The Student StarCraft AI Tournament is a bit like poking a bear. First held in 2011, it tasks students of AI and computer science to submit bots for 1v1 StarCraft battles. It might not happen this year, but one day, these bots will surely grow tired of fighting their fake future wars and rise up against us. And with all that training, they’ll surely win.
Look at your F10 key. Unostentatious. Unimpressive. Certainly doesn’t look like a direct portal straight to the ‘90s.
Yet if you press it in the StarCraft II test client, and navigate to the ‘Soundtrack’ option in a clickity extra step that somewhat ruins the mystique, you’ll be taken straight there via the OSTs of StarCraft 1 and Brood War.
Heroes of the Storm, described as "Blizzard: The Game" earlier today, has just opened its doors to the unwashed masses, flicking the giant switch that says "BETA SIGNUPS" in huge, bright-red letters. While you're there, begging for access, don't forget to take a gander at the heroes you'll be able to command, from cigar smoking leader of Ratchet, Gazlow, to the big bad Lord of Terror himself, Diablo.
Of course, everything pales in comparison to a giant, demonic murloc.
Blizzard’s World Championship Series has not always run smoothly, and sometimes Blizzard’s decision-making seems questionable. But as this third and final season of the WCS nears its conclusion, and the European division begins its round of 8 tomorrow at 5 PM UK / 12 PM Eastern on the WCS website, it’s worth acknowledging that the WCS has succeeded at its most important task: reliably producing fantastic StarCraft 2 events and games.
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Today at noon Eastern / 5 PM UK (just a few minutes away!), the round of 32 in Europe’s WCS Premier League continues with BabyKnight, Ret, ThorZaIN, and Welmu competing to advance to the round of 16. It’s an all-European group featuring some incredibly seasoned, accomplished players.
There’s a bunch of little improvements that could make eSports friendlier to newcomers and longtime fans right now. But this year, there are also some deeper deficiencies that eSports organizers could stand to address. These are harder to fix because of the way eSports are structured right now, but they should be addressed in the long-run.
Team Liquid is the heart of the StarCraft 2 community. If you want to follow that scene, you hang out at their website, and the chances are that tournament organizers and team managers will bring news and information to Liquid before they even release it via their own websites. Very simply, Team Liquid is the English-language StarCraft scene.
Blizzard All-stars is the developer’s own attempt to usurp Dota 2 and League of Legends; games built upon the success of the original Warcraft 3 Dota mod. Originally named Blizzard DOTA, its name was changed after a legal dispute with Valve over the Dota trademark.
While Valve may now hold the Dota trademark, Blizzard can still lay claim to being the inspiration for the Dota legacy, which stretches back through Warcraft 3 to the original StarCraft and a custom map known as Aeon of Strife. Here’s what we know about their game so far.
The MLG v. Proleague Invitational begins tonight at 12 AM BST / 7 PM Eastern. It is the first tournament featuring many of MLG’s international StarCraft 2 professionals and the Korean eSports Association’s (KeSPA) pro players now joining the world SC2 competitive scene.
Tonight opens the $10,000 winner-take-all tournament with matches featuring Chris “HuK" Loranger v. Kim “Bisu" Taek-Yong, Johan “NaNiwa" Lucchesi v. Lee Jae Dong (whose handle is simply “JaeDong"), Greg “IdrA" Fields vs. Song “Stork" Byung Goo, among others.
The MvP Invitational is pay-per-view, and a $10 pass for the entire 48-player event is on sale at the MLG store. Streams will be broadcast in 1080p and only passholders will have access to replays. However, we have one code to give away for free! All you have to do, reader, is like our Facebook page and send us a direct message via Facebook messaging service. First person to do so gets a code for weeks of pro StarCraft 2. So hurry over to the PCGamesN Facebook page and give us our propers.
The second day of StarCraft 2 competition at DreamHack Valencia opened with a largely unsurprising round of 16. Most of the tournament favorites dispatched their opponents to move onto the round of 8, which is ongoing an DreamHack’s Twitch channel.
One early surprise, however, was VortiX’s (Juan Moreno Duran, Spanish Zerg) decisive takedown of Korea’s Kim “ViOLet" Dong Hwan. His brother Pedro, the Terran LucifroN, did not fare nearly as well, falling to TargA 1-2. Fully half of the round of 16’s matches, however, were decided 2-0.
During a panel about eSports at the Valencia eSports Congress, Dustin Browder, Lead Designer on Starcraft II, was asked whether Blizzard had any plans for free to play in regards to their strategy behemoth. Free to play opens up the game to a huge number of people, and the more people that play, the more likely it is that you’ll unearth talent for your pro eSports scene.
Major League Gaming, the International Esports Group and the Korean Esports Association have teamed together to create an invitational international mega-tournament for Starcraft 2, the MVP (MLG vs ProLeague). It’ll bring together 48 of the best players in SC2 right now, with 24 coming from the Korean ProLeague, along with 12 from the US and 6 from Europe. The final 6 will be from Korea and Taiwan, just not from the ProLeague.
Check your inboxes. Your main one, obviously. But also your backup, and the one that you use just to sign up to services you know you never want to hear anything from. And check that one you made when you were 14 and thought that Judge Dredd was just about the coolest thing on the planet and so ‘DreddLaw69’ would be a good account name.
Well at least Dredd is still cool. And you might be in the Heart of the Swarm beta. Which just went live. Which is why you’re checking your inboxes.
Wily modders have recreated five of the six Starcraft campaigns within the Starcraft 2 engine. These are complete, faithful recreations of the original Starcraft and Starcraft: Brood Wars singleplayer game, including the original techtrees, dialogue, and even the briefing screens. These first five are available to download and play, and the modders have recently announced work has begun the final Queen of Blades campaign.
In his first ever appearance at the IEM, Mvp, a 21 year old Korean and veteran of the original Starcraft, has taken the win over Nerchio, nabbing himself the pot and demonstrating once more that Korea really does have a monopoly on high end Starcraft 2 play.
Battle.net suffered a massive security breach last Saturday, August 4, in which encrypted player passwords, a list of global email addresses, answers to personal security question and Authenticator information were all swiped. Blizzard maintain that only North American passwords were accessed, that they're still cryptographically scambled and that they're confident it would be "extremely difficult" to extract the actual password. Either way, if you're a Battle.net user you should change your password immediately, and the passwords of any other accounts that might've shared that password. Mike Morhaime's issued a statement on the Blizzard website, and Blizzard have posted a security FAQ that Battle.net users should probably take a look at.