WHAT PUNTERS NEED TO KNOW: STARCRAFT

e-Sports: StarCraft

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E-sports betting has helped fill the gap for punters during the COVID-19 sporting shutdown – from the BP Supercars All Stars Eseries to the more traditional e-Sports flag-bearers Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends. StarCraft betting has also ramped up in popularity.

WHAT IS STARCRAFT?

StarCraft is a military science fiction real-time strategy video game – it’s an absolute classic of the genre and is revered by hardcore gamers as a groundbreaking title. Originally released for PC in 1998, StarCraft is a juggernaut as far as video game franchises go, boasting several spin-off titles.

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, released in 2010, was the start of a trilogy – completed by StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (2013) and StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void (2015) – that has formed the basis of the game’s most prominent e-Sports competitions.

StarCraft is particularly massive in South Korea. Unlike team-focused games such as Dota 2, CS:GO and League of Legends, it is predominantly an individual game; teams effectively function to sponsor solo players.

GLOBAL STARCRAFT 2 LEAGUE

The 2020 Global StarCraft 2 League Season 1 is arguably the premier competition currently underway. Players are vying for a slice of the US$140,000 prize pool.

The South Korea–hosted tournament started on 11 April with a round-of-24 group stage. Eight players – Dark, TY, PartinG, Maru, Dear, Cure, Trap and INnoVation – moved through the round-of-16 group stage into this week’s best-of-five-maps quarterfinals.

Dragon Phoenix Gaming’s star Dark and the unattached TY square off in the first quarterfinal, with Dark the $1.30 favourite in Global StarCraft 2 League odds at the time of writing. Both have been on the StarCraft e-Sports circuit for almost a decade and have both racked up well over US$500,000 in prize money.

The winner of the Dark–TY showdown will progress to a semifinal date with the winner of a match-up between Dragon Phoenix Gaming’s PartinG and Jin Air Green Wings’ Maru. Three years his opponent’s junior, the 22-year-old Maru has accumulated nearly US$850,000 in career earnings.

Cure – who boasts the best 2020 Global StarCraft 2 League Season 1 record through the group stages (9–2) – is set to start as a hot favourite in his quarterfinal against Dear. Dragon Phoenix Gaming’s Cure and KaiZi Gaming’s Dear have been among the year’s highest StarCraft earners.

KaiZi Gaming stalwart INnoVation has more than US$700,000 in career earnings to his credit. He faces Jin Air Green Wings’ Trap in the quarters.

The semifinals and finals – with the latter scheduled for 1 June – will both be played under a best-of-seven-maps format.

CASTERMUSE STARLEAGUE SEASON 3

Another South Korea–based competition, CasterMuse StarLeague Season 3, runs through to 18 July.

The round-of-36 group stage got underway last week. There are 12 groups of three players, with the top two qualifiers from each group progressing through to the round of 24.

nOOB topped Group A by winning both of his matches, while Hyuk also earned a round of 24 spot with one victory. Undefeated BarrackS and Shinee, who won one of two matches, moved through from Group B.

Group C, featuring Sharp, Ample and Hm, and Group D, which pits Larva, JyJ and MIsO against one another in a round robin, are the next StarCraft cabs off the rank in CasterMuse StarLeague Season 3.

Join the e-Sports betting revolution and the world of online gaming intrigue as StarCraft’s best players strive for top billing in 2020 Global StarCraft 2 League Season 1 and CasterMuse StarLeague Season 3. Sportsbet is also live streaming selected e-Sports matches – just head to the live betting market and hit the ‘Play’ button.

Sportsbet has e-Sports odds and betting options available on upcoming Star Craft matches. Bet now.

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