StarCraft II War Chest Team League: Casters’ Draft
War Chest Team League is a StarCraft 2 tournament scheduled to take place between July 24th – August 16th. This will be an online event that features 9 teams of 4 players. And what’s great about it is that 9 different casters will do the drafting. This pretty much guarantees some interesting match-ups, because the people who cast SC2 regularly have a pretty good understanding of who should play who in order to create a huge show.
War Chest Team League Details
War Chest Team League lasts for around 3 weeks and offers a total prize pool of $107,800. That’s a big amount for a StarCraft 2 tournament. The money will go to the top 9 players or the first 25% of participants. And the way it’s split between them makes it possible for everyone to enjoy decent rewards.
The competitive format of War Chest Team League is quite basic: Phase 1 Round Robin followed by Playoffs.
As I mentioned before, there will be 9 teams in total. The top 2 teams advance to the Playoffs’ Semifinals. The next 4 teams in line advance to the Playoffs’ Round of 6. Every match is Bo5. Because this tournament is team-based, we’re going to see a lot of matches.
Casters Doing the Drafting
The 9 casters doing the drafting and deciding the fate of the tournament will be the following:
So far, 18 of the 36 participants have been revealed. As you can see below, we have 6 Zergs, 5 Terrans and 7 Protoss. This is quite well-balanced in my opinion. Of course, it remains to be seen what the other 18 players will be. These competitors will come from the Wild Card and will be determined in the coming weeks.
As you might imagine, among the big favorites to win War Chest Team League will be the teams that have the best players. Although, all things considered, a lot will depend on how the drafting is done. Because for instance, assuming that players like Serral will get drafted immediately, what happens if a rule is imposed so that the one who picks first then gets to pick last? So you pick your player and then you pick again after the first 17 players have been selected. That would imply that Serral gets some fairly weak teammates. And if that’s the case, then we won’t even have the guarantee that he and his team will survive the Group Stage.
Of course, we don’t know yet how the drafting will be done. But the method that will be used will no doubt determine a lot of things. You should take this into account, especially if you intend to place bets on the tournament.
War Chest Team League Controversy
The War Chest Team League is no stranger to controversy. Initially, the War Chest mechanic itself was criticized. Players had to do additional tasks on top of buying the chest in order to obtain the rewards. Which makes sense if they were buying a Battle Pass, but not when buying a Lootbox. The issue was best summarized in Totalbiscuit’s twitlonger on the matter.
This iteration of the League has another problem altogether. Twelve esports organizations penned an Open Letter 20 days ago about their discontent with Blizzard’s actions. The main point is the lack of support for actual Starcraft 2 teams, and the league format actually making the teams on their own which demotivates esports organizations from running their own teams.
Either side of the argument has valid points. Starcraft 2 teams do need support from Blizzard and a competitive system to boot, but on the other hand, Blizzard has envisioned this event a caster draft type team league. The aim is to support individual players and casters and not entire esports organizations.
Our opinion is somewhere in the middle. Blizzard does need this community enriching events, but they cannot be the main Starcraft 2 event. A team league with actual esports organizations fielding complete rosters and incentive to create those rosters is needed as well.
In the end, the War Chest Team League is getting bad press and issues before the players and full format are even announced. It’s sad that a foundational title of competitive esports is in such ire and fragility when esports is booming.