After a long time in development the beta for StarCraft II’s beta started testing on February 17th 2010. One of the first major events that happened during the beta and the event that got me personally interested in competitive StarCraft was the HDH Invitational which was organized by two personalities HuskyStarcraft and HDstarcraft who are both casters or commentators and personalities for StarCraft. This tournament consisted of 16 of the top non-Korean players from StarCraft Broodwar. The games were played and then the replays were commentated over by Husky and HD and then upload to YouTube to watch by the public. This Tournament helped generate hype for the games upcoming release. The tournament was won by Ukrainian Protoss White-Ra, for more information of the tournament and the players check out the liquipedia article for more information on the tournament and the players that competed in the event.
StarCraft II was released July 27th, 2010. The first major tournament was the Intel Extreme Masters Global Challenge: Cologne or IEM for short. The event was held August 18th, 2010 to August 22, 2010. The event was commentated or casted by former player turned personality Day and Apollo. The event was held in front of a large crowd at Gamescom and was well received as the finals were done in from of the pack crowd. IEM was won my Swedish Terran MorroW and the runner up was American Zerg IdrA who would go on to become a major personality as StarCraft continued to grow. More details can be found on liquipedia.
The First Korean League Know as the Global Star League or the GSL for short, started the day after the game was released and consisted of the top 64 players in Korea and the first season concluded the 2nd of October with Zerg player FruitDealer winning the event and a 85,700 dollar prize with it. More information and brackets can be found at liquipedia. This league continues to this day and is one of the most prestigious events the players compete in.
The first major tournament held on American soil was MLG Raleigh that was held from August 27th to August 29th. The event was casted by Day, JP McDaniel, Husky and HDStarcraft. The event was well received as all passes for the event sold out. The event was won by Canadian Protoss HuK how defeated fellow Canadian Protoss KiWiKaKi in the finals.
These initial events helped prove that StarCraft II was a solid starting point for the development and growth of competitive StarCraft and a acceptable successor to the much loved StarCraft Broodwar which to this day still played competitively just not on the same scale that it once was. But only time would tell if StarCraft II would surpass its older brother.
Video games are a relatively new medium for entertainment. Video games first gained prominence in our homes in the late 70s and early 80s with products from companies such as Atari and Ninetendo. Over the past 30 years games have become more complex with more detail and better graphics. The first game released was Pong in 1972. It was only a two dimensional representation of tennis but it kept people entertained. The objective of Pong was to beat your opponent; with the rise of Arcades games the level of completion rose as players always sought to have the top score. Much like sports video games tend to bring out the competitive edge in people. Throughout the 70’s and 80’s players gathered at competitions to set the highest for a variety of games.
As games got more advanced the players began to compete directly against each other. In 1997 the first competitive league The Cyberathelete Professional League (CPL) was formed. The next big step in competitive gaming happened in the year 2000 with the World Cyber Games (WCG). The first event was held in Seoul South Korea which is the mecca of competitive gaming. The games played were Quake III Arena, StarCraft Brood War, FIFA 2000, and Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. The first WCG had 174 competitors from 17 different countries with $20,000 in total prizes. WCG peaked in 2006 when there were 9 different games were played, 700 competitors from 70 countries with a total purse of $462,000.