The eSports team at Blizzard is working to makes the StarCraft 2 World Championship Series more accessible and inclusive to players in North America and Europe, according to a Reddit AMA with WCS organizers.
Blizzard announced the StarCraft 2 WCS in April, the first season of championship eSports for the game. Qualifying rounds for the $1.6 million tournament were held in North America, Europe and Korea, and rounds in the latter region included more player slots than in the NA and Europe. In the AMA, Blizzard's team acknowledged the series had a stronger presence in Korea, but moving forward they are hoping to make the WCS more inclusive and schedule more rounds in other regions.
"Our vision for [the World Championship Series] 2013 has always been to establish the most premier StarCraft 2 tournement in the world," said StarCraft 2 community manager Kevin Johnson. "We want the best players playing.
"Obviously we are sensitive to the fact that in our current format it is easier for players who do not reside in a particular region to play via online matches, and that the requirement to commit to a region for a full year has had some difficulties in this year of launch (needing to allow players the opportunity to switch for Season 2)," he continued. "We do expect that as we move to longer commitments for offline matches, as well as a renewed decision to commit for a full calendar year in 2014, the environment will change."
Johnson reiterated that the StarCraft 2 WCS is a single global tournament, and while the previous series placed heavier emphasis on region-focused events, viewership was not as high as Blizzard had hoped. Blizzard is tweaking the format for the competition in response to this dip in viewership.
He added that Blizzard's main goal for the 2013 season was to set up the premiere StarCraft 2 global tournament for the highest level players. With one championship season under its belt, the team will continue to develop the series and will work towards improving the eSports community in both North America and Europe.
"We want the best players playing, we want compelling matches, and we want to make it an easy tournament to play in, no matter where you live globally," Johnson said.
Read the full transcript of the AMA on the StarCraft 2 blog.