Blizzard to lock player progress as StarCraft 2 Ladder Season 4 draws to a close

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Blizzard are about to lock a ladder. If that’s too nonsensical a metaphor for you, imagine one of the following: that they’re pulling the ladder up behind them; breaking every step on their way down in a slapstick fall; folding it away and packing it under the stairs. Whichever you choose, in real hard truth-terms it means this: from Monday August 19 at 12:01am PDT, you won’t be working your way up to that next StarCraft 2 league or division.

During the lockdown, you can’t be promoted or demoted from your current league or division. BUT – and this is the important bit – the invisible rating system that determines your position on the ladder will continue to function in the background. Let it all hang out for the remainder of the season, then, and you might wake up at the start of next season in a lesser league – the contemporary equivalent of the classic finding-yourself-at-school-with-no-clothes-on nightmare.

Your bonus pool will also stop growing after matches from Monday – though any existing bonus points can be used to boost your rating during remaining games until the end of the season.

Season 5 will kick off immediately after the conclusion of Gamescom’sWCS Season 2 finals, at 12:01am on August 26. That’ll mean an updated map pool, a free character name change for all, and the chance to ascend the ladder with renewed vigour and purpose.

Do you still play StarCraft competitively? Not necessarily in the I’m-sponsored-by-an-energy-drink sense, but online, against other humans?