Revealing the WCS Challenger format for 2017

  • ESL

This blog was originally posted by ESL. For the original article please view it here.


2017 will be a busy year for StarCraft II with everyone fighting for a slot at the WCS Global Finals. Of the 16 players that will eventually qualify for the US$500,000 final, eight will come from the various DreamHack stops during the WCS Circuit: Austin, Summer, Valencia, and Montreal. Each of the WCS Circuit stops will have its own WCS Challenger event, allowing eight players to secure their tickets to the WCS Circuit.

ESL and Blizzard are partnering up to bring you the biggest WCS Challenger yet, with 32 days of broadcast throughout the year and $80,000 in prizing between North America and Europe.

The Format

Four WCS Challenger events will be hosted in 2017 with the best players earning WCS Points and prize money, as well as winning travel and accommodation for the respective WCS Circuit event.

  • WCS Challenger #1 -> WCS Austin, April 28-30
  • WCS Challenger #2 -> WCS Jönköping, June 17-19
  • WCS Challenger #3 -> WCS Valencia, July 13-15
  • WCS Challenger #4 -> WCS Montreal, September 8-10

Each of the WCS Challenger events will be a week-long affair to determine the eight players, four from EU and four from NA, that will make the trip to their respective WCS Circuit tournament. The top players of the in-game ladder will automatically qualify for the WCS Challenger events with the remaining players being determined through open cups.

The schedule for each WCS Challenger will look as follows

Day 1, Sunday – Grand Master League cutoff

  • Top eight players from the respective ladder (NA/EU) automatically advance to the WCS Challenger Playoff
  • The cut-off will be based on MMR and take place at 11:59 p.m. in CEST and EDT
  • Players must complete 15 ladder games a day between Grandmaster League promotion windows (20:00 EDT, 21:00 CEST) starting on the Thursday-Friday window and continuing through Sunday.
  • Starting at the Thursday promotion window, players will be required to play under the name that they wish to use during the WCS Circuit event. Please contact esportsteam@blizzard.com if you require a free character name change to compete.

Day 3, Tuesday – Open Cup #1

Four players advance to the WCS Challenger Playoff

Day 4, Wednesday – Open Cup #2

Four players advance to the WCS Challenger Playoff

Days 6-7, Friday to Saturday – WCS Challenger Playoff

Sixteen participants

Eight from the GrandMaster League

Four from the Open Cup #1

Four from the Open Cup #2

Double-elimination, Best-of-five

Player must be eligible to compete based on the residency requirements outlined in section 4.4 of the WCS 2017 Rules.

Timeline and Prize Pool

Each of the WCS Challenger tournaments will take place with ample time before their respective WCS Circuit stop. You can find the complete timeline overview below.

WCS Challenger #1

  • NA: 26.03 – 01.04.
  • EU: 02.04 – 08.04.

WCS Challenger #2

  • EU: 14.05 – 20.05.
  • NA: 21.05 – 27.05.

WCS Challenger #3

  • EU: 28.05 – 03.06.
  • NA: 04.06 – 10.06.

WCS Challenger #4

  • EU: 06.08 – 12.08.
  • NA: 13.08 – 19.08.

The top four players from each region will qualify for the WCS Circuit. On top of that, players will also have the chance to get their hands on a share of the prize money, as well as the all-important WCS points.

WCS Circuit.jpg

We’re looking forward to watching the WCS Challenger events unravel and you can follow ESL StarCraft II on both Twitter and Facebook to receive any further update regarding our tournaments.