Archive for category Games

Starcraft 2 in the E-Sport Arena

Competitive play started with StarCraft when it was released in 1998, but then exploded when the long anticipated sequel, StarCraft 2, was released worldwide in 2010.

StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty was released by Blizzard Entertainment as part of a three phase deployment, the second in the series, StarCraft: Heart of the Swarm, was released three years later in 2013 with the third installment, StarCraft: Legacy of the Void still in development with no release date set. StarCraft 2 is a Real Time Strategy game pitting 2 to 8 players against each other in a skirmish type battle. Competitive players usually exhibit mastery of base building and army management, as well as timing and strategy in order to accomplish victory.

StarCraft 2 has had multiplayer support and online player versus player capacity from the beginning, and lends itself to tournament play. Recreational play has existed from the start. Seeing the rise of e-sports with other games like Call of Duty and Counterstrike, Blizzard saw the capacity for professional players in StarCraft 2, especially in Korea where the game has a massive following. Thus the World Championship Series was born. Starting in 2010 with the release of StarCraft: Wings of Liberty and continuing to present day, the Series accommodates the whole world and focuses on three major geographical locations: America, Europe and Korea. Top teams compete within each location for a spot at the finals where top teams from all three locations are brought together to determine the overall world champion. Prize money for the series is estimated at over 2 million with additional cash prizes available at important mid series events.

World’s Largest E-Sports Competitions

E-Sports are fast becoming a popular and important part of popular culture, attracting more fans and participants each year. With prize money now reaching into the millions of dollars, competition is fierce and the athletes involved are no less passionate than those participating in physical sports.

An e-sport is any video game that is played at a professional level through tournaments and other recognized competitions. Games include genres like Real Time Strategy, First Person Shooter and Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. The largest of these competitions are usually the world championships of their respective games. Below is listed the top prize money tournaments in e-sport history.

  1. The International. The world championship of Defence of the Ancients has the record of having largest prize money, with about 11 million USD available in 2014 and nearly 3 million in 2013. In 2014 14 teams of 5 participated in front of sold out audiences at the KeyArena in Seattle.
  2. LOL World Championships. League of Legends has recently grown in popularity and ranks second for overall prize money available in e-sports. The finals in 2014 were held in Seoul, South Korea and had a prize of 2.1 million dollars. 16 teams totalling 82 competitors participated.
  3. Call of Duty Championship. The Call of Duty championship holds the number three position when it comes to e-sports. The last few years of championships have offered 1 million dollars for prize money to 8 competing teams. Each year a different edition of the game has been played.

Other notable e-sports featuring tournaments with large cash purses to win are Halo, StarCraft, counter strike and Dead or Alive.

Hot Online Strategy Games

Strategy games are taking many different shapes and most of them certainly don’t look anything like the chess and checkers of old. They fall loosely into three different categories; Real Time Strategy (RTS), Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) and Card.

RTS

Blizzard’s StarCraft has dominated the RTS category since its introduction in 1998, garnering a passionate following that plays both recreationally and professionally. With the introduction of StarCraft 2 in 2010 Blizzard created a framework for league play that fostered a competitive environment that led to StarCraft becoming a premier e-sport. With tournament prizes rising to the millions, StarCraft is the RTS to play.

MOBA

This relatively new genre was created when Defense of the Ancients module for Blizzard’s Warcraft 3 was introduced. Two teams of players battle against each other on a closed with the objective of destroying the other teams base using controllable characters with unique skills. League of Legends, Defence of the Ancients 2 and Dawngate are notable entries and are very popular right now.

Card

Magic the gathering is the original card strategy game, but recent entries have adopted the same basic idea and improved upon it. The most popular currently is Hearthstone produced by blizzard. Magic the gather also has a fervent following and the upcoming Hex: Shards of Fate is set to make substantial waves.