Table of Contents
Key Points & New Information
The TL;DR version of the event (You'll still get banned for using it as your sole source in an argument)
Live Updates via @TeamLiquidLive
Log of live updates from the event
Official Blizzard Release
The official press release from the Blizzard PR department.
TeamLiquid was invited to cover one of the most mysterious e-sports events in recent memory, the vaguely titled StarCraft II eSports Transition Celebration: “New Era”. Hopefully, it will be the event at which all our questions about KeSPA, OnGameNet, and the Korean Brood War professionals will be answered.
Waxangel is dead from jet lag and GSL coverage, so there will be many new updates tomorrow!
Key Points & New Information
The main purpose of the event was to announce that Blizzard, GomTV, KeSPA, an OnGameNet are now on the same page, and willing to work together to advance Starcraft II as an eSport in Korea. To that end, KeSPA and OnGameNet now have the right to produce and broadcast Starcraft II tournaments. This agreement between the four parties was reached only very recently, and the parties have yet to work out the specific details of their cooperation. Those details will be released in the future by the relevant parties as they work with each other.
Here is a list of new information, or confirmed speculation for the three eSports organizations in Korea:
- Starcraft II has been officially recognized as a KeSPA game.
- SK Planet Proleague Season II (starting in May) will have both Starcraft II and Brood War. It's undetermined as to how they will be integrated, but KeSPA specifically mentioned they would look for a more interesting way than alternating sets of each game.
- The Proleague season after SK Planet Season II (starting on October) is planned to be completely Starcraft II.
- At this time, there are no details regarding the future participation of GSTL/GomTV teams.
- Spreading Korean eSports around the world is a goal, and KeSPA has been negotiating with various international organizations.
- OnGameNet plans to hold an individual level Starcraft II league in July. They would like to make it as open as possible so that anyone can compete, whether they are KeSPA, GomTV, and even amateur players.
- OnGameNet plans to broadcast to foreign audiences, and they have experience doing this with their LOL league.
- GomTV would welcome the Brood War professionals to compete against GSL players in a tournament or show match setting, and would facilitate it whenever the Brood War players were ready and desired it.
A translated version of the official Blizzard press release.
Official Blizzard Release
Blizzard Entertainment, GomTV, OnGameNet, and KeSPA held a “united Starcraft II eSports vision ceremony” at the COEX Intercontinental Hotel on May 2nd, announcing that the four parties had joined in a cooperative relationship for the future of Korean eSports.
This historic partnership has given KeSPA the license to hold team level Starcraft II leagues, while Ongamenet has been given the license to hold and broadcast individual level Starcraft II leagues. In addition, Starcraft II was made an officially recognized KeSPA discipline.
With new Starcraft II leagues made possible, there will be a total of four Starcraft II leagues in Korea, including the GSL and GSTL run by GomTV since 2010. The leagues will be broadcast to viewers through cable television or the internet.
The four parties also agreed to continued cooperation for the long term growth of eSports in and outside of Korea.
Through this agreement, the various Starcraft II eSports leagues will be able to exchange players. The four parties who participated in the ceremony came to a mutual agreement to work towards expanding exchanges between themselves, and will announce details regarding this process in the future.
“Blizzard is devoted to the future of Korean eSports. Korea has been a world leader in developing the eSports industry, and we are very happy that we will be able to see more televised games between the best players in the world, Korean Starcraft II players” said Blizzard Entertainment COO Paul Sams. “We think that it is very important that we formed an cooperative relationship with GomTV, OnGameNet, and KeSPA, who share a vision for the future of eSports in Korea.”
GomTV representative Bae In Sik said “GomTV will continue to uphold its ideal of eSports as something that is open to the entire world, and we will cooperate with eSports companies in and out of Korea for the balanced growth of Starcraft II not just in Korea, but in the entire world.”
CJ E&M [OnGamenet mother company] representative Kim Seong Soo said “OnGameNet has been a pioneer in the new market called eSports for the last ten years. It's now time for Korean esports to make a second leap, and make its way into the global market. “This four party cooperation is an opportunity to affirm the love of esports fans around the world, and we believe it will be a key impetus in the globalization of esports."
Korean eSports association chairman Lee Hyung Hee said “KeSPA stood at the center of development of Starcraft esports, and contributed greatly to laying the foundation for the Korean eSports industry. Starcraft II, which will be implemented in the SK Planet Proleague Season 2, is a great game that has been acclaimed around the world, and we await its role in elevating the eSports market to another level.” “KeSPA, Blizzard, OGN, and Gretech's cooperation is the starting point for Korean eSports to rise again.”
The schedules, participation requirements, prize money, and other details for the new KeSPA Team League and OGN Iidnvidual league will be released at a future date.
Live Coverage via @TeamLiquidLive
The event has concluded. This is a record of the live coverage that was available via Twitter. Quotes in Twitter may be heavily paraphrased for brevity and speed.
We have confirmed an interview with the following
- Paul Sams, COO, Blizzard Enterainment.
- Mr Won, Startale Manager
These interviews will be posted after the event finishes.