Nation Wars and StarCraft 2 Team Tournament History

The Most Competitive 1v1 Game

The evolution of StarCraft has been a long one in it’s 21 year franchise life. Blizzard hit the nail on the head when they created StarCraft, and StarCraft 2’s release in 2010, did it again. The Real Time Strategy game was unlike any other among it’s time and it is revered as the “Most competitive 1v1 game” by many of the people who play the game.

In Korea, the original StarCraft expansion, StarCraft: Brood War, is still wildly popular in terms of Esports viewership and often overshadows the sequel. For the rest of the world, StarCraft 2 reigns supreme. 

StarCraft has always been played competitively primarily as a 1v1 game however many tournaments used to be held where players would be on a team and face off 1v1 in a King of the Hill style format. That type of tournament has really died out in the last couple of years.

Nation Wars is a tournament held every year and is one of the few remaining Team based Tournaments held in StarCraft. It works very similarly to the KotH style except teams are made up of players from their same nation hence, Nation Wars. As one of the last KotH style tournaments still going Esports Vikings wanted to take the time to appreciate the tournament as well as StarCraft and what it has done for the Esports Industry. 

King of the Hill...esque

StarCraft has always been about mind games, decision making and timing. The ability to memorize tactics and read the opponents build order to counter or to build your own army and base to your preference quicker than your opponent, is demanded each and every game played.

People like Lee “Flash” Young-ho, Cho “Maru” Seongju and Joona “Serral” Sotala are revered as some of the best StarCraft and StarCraft 2 players in history. Almost every single game they brought their best, broke expectations and curved METAs. 

When Team Tournaments were arguably more popular big orgs like Fnatic, Jin Air Green Wings, and Team Liquid would house a team of five to ten players. Back then, Best of Five matches were held where each match was played by the winning player of the previous match and a new challenger from the losing team, until one team had three wins.

Tournaments like GSTL. Nation Wars, and even IEM Katowice would host tournaments in this format. Today most tournaments are all held with players playing all of their own matches, which ultimately became part of the reason players stopped belonging to teams

Today

Today, the only Premier tournament that features a team Best of Series is Nation Wars. There have been a few changes though. Teams generally have their main three players who all play a game. Then there is usually a chosen player that finishes out the next couple of games in the series. Most teams elect their strongest player to be that kind of anchor in hopes that they can pull off the win.

GSL vs The World also hosts a similar tournament with the catch that it is a Showmatch. The best player World will pick a player, and the best player GSL will pick a player, alternating GSL and World rosters with each pick. During the series they will put up a player into the match that they feel best suited to take on the opponent.

China has begun playing a few tournaments in this style with some pretty impressive prize pools, this year there were two and since Nation Wars has been basically alone in this regard for the better half of the decade, the China Team Championship is welcomed with open arms.

Teams still sign players, though Team Liquid is the only mainstream org not in Korea that does so. Jin Air still maintains some of the best talent out of Korea while a majority of players will sign with Psystorm or other smaller orgs.

For the most part, it is still a rather entertaining style to watch when GSL vs The World or Nation Wars come around at the end of the year, but many players and spectators prefer the 1v1 game to be just that, one player against another player. 

Tomorrow

With Nation Wars 2019 over, there is going to be a long wait for the next team based StarCraft tournament. GSL vs The World 2020 will most likely take place in August, but there is sure to be plenty of grand StarCraft to be played until then. 

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Cameron Carr

9 December 2019
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