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IGN's StarCraft 2 Proleague

By Patrick 'chobopeon' Howell O'Neill
Mar 23, 2011 00:12


ImageA credible source says the prize pool for IGN's new Proleague will be over $150,000.

Image
Over the past couple of days, major American video game site IGN (owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, one of the largest in the world) has made known their intention to become heavily involved in competitive StarCraft 2.

Information has recently come to light to suggest that this will be a new professional StarCraft 2 league in North America, sponsored by IGN and boasting a prize pool between $150,000 and $200,000. This information comes from the mouth of an IGN employee and a credible source who wishes to remain anonymous at this time.

When approached, IGN declined to comment on this information.

UPDATE: Shortly after this post went up, http://www.ign.com/proleague was posted. This basically confirms the theory.

UPDATE 2: A cached version of the site was found, listing many players and matches. You can view it here.

Matches listed are:
sixjaxViBE vs ROOTKiWiKaKi
FXOSheth vs ROOTMinigun
VTSpades vs NOVAstalife
EGIdrA vs LGAgh

UPDATE 3: A post on IGN.com entitled "Announcing the IGN Proleague" has surfaced, apparently posted on March 20th, 2011 (it is easy to fake a blog post's date).

"IGN has invited 16 of the most talented Starcraft 2 players from North America, and will be launching a series of tournaments in search for the best players in America.

As the top gaming site on the internet, IGN is passionate about nurturing the gaming scene. We believe that the main reason why America is not yet competitive in the eSports scene is the lack of events and sponsorships to support America's talent. IGN will be investing in accelerating the growth of the eSport scene in America."


UPDATE 4: Gudeldar from Team Liquid has found a number of 'IPL' profiles for major gamers. This may very well be the full list of those participating.
"
http://people.ign.com/ipl.idra
http://people.ign.com/ipl.incontrol
http://people.ign.com/ipl.sheth
http://people.ign.com/ipl.axslav
http://people.ign.com/ipl.agh
http://people.ign.com/ipl.catz
http://people.ign.com/ipl.vibe
http://people.ign.com/ipl.select
http://people.ign.com/ipl.fenix
http://people.ign.com/ipl.spades
http://people.ign.com/ipl.drewbie
http://people.ign.com/ipl.ttone
http://people.ign.com/ipl.stalife
http://people.ign.com/ipl.minigun
http://people.ign.com/ipl.kiwikaki
http://people.ign.com/ipl.machine"


UPDATE 5: Team Liquid user DreamscaR has uncovered what may be the layout that will be used for the site. This is the stream site and this is a bracket!

--

Edward of Root Gaming, now an IGN employee in the new e-sports division, posted a series of pictures two days ago to start the hype. The pictures showed off a high end production facility, an employee holding a copy of StarCraft 2 and a number of the most well known players in the North American StarCraft scene.

Among those spotted at IGN offices were iNcontroL, SeleCT, Axslav, Sheth, CatZ, Spades, Painuser, TT1, Evoli and, of course, Edward from Root Gaming himself.

There were other well known community members in attendance who were not caught on camera.

Evoli, the writer who helped break the story of the NASL by uncovering domain registration information, was invited to IGN’s offices to cover the event with the qualification that he had to play by their rules. He was and is not allowed to reveal the complete project but did reveal some information to us, information that we will review now.

On SixJaxGaming.com, Evoli wrote that the announcement was very much a venture of their own, backing up the signs pointing toward a new professional league in North America as opposed to anything to do with the NASL or another league. Evoli also noted that the venture was “big, very fucking big, and the plans they have for future projects are even bigger.” With hype like that, a league with a six figure prize pool (at least on par with the NASL) is to be expected.

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Evoli also noted that the production facilities were “downright incredible.” Pictures showed major StarCraft 2 personalities being interviewed, perhaps echoing NASL’s wish to use interviews to build up the personalities in their league.

The exact format of the league is not known at this time. Signs are pointing to a team league because teams as opposed to individuals were contacted but this has not been confirmed by any sources. It is also been reported that there has been some friction between at least one member of Fnatic and at least one staffer at IGN but it was not possible to come by details or implications for the league.

More information will be posted about IGN's new venture as it can be reviewed.

Photo source: IGN.com


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