Flaws in Blizzard WCS e-sports system

On April 3rd, WCS 2013 were announced. 2013 WCS Korea Season 1 Premier League, previously known as Code S, were started by the following day, Most Korean players have decided which region they are going to play and WCS NA & EU are about to start soon.
The big picture toward WCS Global Final has been drawn already. However, there have been other voices of concern from e-sports professionals in Korea.


The absence of administration activities from Blizzard Korea

Korean SC2 pro-gamers have been confused while they were choosing the region. According to Blizzard announcement on 3rd, players could change the region after Season 1 is over. However, what Blizzard Korea told to eSF and KeSPA was different – Korean SC2 pro-gamers need to choose the region until 9th. Those of whom are not selecting the region voluntarily until 9th are automatically locked in WCS Korea as well.

In addition, Code S players for WCS Korea Season 1 could change the region after the season is over while Code A (Challenge League) & B (Qualifier) players are locked in Korea.

Those are different from what Blizzard announced on the 3rd because Blizzard Korea understood Challenge League and Qualifier for Season 1 as the events to decide whom will be Premier League for Season 2. The title of the event is Season 1, but actually it is all about Season 2.

All SC2 pro-teams and players rose up because they think they all could change the region when the Season 1 is over. Finally, Blizzard Korea had emergency meeting at 9:00AM on the 9th and corrected their previous announcement as all Korean players could change their region after Season 1 is over.

It wasn’t just a happening. Anxiety and fear from Korean SC2 pro-gamers were more than just serious. A pro-gamer said “I was worrying and felt anxiety after I heard the region regulation. It is fortune that I could choose a region after the season is over, but it gives me a hollow smile after I have been through a couple of days with worrying without any information about the WCS NA & EU.”

One more issue, we would like to point out is that the new regulation has been informed to teams in eSF and KeSPA only while players in abroad teams were excluded. Sage of ROOT Gaming needed to contact Blizzard Korea by himself to hear about the region issue.


For whom the region changing right

According to the current league system, Challenge & Qualifier events will be held after the starting of Premier league. Therefore, even if you change the region and keep win games from Season 2 Qualifier, you can compete in Premier League from Season 3, not from Season 2. The current region changing right is for Code B players or players who are within top 5 in each region with lots of points. Those who have been lost at Qualifier should choose a region that is the least competitive to advance into Premier League easily.

On the other hand, it is possible that Korean players who have lots points in NA or EU could choose Korea because of tax they need to pay and the cost to stay.

While they need to pay only 4% tax for their prize money, they need to pay 30 to 40% tax in NA or EU. Korean players in abroad team don’t have to worry about the cost to stay in NA or EU while MVP & Nestea from LG-IM concern about the cost to stay.


What are the meanings of Challenge and Qualifier league for Season 3?

If you pay attention on the schedule for 2013 WCS events, you could find that the Challenge and Qualifier league for Season 3 could possibly have no meanings at all. Because 1) all points accumulated during 2013 season will be expired and 2) only players who advance to Season 3 Premier league could play for the Season 3 Final, what Challenge and Qualifier league for Season 3 mean to other players?

The order of 2013 WCS Korea.

The order of 2013 WCS NA. (Not much to be known for EU)

It is caused because WCS adopted GSL system from the bottom. Nothing has been announced about Season 2 from WCS NA & EU, but it is highly likely they will adopt the same system as Korea because of WCS points.

Unlike Premier League, League system for Challenge League could be different from each. If Korea distribute points based on the rank in Challenge League round 1,2,3, NA &EU need to follow the same rule to stop making confusion.

The most important issue is WCS Points System, which Blizzard has been no words about it so far.


Suggesting an alternative

Thisisgame e-sports team has analyzed WCS System with hearing from pro-gamers, teams and media since Blizzard announced. And we ended up with finding a few issues above. Then how to improve the current WCS System?

First of all, WCS System for each region is needed to modify. Right now, Premier League is held before Challenge & Qualifier event. We suggest that Qualifier event is needed to be held first and Challenge League for the second. Premier League should be the last.

It helps to divide each season much clearly and make organizing points for the season easier. It allows a player who keeps winning from Qualifier event and becomes the champion of the season as well.

This modification should be adopted from Season 2. Let’s keep points of top 8 players from Premier League Season 1 and seed as well as the remaining players in Challenge League and apply the modification from Season 2. By doing so, everything will work fine in the way that everyone are satisfying.

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