StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is a very popular military science fiction real-time strategy game developed and introduced by video gaming giant Blizzard Entertainment back on 27th of July 2010. The designers of the game Matthew Morris and Dustin Browder split the game into three parts including the base game named Wings of Liberty, a stand-alone expansion pack named Legacy of the Void and another expansion pack named Heart of the Swarm. The game was initially released for only Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows.
StarCraft 2 is a sequel to the original 1998 game StarCraft and its main expansion set Blood War. The game mainly revolve around three different species ZerG which are super-species of some assimilated life forms, Terrans that are human exiles from Earth and the Protoss which are technologically advanced species with amazing mental powers. Parts of the game Legacy of the Void and Heart of the Swarm focus on the Protoss and Zerg, while Wings of Liberty focuses only on the Terrans.
The game is set four years after disastrous events of the original game’s Brood War while following the exploits of famous character Jim Raynor as he leads his insurgent group against evil autocratic Terran Dominion. StarCraft 2 includes both some new as well as returning characters and locations from the original StarCraft: Brood War. The game at the time of its introduction back in 2010 met very positive reviews receiving an amazing score of ninety-three percent from Metacritic. Just like its predecessor the game was praised for its more than engaging gameplay as well as for its new features and its significantly improved storytelling.
On the other hand, the game was criticized for some lacking features that existed in the original game like the ability to switch between different multiplayer regions and LAN play which is missing in StarCraft 2. At the time of its introduction, the game quickly became the fastest-selling real-time game with more than three million copies sold globally following the first month of its release. The players were more than satisfied with the game since it features the return of some familiar characters from Brood War like Artanis, Zeratul, Sarah Kerrigan, Arcturus Mengsk, Artanis and of course Jim Raynor. The game also introduced some new characters like Tychus Findlay and Rory Swann. In the game, players are also able to revisit some already familiar worlds like Mar Sara, Char, and Tarsonis. Creators of the game also added some new locations like New Folsom and the jungle planet Bel’Shir.
Since its introduction back in 2010, the game bas became one of the most successful video games with several major leagues and tournaments with staggering prize pools up to $170,000. The original game StarCraft: Brood War for many years has been referred to as the most successful video game which includes its ranking system. The game was also named the national pastime in many Asian countries like South Korea where there are even two television channels devoted to the game broadcasting all professional StarCraft tournaments and leagues. When it comes to the most popular StarCraft 2 tournaments, the most prominent competitions are Team Liquid StarCraft League, GomTV SC2 Global League, ESL, Major League Gaming and the North American Star League.
When it comes to the first large StarCraft 2 tournament, those occurred during the beta testing stage and the most notable are Day9’s King of Beta and HDH Invitational. In the recent time, the most prominent professional StarCraft 2 tournaments are GomTV Star League or GSL which is held every month in South Korea. These major tournaments enjoy various corporate sponsorships and amazing prizes of over $100,000.
Another tournament released at the very beginnings of the game is North American StarCraft League announced back on 21st of February in 2011. It was scheduled for its initial run for three seasons offering an astonishing $400,000 in prize money. The first season of the tournament featured fifty players divided into five divisions. The tournaments ended on 10th of July in 2011 reaching total prize pool of $100,000. The North American Star League later introduced an additional season starting in 2013.
The creator of the game Blizzard Entertainment back in 2012 announced first StarCraft World Championship series. The event featured over thirty offline events since the game doesn’t offer an ability to play directly over a LAN like the original game. This first major event 2012 StarCraft II World Championship Series featured a system starting from qualifiers, finals, continental finals and finally culminating in the event’s final game which was held in Shanghai, China.
The winner of the event was South-Korean player Lee-Sak “PartinG” Won playing for team StarTale. He won both prize pool money of $100,000 and that flashy trophy. There are also other StarCraft 2 tournaments which may not bear this major World Championship Series event but still, allow a player to earn some extra WCS points in order to qualify for the biggest tournament. These smaller tournaments include DreamHack Open, Red Bull Battlegrounds, ASUS ROG, Intel Extreme Masters and Homestory CUP.
When it comes to the most successful StarCraft II players, the leading is definitely Jang MC Min Chul with total earnings of $506,645.42. He is closely followed by Kim sOs Seung Hyun with earnings of $498,519.27, Lee Life Seung Hyun who has earned $475,900.67, Sung Polt Sung Hoon with earnings of $451,599.10 and Lee InnoVation Shing Hyung with total earnings of $448,370.69.When it comes to American players, the most successful are Neeb with earnings of $259,635, Scarlett who has earned $259,635 and HuK with total winnings of $138,575.
When it comes to the European region most successful are Snute with total earning of $327,322, Nerchio who has earned $291,609 and Stephano with total winnings of $277,521. When it comes to the global StarCraft2 scene it is more than apparent that the most successful players come from South Korea which is the leading country offering major game’s tournaments and leagues every month.