ESL chooses Heart of the Swarm over Wings of Liberty for StarCraft II IEM World Championships
In a move that shocked players and spectators alike, the Electronic Sports League (the organization behind the eponymous Intel Extreme Masters tour) has opted to go with StarCraft II Heart of the Swarm over its predecessor Wings of Liberty for the IEM World Championships.
This is a clear move to generate interest in a fanbase that has largely moved on from Wings of Liberty in anticipation of the expansion – however, one that questions the ethics of such a move. The tournament was largely advertised as a Wings of Liberty tournament series. As such players have been practicing all year long in preparation for this and other events (especially as this was very likely to the last WoL tournament on the international circuit).
Though most agreed to the switch, some players and team owners had similar opinions on the matter, taking to Twitter.
“If it’s only 2-3 players I guess it doesn’t matter that you screw them over. Oh well, you get more viewers this way” said Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn to organizer of IEM, Michal “Carmac” Blicharz.
Blicharz responded to criticism saying that “No matter which side of the debate you’re on, ESL decides the future of this event, and this is what we’ve decided”.
The IEM World Championships take place in Hanover, Germany on March 6-9. What do you think of this sudden change? Let us know in the comments.