Just in case The International hasn’t sated your appetite for eSports, you should know that this is a huge weekend for StarCraft 2 as well: all three divisions are having their finals this weekend. While that’s not an entirely great thing from the standpoint of convenience or good sense, it should not detract from the fact that the fact that this season of Blizzard’s World Championship Series has been head-and-shoulders above last season. With competitive StarCraft better than at any point since early 2012, both the American and European divisions are poised to have great series.
The Korean final is taking place right now on wcs.battle.net, while the European finals begin at 1PM BST / 8AM Eastern. America comes last at 9PM BST / 4PM Eastern. Tomorrow, Europe begins two hours earlier, while America’s broadcast starts at the same time.
Europe has a lot to look forward to, especially if you like Protoss. The round of 16 was not kind to Zerg or Terrans, and Protoss fan favorites like MC, NaNiwa, and Grubby are all in contention for the championship. Unfortunately, this also means the day includes two mirror-matches, although Protoss vs. Protoss is not quite the excruciating affair it was in Wings of Liberty.
America might even promise better games, although this is partly down to the fact that it’s full of Asian players who have crowded out the few viable American contenders. Still, there is a time and place to bemoan the difficulties facing North American StarCraft, and this is not it. Not when the bracket includes Jaedong, TaeJa, Polt, and Oz, along with Canada’s own brilliant Zerg, Scarlett.
TaeJa has looked unbeatable lately, but Polt has been resurgent in North America and Jaedong is due for a major victory after so many close defeats. But there can be no doubt that Scarlett is the likely fan favorite as the sole North American standard-bearer left in the tournament.