With the vanishing of MBC GAME, it seems Korean e-sports took steps backwards. However, GOMTV is moving aggressively in 2013 with the huge success of GSL, GomTV Starcraft2 League, from abroad.
GOMTV (Executive Director In-sik Bae) has announced the relocation of the GOMTV Mokdong Studio to near Samseong Station in Gangnam-gu, which will occur in mid-March. The new studio is named as GOMTV Gangnam Studio. Yes, Gangnam Style!
GOMTV expect they could take care of about 200 spectators at the new studio, which is more than double size comparing to the previous studio. The new location is more convenient to spectator due to COEX(Shopping, Theaters, Foods etc.) and other hotels are near.
With the opening of the GOMTV Gangnam Studio all studio broadcasting equipment will be switched to HD. Also it is expected that they could held tournaments in different games(beside Starcraft2) in the future because it is the one of main reasons to have a new bigger studio.
GOMTV expect 2013 will be the year of extension and a huge leap. With ‘Heart of the Swarm’, the expansion of Starcraft2, released in March and the new studio, they want e-sports fans all around world get more excited this year.
KeSPA(Korean e-Sports Association) announced they will not join GSL Season 4 Code A qualifier.
GOM TV, the host of GSL (Global Starcraft2 League), asked KeSPA whether they will join or not during the last season as well. At that time, they said their team and pro-gamers are not ready enough for competing and need more time. However, they rejected to join this season again.
GOM TV, KeSPA and Blizzard were held the day of the vision declaration, which they said they will unite separated Korean e-Sports scenes into one and cooperate to improve e-Sports. It seems it was an empty promise after all.
GOM TV told “We will open the registration for GSL Season 4 Code A qualifier from the 24th of August as we planned”. It seems the decision from KeSPA could break the reconciliation mood between GOM TV and KeSPA.
Fans have gone crazy to watch during last WCS matches as well as Cross matches, which were the events that KeSPA and GSL pro-gamers are all competing together. Because GSL pro-gamers participate in StarLeague from Ongamenet, fans expect KeSPA pro-gamers will be presented at the next GSL season.
However, the decision from KeSPA is pouring the ice cold water over Starcraft2 fans again. KeSPA boycotted MSL in 2007 and made GOM TV Classic Starcraft League closed in 2008, and 2009 by not allowing their pro-gamers to participate in the league.
GOM TV is very disappointed and they will announce their stance very soon. A staff from Blizzard Korea also said “We are disconcerted by KeSPA’s sudden announcement. We will look over it and make an announcement by tomorrow”.
Starcraft II e-Sports Transition Celebration was held at COEX Intercontinental hotel in Seoul on the 2nd of May. Paul Sams, COO of Blizzard Entertainment, joined the event with people from KESPA(Korean e-Sports Association), Gretech(GomTV), Ongamenet. Progamers from Starcraft 1,2 and staffs were there, too.
KESPA(Korean e-Sports Association) acquired the right to host team based Starcraft II league while Ongamenet ) acquired the right to host individual Starcraft II league and broadcast it. Starcraft II becomes one of KESPA’s official events after it released a year and half ago.
As a result, there will be 4 Starcraft II leagues – two for Team based and other two for Individual.
Paul Sams, Blizzard COO, said “Blizzard will devote to the future of Korean e-Sports. Korea is a leader of pro-gaming business. We are pleasure to watch matches among Korean gamers.”
The detail about the team league and the individual league from KESPA and Ongamenet will be announced sometimes in the future.