The StarCraft II: World Championship Series Korea, Europe, and America Leagues crowned their champions, and now all converge on Cologne, Germany, where the Electronic Sports League (ESL) will host the culmination of two months of bitter rivalries and daring upsets. The Season 2 Finals will decide the greatest players of summer 2013 and push whoever excels one step closer to attending the Global Finals at BlizzCon. If that doesn’t grab your attention, ESL’s hype video for the Season 2 Finals certainly will.

Overview
The Season 2 Finals draw together 16 players to compete at gamescom from August 23-25, highlighting the highest level of competitive StarCraft II. Players earned invites by reaching the top 5 of the Korea Premier League and the America Premier League, while the host region—WCS Europe—brings along the top 6 players who competed in the Europe Premier League.

The players enter four dual-tournament style groups, where only two move on to the next round of competition. From there on out, the 8 remaining players must challenge each other in a single elimination bracket for a share in $150,000 and 17,000 WCS Points.

Check out the bracket on starcraft2.com/wcs

Where to Watch
For all the WCS live streams, live score updates, VoDs, and articles visit the WCS portal at starcraft2.com/wcs. All content will be streamed in 720p HD for free, and VoDs will be updated throughout the weekend on our videos page. Check the schedule for the most up-to-date WCS broadcast times. ESL will also rebroadcast each round of action daily, right after the end of the show. If you want a special viewing experience, subscribe on Twitch for the WCS Finals to gain access to special emoticons in chat and the highest bitrate stream available.

The Players
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*Han “aLive” Lee Seok replaces Jin “Jim” Hui Cao due to visa issues.

Only one player, Lee INnoVation Shin Hyung, returns from the Season 1 Finals, and he will be looking to claim the #1 spot again. Choi “Polt” Seong Hoon, Cho “Maru” Sung Choo, and Kim “duckdeok” Kyeong Keok, the regional champions, lead the charge towards the Season 2 Finals.  Paul “ReDeYe” Chaloner previews how intense the competition will be between these players this weekend.

Your Hosts and Casters
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Watching StarCraft II isn’t just about epic games, but also the fine folks who help bring you all this drama. ESL pulled out all the stops . . . your WCS Season 2 Finals casting team includes Dan “Artosis” Stemkoski, Shaun “Apollo” Clark, James “Kaelaris” Carrol, Yoan “ToD” Merlo, and Kevin “Rotterdam” van der Kooi. Also on site will be Paul “ReDeYe” Chaloner and William “Chobra” Cho to host these grand proceedings. Behind the camera, ESL’s excellent production team will be hard at work, while Alexandre “FunKa” Verrier observes every game, so you don’t miss a drop, counter-attack, or Baneling landmine.

The Venue
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Gamescom is the largest gaming event in the world, with 275,000 visitors last year. That makes it the perfect location for one of the biggest StarCraft II events in WCS 2013. If you’d like to attend in person, or are interested in learning about the area, check out gamescom’s travel and accommodation pages. Also, don’t miss out on Twitch and ESL’s “The Party That Matters” on Saturday night if you’re in Cologne for gamescom.

All in all, the WCS Season 2 Finals by ESL at gamescom look to be one of the toughest StarCraft II competitions held in 2013. Tune in at starcraft2.com/wcs August 23–25. Furthermore, if you’re hoping to head out on the town to catch the Season 2 Finals action with fellow eSports enthusiasts, be sure to read up on gatherings near you using our new BarCraft Portal.