What Should I Watch Now...
Congratulations, denizens of esports! Another year of StarCraft 2 has passed, and we've survived with our lives and dignity (mostly) intact. Now, it's time to get some well earned rest ahead of next year's campaign.
But what's this? You want more StarCraft 2 still?
Well, KeSPA's Proleague is scheduled to begin against around the 29th of December, so there's always that. However, for those of you who can't stand to go even a week without the spectacle of professional StarCraft, I'm sure we can dig up a few entertaining viewing options...
TeSL 2013-14 - (Liquipedia)Time and Date: December 13 - ???
Notable Players: Suppy, San, TRUE, Sen, and a bunch of Taiwanese players you haven't heard of.
Prize Pool: 440,000 TWD total, 100,000 TWD for first place.
Casters: No idea.
The TeSL is also a league that's been in progress for some time now, featuring all of Taiwan's best + a trio of foreign invaders. Stealing money from foreigners is pretty much the birthright of the two Koreans in San and TRUE, but they're also joined by Suppy who wanted to try his hand out at crashing local scenes. Hey, if you can't beat the Koreans... might as well join 'em.
Numericable M-House Cup 3 - (Liquipedia)Time and Date: December 21 - 22.
Notable Players: Curious, Jaedong, Polt, ForGG, Stephano, and more.
Prize Pool: 6,000 € total, 3,000 € first place.
Casters: Llewellys and YogO (French), Nathanias(?)
Millenium returns with the third installment in their sorta-like-homestorycup tournament, where eight players are invited to their house in Marseille. So far only Koreans are on the invite/qualified list, but
NaNiwa vs. Scarlett 12 Bitcoin ShowmatchTime and Date: December 21.
Notable Players: NaNiwa and Scarlett.
Prize Pool: 12 bitcoins, approximately $8,000+, or god knows, maybe it will be $5,000,000 tomorrow
Casters: TotalBiscuit, ????
Shadowy backers from the Bitcoin illuminati have pitched in to finally answer this question: Scarlett vs. NaNiwa, who's better?
They've picked a good time as well, with Scarlett and NaNiwa both playing rather well at the moment and neither of them really looking like they have a decisive edge on the other. Some may say Scarlett's weakness to Protoss all-ins puts her at a disadvantage, but considering how good a fight she put up against NaNiwa's Korean twin in sOs, it could be a very close match!
Dailymotion Cup 2013 Finals - (Liquipedia)Time and Date: To be announced.
Notable Players: Squirtle, San, ForGG's spiteful ghost.
Prize Pool: $7,500 total, $4,000 for first place.
Casters: Llewellys and YogO (French), Bitterdam (English).
The Dailymotion Cup has been a fantastically interesting tournament, full of the kind of upsets you expect in an online setting. San, the one true god of the qualifer/online tournament, lived up to his reputation by defeating players like Jaedong, MMA, and INnoVation on his road to the finals. In a similar vein, Squirtle showed off some serious online skills by taking out Jaedong and ForGG in his run.
Unfortunately it all ends in a PvP, which means we can't really recommend this to a general audience in good conscience. But at least it has TaeJa's official endorsement, as he implores all true [SanFan]'s to tune in.
USA vs. Canada Deathmatch - (More info)Time and Date: To be announced.
Notable Players: HuK, Suppy, qxc, Xenocider, Hendralisk, Kane, MaSa, ???
Prize Pool: None needed.
Suppy has arranged a match to the death between the USA and its northerly neighbors. Real Canadians would be busy playing hockey on a frozen lake, but I guess HuK and crew are acceptable as alternative national representatives.
ESET Masters 2013 Finals - (Liquipedia)Time and Date: To be announced.
Notable Players: StarDust, San, TAiLS, GoOdy, Strelok, ShowTime, Tefel, Bly, HeRoMaRinE, ShowTime and many more
Prize Pool: $20,000 total, $10,000 for first place.
Casters: HomerJ, yet to be determined English casters?
The ESET Masters is a series of online tournament that's been going on for quite a while, slowly building up to a year end Grand Final. All the best online cup performers will be gathered to see which one of them can bring their A-game in a live setting, where both the pressure and prize money are many times greater. Basically, San's tournament to throw.
IEM Sao Paulo Qualifiers - (Liquipedia)Time and Date: Americas Qulifiers: Dec 15 and onward. Asian Qualifiers: To be announced.
Notable Players: Everyone you can imagine.
Prize Pool: Paid trips to the IEM Sao Paulo main event in January.
Casters: ESL studio crew: probably Apollo, Kaelaris, and ToD.
"Why isn't KeSPA player X or Y playing at IEM?"
Well, it's because they got their asses kicked in the qualifiers. IEM qualifiers are about as brutal as they come, and the players that come out are guaranteed to be the cream of the crop in Korea. That's not to say it always translates to a good performance at the live event (after all, IEM is often a qualifier winner's first or second overseas event), but the competition in the qualifiers is always extremely high level. Also, there's no better way to build up hipster-fan cred than to watch qualifiers and find out who's old and busted, and who's the new hotness.
Some Organization's Hastily Announced Year End Special EventEh, seems bound to happen.
Concluded events here
Concluded events here
Fragbite Masters Finals - (Liquipedia)Time and Date: Monday, Dec 09 5:15pm GMT (GMT+00:00)
Notable Players: sC, HasuObs, StarDust, Arthur, VortiX, NaNiwa, Nerchio, MC
Prize Pool: 160,000 SEK total, 80,000 SEK for first.
Casters: Nathanias and Semmler from the GD studio.
This online-only tournament has been in progress since all the way back in September and features a whopping 80,000 SEK ($12,000 or so) first place prize. That's a sum greater than any regular IEM or DreamHack event, or the ASUS ROG tournament that Jaedong just won. Even if the tournament didn't earn Liquipedia's prestigious "Premier Tournament" seal of approval, I'm pretty sure the winner won't give a damn when he goes to the bank to cash the check.
Rumble in the Bronze 2014 - (Detailed info)Time and Date: December 12 - 14.
Notable Players: iNcontroL, Axslav, DIMAGA, and the dregs of Bronze League.
Prize Pool: None, but a bunch of money goes to charity.
Casters: iNcontrol, Axslav, DIMAGA, Seguer.
Tis the season to help other people! Rumble in the Bronze is back with another charity tournament to raise money for Child's Play.
Acer TeamStory Cup Season 2 Finals - (Liquipedia)Time and Date: December 14-15, begins on 15:00 GMT (+00:00) on the 14th.
Notable Teams: Team Acer, Team Liquid, Western Wolves, Axiom Esports (full player rosters for each team have yet to be announced).
Prize Pool: $20,000 total, $10,000 for first place.
Casters: Nathanias, Khaldor, Harstem, Grubby.
The second season of the Acer TeamStory Cup comes to a conclusion with Acer, Liquid, Western Wolves, and Axiom Esports zeroing in on Take's flat in Germany.
On the face of it, it does seem like it will end up being a matter of "which Korean can all-kill the most?" with players such as INnoVation, TaeJa, and Check in the mix, but you can't leave out the possibility of some of the foreigners getting hot as well. Scarlett has been playing amazing as of late, and we all know that TLO is basically just the Western version of Life.
EPS 2013 Winter Finals - (Liquipedia)Time and Date: December 15, begins on 13:00 GMT (+00:00).
Notable Players: Socke, ShowTime, HeRoMaRinE, HasuObs
Prize Pool: 5,250 € total, 3,000 € for first place.
Casters: Might have been Socke and HasuObs but they're still in the tournament.
If you like German players, I guess you could watch this tournament.
Lake Charles Scion Thanksgiving Open - (Liquipedia)Time and Date: December 14.
Notable Players: Basically everyone from North America sans Scarlett.
Prize Pool: $5,000 total, $2,000 for first place.
Casters: Mr.Bitter, Rotterdam, IdrA, EonShiKeno.
The "Thanksgiving" Open was originally scheduled for November, but it had to be delayed for all the various reasons anything in esports is delayed. In any case, sixteen American/Canadian/Taiwanese players will make their way to Louisiana for a live event. Check it out if you like American players, or want to hear IdrA cast games of his former peers.