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StarCraft Betting Tips & Live Streams
The StarCraft series was developed by Activision Blizzard in 1998, a real-time strategy game based on military science fiction. It was widely popular when Activision began development on its sequel, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty in 2007, followed by the game’s release in 2010.
While the game was enjoyed globally, its esports scene took off particularly well in South Korea. In 2003, five years after the game’s release, professional gamers began organizing into teams sponsored by major companies like Samsung, SK Telecom and KT.
Where you can bet on StarCraft
Betting on eSports is big business now and the world's biggest bookmakers all offer tournament, pre-match and in-play betting on StarCraft.
You can see the best StarCraft betting sites in your region or choose to bet with this month's top five ranked sites.
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StarCraft Live Streaming & Where to Watch
You can catch live streams of StarCraft games on popular streaming sites. You’ll be able to catch the majors tournaments at betting sites such as bet365, Stake and Pinnacle.
Most of the bigger StarCraft tournaments like the ESL Pro Tour and DreamHack Masters will be streamed on the official StarCraft II Twitch channel. You can also watch the live streams on Afreeca or YouTube.
Many of the players themselves will stream the game themselves through Twitch. Streams of GSL or ESL sponsored tournaments can be found on their Twitch channels.
StarCraft eSports Structure
Activision signed a deal with ESL and DreamHack in 2020 to organize StarCraft II esports events. The partnership struck gold for StarCraft esports, and they now organize Pro Tour events which are watched by millions of people every year.
Starcraft esports tournaments are very well funded, and attract top talent from all over the world. Over the last couple of years they’ve branched out well beyond Korea, with players from China and Europe surfacing from international tournaments.
There are a number of major StarCraft II tournaments conducted every year, the most prominent ones being:
- The ESL Pro Tour is the biggest international StarCraft esports tournament around. Two global events are held at DreamHack every year, and usually offer prize pools in excess of$100,000. The Global Finals are held at IEM Katowice to conduct the season, offering $500,000 as its prize pool.
- The Global StarCraft II League (GSL) is another major tournament, with two seasons a year conducted in Seoul, South Korea. A prize pool of $123,000 is distributed among its participants.
- The World Team League (WTL) is a seasonal event, comprising of a Summer and Winter edition and offers $88,000 as the prize pool
The ESL Pro Tour began with the merger between ESL and DreamHack in 2020, and are organized in collaboration with AfreecaTV. It also covers Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Warcraft II tournaments in addition to StarCraft.
The ESL pro tour will be split into seven regional leagues, with international tournaments called Global Events occuring during the year, and the Global Finals at IEM Katowice. These are the regions represented:
- South Korea
- Rest of the World, split into the sub regions:
- Europe (Europe and Africa)
- North America (USA and Canada)
- Latin America (Rest of the Americas)
- China (Mainland China)
- Taiwan (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Mongolia)
- Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, and all unassigned Asian countries)
Qualification For StarCraft Tournaments
Qualification for the ESL Pro Tour is determined by a points system, based on a player’s performance in the GSL, at the Regional Leagues leading up to Global Events.
The GSL is conducted in Korea. It kicks off with the AfreecaTV GSL Super Tournament 1 each year in January, followed by three seasons across the next six months.
Each season sees around 37 participants. The winner gets 800 ESL Pro Tour (EPT) points for Korea, the runner-up gets 570 points, and the semifinalists get 410 each. Good performances at the GSL has other perks aside from prize money, such as:
- The finalists earn a place at the GSL Super Tournament
- The top six will seed through to the ESL Pro Tour Masters
- The winner of the event gets invited to IEM Katowice
A series of regional leagues culminates in the DreamHack Regionals. The event has 16 participants, with a fixed number of slots from the following seven regions:
- Four each from Korea and Europe
- Two from North America
- One each from Latin America, China, Taiwan, and Oceania
The DreamHack Masters comprises three group stages, followed by the knockout brackets and playoffs.
- Group Stage 1 sees 24 teams competing, split into six groups of four each. The top two from each group will progress to the next stage, while the remaining drop to the lower knockout bracket
- Group Stage 2 includes the top 12 from the previous stage, and another 20 players from Open Sign-ups. They’re divided into eight groups of four each. The top 16 players proceed to Stage 3
- Group Stage 3 includes the 16 teams from Regionals in addition to ones from Stage 2. The top half proceeds to the Playoffs, while the remaining drop to the knockout bracket
- The knockouts and playoffs are both single-elimination brackets, and the winner of the Grand Final earns an invite to the IEM Katowice.
- The winner gets 1500 EPT Global Points,runner-up gets 1000 , and 3rd-4th place get 600 each.
- The Masters Championship includes 36 participants, which include:
- The three GSL seasons winners
- The two Global DH SC2 Masters winners
- The teams with the highest EPT points, with 5 seeds from Korea and 8 from the rest of the world
- Top four from play-ins, which feature 7 players from Korean Standings and 9 players from Circuit Standings
- The two best from the merged rankings.
Best StarCraft Players
Lee Byeong “Rogue” Yeol from Korea is arguably one of the best StarCraft players of all time. He’s a dominant force at the GSL, having won five seasons of it in the last four years.
He has a whole list of accolades, including winning the IEM Masters and GSL Super Tournament back-to-back in 2018, as well as the WCS Global Finals. He also took home the IEM Katowice world championship in 2020.
Another prominent SC2 player in the last decades is Cho ‘Maru’ Seong-ju, who currently plays for Onsyde Gaming. He achieved fame at the age of 13 by competing at the GSL, becoming the tournament’s youngest player of all time.
He has gone on to win numerous championships, most recently winning the DreamHack Masters Winter final. In 2018, he pulled off a hattrick at the GSL by winning all three seasons in the year.
Joona ‘Serral’ Sotala has also been around the SC2 scene for a while, and rose to prominence ever since 2018. His emergence has finally shifted the spotlight away from Korea, especially since he became the only non-Korean player to reach and win a WCS Global Finals in 2018.