WCS Winter Round of 8 is almost here!
Now that the excitement of IEM Katowice and WESG is over, it’s time to focus on the next big thing – the StarCraft II World Championship Series or WCS! Specifically, the Round of 8, of which there are two, one for Europe and one for America.The eight players for each of them have been decided – the top 8 for Europe are:
- Julian “Lambo” Brosig,
- Mikolaj “Elazer” Ogonowski,
- Riccardo “Reynor” Romiti,
- Gabriel “HeRoMaRinE” Segat,
- Artem “Rail” Avramenko,
- Théo “PtitDrogo” Freydière,
- Tobias “ShoWTimE” Sieber,
- Joona “Serral” Sotala (of course!).
For the US half of the competition, the top 8 players are:
- Pablo “Cham” Blanco,
- Alex “Neeb” Sunderhaft,
- Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn,
- Max “Astrea” Angel,
- Li “TIME” Peinan,
- Sean “Probe” Kempen,
- Maru “MaSa” Kim,
- Brandon “puCK” Qual.
After some comments from the community, Blizzard actually changed up the tournament format for this competition a little – now, each player will face each of the others in their region in a best-of-three type tournament. In other words, it’s a round-robin competition! At the end, the top six of the players will enter their region’s gauntlet play-off bracket.
This means that the top finishing player in either region is guaranteed a spot in the top two at least, as it is seeded based on the top-finishers and their placements in the Round of 8. The playoffs a little later are going to be live and in person. On April 6th and 7th, the lucky players will be facing off at the Blizzard Arena Los Angeles studio.Exact broadcast times and locations are still to come. For now, this weekend’s schedule is out though: Beginning on Saturday, March 23rd, at 7am PDT, there will be 4 rounds of the European half of the tournament and 3 rounds of the American half. The next day, on Sunday, it will be the other way around – beginning again at 7am PDT, 3 rounds of Europe’s side will be played, along with 4 rounds from the Americas.
Whatever part of the matches you are interested in though, you can watch them on the official StarCraft II Twitch channel, with Ravi ‘feardragon’ Pareek, Geoff ‘iNcontrol’ Robinson and Nathan ‘Nathanias’ Fabrikant as commentary. Since there will be a total of four games running at a time, there are a few extra commentators as well, to make sure that fans don’t miss any of the best moments.
Wardiii, ZombieGrub and BasetradeTV will be there to provide additional English coverage for the tournament. For other languages, there are additional commentators as well – you can enjoy German, Polish, French, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese and Traditional Chinese, though the latter is only available in the Americas.
Whichever language you want to enjoy the competitions in though, it’s bound to be a great Winter tournament with lots of epic plays and interesting moments across both regions, so be sure to tune in for the highlights at the very least!