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In this episode we take a look at the sacrifices that were made during the development of StarCraft II, for eSports, some Heart of the Swarm release date news, NASL, GSL & TSL Updates, PonyCraft II, some Day[9] stand-up comedy, art updates & More!

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VGA

Starcraft II At The VGA’s

The Video Game Awards 2010 by Spike TV has announced the 2010 award nominees and after seeing them, I gotta say, this is definitely a good year for Blizzard and Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty.

Starcraft II was nominated for the 2010 Best PC Game Award along with Fallout: New Vegas, Mass Effect 2 and Sid Meier’s Civilization V. Along with that already impressive feat, Blizzard Entertainment has been nominated as the 2010 Studio of the Year for the release of Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty. Blizzard will compete with Bioware, Bungie Studios and Rockstar San Diego in this category. Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty was also nominated for the Best Multi-Player Award along with Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and Halo: Reach.

The voice of Sarah Kerrigan also received a bit of love and apparently they have not yet finalized the nominees for Most Anticipated Game just yet, so you guys had better get voting, Cataclysm could just grab that one too!

You can read all about all of the awards and Blizzards success below.

Spike Video Game Awards 2010 – Spike.com

Starcraft II Nominated In Four Catagories – BlizzPlanet

Blizzard Talks Stalemate

A fan recently posted on the official Starcraft II forums about his dislike, or rather, straight up hate of stalemates in Starcraft II. What is a stalemate, you ask? Well when you base trade with a terran then run back and save your base and kill off his army while he flies his command center, or any other flying building, into the corner of the map. You are left with nothing but your army and maybe a building or two and no way to get to his building floating in the corner of the map. What do you do? Wait many, many hours till one of you is forced to quit?

Blizzard replied and said that they do understand the players frustration and irritation.  They also say that in some, even most cases it is avoidable and players just need to think ahead before making rash decisions. They also said that there’s a lot of questions that need to be answered before they can move forward. If they’re going to step in and change something, they want to make sure that they do it right. So at least Blizzard knows about it and are considering their choices. I will try stay up to date with developments, keep checking back here.

As sort of an aside to this discussion, we know that stalemates can be incredibly frustrating, particularly if they carry on for extended periods of time. While some players might argue that stalemates are avoidable or that those who find themselves at such an impasse should just grin and bear the loss, we feel a bit differently and are currently looking into ways that we can help address prolonged stalemates if and when they occur. We don’t have a clear time line for this endeavor, but we know it’s a concern of the community and want to improve the player experience if we can.

While StarCraft II and chess are both strategy-based games that require careful planning, great timing, and the ability to anticipate an opponent’s movements, they’re not entirely comparable in this situation. With respect to stalemates in StarCraft II, it’s not only a matter of defining “what is a stalemate” and when one has occurred, it’s also one of deciding how to address that stalemate once it’s been identified. Do both players tie? Does one win and the other lose? Are both players penalized? If so, how?

STALEMATE IN 1V1 – Starcraft II Forums

Update on Blizzards ideas about Stalemates – TeamLiquid

GSL

GSL3

The GSL3 Round of 64 groups have been released with NesTea kicking the whole thing off on the first play day, set to start on the 22nd of November. The final play day of the first round is on November the 25th. There are some really big names competing and there will no doubt be a ton of great games to watch during the GSL3. Keep checking back here for more and read more about those first play days below!

LINE-UP: GOMTV StarCraft 2 Open – Round of 64 – GosuGamers

GSL #3: Groups Up – MyM

GOMTV Talks Europe – Support Issues

GOMTV have replied to a question posed by the guys over at GosuGamers regarding the issues the European gamers have been having with the VODs and Streams covering the GSL. GOMTV replied by saying that they are deeply sorry for any inconvenience, obviously, and that because their servers are currently located in the US, it makes it a bit harder for them to cater for Europe aswell. They did not really give any concrete answers, but they did say that they are working on possible solutions. I guess that’s the best we can ask of them. Read more about that below!

GOMTV Support Responds to European Problems – GosuGamers

GOMTV – All-Star Tournament

The GOMTV All-Star event that was held this past weekend was won by big name zerg player Kyrix. In the finals he faced off against everyone’s new favourite Terran, EllenPage, (FoxeR) and took him down with a score of 2-0. There were a lot of big names taking part in this tournament and these guys did amazingly well to overcome the rest of the field. so if you want to read more about all the participants, see the full results or see restreams of the games, check below!

SC2 All-Stars Semi-Finals & Finals – TeamLiquid

EmpireKas Wins Craft Cup Lite #15

Kas managed to take the 15th Craft Cup Lite last week. He took down fellow terran player PredY in the finals with a score of 2 to 1.

Craft Cup Lite #15 – Craft Cup

mouzStrelok Wins Craft Cup #19

Strelok took Craft Cup #19 this past weekend by defeating fellow terran player Fury in the finals with a rather decent score of 3 to 0.

Craft Cup #19 – Craft Cup

SK Champions Trophy #2

The second SK Champions Trophy concluded over this past weekend with Lucifron taking the win. He took down fellow terran player Naama in the finals with a pretty decent score of 3 to 1. That means Lucifron walks away with the 250$ prize pool and another notch on his gaming belt. Read more about the tournament below, courtesy of SK Gaming.

Champions Trophy #2 – SK Gaming

Tarson Retains Title Of GosuGamers KOTH

The GosuGamers King of the Hill is still running strong. This past weekend reigning king Tarson faced off against the zerg playing machine. He managed to defend his title and take Machine down with a score of 4 – 2. You can see the full battle report and VODs of the event over at GosuGamers.

GosuGamers King of the Hill: Tarson vs. Machine – GosuGamers

Black Dragon League Qualifiers

The Black Dragon League’s first two qualifiers have been completed. Along with the 8 players invited, that I mentioned last week, Kas and Satiini have also managed to qualify. There were many big name players competing in these qualifiers and the rest of the qualifiers will be happening soon.  You can find more information about all of that at the Black Dragon League website below. Enjoy!

Black Dragon League Official Site

Player and Clan news

Inside Look At oGs House & More

Ever wondered how the Korean Starcraft pro-teams live? What the conditions are like? What their practice schedules entail and how they prepare for big tournaments like the GSL? Well, gaming blog Giant Bomb went to South Korea to take a deeper look into the phenomenon of StarCraft 2 and the GSL Season 2 tournament. The videos are a really interesting look at the life of the Starcraft II pro-gamer in Korea and there are even a couple of interviews with big name players such as  NesTea, IdrA, Zenio and many others. They also, as I mentioned, take a look around the oGs / Teamliquid house and speak to some of the residents there. You don’t want to miss this, check it out below.

An inside look at Korea, GSL Season 2 and OGS/TeamLiquid House – GosuGamers

New Finish Team Featuring Satiini

The French organization ‘Virus’ has started up a new Finish StarCraft II division. Right now the line-up consists of three Finish and a Swedish player. One of them is the well-known, former WarCraft 3 player, Satiini. You can see their full line-up and read more about the team below courtesy of MyM.

http://www.mymym.com/en/news/19471.html

Torch To StarTale

TorcH, big name foreigner living in Korea and participant in the Round of 64 of the GSL1 has joined up with the Korean pro-team StarTale. This makes TorcH the first foreign player to join a Korean pro team since the release of StarCraft 2. That’s a pretty decent achievement unlocked right there if you ask me, read more about that below!

TorcH recruited by Startale! – VT Gaming

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Blizzard Served

Blizzard Cracks Down On Hackers, Again

It seems like Blizzard has a followup for their big wave of bans that happened at the start of this month; they are now going after the people responsible for the ‘hacking or cheating’ programs. According to an article over at GameSpot, just last week, Blizzard filed suit in the Los Angeles US District Court against three programmers, accusing them of creating and selling hacks for Starcraft II that were in violation of the end-user license agreement, Battle.net terms of use, and copyright law.

Here’s a quote from the claim:

“Just days after the release of Starcraft II, Defendants already had developed, marketed, and distributed to the public a variety of hacks and cheats designed to modify (and in fact destroy) the Starcraft II online game experience. In fact, on the very day that Starcraft II was released, representatives of the hacks Web site advised members of the public that ‘our staff is already planning new releases for this game.'”

“The harm to Blizzard from Defendants’ conduct is immediate, massive and irreparable, by distributing the Hacks to the public, Defendants cause serious harm to the value of StarCraft II. Among other things, Defendants irreparably harm the ability of Blizzard’s legitimate customers (i.e. those who purchase and use unmodified games) to enjoy and participate in the competitive online experience. That, in turn, causes users to grow dissatisfied with the game, lose interest in the game, and communicate that dissatisfaction, thereby resulting in lost sales of the game or ‘add-on’ packs and expansions thereto.”

Ouch. The three defendants named in the suit go by the handles ‘Permaphrost,’ ‘Cranix,’ and ‘Linuxawesome.’ It is thus far unclear as to where Blizzard will go from here and according to GameSpot they are still waiting for Blizzard to respond to their queries. I will try stay up-to-date, keep checking back here!

You can read the full article below.

Blizzard sues Starcraft II hackers – GameSpot

IdrA wins MLG DC

IdrA Wins MLG D.C.

The Zerg playing IdrA from the clan EG managed a straight run to the Grand Finals in this weekends MLG Washington D.C. Starcraft II Tournament. He won every single series he played and after that he had quite a long wait on his hands for his challenger to emerge from the losers bracket. Select, being knocked out of the winners bracket early in the event, battled his way all the way through some pretty big names to meet up against the ready and waiting IdrA. IdrA took the grand final with a clean 2-0 and pocketed a rather decent $2500 for his efforts. The games were great to watch over the stream, especially with the soothing voice of Day9 guiding us through them all. The whole event was great fun and I can’t wait for the next MLG in Dallas!

You can find a full replay pack of the event below along with links to the full brackets, enjoy!

MLG D.C. – Full Replay Pack

MLG D.C. – Full Brackets

Another IdrA Interview

Just a day or two ago another interesting interview with the recent MLG winner, IdrA, popped up, this time over on FNATIC.com. In the interview they talk about IdrA’s loss at GSL1, his families response to him choosing to become a pro-gamer, the other pro-gamers he respects, how he left his life behind to move to Korea and so much more! It’s a great read for any IdrA fan, which there are no doubt many of, and you can find a link to the full interview below.

IdrA Interview  – FNATIC.com

oGs Win GOMtv Team Invitational

The team invitational that was held during the off-days after the GSL2’s Qualifications was won by, well, let’s just face it, the favourites, oGs. After battling it out for 8 days they faced off against team WeRRa in the finals and managed to defeat them with a close score of 4-3. There were some big players from oGs in the team, namely GARIMTO, Zenio and NaDa, so I guess it’s no surprise that they did so well. Overall it seems like it was great fun and I am sure it gave the players participating in the GSL2 a good bit of practice before the event. Read more about that below!

GOMtv – http://www.gomtv.net/

SjoW Wins Craft Cup #10

This past friday SjoW managed to win yet again, this time taking Craft Cup #10. The Terran player faced off against fellow Terran DieStar in the finals and took him down with a score of 3 to 0.

GoOdy Wins Go4SC2 Cup #47

The Terran player GoOdy just barely managed to claim victory in this past Sunday’s Go4SC2 Cup #47. He faced off against the Zerg player Lalush in the finals and took it with a close 3 to 2.

DIMAGA Wins ZOTAC Cup #27

DIMAGA the Zerg made winning look easy in this past Sunday’s ZOTAC Cup #27. He took down the Terran Tarson in the finals with a rather convincing score of 3 to 0.

GSL2

Global Starcraft League – Season 2

As you all probably know, the GSL2 is starting tomorrow, or today, depends on when you read this (18th) and a lot of people will no doubt be glued to their screens watching the live streams all day long. I will be trying to do at least a bit of coverage of the GSL2 here on the site as often as I can so be sure to keep checking back for information, results and drama!

GOMtv Sony

Sony Erricson Sponsor GSL2

In a slightly smaller and probably less interesting piece of news to the average gamer, Sony Ericsson the fourth biggest mobile phone manufacturer has launched their first eSport sponsorship. The first sponsorship they have thrown out just so happens to be to the second season of the Global Starcraft League. No official information has been revealed on the matter, but it’s pretty interesting nonetheless.

GSL2 Schedule, Live Stream And More

If you were not quite which game was happening when, which group was playing when, what time the games start every day or even where to find the stream for the GSL2, you can find all of that below! There’s a full schedule of events, a link to the stream.

The opening series of games of the event have been announced and they are definitely set to be interesting! We will be seeing the Zerg player and victor of the first season, FruidDealer, face off against the Terran playing ButterflyEffect.

GSL2 Live Stream

GSL2 Full Schedule

GSL2 Day 1 Videos By Artosis

Good old Artosis is at it again. He has been religiously carrying his camera around and filming every little thing he had the chance to film while at the GSL2 in South Korea. Over this past weekend he uploaded a couple of videos from the first qualification days of the GSL2. There are some really cool clips of some really big names in action, he even has a couple of mini-interviews with spectators and participants at the event. All in all, good to watch. You can find links to all four videos below.

GSL Season 2 Qualifiers Day 1 – Part 1 of 4

GSL Season 2 Qualifiers Day 1 – Part 2 of 4

GSL Season 2 Qualifiers Day 1 – Part 3 of 4

GSL Season 2 Qualifiers Day 1 – Part 4 of 4

The Collegiate StarLeague – Season 4

The guys from over at GosuGamers recently uploaded a pretty cool interview with the guys behind The Collegiate StarLeague or CSL. If you didn’t know, they are the organization that is trying to Koreanize Starcraft in North America by treating it as they would any other sport, be it Football, Hockey or Baseball and spreading it across college campuses across the country. The CSL is set to begin its fourth season on Saturday, October 23rd and there’s already quite a lot of hype building around it this organization and what it’s doing for eSports in the US. So be sure to check the interview out below, along with a couple more links that can get you pretty much filled in with everything you need to know about the CSL.

Features \ The Collegiate StarLeague – GosuGamers

The Collegiate StarLeague

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