Cybersport and Starcraft: What future for the discipline?

Cybersport and Starcraft What future for the discipline

Cybersport in Nutshell

2008 is considered to be the year of the birth of cybersport as a discipline. Simultaneously, the concept itself existed even earlier in the form of competitions with scoring (worth giving credit to games like Spacewar). The first cybersport tournament before its definition was Street Fighter II. With the release of Doom 2 and the possibility of cooperative combat, cybersport’s development and success were already predetermined.

Not every game deserves its place in cybersport. Games in which most of the mechanics depend on randomness rather than skill will never make it to the list of cybersport disciplines. Most often, the main tournaments are held for the MOBA or real-time strategy (RTS) games:

  • MOBA (or battle arena) is a genre in which two teams fight against each other, completing the objectives dictated by the map. Usually, this is the destruction of the other team towers and the capture of the enemy base. The prominent representatives of this genre are League of Legends (LoL) and Dota.
  • RTS requires players to skillfully use resources and characters’ ability to protect certain areas of the map and/or destroy the enemy team’s assets.

The reality of cybersport is that games that are very popular right now are collecting big investments. The logic is very simple: the more people play the game, the more profit one can get from bets and related events. For example, if a viewer can come to a tournament to be physically present as a spectator and support the team, the organizers make good money on tickets.

But what does the future hold for the founding disciplines of cybersport like Starcraft?

Starcraft: Three Races Showdown

Starcraft is a series of nine official and unofficial games approved by Blizzard Entertainment, the game developers. The first part came out in 1998, and the plot became the main theme. This game is about the confrontation of three space races, and the mechanics focus on the economy and battles.

Cheatcodes: Are they legal?

In Starcraft, it is possible to use cheat codes. The developers have provided opportunities for making changes to the game with the help of special commands, so a player can find many starcraft cheats on the Internet. These are mainly starcraft 2 cheats, cheats for the Starcraft 2 trilogy, the first of which was released in 2010. There were no significant changes in the plot, but there were changes in the general mechanics. Among them:

  • a new type of resource deposits
  • work queue for a laborer
  • ten levels of AI difficulty

Sometimes the complexity of the AI turns the game into a chain of irritations. For this, there are starcraft 2 cheats that will return the enjoyment of the game. In Insider.Games review Best Starcraft 2 Cheat Codes: How to Use, the reader can learn about the most popular and useful cheats and how to use them.

One should keep in mind that starcraft 2 cheats are only available in single-player mode. In cybersport and co-op mode, a player needs to rely only on teammates’ personal skills and abilities.

Starcraft and Cybersport

Starcraft, as one of the founders of cybersport, has never been popular in the CIS. The main peak of popularity of this game is in South Korea. The World Championship Series (WCS) has existed for almost seven years, but it was canceled in 2019 with the mobile app’s closure.

However, Blizzard Entertainment announced that Starcraft’s cybersport future is being transferred to ESL and DreamHack tournaments. DreamHack manages four international tournaments, and ESL organizes the remaining two. Plus, Starcraft fans still have the option to come to tournaments and watch the matches live.

As part of cybersport development and, specifically, Starcraft in Korea, Blizzard Entertainment promises to allocate more than $ 1.2 million annually in the prize pool for three years (starting from January 2020). For the period 2020-2021, this prize pool is $ 1.9 million.

However, the current version of the game is StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. And towards the end of 2020, Blizzard Entertainment announced that they would stop actively releasing cosmetic content for the game. In addition, the Q4 2020 global patch has also been canceled. According to the developers, this is because the team needs time to rethink not only work on Starcraft 2 but also over the entire universe of the game.

So, what’s next?

This state of affairs does not mean that Starcraft 2, as a discipline of cybersport will die suddenly. Many tournaments are planned for the near future, and the game will be in demand until at least the end of 2023. Also, canceling a global patch does not mean Blizzard Entertainment will stop releasing balance patches.

One should keep in mind that Starcraft 2 players, organizations, and tournament operators are still active. In the fall season of 2020, fans could not watch live matches, but the number of people watching DH SC2 Masters 2020 Fall Season Finals was a record number of people. It had gathered almost 45 thousand spectators.

Given these numbers, it is safe to say that now for many sponsors, Starcraft 2 looks like a higher priority than Dota 2, CS:GO, or Valorant. The broadcasts continue to attract many viewers, and prize pools in single modes have always been smaller than in teams.

Is There A Future?

Yes. As long as Blizzard Entertainment is donating prize money and releasing patches, Starcraft 2 will survive another year or two without problems, even with no new content. Sooner or later, the players will leave it and take with them spectators, tournament operators, streamers, and other important parts of the cybersport community.

It is not yet clear how much time the team working on Starcraft 2 took for themselves to think. It is also unclear whether it is worth waiting for major announcements in the Starcraft universe shortly. Therefore, for now, loyal fans of this RTS can only wait, watch the tournaments that are already underway, and play the game in single-player mode. If it is very difficult, then there is nothing wrong with using starcraft cheats or playing it together with friends in cooperative mode.


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