It’s time… for some intra-continental ballistic mayhem..
After over a year of absence, SHOUTcraft returns with our biggest and most ambitious tournament yet, SHOUTcraft America. 16 top players from North and South America will battle it out for a $10,000 prizepool in a “GSL-style” dual tournament. 4 groups of players, all of whom are permanent residents of the Americas, will be invited based on their Grandmaster ranking at the end of the current season (season ends May 1st). These players will compete to find out who truly is the #1 Starcraft 2 player in America.
SHOUTcraft America will be presented over the first three weekends in May, with a Saturday & Sunday show, culminating in the grand finals at the end of the month. Before each match we’ll get to hear from the players in live face-off interviews, setting the scene for the coming showdown. Players will battle through their group in an effort to reach the Round of 8, where the stakes increase with bigger prizes and a Best of 5 single elimination format. The final 4 will face each other in a Best of 7 to determine who is worthy to play in the grand finals.
Who is the Grandmaster of American Starcraft? Find out in SHOUTcraft America, broadcasting live from May the 5th, 2013 at 2pm EDT on http://twitch.tv/totalbiscuit with casting provided by TotalBiscuit and special guest commentators.
The Ideology of SHOUTcraft America:
I’d like to talk to you about why this tournament exists and our hopes for the future. Genna Bain is responsible for the creation of this event. While she is the owner of the Korean SC2 team Axiom, she, as an American has a lot of admiration for the American Starcraft 2 scene.
There is currently a growing concern as American players have struggled to compete with Korean and European players. Many are also predicting that WCS North America will rapidly become dominated by Korean talent after Season 1 has ended. The line-up already looks daunting and it would not be unfair to say that it’s likely many American players will fall to the Challenger Division. Unfortunately, Challenger is a lengthy and difficult tournament with a relatively small prize pool. It is also where many Koreans who elect to switch after Season 1 may find themselves vying for precious spots to get into the Premier Division. American Starcraft has struggled to remain competitive and many prominent personalities within the scene have stated repeatedly that there is a need for real American competition; a division in which American players can compete against each other on a regular basis. This would not only assist in developing their skills on a more level playing field, but also expand their fanbase, potential prize winnings, and sponsorship appeal. If we have any hope to bridge the gap between regions, players in America require a healthy eSports ecosystem. We want SHOUTcraft America to be a step in that direction. This is an American tournament made exclusively for American players. Participants are required to produce proof of citizenship or permanent residency in either North or South America. Players who are not citizens of a continental American country or hold a permanent residency status, such as a Greencard, will not be eligible to participate. Outside of WCS events (prior to 2013), restrictions have rarely been used in SC2 events. We believe this kind of protectionism can be a positive force for the scene and is mirrored in many sports across the world. Local competition spurs on eventual excellence and is also vital to maintaining fan interest. Fans need local heroes to cheer for and we want to start building that stage.
With SHOUTcraft America, we are taking a step towards invigorating competition on the Grandmaster ladder. Our first tournament will allow players to qualify for a spot based on their Grandmaster ladder ranking at the end of the current season. In future, we hope to hold a longer qualification period to allow more players to participate. This would also encourage a period of intense competition on the Grandmaster ladder. However, this tournament is very much a test case, a proof of concept, and has to be done within a specific timeframe. We feel that in legitimizing the Grandmaster ladder, it allows players to strive towards a very tangible goal. Rather than grinding ladder, players are fighting for guaranteed prize money. As with all our SHOUTcraft tournaments, in SHOUTcraft America, everyone gets paid. Athletes should be paid for their work and the prize money will increase significantly the further into the tournament the players advance. This not only brings positive competition to the ladder but also avoids the many issues we have seen with larger qualifier events in recent months. We have a small staff and we do not intend to bite off more than we can chew.
The questions on our minds are, “Is American competition exciting?” and “Will people watch it”? We will find out the answer with SHOUTcraft America. We’re not just relying on great games. We’ll be showing you the people behind the game. Each of the players will be participating in face-to-face pre-game interviews with their opponents. Banter, trash talk and psyching out your opposition are encouraged. Online tournaments have often been barren, lacking in personality. We intend to change that. Viewers will also be able to support their favorite players or reward particularly outstanding play with our unique tipjar system. No other tournament has allowed fans to tip players directly, and we think it’s a great idea as it encourages great play and directly supports those trying to make a living through professional gaming. Contributing to the player tipjars is entirely optional, but in a scene where it’s often very hard to directly support individual players, we feel it is a step in the right direction.
Games will be presented on a free stream in 720p at a smooth 60 frames per second. We will integrate various new technologies including Gameheart UI maps for a superior viewing experience. The broadcasts will also feature our in-house developed Virtual Jersey scoreboard, providing improved ROI and exposure for the sponsors that make professional gaming possible. Community casters will also be free to use any replays from the tournament on their Youtube channels or livestreams. We’ll even provide the scoreboards for you so you don’t have to make them yourself!
Commentary for the event will be provided by TotalBiscuit and special guest co-casters over the course of SHOUTcraft America. Our dual-tournament format should be familiar to most people : A double-elimination group stage leading into Quarterfinals (BO5), followed by the Semifinals (BO7) and ending with the Finals (BO7). We will broadcast on Saturdays and Sundays beginning at 2pm EDT for the convenience of both US and EU viewers. Spoiler-free series VoDs will be made available via Youtube after the show and complete 60fps Twitch archives will also be available for your convenience.
We hope you enjoy SHOUTcraft America. This tournament is funded in part by the warchest of donations we received at the end of SHOUTcraft 4. Our sponsor, Cynical Brit will be providing the remainder of funds for the prize pool. It’s been too long since the last big SHOUTcraft event. We hope with our biggest and most ambitious tournament yet, we can knock it out of the park.
PSA Regarding SHOUTcraft America Participants
As the qualification period for the SHOUTcraft America tournament enters its final stage, ladder position now matters more than ever. While this has brought competition to the ladder it has also brought less above-board methods to ensure that player ladder rank remains intact. We have uncovered evidence that some players have been engaging in forced-draws in order to maintain their ladder rank. Several players within the top 16 have multiple ties on their match history in which the build order clearly indicates that both players consenting to a mutual draw in order to maintain their ladder rankings.
This is probably our fault, we did not specifically prohibit this behavior, however we think it is clear to see that it is against the spirit of the competition. Since we did not outline regulations against this behavior, we will be offering a one time amnesty for it. Win-trading and forced draws are against the qualification rules for SHOUTcraft America. Ladder points must be accrued in a legitimate fashion, by beating the opponent fair and square. We should also remind players that the account they are playing on must belong to them and any boosting to the account being done by players other than the primary user of said account, is against the qualification rules. Blizzard is working with us to individually verify each account and needless to say they have logged all IP addresses used to access these accounts. If it is found that multiple players have played on the account in order to rank it up during the qualification period then that account will be subject to disqualification.
The win-trading and the forced draws stop right now. There will be zero tolerance for this behavior going forward. Those ladder points are not worth your qualification spot, do not risk being disqualified.
Thanks and GLHF!
- English Stream : John “TotalBiscuit” Bain with Various Co-Casters www.twitch.tv/totalbiscuit
- Brazilian Portuguese Stream : Pedro “Pedroca” Beraldo www.twitch.tv/pedrocatv
- German Stream : Vincent “Thyke” Port with Paul “gXxshock” Heine www.twitch.tv/instarcrafttv
- Russian Stream : Daniil “CheeseHeadLogic” Pauley www.twitch.tv/cheeseheadlogic
- Spanish Stream : Ignacio “TheArgie” Estanga with Emiliano “Takashi” Xu www.twitch.tv/theargietv
|Quarterfinals (BO5)||Semifinals (BO7)||Finals (BO7)|
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Copyright © 2011 - 2013 SHOUTcraft
Copyright © 2011 - 2013 SHOUTcraft