Blizzard offer high-res StarCraft 2 WCS streams through Twitch premium subs

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Blizzard are calling their new Twitch subscription option a ‘ticket’, but it won’t gain you entry to the WCS’ Gamescom grand finals or anything else in the weeks leading up to it. Instead, it’ll simply give you the option to bump up the picture quality of any matches you might be watching beyond the usual 720p limit on Twitch.

The premium ticket provides the option for a 720p+ live bitrate, which seems awfully unspecific, as well as 1080p+ where available. Of course, they’ll still be free to reduce the image to a positively smeary 240p should the fidelity become all too exciting (though I’ve heard some find infidelity just as thrilling).

Beyond the new resolution options, the Twitch ticket’s features are designed to let others know that you’re part of the 1080p club. Subscribers will receive a ‘unique’ WCS icon that will sit alongside their usernames, signifying their dedication to the chat masses. They’ll also be able to provide fellow chatees with regular reminders of their status via a suite of Collector’s Edition emoticons.

“These emoticons will be enabled on your account for the full duration of WCS and will be different each Season,” write Blizz. “Please provide feedback for any emoticons you would like to see in upcoming Seasons.”

The subs aren’t too extortionate, at $5.99 a pop, but apply only to one Twitch channel each – either the WCS America Season 2 feed, which ends September 5; the WCS Europe channel, which covers the Premier League Round of 16 and August 5’s League Finals; or the Finals feed, which runs throughout Gamescom from August 21 to 25. Blizzard are offering a mild discount to the tune of $9.99 for those wanting to pick up subs for both the WCS Europe and Finals channels.

Existing WCS OSL and WCS GSL league subscribers will see the same features added to their channels for free beginning today – and it’s worth noting that all WCS Europe and WCS America matches will be available to watch at totally reasonable resolutions without subscription via battle.net.

Are the extra pixels worth their price in dollars? Remembering, too, that the WCS finals and Dota 2’s International finals have been scheduled for the same weekend?