Starcraft II News | PCGamesN

Starcraft II News | PCGamesN

NetEase and Blizzard launch new StarCraft 2 league, Gold Series Pro League, to replace WCS Challenger

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NetEase and Blizzard launch new StarCraft 2 league, Gold Series Pro League, to replace WCS Challenger

For a dead game, StarCraft 2 leagues sure are multiplying in Asia. Chinese internet conglomerate NetEase just announced that they will be operating their own WCS-style tournament, the Gold Series Pro League (GPL) later this year as a part of the WCS system. This will give Chinese players a high-profile domestic tournament of their own that will seed into WCS.

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Blizzard slow down Starcraft II combat pace as an experiment; more testing before "final call"

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Blizzard slow down Starcraft II combat pace as an experiment; more testing before "final call"

In a recent Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void dev update, Blizzard have revealed an astionishing experiment that could change Starcraft II forever. Blizzard are toying with the idea of slowing down the combat of Starcraft II, by decreasing the attack speed of all units by 40%.

"Is this a positive change that makes games better?" asked game balance designer David Kim. "We're just not sure of this yet."

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More allegations of match-fixing and illegal betting activity in pro StarCraft

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More allegations of match-fixing and illegal betting activity in pro StarCraft

A couple weeks ago, betting site Pinnacle Sports voided all bets on a Proleague match based on what they deemed suspicious betting patterns that made them think some bettors had some foreknowledge of the match’s results. Now, over this past weekend, Axiom eSports manager Olivia Wong vented on Twitter that match-fixing has become endemic in the Korean StarCraft 2 scene.

She implicated several tournaments in her comments, and suggested that some pro players were even working with bettors to fix match-results.

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Accusations of StarCraft match-fixing against progamer San from betting site Pinnacle

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Accusations of StarCraft match-fixing against progamer San from betting site Pinnacle

A sports betting site has thrown some serious match-fixing allegations at Korean progamer Kang "San" Cho Won in the wake of his defeat in Proleague early on Tuesday. Claiming that “the bet placement pattern clearly indicates that the match was not played on a fair basis," Pinnacle Sports voided all bets.

It’s an ugly accusation for a Korean StarCraft community that is finally on the rebound, and an unwanted reminder of the darkest chapter in the sport’s history.

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Legacy of the Void: how Blizzard are building a beta StarCraft II with "meaningful" upgrades

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Legacy of the Void: how Blizzard are building a beta StarCraft II with "meaningful" upgrades

Blizzard have already begun the impossible balancing act of Legacy of the Void, the third part of the StarCraft II trilogy first foretold seven years ago. And they’ll start tweaking in earnest once the new game lands in beta next year. They’re aiming for “more meaningful" upgrades in one of the best strategy games on PC, and planning far-reaching changes to resources and worker counts.

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The 2015 WCS StarCraft 2 season begins, but is it too much of a good thing?

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The 2015 WCS StarCraft 2 season begins, but is it too much of a good thing?

Following eSports sometimes feels like going to Hell’s Ironic Punishment Division, where you’re force-fed your favorite things until you go mad. “You like eSports, Homer? Have all the eSports in the world!" This weekend, with three major StarCraft tournaments concluding on the same day, is one of those times.

But eSports scheduling clashes are nothing new. What’s surprising this time around is that these tournaments all have championship implications for 2015. Less than a month after StarCraft crowned its world champion, the 2015 campaign has already begun.

I’m not sure I like it.

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Why pro StarCraft 2 has rejected the classic maps

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Why pro StarCraft 2 has rejected the classic maps

If you tune into any StarCraft tournament this month or next, you’ll note that everyone is playing on the same map pool we’ve had since midsummer. In fact, just last week, the DreamHack Open Twitter account reassured viewers that DreamHack winter would be decided using the Season 3 WCS map pool.

What’s striking about all this is that every single tournament organizer has rejected Blizzard’s Season 4 ladder map pool, which was compiled via fan vote from a list of StarCraft 2’s oldest and best-known competitive maps. While fans might wax nostalgic about the days of Daybreak and Ohana, the pro scene seems to be saying that the past is best left to memory.

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David Kim and the impossible balancing act of StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void

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David Kim and the impossible balancing act of StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void

Blizzard designer David Kim is “the balance guy" for StarCraft 2. His name is at once a curse and an incantation, the Godot of StarCraft. If something is broken — and something always is — it is Kim’s fault. But Kim will fix it. Kim will make it worse.

It’s easy to parody Kim. His role is one of inherent conservatism. He’s constantly dealing with the physics of avalanches. His goal is to try and ensure that each race can beat every other race roughly 50% of the time, all other things being equal. But then he must also look at how those games are being won and lost, and ask whether StarCraft remains an entertaining and rewarding game to play and watch.

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How StarCraft II's Legacy of the Void Archon mode is going to work

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How StarCraft II's Legacy of the Void Archon mode is going to work

Legacy of the Void will make your Protoss fantasies come true, so long as you’re not responsible for some of the odder space-elf fan art available on Google Images. But it’ll also introduce something potentially more exciting to the world’s biggest RTS: shared-base co-op played out on one-versus-one maps. 

Blizzard have dubbed the idea Archon Mode. And since BlizzCon 2014 wrapped, they've been busy explaining its ins and outs.

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How Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void makes your Protoss fantasies come true

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How Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void makes your Protoss fantasies come true

According to the Blizzard developers working on it, the Legacy of the Void campaign is about one thing: Protoss fantasy. It’s a campaign made for people who take internet quizzes like “Who is your Protoss crush?" and “Are you High Templar, Dark Templar, or Tal’Darim?"

But even if you think the Protoss are a bunch of mouthless space know-it-alls, Legacy of the Void looks like it’s going to offer one of the most interesting single-player campaigns in a trilogy that’s become known for space operatics and innovative mission and campaign design.

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Here's all the new multiplayer units coming to Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void

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Here's all the new multiplayer units coming to Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void

With any new expansion for Starcraft 2, you can be sure that there’ll be new units to wreak havoc with in multiplayer (and the campaign). Each of the three races will be receiving new tools of destruction in Legacy of the Void, and also applying updates to existing ones too.

We’ve got video previews of the new units and updates for you to take a look at, and start planning which race you’ll be playing going into Legacy of the Void.

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Starcraft 2's final chapter, Legacy of the Void, is a standalone expansion

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Starcraft 2's final chapter, Legacy of the Void, is a standalone expansion

At this year’s BlizzCon, Blizzard revealed the final chapter for Starcraft 2: the protoss expansion, Legacy of the Void. It’ll be a standalone expansion - it won’t require the previous games to play - that will decide the fates of all three races. You’ll control the last remnants of the Protoss race as you gather an army to stop the Xel’Naga threat.

The new Starcraft 2 addition will feature a new co-op campaign

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Final StarCraft II sound clip teases BlizzCon announcement, possibly Legacy of the Void

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Final StarCraft II sound clip teases BlizzCon announcement, possibly Legacy of the Void

Like a siren, Blizzard is calling people to BlizzCon. Over the last week, Blizzard have been teasing cryptic StarCraft II sound clips. It started with a shrieking zerg and then the sound of weapons, then there was a strange mechanical sound, which reminded Nick of the terran warhound unit when he posted about it. 

Yesterday, another audio tease appeared, which sounded like an aircraft taking off and then firing lasers. The titles of all three of these teases created a partial sentence: “See you at…". BlizzCon was assumed to be the final word, and it is indeed, as the final tease was posted today. Take a listen below. 

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Blizzard tease cryptic Starcraft II sound clips; possible announcement at BlizzCon

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Blizzard tease cryptic Starcraft II sound clips; possible announcement at BlizzCon

It’s getting ever closer to this year’s Blizzcon - Blizzard’s annual celebration of all their products, along with some long anticipated announcements. While there’s plenty going on with Warlords of Draenor, Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, Starcraft II has been a bit quiet since the release of Heart of the Swarm last year.

That was until Blizzard started to post mysterious sound clips of near-inaudible sound effects. What are they and what could they mean, we don’t yet know; we’ve got the clips below so you can try and work it out.

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Radical changes for WCS StarCraft in 2015 — the full rundown

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Radical changes for WCS StarCraft in 2015 — the full rundown

Speaking of StarCraft’s Global Finals, Blizzard have just announced some fairly comprehensive changes to the way the WCS is going to work in 2015. Gone are WCS Europe and America and in their place is a single league for non-Korean players. Meanwhile, Korea is rolling out a brand new individual league alongside the storied GSL.

But as with any and every change to competitive StarCraft, the real question is whether these changes reflect a dying game and community, or the dawn of an exciting new era for the venerable RTS? The answer, of course, is yes.

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WCS StarCraft 2 Global Finals round of 16 starting now

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WCS StarCraft 2 Global Finals round of 16 starting now

StarCraft’s 2014 WCS series is in its closing stages, and the Global Finals are kicking off right now as the sixteen top-ranked players in the world compete for a $100,000 grand prize. Today’s round of 16 is just getting under way, and features some absolutely fantastic matchups. Those who survive today’s best-of-five matches will move on to the quarterfinals at BlizzCon next weekend.

It’s a very long day of StarCraft, however, and not everyone will want to buckle in for 12 hours of play. So here are the must-see matches of the round of 16.

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StarCraft II WCS Global Finals tickets go on sale today

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StarCraft II WCS Global Finals tickets go on sale today

In exactly a month, a news post with a header image quite a lot like this one will let you know that the last leg of the StarCraft II WCS finals have started, and you should already be in your computer chair with your player reference tabs and family-size bag of jelly babies open.

But today is your chance to alter that timeline a little. Buy an arena ticket this evening and you could be at the Anaheim Convention Center in California on November 7 and 8, cheering on the oblivious pros sat in their tiny, noise-cancelled booths.

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