Starcraft II's World Championship Is A Winner Takes All $100,000 Tournament

Well, talk about your high pressure situations.

Most Starcraft tournaments (and most pro gaming tournaments for that matter) tend to feature a prize pool that extends throughout the bracket, you know — like a Tennis tournament or a Golf tournament. You typically win cash (less cash) depending on how low you place in the tournament.

The Intel Extreme Masters tournament however, is far simpler. It's winner takes all, with $100,000 up for grabs. If you get knocked out, you're out. There are no losers brackets, no second chances.

"Every season the IEM was one of the hardest tournaments to win all year. In 2014 we would like to take it to a new level of extreme. True champions are born when they express their talent in the most extreme situations," said Michal Blicharz, Managing Director of Pro Gaming at ESL. "We wanted to create the most high-pressure tournament this audience has ever seen."

Personally, I'm not a fan. When I watch pro gaming, I like to see the best players, point blank. Giving certain players a chance to come back after a freak loss is important and the fact that only one player goes home with the cash? To me that subverts the idea of pro gaming as an actual legitimate sport. Could you imagine Nadal, Murray and Federer being happy with a tournament structure like that? Yeah, I don't think so. Seems pretty brutal.


Comments

    I like brutal. For a one off tournament, I think its good. Talking pressure with Intel.

    An important detail: IEM is not the World Championships. Those are run by Blizzard and have a normal prize structure.

    IEM is still a major tournament and I hope this is a one of experiment that doesn't continue.

    Edit: Also, while double elimination is the norm in gaming tournaments, the Australian Open is single elimination. Imagine the grand finals having a bracket reset. It'd be amazingly tough.

    Last edited 28/01/14 3:42 pm

    I can't think of many tournaments with a double elimination system. Most Tennis Grand Slams, Football Cups (FA Cup, World Cup final 16), and other finals systems work in single elimination. Some sports (AFL Finals) get a double chance if you finish Top 4 for the season, but maybe these tournaments would fare better with a pool system before the eliminations.

    Does a 'freak loss' make it any less of a loss? When there's serious money up for grabs I'm not so much a fan of having a second chance if you lose.

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