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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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Blizzard reshape competitive StarCraft 2 worldwide with 2013 World Championship Series

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Blizzard reshape competitive StarCraft 2 worldwide with 2013 World Championship Series

This evening at a press conference in Korea, Blizzard announced the new format of the 2013 World Championship Series, substantially revising how competitive StarCraft 2 works around the world. The restructuring places the US’s Major League Gaming, Europe’s Electronic Sports League, and Korea’s GSL and Starleague inside Blizzard’s overarching WCS. It is a major step toward Blizzard’s longstanding eSports goal of creating a sensible international tournament series that can credibly identify the world’s greatest player.

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IPL5 preview: GSL Season 5 Starcraft 2 tournament brings the premier Korean StarCraft 2 series to American soil

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IPL5 preview: GSL Season 5 Starcraft 2 tournament brings the premier Korean StarCraft 2 series to American soilThe Global StarCraft League (GSL) is consistently the home of the world’s best StarCraft players. This might change with time, as Pro League continues to evolve from its Brood War-exclusive era, and the growing cooperation among Western leagues bodes well for improving the quality and consistency of their StarCraft tournaments. But for now, the GSL Code S and Code A pools read like a Who’s Who of professional StarCraft. Winning a GSL championship is like winning Formula 1 championship: there are other series, but all the world’s best compete in this one.

GSL has a partnership with IGN’s Pro League and, earlier this year, hosted its Team League championship at IPL4. This weekend, GSL is bringing the Code S championship to the United States, hosting its semifinals and final at IP5 in Las Vegas this weekend. HyuN, Ryung, Sniper, and Bogus will each be trying to fight his way to StarCraft’s most prestigious title and almost $43,000 champion’s purse.

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IPL 5 preview: The GSL World Championship pits Korea's best StarCraft 2 pros against the rest of the world

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IPL 5 preview: The GSL World Championship pits Korea's best StarCraft 2 pros against the rest of the worldIPL 5 (IGN Pro League) in Las Vegas this weekend is host to not one but three StarCraft 2 tournaments, and one of the most interesting is the GSL World Championship, something akin to golf’s Ryder Cup, as the best of one region take on challengers from across several others. In this case, it’s Korea vs. the World in a mixed format competition.

Things look pretty dire for the “foreign" side, however. The Korean team was chosen by their GSL rankings, meaning the five Korean champions are: Seed, MC, Squirtle, Life, and DongRaeGu. The “World All Stars" are: Stephano, Nerchio, LucifroN, Scarlett, and NaNiwa. Never has “foreigner hope" stressed the “hope" part quite so much. If they manage to pull off a win here, expect a StarCraft 2 version of Miracle, the Hollywood retelling of the US hockey team’s victory over the Soviet team in the 1980 Olympics.

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Current Starleague StarCraft 2 champ Rain abandons GSL Code S slot to compete at MLG Fall Championship

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Current Starleague StarCraft 2 champ Rain abandons GSL Code S slot to compete at MLG Fall Championship

Jung “Rain" Yoon Jong (Korean Protoss) is having an amazing year: in his first GSL tournament, he made it to the semifinals, while simultaneously making his way to victory in the very first StarCraft 2 championship in the history of the storied Starleague. He took his win from no less formidable an opponent than one of the world’s top Zerg players, and a GSL champion, DongRaeGu, and he was seeded back into the Code S pools for the newest season.

Now, he’s abruptly dropped out out of the GSL tournament to try his luck at the MLG Fall Championship this weekend, where he’ll have to first play through the open bracket before he can even think about making a run at the title. While it’s certainly not unusual for Korean pros to take time off from the fiercely competitive Korean tournament scene to work the foreign circuit, league politics make Rain’s decision more fraught with implications.

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Life wins GSL tournament to become first StarCraft 2 "Royal Roader", defeats four-time champion Mvp

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Life wins GSL tournament to become first StarCraft 2 "Royal Roader", defeats four-time champion Mvp

It was exactly what professional StarCraft 2 needed after a tumultuous week: a championship-deciding seven game series between the sport’s most successful player and a brilliant newcomer. Each player stared annihilation in the face, and each player had to battle his way back into the series. No matter who won, history would be made. A win for Jung “Mvp" Jong Hyun would give him his fifth Global StarCraft 2 League title, a feat unlikely to be repeated any time soon. On the other side, Lee “Life" Seung Hyun had a chance to walk the Royal Road to its end, becoming the first GSL champion to claim the distinction by winning on his very first appearance in Code S.

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SlayerS StarCraft 2 team disbands amidst public quarreling, president of Korean eSports Federation resigns

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SlayerS StarCraft 2 team disbands amidst public quarreling, president of Korean eSports Federation resignsThe Korean professional StarCraft 2 scene has been shaken this week by the sudden announcement that the SlayerS team, which was founded by StarCraft legend Lim “BoxeR" Yo Hwan, will disband in November following the Global StarCraft Team League tournament. His partner and team manager Kim “Jessica" Ga Yeon announced the move and explained the reasons behind it, citing conflicts with key team members and an ugly feud with the eSports Federation that saw SlayerS ostracized by their fellow teams and their players harassed.

Her statement shed light on the brand of vindictive politics practiced by eSports Federation head Won Joong Wook, who is also a coach for the noted StarTale team. He immediately resigned from his position as head of the eSports Federation and made a profuse apology to Jessica and SlayerS.

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GSL Code S StarCraft 2 finals tomorrow, Mvp vies for fifth GSL championship title against newcomer Life

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GSL Code S StarCraft 2 finals tomorrow, Mvp vies for fifth GSL championship title against newcomer LifeThe final best of seven for the Global StarCraft League’s Code S championship begins tomorrow morning at 7 AM UK / 2 AM Eastern. The most successful player in GSL and StarCraft 2 history, Jung “Mvp" Jong Hyun (Terran), squares off against young Lee “Life" Syung Hyun, a 15 year-old Zerg prodigy who is just four victories away from winning the GSL title on his first appearance.

The event will be broadcast on GOMTV’s website, although stream access requires a paid pass.

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StarCraft 2's GSL Season 4 Code S semifinal recap: Rain battles Mvp, TaeJa gets a Life lesson

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StarCraft 2's GSL Season 4 Code S semifinal recap: Rain battles Mvp, TaeJa gets a Life lessonThere were some great storylines heading into this morning’s GSL Code S semifinal round. GSL Starcraft. SK Telecom’s Jung “Rain" Yoon Jong had just locked in his trip to the finals for OnGameNet Starleague’s inaugural StarCraft 2 tournament and was one series win away from going to the GSL finals. Standing between him and a historic concurrent finals appearance was GSL legend Jung “Mvp" Jong Hyun. Meanwhile, Team Liquid’s top Terran Yoon “TaeJa" Young Suh was squaring off against StarTale’s 15 year-old Zerg prodigy, Lee “Life" Seung Hyun, in his first appearance at GSL.

Match spoilers abound after the jump, so if you want to catch the games for yourself, you should head over GOMTV’s website.

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GOMTV begin uploading best GSL matches to YouTube

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GOMTV begin uploading best GSL matches to YouTubeAs gaming as a spectator's sport rises, we're going to start hitting the age old problem of how to convert new viewers: you sit your friend down, promising them they'll enjoy it, only to find that particular round is dull and rubbish. Your friend is lost, to the potential hobby and to you.

GOMTV are trying to end that issue by uploading the best, most historic, tense, and enjoyable matches of the GSL to YouTube for all to experience.

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