StarCraft 2 Just Had One Of Its Best Tournaments In Years

StarCraft 2 Just Had One Of Its Best Tournaments In Years

StarCraft 2 might not pull in the massive viewer numbers of Overwatch or League of Legends, but a tournament in Poland this past week proved that Blizzard’s real-time strategy game is still thriving as an esport.

Photo: Rogue (left) takes the grand finals in a 4-0 rout of Classic (right) (via YouTube)

Zerg player Rogue took home the $US150,000 ($193,487) grand prize at the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) tournament in Katowice, Poland, which featured 76 players and a total pool of $US400,000 ($515,966). Although the grand finals were disappointing – Rogue was just too dominant, beating Protoss player Classic in a 4-0 rout – the tournament was full of great, varied matches. There were short cheese-filled games, long macro-heavy games, and everything in between. As one fan pointed out, the tournament was a “revelation” thanks to good production values, top-notch commentary and really, really good play.

Eight years after release, StarCraft 2‘s metagame – that is, how pro-level players plan and strategise – is just as interesting as it’s ever been.

You can find all of IEM Katowice’s SC2 matches here, but let me highlight a few of the better ones I saw, if you’re looking for some good watching:

Trap (P) vs. Serral (Z) [game 1 starts at 6:10]: 

Maru (T) vs. Solar (Z) [game 1 starts at 5:09]:

Trap (P) vs. Dark (Z) [game 1 starts at 20:20]:

Bunny (T) vs. Special (T) [game 1 starts at 4:04]:


  • special mention needs to made with the round of 72 game of Maru Vs Stats. Game 3 three was fucking awesome

  • I still find Starcraft 2 the most engaging eSport to watch. There’s something about it that I can’t quite explain that makes it so good to watch.

    • i think its the way how its viewed, its very similar to watching say soccer/afl/nrl/basketball in that its mostly an aerial view and each side is opposite each other. Compared to an FPS liek counter strike or quake where the view is mosly from the player makes it much harder to follow

      • I think you’ve nailed it. I find Overwatch League really hard to watch because of how hard it can be to follow what’s going on (it doesn’t help that observing for that game seems to be… not great a lot of the time).

        That said, I don’t enjoy other overhead-view eSports like Dota/LoL, but that might just be because I’ve never really gotten into those games or understood them the way I understand Starcraft.

        • I think it definitely gets easier to follow the more you watch and the more you understand. Things start to seem less frantic.

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