCon at the World Championship Opening Weekend. All StarCraft II WCS Global Finals Round of 16 matches will be conducted during the World Championship Opening Weekend event on Saturday, November 1, and while the event isn’t open to the public, you can watch all of the action online on our Twitch Starcraft II World Championship Series channel.
For more information on tickets to attend the conclusion of the SC2 WCS Global Finals at BlizzCon, check out the FAQ below. We look forward to seeing you there!
Tickets to StarCraft II WCS Global Finals in the Arena - FAQ
Q: Where does the StarCraft II WCS Global Finals ticket grant me access?
A: These special WCS Global Finals tickets grant entry to the StarCraft II tournaments held in the Arena at the Anaheim Convention Center (ACC) on November 7 and 8 only, and allow you to sit in the Loge and Terrace balcony sections. Seating is not reserved, so you’ll be able to sit wherever you find a free spot in these sections. Note that these tickets do not grant access to BlizzCon or come with this year’s in-game goodies.
Q: Do I need to buy a ticket for each day of the tournament?
A: Nope! One ticket gets you access to the Arena and the WCS action taking place there on both days (November 7 and 8).
Q: Is anything else going on in the Arena during this time?
A: The Arena is dedicated to the StarCraft II WCS Global Finals on both days of BlizzCon.
Q: What does the WCS schedule during BlizzCon look like?
A: The action begins on Friday around noon (local time) (after the BlizzCon opening ceremony concludes) and is scheduled to end around 9:00 p.m., though exact timing depends on how the tournaments shake out. On Saturday, matches are scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. (beginning with exhibition matches) and end at approximately 6:30 p.m. We’ll post a more detailed schedule closer to the show.
Q: Will all of the WCS Global Finals matches be taking place in the Arena?
The StarCraft II WCS Global Finals Round of 16 matches will be conducted the weekend prior to BlizzCon at a separate location as part of the World Championship Opening Weekend. Note that neither the BlizzCon ticket nor the WCS Arena ticket grants you access to the World Championship Opening Weekend events. All matches of the WCS Round of 8, WCS Semifinals, and WCS Grand Finals, along with some special StarCraft II exhibition matches, will be conducted in the Arena on November 7 and 8.
Q: I have a BlizzCon ticket already—do I need to also purchase a StarCraft II WCS Global Finals ticket to watch the tournament in the Arena?
Your BlizzCon 2014 badge will also grant you access to the Arena to watch the tournament action live on both days of the show (November 7 and 8). General BlizzCon attendees will be able to sit in any available seat in the Arena, including the floor seats close to the action. (They’ll also have access to the Loge and Terrace if they’d like to sit with friends holding WCS-only tickets.) BlizzCon attendees will also have the option to watch certain tournaments, including the Grand Finals, simulcast on the Main and Panel stages on the main BlizzCon floor.
Q: Can I watch the WCS online?
Yes! This year’s BlizzCon eSports tournaments, including the StarCraft II World Championship Global Finals, Hearthstone World Championship, and World of Warcraft Arena World Championship, will be streamed live online for free at www.blizzcon.com and the StarCraft II WCS portal on November 7 and 8. We’ll have more details closer to the show.
The GSL Code S Finals and WCS Europe Playoffs will take over your StarCraft II-watching life this weekend when champions will be crowned and BlizzCon dreams will become reality….for some. The best-of-seven championship series in Code S figures to be an epic clash with a ton of backstory behind each of the two veteran WCS competitors. The final sprint to the WCS Europe championship, on the other hand will put the finishing touches on what has been a fantastic Season 3 in the region.
In Korea, the GSL championship comes down to INnoVation versus soO, two players who embody the best of the WCS system. There isn’t a more consistent player in WCS than Zerg superstar soO, who is playing in his fourth straight WCS Korea/GSL final. He’s been the runner-up to Dear, Zest and Classic in each of those players’ triumphs in Korea and now may be the time soO finally ascends to the throne himself. INnoVation grabbed the then-new WCS system by the horns back in the spring of 2013 when he stormed to the top of the WCS Standings and showed everybody the value of WCS points. After fading late in 2013, this year saw the Terran hope steadily climb back into prominence as he’s standing one matchday away from total redemption. Throw in the fact that INnoVation will qualify for the WCS Global Finals at BlizzCon with a win, and he should have all of the motivation he needs.
The winner will receive: 2000 WCS points for the season, 70,000,000 KRW (≈$66,000 USD)
The runner-up will receive: 1000 WCS points for the season, 15,000,000 KRW (≈$14,000 USD)
Join us on StarCraft2.com/WCS at 11:00 a.m. CEST on Saturday October 4 for the GSL Code S Finals.
In WCS Europe, your Championship Week continues --mere hours after the GSL Final’s completion-- when MC faces Yoda in the first quarterfinal beginning at 8:00 a.m. PDT on Saturday October 4. That first match will kick off a day of WCS Europe playoff battles that will continue with Golden vs. Happy; Bunny vs. San and ForGG vs. MMA to finish the day. With those matches in the books, we’ll be down to four players fighting for the WCS Europe crown when the semifinals begin at 9:00 a.m. PDT on Sunday October 5. The Global Finals picture can still be stirred up by events in Germany this weekend so you’ll want to keep an eye on Golden, ForGG and Bunny. If one of those players wins a championship, 16th-place Snute would definitely and 15th-place Jaedong could potentially be knocked out of their spots at the Global Finals. The Great Foreign Hope and the Tyrant will certainly be watching as their fates unfold.
The winner of WCS Europe will receive: 2000 WCS points for the season and $25,000.
The runner-up of WCS Europe will receive: 1000 WCS points for the season and $15,000.
So the challenge for StarCraft II fans is clear: brew the coffee, pop the corn and clear the schedule because in the small hours of Saturday morning you’re going to be watching the best of the best and two champions will be crowned before the weekend is over.
The voting portion of the Season 4 map selection process has concluded!
In just seven short days, over 16,000 players cast their vote and let us know which maps they want to see in upcoming ladder season. During this time we’ve also seen a lot of passionate discussion, with players even campaigning for votes on behalf of their favorite maps.
But this isn’t the end – we still have the winning maps to announce. Starting on Monday, October 6, we’ll be revealing the first winning map and a new one every few days until the full map pool is revealed. Who did you vote for and who is going to win? Tell us in the comments below!
We want to thank everyone for their participation, and we look forward to revealing the winning maps over the next few weeks!
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Patch 2.1.5 is being distributed to all regions throughout the week, and may not be live in your region yet. Please read on to check out the full patch notes.
StarCraft II 2.1.5 Patch Notes
Fixed an issue that could cause the post-game score screen to become stuck while loading.
Fixed an issue that prevented replays generated in patch 2.1.3 from loading in newer versions of StarCraft II.
Fixed an issue where Mac clients could freeze when experiencing a game application crash in Full Screen mode.
Fixed an issue where the Hotkey UI panel would not appear correctly on initial selection.
Professional StarCraft II players compete the entire year for the ultimate prize: to hold the Gosu Trophy proudly as the Global Champion at BlizzCon. For the first time ever, StarCraft II will give WCS supporters the opportunity to show off their own Gosu Trophy in the game as a portrait and Feat of Strength.
These portraits won’t be available for the next few weeks, but you can qualify for them now! We’ll be announcing other exciting new ways to get these portraits soon.
Subscribe on Twitch for World Championship Series Gosu Trophy Portraits
Current active subscribers to the WCS America, WCS Europe, or GSL Twitch channels will be awarded this portrait. If you haven’t subscribed yet, sign up for this League Finals, and contribute to your favorite WCS region.
New Pricing for WCS Channels and Subscription Benefits
WCS America and Europe will be dropping the price of the combined ticket to make it easier for you to follow your favorite pro players and get your Gosu Trophy portrait. You'll also secure special Twitch subscriber benefits, such as Collector’s Edition emoticons, a WCS subscriber icon, and access to subscriber only chat. These benefits will be active for the League Finals through the Global Finals at BlizzCon!
Subscription Package Cost and Link
WCS AM League Finals and Global Finals $5.99
WCS EU League Finals and Global Finals $5.99
WCS AM + EU League Finals and Global Finals $9.99
If you're looking to attend in person, check out our recent Arena Tickets announcement and get primed to buy your Global Finals ticket on October 7.
The time has come. The votes have been counted and the Season 4 map pool is now locked in. Now it’s time to begin revealing the winning maps as chosen by you the community.
Starting today, we’ll be unveiling a new map every few days until the entire map pool is revealed. You can find the date for each map announcement in the list below.
#1 Cloud Kingdom LE (8.34%)
Regarded by many to be the greatest map in StarCraft II history, it should come as no surprise that the map receiving the most votes is Cloud Kingdom LE. Released in 2011, Cloud Kingdom not only won the first Team Liquid Map Contest, but also became the first non-Korean map to enter a Korean Starleague when it was featured in 2012 GSL Season 1. Eventually added to the StarCraft II ladder map pool in early 2012, the map stayed on the ladder for 11 seasons, giving it one of the longest runs in ladder history.
Lucifron vs Stephano - 2013 WCS Europe
Grubby vs Nerchio - 2012 WCS Europe
Life vs Leenock – 2012 MLG Fall Championship Finals
#2 TBD - October 8 (8.14%)
#3 TBD - October 10 (7.79%)
#4 TBD - October 13 (7.69%)
#5 TBD - October 16 (7.21%)
#6 TBD - October 20 (6.77%)
#7 TBD (6.49%)
Just a reminder that a limited number of tickets to attend the conclusion of the StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals in the Anaheim Convention Center Arena during BlizzCon go on sale tomorrow (Tuesday, October 7) at 20:00 CET. Visit the Eventbrite ticket sales page at that time for the chance to buy yours.
Buy Tickets Here on October 7
For more information on these special Arena-only tickets, which grant access to the Loge and Terrace balcony sections of the Arena on both November 7 and 8, check out our original announcement blog.
This week we are hanging out with our good buddy Sinvicta for some Arcade action. It’ll be two hours of gaming with the first hour being free play with the Blizzard community and the second hour we will hop on to Sinvicta’s stream. You’ll be able to watch the second hour at http://www.twitch.tv/sinvicta. See you online!
Wednesday, Oct 9
02:00 – 03:00 CET [NA server]
Free play with Arcade CM Traysent
03:00 – 04:00 CET [NA server]
Mid-Week Mosh Pit with Sinvitca.
Tickets to attend the conclusion of the StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals, taking place in the Anaheim Convention Center Arena during BlizzCon, are on sale now! Visit the Eventbrite ticket sales page to buy yours.
Buy WCS Global Finals Tickets
For more information on these special Arena-only tickets, which grant access to the Loge and Terrace balcony sections of the Arena on both November 7 and 8, check out our original announcement blog.