The World Championship Series - WCS or SC2WCS for short - is a global eSports tournament series for Blizzard Entertainment's popular real-time strategy game, StarCraft II.
The WCS is the premier series for professional StarCraft competition. It is run in cooperation with various existing broadcasting corporations including MLG, ESL, OGN and GOMTV.
Historically, professional StarCraft proved difficult to follow. No global ranking system existed, and the sheer number of tournaments run by different organizations made following things difficult. The WCS aims to tie all major competitions together using a seasonal format and a standardized global ranking system. In cooperation with Blizzard, almost every major StarCraft II event has been converted to become part of the overall WCS structure.
The WCS has four seasons a year, divided into three regions: America, Europe and Korea. Within each region there are two leagues: Premier and Challenger.
The Premier League consists of the Top 8 players from the previous season's Premier League, and the Top 24 players from the previous season's Challenger League. The Premier League format is identical across all regions, and starts before the Challenger League begins.
The Challenger League format varies slightly based on the region. It is played after the Premier League. In all regions, the Bottom 24 players from the current season's Premier League are automatically moved into the Challenger League. The rest of the players come from Open Qualifiers, or the previous season's Challenger League. The main difference between regions is that the Korean Challenger League consists of 64 players, while the American and European Challenger Leagues only hold 40 players.
At the end of every season, the season's top 16 players across all regions (based on points) play in a combined Season Finals. After all three seasons are finished, a Global Finals event is held at Blizzcon to determine the World Champion, featuring the top 16 performing players across all seasons and regions.
It is important to note that the WCS format is different for 2013. There are only three seasons instead of four, and the first season features Premier League Qualifiers for America and Europe.
32 Players Per Region
40-64 Players Per Region
Top 16 players from all regions
The WCS utilises a points system for ranking players. This point system is how players are selected for Seasonal Finals and the Global Finals.
These points are awarded based on performance, with Premier League players earning more points than Challenger League players. Certain events that are not part of the WCS can also award points. A full breakdown of the points system can be found on Liquipedia.