World Championship Series 2013
Blizzard has announced their 2013 World Championship Series, in partnership with KeSPA, OnGameNet, GomTV, ESL, and MLG. More details will be added as information is revealed!
WCS 2013 Format
Click to Read Blizzard's Official Summary.
There will be three regions, Korea, Europe, and America for the World Championship Series. In 2013, there will be three seasons, which each region holding parallel leagues. Players worldwide must choose one of the regions to play in, with no nationality limitation*. OnGameNet/GomTV will operate the Korean region, ESL will operate Europe, and MLG will take care of the America region. The total prize money will be $1.6 million in 2013, over 3x the amount given out in WCS 2012. Twitch.tv will broadcast the whole year of tournaments for free in 720p, with ads. VODs will require a subscription to view.
In 2013, there will be three seasons, with each region running parallel leagues. Each region's league will last 8~11 weeks and lead up to a joint, seasonal final with the top competitors from each region competing against each other. The seasonal finals will have the top five players from each region (+1 more for the host region) coming together for a short, live event. Players will earn WCS ranking points for their performances in all WCS tournaments, and in some non-WCS tournaments as well. Top WCS point earners will qualify for the year end Global Finals at Blizzcon, which will have the top 16 ranked players.
The GSL's Code-A/Code-S/Up/Down format will be the base format for all the regions, though there may be some region specific tweaks for America and EU. NA/EU will be played online until the Ro16, after which they will play in a studio environment (source: Gamespot).
In Korea, OSL and GSL will keep their 'Code S' and 'Starleague' branding as they operate the WCS Korea events. They will take turns running the league. GomTV will hold the upcoming 'spring' season, OGN the following 'summer' season, and GomTV the final 'autumn' season. OGN will receive feeds from GomTV and broadcast using their own casters during the two seasons WCS is being produced by GSL, and vice versa for GomTV during the season produced by OGN.
Non-WCS leagues such as DreamHack and IEM are not affected, except they will not be able to schedule events that overlap with the WCS schedule. MLG will continue to hold their seasonal events, alongside running the WCS America league. Whether or not their seasonal events will be entirely independent of WCS or connected has yet to be announced. It has been hinted at that DreamHack may have some role to play WCS, despite not operating any of the EU seasons or season finals.
*Korean players will be given a one-time opportunity to switch their region at the end of season one. They may only switch their region again at the beginning of the 2014 season
Live Q&A Session RecapQ: What happens to OSL qualifiers/dual tournament system?
Mr Chae: Code A/DualTournament/etc have been combined into the "challenger league." It format is the same as Code A/Up-Downs. The qualifiers into the challenger league will be the same format as old Code B.
Q: Korean players might have trouble earning WCS points in OSL/GSL. They might compete in EU/NA and sweep those regions. What do you think?
Mike Morhaime: We expect this will happen to some degree, and it will have a positive impact on the rest of the world. Having some amount of Koreans competing in NA and EU will raise the excitement factor and competitive bar without having a negative impact.
Q: How will the the Korean broadcasts work for OGN/GomTV?
A: The two broadcasters will take turns holding the WCS Korea tourneys. OGN will receive feed from GomTV, but use their own casters. In reverse, GomTV will receive OGN's feeds and use their own casters when OGN runs the studio. Doa and montecristo to do casting for OGN, Tastosis for GSL.
*Artosis said they won't be on site at OGN's studio for the OGN run season.
Q: How will the three seasonal finals works?
A: Top five players from each region will play in each seasonal final, +1 more player from the hosting region.
Q: Why only have three regions?
Mike Morhaime: Looking at expanding in the future, but have to start somewhere. We are starting in the three most developed regions.
Q: Can you clarify the challenger league format, and comment in more detail about the prize money?
Mr Chae: Code A/Up-down format is the same, just named 'challenger league'. Same in the OSL run season as well.
There will be about $1.6million overall prize money, which is 3 times what was given out last year.
Q: How was the broadcasting rights/fees situation resolved?
Mike Morhaime: All of the partners have received licenses. The exclusivity period has ended.
Q: Any details on how WCS points are given out?
Mike Morhaime: Additional details about WCS points to come later.
Q: How will the team leagues/PL fit into all of this?
Mike Morhaime: We will accommodate their schedules, but no points for team leagues for this year's season.