StarCraft II’s longest running tournament series celebrates the 8th anniversary

1 min read
StarCraft II’s longest running tournament series celebrates the 8th anniversary

Korean all around

The Global StarCraft II League (GSL) launched exactly 8 years ago. Since then it has gained the status of the most prestigious tournament on the scene, with hopefuls from all around the globe yearning to qualify and get their chance to appear on Korean television. Serving as a lynchpin of professional StarCraft II in Korea, the league has given rise to some of the most dominant names in the history of the game. 

Announced on the 27th of August 2010, the GSL was initially run by GOMTV, an already well-established tournament organizer within the competitive scene of the original StarCraft. Two major sponsors in TG Sambo, a Korean hardware firm, and Intel came together to put together a prize pool of 170,000$, with half the money going to the first place finisher. 

The league offered a unique opportunity for any individual to try and qualify. In a competitive landscape run by KeSPA (the Korean eSports Association), where participating in most televised leagues required the player to have obtained a pro gaming licence, the GSL received a lot of attention from overseas communities. With foreigners flying in to try their luck, the qualifiers saw over 2000 people competing for one of the 64 spots in the main event. 

Kim 'Fruitdealer' Won Gi after his victory in the first season of the GSL 

45 champions over the years, all Korean, building on the legacy of competitive Brood War, solidified Korea’s dominance over the foreign scene. 

As GOMTV rebranded to GOMeXP in 2013, the league shifted formats - from being a sponsorship league to serving as the Korean counterpart of the foreign championship circuit; the WCS. GOMeXP eventually went under in 2015 and got incorporated by AfreecaTV, who took over running the GSL

The ongoing season is currently in its final stages, as the semi-finals are set to take place on the 5th and the 8th of September, with the season concluding on the 15th. 

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