StarCraft 2 was released September 2010 and has since brought eSports to the world in force. Last month SC2 had over $60,000 in cash prize tournaments and since its release date has over $1.2million in cash prizes as listed on the SC2 tournaments page. This article explains how StarCraft 2 is bringing eSports to the next level.
Since its release SC2 has had commentators many of which have been commentating since the original StarCraft. Husky and HD the two most notable have accumulated hundreds of thousands of subscribers to their YouTube channels dedicated to commentating SC2. Both these channels when a video is posted has over 10,000 views within hours and over a 100,000 within days. Many more people can now be found commentating SC2 matches, there are many SC2 replay sites out there making it incredibly easy for anyone to start their own YouTube channel. Many of these commentators have paid sponsors who pay them to add a logo or banner to the commentated video. Commentated SC2 replays are just one of the many things that make SC2 a global leader in eSports.
Live televised and streamed matches. Recently there have been websites that have dedicated broadcasts to specific SC2 players such as LiquidTLO or TheLittleOne who did a 24 hour SC2 marathon where the money raised would be donated to Doctors Without Borders charity. This was a huge success for the SC2 pro gamer and raised over $2,400 with a peak viewership of 24,000 people. It is not just websites that air these matches but also television stations. Korea for example has multiple TV channels for SC2 matches.
StarCraft 2 is Global. The game has its largest fan base in Korea; the day of release was a national holiday. Korea has also made StarCraft an official national sport of the country. SC2 was huge in Korea since release for the rest of the world it is a growing trend. Since its release it has been added to the World Cyber Sports Cup the world’s largest eSport event. There are many LAN tournaments around the world from America, Europe and Asia. The major leagues in the world are NASL the North American Star League, ESL European Starcraft League and the GSL Global Sarcraft League for Korea. North Korea also has GomTV which has a partnership with Blizzard and airs StarCraft 2 matches on live TV. So as you can see StraCraft 2 is still dominant in Korea however very few players travel to Korea to play pro StarCraft 2 because unlike the original StarCraft 2 is becoming more and more popular in the rest of the world instead of retreating to Korea. For the first time in history people living outside Korea for the first time have the opportunity to earn a living playing StarCraft 2.
With full time salaries, cash prize tournaments and sponsorships larger then any other game in history StarCraft 2 is the king of eSports.