Are the new WCS rules too late?

av Madeleine Leander

Blizzard are back with new updates for WCS 2015. There will be a lot of changes in the StarCraft 2 scene. In short, WCS EU and WCS NA will merge into a single league with residency requirements and Korea will get two global premier leagues.

Some Koreans will probably have to play in Korea since a Holiday visa will no longer be enough to play in another region. There are some exceptions, like Choi ”Polt” Seong Hun and Kim “Violet” Dong Hwan with athlete visas in the United States. I think the rules are good, but coming too late. Due to the old rules some Korean players moved to Europe and made a life here. They might now be screwed over. My friend and teammate Park ”Forgg” Ji Soo is one of them.


Until this summer he had the required visa in France. But to extend it he basically had to learn French and since a holiday visa was easier to get he skipped it. It was also enough to play in WCS EU before. He’s been living in France + Germany for over two years now and have been playing on the European ladder. At the moment he is living with his girlfriend in Germany. He is basically considered a European player (of course I’m biased here). After reading through the new rules it seems like he can no longer play WCS in Europe. Hopefully there is a way but we will have to wait and see I guess. When Forgg tweeted about this he didn’t seem too happy about it either.

“i lived here for 2years and now i cant play because i just got WORKINGHOLYDAY visa 2month ago this is a joke ?”

To compensate there will be two Korean leagues with WCS points, GSL and a new one by SPOTV. Both having 3 seasons. And as before Proleague and Kespa cup, so there will definitely be a lot of cups to play for all the Korean stars.

A student visa is also an acceptable identification according to the new rules. So my guess is that quite some Korean players will try to get a student visa. That is, we still have no idea how many Koreans will continue to play in WCS outside of Korea. So we don’t know if the rules will actually work.

As for the merged league for everyone outside of Korea it might need some work but I like the idea of it. However, I do see some problems. It will be harder on the players to have to travel to other continents more often and it will not be as easy for viewers to follow the tournaments due to the time zones. I also think separate leagues for EU and NA would help the scenes there grow more than with a merged league.

Either way, in the long run I think residency requirements is a good thing. I just wish they were there from the start. And the format of 2012 is still the one I prefer :).



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