essays and pithy thoughts

Starcraft II's run with MLG apparently at an end

in glhf

I say apparently, because it’s difficult to see them picking the game back up for future tournaments. Some semblance of continuity is just an implicit part of retaining momentum if you’re a tournament circuit operating as MLG does. With MLG dropping its involvement with WCS in June, and last month announcing a new ‘pro points’ initiative without support for SC2, this seems to be a bit of an inevitability, at least in hindsight.

It would be hard to say that this isn’t exactly what Blizzard wanted. It would also be generous to describe Blizzard’s WCS system as anything better than tepidly hostile towards outside leagues, particularly if they weren’t interested in subordinating their own brand to be involved. It was a slapdash effort from the outset and has struggled to find anything resembling a groove since, and left MLG in particular with a lot of scrambling to do with seemingly very little reward.

The kneejerk reaction here would be to lash out at MLG for ‘abandonment’ or at Blizzard for ‘ruining their game.’ In reality, neither is entirely the case. MLG’s Starcraft offerings haven’t had the same punch as of late, even before WCS scrambled things up, and while these tournaments will obviously be missed if this is indeed a permanent end to Starcraft at MLG, it’s not the end of the American scene in this game, at least not yet.

What it does is open up a lot of space for Blizzard to operate unilaterally on this continent through WCS, which might have been their plan all along. Despite bungling quite a bit to this point, they may be able to turn things around over the next year, but I’d say that’s about all the time they might have to do so.

On the other side, this leaves MLG with Call of Duty as their front-runner, and a lot of questions as to what else they can run that will bring better results than Starcraft.