Earlier this week, after the exciting conclusion of the Starcraft II Winter Championships, MLG released the schedule for their Spring season, which will include Online Open Qualification for an exclusive Invite Only Online tournament later in the season, in addition to two Spring Arena events. All of these events feed directly into the Spring Championships in Anaheim on June 8th through June 10th. Let's take a look at MLG's release on the events:
The MLG Winter Season is about to come to an epic conclusion, and we couldn’t wait to share some of the highly anticipated details about the Spring Season for StarCraft II. There will be FIVE stages of StarCraft II competition in the Spring Season.
In the Spring we will be holding two sets of online qualifiers – one that is open to all, and a second that is invite-only.
Open Online Qualifiers – March 30-April 15 – Online Only, Not Broadcast
The season kicks off March 30-April 15 with the MLG Spring Regional Open Online Qualifiers. 128 players will compete in each region (NA/KR/EU). For the first time, we've worked closely with Blizzard to invite top Battle.net players to participate in one of our competitions. The Top 32 from each of the NA and EU Blizzard Grandmaster ladders will be invited to compete, and anyone else can register for the remaining spots. The Top 8 players from the Open Online Qualifiers will go on to compete in the Invite-Only Online Qualifiers later in the season. Registration will begin later this week, so check the site for details. These qualifiers will not be broadcast.
Spring Arena 1 – April 20-22 – NYC – LIVE Broadcast
The Top 8 players from the Winter Championship will compete live at Arena 1 on April 20 -22 in NYC. The Top 4 will get direct seeding into Arena 2, later in the season, a share of $10,900 in prizes, and guaranteed entry into Pool Play at the Spring Championship. The bottom 4 finishers will drop into the Invite-Only Online Qualifiers. Spring Arena 1 will be broadcast live.
Invite-Only Online Qualifiers – April 27-30 – Online Broadcast
From April 27-30, we will hold the Invite-Only Online Qualifiers, featuring: the 9th – 80th place finishers from the Winter Championship, the Top 8 from each Region of the Open Qualifiers, and the bottom 4 from Arena 1. The Top 8 from each Region of the Invite-Only Qualifiers will get all-expenses paid trips to Arena 2. This will be broadcast online and cast by some of the best in the business.
Please note: anyone who played in the Winter Arena but did not attend the Winter Championship will also be invited straight into the Invite-Only Online Qualifiers.
Spring Arena 2 – May 18-20 – NYC – LIVE Broadcast
Spring Arena 2 will take place on May 18 – 20 in NYC. This Arena will be very similar in structure to the Winter Arena. There will be 32 players: the Top 4 from Arena 1, the Top 8 from each Region of the Invite-Only Qualifiers, and 4 additional players that will be announced. The Top 8 from Spring Arena 2 will share $26,400 in prize money. 12 players from Arena 2, in addition to the Top 4 from Arena 1, will start in Pool Play at the Spring Championship, and the bottom 16 will start in Open Winners R5. This event will be broadcast live.
Spring Championship – June 8-10 – Anaheim, CA – LIVE Broadcast and In-Person Spectators
The Spring Season will end with the Spring Championship, June 8-10 in Anaheim, CA at the Anaheim Convention Center. That's right in Blizzard’s backyard, so perhaps there will be some surprises in store for you. Lots of exciting details will be released in the coming weeks. This event will be broadcast live.
This is a huge season for MLG StarCraft II. You will have a lot more to watch, and a lot more ways to watch, and we will tell you all about our new viewing packages later in the week.
Until then, thanks for your support, and get ready for a great Spring Season!
This news is huge, of course, because it really feels like MLG has a season for these events this time around, really giving players the chance to mix things up for Championship Play, rather than having the same players start out in the Pools for each MLG. Exciting times, my friends.
MLG also went on to reveal the pricing for viewing the events, which you can check out below - note that the Spring Championships can still be viewed for free no matter what, but for HD you have to pay extra. Worth it, in my opinion, especially if you get the $30 package, as it includes all of the broadcasted events:
So how bout it GameZone? Going to check out these events? Even if you're not, you can stay tuned here to GameZone find the latest in eSports news, StarCraft II or not!
Dustin Steiner is GameZone's eSports Correspondent! Follow him on Twitter @SteinerDustin