Top players and streamers sometimes need to play in private. Then a site likes this comes along.
It’s called StarCraft Unmasked, and it’s a site dedicated towards revealing who the player is behind the otherwise unrecognisable string of barcode-like characters that players have been using for years.
“People love hiding behind barcodes,” the site’s about page says. “We love telling you who they are.”
The site has listings for the Grandmaster ladder on the North American, South Korean and European servers, although not all information is complete. Understandably, partly because of the language difference and the way team houses work in South Korea, the Korean page is missing the most information.
But what’s the real point of it all? Top players often have separate barcode accounts so they can avoid having their build orders and strategies leaked before a tournament.
The site doesn’t just unmask players identities though: it goes further and links their streams, Battle.net profile, record and publicly available replays in one handy listing. “Promoting top streamers for their ability, not their view count,” Ryan Cimera, the developer responsible, says.
An update last week added support for Douyu TV, a Chinese-owned livestreaming network that players such as Won “ParTinG” Lee Sak stream through.
As someone who harboured competitive ambitions for StarCraft 2 years ago — but eventually had to give the game away, for my sanity, the health of my wrists and because I simply didn’t have enough time — it’s staggering to have such an amount of potential information so easily available.
It would also be immensely concerning, particularly if I was the head coach of a team or someone who made their living as a professional. Stream at your own risk, I suppose.