About the StarCraft II World Championship Series (WCS)
The StarCraft II World Championship Series is a three-season event operated from three primary regions—America, Europe, and Korea—with matches broadcasted in local primetime from each region on StarCraft2.com/WCS. The WCS Leagues feature a total $1.6 million prize pool in 2014; additional cash prizes from partners are also available in Global Events. Players compete all year in WCS Leagues and Global Events, and their performance is tracked in the WCS Standings. The top 16 players at the end of the year compete in the Global Finals for top cash prizes and the title of World Champion.
WCS League Format
In WCS America and WCS Europe, the bottom 16 players from the previous season’s Premier League will be sent to the current season’s Challenger. Qualifier tournaments will be held to identify 16 more players to also be placed in Challenger for a 32-player pool. The Challenger round itself is a schedule of 16 best-of-five matches between a former Premier League player and a recent qualifier to Challenger. The 16 winners of the best-of-five Challenger match are immediately promoted to the upcoming WCS America or WCS Europe Premier League.Qualifiers, Challenger, and Premier League are run as a sequence so that promotion and demotion happen in order and players can easily switch regions between seasons.For information
on broadcasts times, refer to our Schedule.
For tournament results, visit our Brackets hub.
Opportunities for Local Players
The WCS will reserve most qualifier slots for citizens and legal residents of the home regions for both WCS America and WCS Europe. Because America has become the home WCS region for players from China, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Oceania, and Taiwan, qualifier spots will be reserved for players from those specific regions as well as North America and South America.
Ladder wildcard spots will have open enrollment with no citizenship or residency restriction, but still have a master’s level requirement with a 200 ladder wins required on their regional server. Master’s level will also be required across all qualifiers. More details can be found in our WCS Handbook.
For information on qualifiers and other important announcements, check our News regularly for the most recent updates.
Global StarCraft II League (GSL) in WCS
GOM eXP is a major partner for competitive StarCraft II in Korea, operating the premier tournament in the region, the Global StarCraft II League or ‘GSL’. The GSL uses its classic league designations: Code S (Premier League), Code A (Challenger), and Qualifiers.
GSL features higher prize pools in each season to reflect the added challenge of competing in the region, and is distributed more heavily towards the highest placement. GSL has 24 players falling out of Code S and into Code A each season. At the same time, 24 new players are also added to Code A through Qualifiers for a 48-player pool. Code A competition features a conventional dual tournament group stage, with the top two players from each group advancing to Code S..
For information on broadcasts times, refer to our Schedule.
For tournament results, visit our Brackets hub.
WCS Global Events
WCS Global Events are licensed StarCraft II Tournaments that participate in our World Championship Series points system, which determines the 16 players who compete at the WCS Global Finals.
You can view the current WCS Standings for the points system on our Standings page. Visit a player’s profile to view a breakdown on how that player earned points through WCS League or Global Events.
Below you’ll find the list of currently announced WCS Global Events, their point totals and other relevant information.
|IEM Sao Paulo||Jan 29 – Feb 1||Sao Paulo, Brazil||4000|
|ASUS ROG Winter||Jan 30 – Feb 1||Helsinki, Finland||4000|
|IEM Cologne||Feb 13 – Feb 16||Cologne, Germany||4000|
|IEM World Championship||Mar 14 – Mar 16||Katowice, Poland||7000|
|Cooler Master StarCraft II||April 17 – 20||Copenhagen, Denmark||1800|
|GSL Global Championship||Apr 19 – April 26||Seoul, Korea||1800|
|DreamHack Bucharest||Apr 26 – April 27||Bucharest, Romania||4000|
|TeSL Season 3||Mar 1 – May 4||Taiwan||1800|
|Lone Star Clash 3||May 3 – May 4||Austin, Texas||1800|
|HomeStory Cup IX||Jun 5 – Jun 8||Krefeld, Germany||4000|
|DreamHack Summer||Jun 14 – Jun 16||Jönköping, Sweden||4000|
|MLG Anaheim||Jun 20 – Jun 22||Anaheim, California||4000|
|TeSL Season 4||May 9 – Jul 6||Taiwan||1800|
|Red Bull Battle Grounds Atlanta||Jul 11 – Jul 13||Atlanta, Georgia||4000|
|IEM Shenzhen||Jul 16 – Jul 20||Shenzhen, China||4000|
|DreamHack Valencia||Jul 18 – Jul 19||Valencia, Spain||4000|
|Gfinity G3||Aug 2 – 3||London, UK||3375|
|2014 Taiwan Open||Aug 8 – 9||Taiwan||4000|
|Red Bull Battle Grounds Detroit||Aug 23 – Aug 24||Detroit, Michigan||4000|
|Hong Kong eSports Tournament||Aug 22 – Aug 24||Hong Kong, China||1800|
|IEM Toronto||Aug 28 – Aug 31||Toronto, Canada||4000|
|KeSPA Cup||Sep 12 – Sep 14||Seoul, Korea||7000|
|DreamHack Moscow||Sep 13 – Sep 14||Moscow, Russia||4000|
|Red Bull Battle Grounds Grand Finals||Sep 20 – Sep 21||Washington, D.C.||TBD|
|DreamHack Stockholm||Sep 26 – Sep 27||Stockholm, Sweden||4000|
For a breakdown of how points are determined for each event see this graphic:
WCS Standings and Prizes
WCS America, WCS Europe, GSL and WCS Global Events all participate in the World Championship Series Standings by offering points for each event. A player’s place in the Standings is based on total accumulated points. WCS Leagues each award points based on placement in each season as do WCS Global Events. Based on the scale of the tournament, WCS Global Events offer different total points. The top 16 players in the WCS Standings at the end of the year will compete in the Global Finals.
You can view the current WCS Standings and visit a player’s profile to view a breakdown of how that player earned points through WCS League or Global Events.
After three intense seasons of WCS competition, we will lock the WCS Standings and invite the top 16 players in the world to compete in the Global Finals at BlizzCon, November 7-8 in Anaheim, California.
The field of players compete in a ruthless single-elimination bracket, where they are seeded 1 through 16 based on where they finished in the WCS Standings. The championship round is a best-of-seven series, while all other matches are best-of-five. The winner will be crowned the WCS Global Champion and earn himself $100,000 and the admiration of the entire StarCraft II community.
Become a WCS Partner
Blizzard Entertainment requires WCS Global Events to meet specific requirements to ensure a standard of quality and to promote broadcasting standards.
If you’re hosting a StarCraft II event and are interested in awarding WCS Points, we’d love to work with you. Fill out the appropriate tournament form to get started:
** Note that meeting the requirements listed above does not automatically grant WCS partner status — Blizzard would like to work with you directly to ensure your event fits well into the overall WCS system.
Looking for information about last year’s tournament? About WCS 2013