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Starcraft II for $17.99 photo
Starcraft II for $17.99

Get Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty for $17.99 on Newegg


One last chance before Heart of the Swarm launches
Mar 11
// Chris Carter
Was Blizzard's recent sale not enough? Well, now Newegg has joined the fun, as they've started offering Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty for $17.99. All you have to do is go to the product page and enter the following code: STW311. Pretty soon, you'll be able to buy the new kinda sorta expansion Heart of the Swarm to augment your shiny new copy of Wings of Liberty. Starcraft II [Gamer Deals]
MLG Winter Championship photo
MLG Winter Championship

First MLG competition of the year begins next week


StarCraft II, League of Legends, and....Black Ops II?
Mar 06
// Patrick Hancock
MLG's Winter Championship will begin on March 15 and run until the 17, with $170,000 worth of prize money up for grabs. The featured games are StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, League of Legends, and Black Ops II. MLG sure is...
Starcraft II 50% off sale photo
Starcraft II 50% off sale

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is 50% off until March 12


Grab it now before Heart of the Swarm
Mar 04
// Chris Carter
While Blizzard gears up to launch StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm in about a week, you can gear up for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty now for 50% off on Blizzard's Store. Originally the game was dropped down to $39.99, and now, you can grab it for $19.99. As of this moment, this is only at the Blizzard Store. Save 50% [Battle.net]
StarCraft II photo
StarCraft II

Vengeance will be had in StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm


With a side of betrayal, and a glass of blood
Feb 26
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Yeah, okay Blizzard. We get it. You rule at making cinematic trailers, and this launch trailer for Heart of the Swarm reinforces that fact. This trailer also reminds me that StarCraft has an actual story, and continues ...
StarCraft II photo
StarCraft II

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm's eSports tools detailed


Replays, recover matches, and more
Feb 21
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Blizzard's Community Manager Kevin Johnson detailed some of the new eSports and multiplayer features fans can expect in StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. New tools include the ability to watch match replays in groups, and a ...
StarCraft Universe photo
This StarCraft II mod is a whole new game
The ambitious mod project formally known as World of StarCraft is now being released on Battle.net as StarCraft Universe. This giant mod is really a whole new game built with StarCraft II's tool set. It's a masivel...

StarCraft II update photo
StarCraft II update

StarCraft II gets a new patch to support in-game Clans


Plus, an all new UI
Feb 18
// Chris Carter
Blizzard is pushing a new patch through for StarCraft II with a decent amount of updates -- most notably, a UI overhaul and the launch of in-game Clans and Groups.  But there's a heap of other upgrades, like new replay t...

Trends of this Generation: The Rise of eSports

Feb 14 // Daniel Starkey
Competitive, head-to-head gaming has been around for quite some time. Since the invention of arcade culture and games like Wolfenstein in the early '90s, it has seen a steady increase in popularity among core gamers. In the past couple of years though, especially since the introduction of massive online battle arena, or MOBA games, the sheer number of players taking part has increased dramatically. According to some statistics that are only a few months old, League of Legends, a free-to-play MOBA, is now the most popular online game. Each day there are over 12 million people logging in to play LoL, and with nearly 30 million monthly active players, the game eclipses other industry juggernauts like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. Each month, there are over one billion hours of play put into LoL -- that's roughly equivalent to half the hours logged in the entire history of the Halo franchise. It is entirely possible that at any given point, LoL is the most played game in the world. These numbers alone are certainly impressive, but when viewed within the trend among the rest of the gaming industry, it becomes pretty clear that competitive gaming in general, and eSports specifically, is definitely on the rise.  The real power of sports is in the dynamic narrative, the creation of new stories, conflicts between countries or cities that inspire audiences and give them a stake in the outcome. eSports has traditionally had a hard time garnering the same following, and the same sense of intrinsic drama. Twitch.TV and the proliferation of easy-to-use streaming software and platforms have been a boon for accessibility, however. Personalities like Day9 have given eSports that sense of dramatic tension, and helped bring an understanding and a fluency to the games these people play that we simply haven't seen before. By making the games easier to understand, more and more players and audiences have been able to learn about the history of different teams, their rivalries, their conflicts, and what they've had to do to succeed; though that doesn't even tap the sheer ease of learning the rules of these games, or the intricacies of higher-level play. Competitive games still have a long way to go before they see the kind of mainstream adoption as something like American football, tennis, or soccer, but their rapid expansion has led to something of a revolution in gaming. These days, unless your game's on a console, there's an excellent chance that it's free-to-play and built from the ground up to fit into the growing niche of eSports players. At the very least, this new system directly challenges the current understanding of what makes a top-selling game. When grizzled heavyweights like Call of Duty and Halo don't see the same audience that a comparatively cheaply produced and freely accessible game does, then we can safely assume that something has changed, and chances are good that many of the things we've taken as given in the past can and should be re-examined. I can't say I've ever been too big of a fan of eSports. Competitive gaming generally fills me with an unholy rage and the absolute necessity to begin questioning the matrilineality of those around me. I like playing games, I even like playing games competitively, but as my roommates will tell you, when we get into it in Halo 4, it gets BAD. I learned long ago that spewing hate-filled diatribes at my best friends wasn't too conducive to actually keeping those people as friends. All that said, there is something special about eSports which I've neglected until relatively recently. It's the pageantry, the narrative that really draws people in. I, for example, have been a pretty dedicated Super Smash Bros. Melee player for the past few years. One of my friends is the best in my state, and we used to play quite often, especially when we were still in the dorms at university.  My favorite character for the 12-year-old fighting game/Nintendo circlejerk is Young Link, protagonist of my favorite game, Majora's Mask. But he's a low-tier. Generally considered to pretty damned awful. Then, I saw a match between two of the players in the world -- Armada and Hungrybox -- at a tournament.  Armada is generally a Peach player and Hungrybox exclusively plays Jigglypuff. Both of those characters are in the top tiers for Melee. In quarter-finals, the two squared off and Armada switched from his tried-and-true character to... Young Link. That little kid sitting 11 spots down on the tier list from Peach. It was huge. Stunning. And it gave me an odd sense of connection to the player.  That kind of connection, that narrative is vital for sports to carry any kind of weight with its audience. The struggle of people in some tenuous way connected to you through, typically, geography, is what helps pull audiences in. When two teams square off at the Super Bowl or the World Series, there is so much more there than a few dozen people running around and passing a ball. It's the collective effort of a city and its fans to produce the best team they can and show them off for all the country to see.  Last year, shortly after E3, I was invited by Blizzard to go check out StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm at the MLG Spring Championship. Besides getting to check out HotS, I was expecting a day of annoying eSports fans getting way too excited about things that don't matter. I'm glad to admit that I was wrong. Geography doesn't really lend itself as the primary driver of the all-important narrative of eSports. Instead, who you play matters. Like I mentioned before, seeing Armada win tournaments with Young Link was really inspiring to me. It felt like a validation of my choice, of my character. Similarly with games like StarCraft and LoL, race or champion selection is something that connects players. In time, you'll learn the intricacies and idiosyncratic of your character or faction. It's not something that can be explained to someone who doesn't play, and it's something that outsiders will never really understand. I think, ultimately, that's what separates the modern era of eSports from those that came before. If you play Halo, who can you really get behind? If you watch a competitive match, how are you connecting to the players at the tournament?  With StarCraft, I will always have the back of any Terran player out there. I may not be that great a player, but I can at least understand those who are competing, in a sense, on my behalf because of it. 
Rise of eSports photo
These games are serious business
Leading up the possible PlayStation 4 announcement on February 20, I've been looking into some paradigm shifts we've seen over the past generation. This is stuff that will likely be with us for a while; these are things that ...

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StarCraft II mod 'Night of the Dead' designer speaks


Also, zombie-infested mining colonies are in!
Feb 11
// Jason Cabral
I haven't picked up StarCraft II in a long time, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one. But with StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm coming soon, I caught the real-time-strategy bug again and need some sweet resource manageme...
HotS video photo
HotS video

Heart of the Swarm introduces global play, groups & clans


Destructoid StarCraft II group imminent
Jan 31
// Patrick Hancock
In a new video on the social features of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, community manager Kevin Johnson goes over many of the anticipated features included in the new expansion. Perhaps the most anticipated addition is th...
HotS tournament photo
HotS tournament

Heart of the Swarm to be featured in MLG winter season


New StarCraft II expansion in action
Jan 31
// Patrick Hancock
Though the Heart of the Swarm expansion for StarCraft II is still over a month away, MLG will be featuring the game in its Online Winter Season Showdown beginning on February 4, 2013. Broadcasts will take place eac...
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StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm opening


Look upon this
Jan 22
// Dale North
You can watch the shiny new opening cinematic for StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm above, but it would be best watched in HD on YouTube. It's more than meets the eye (you'll see). The expansion arrives on March 12. You ready? This will be like Christmas 2.0 in South Korea.
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A Warcraft mod for StarCraft II is in progress


He needs more farms
Jan 18
// Chris Carter
Warcraft III is one of my favorite RTS games of all time -- and I've been playing the genre since before the original Command and Conquer in 1995. There's just something about how it perfectly blends all of the best elements...
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StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm beta adds pre-purchasers


Download the beta client if you ordered before Dec. 18
Dec 21
// Jordan Devore
Ahead of the full release this March, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm has expanded its beta to include people who pre-purchased a digital copy of the expansion on Battle.net on or before December 18. If that describes you, b...
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The DTOID Show: Blops II, GTA V & SC2: Heart of the Swarm


More like, Grand Theft DOGS, am I right?
Nov 14
// Max Scoville
Hey gang! Here's today's Destructoid Show!Jim reviewed Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and we run down the pros and cons, including the slight possibility that if you buy the PC version, you might get a copy of Mass Effect 2 by a...
StarCraft II update photo
Blizzard has finally set a date
Kerrigan is back, baby! Come this March 12th, you'll be able to rip apart your enemies and spread the swarm: StarCraft II: Heart of Swarm finally has a release date. This kinda-sorta expansion comes with an all new Zerg singl...

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Impressions: StarCraft Collector's Edition Risk


It's Risk, but with StarCraft pieces
Nov 06
// Aerox
[Destructoid is considering adding board games (videogame-themed or not) to what we cover. Think it's a good idea? Want us to stick to videogames only? Let us know in the comments.] Themed variants of popular games like Monop...
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Blizzard reveals new race leveling in Heart of the Swarm


Get 'dem levels in ya!
Oct 25
// Alasdair Duncan
With an upcoming patch for the Heart of the Swarm beta, Blizzard is going to introduce a new race leveling mechanic in StarCraft II. Mastering a race will give reward players with new decals and portraits to show off just how...
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MLG vs. Proleague playoffs begin tonight


The fight for the top eight spots begins!
Oct 19
// Patrick Hancock
For the past month, StarCraft II players have been competing in the MvP, or MLG versus Proleague, a coordinated effort between MLG, KeSPA, and the IEG. Today marks the first day of playoffs, where the top 16 players will...
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MLG announces fall schedule with SCII and LoL aplenty


Sep 25
// Patrick Hancock
The fall season of MLG is about to get underway! Tomorrow will start a non-stop schedule all the way through November, featuring both StarCraft II and League of Legends. Here's a quick breakdown: Tuesdays and Thursdays ...
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Blizzard looking at free-to-play StarCraft II multiplayer


Sep 22
// Jordan Devore
Asked whether or not Blizzard has plans for a free-to-play StarCraft II at the Valencia eSports Congress, lead designer Dustin Browder stated that the company is "looking at free to play as an option for the multiplayer," rep...
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StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm closed beta begins


Go make sure you're opted in
Sep 05
// Jordan Devore
Consider this a friendly reminder to go double check your Battle.net account to be sure you're opted in for the StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm multiplayer beta. While currently limited to pro gamers, shoutcasters, press, an...
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Red Bull LAN's Trial of the Xel'Naga begins soon!


Aug 30
// Patrick Hancock
The Trial of the Xel'Naga begins at 6PM PT! This is a 2v2 StarCraft II tournament that pairs pro players with regular schmoes from the audience against each other with weird and wacky special events that can take place ...

Interview: Sean 'Day[9]' Plott & the StarCraft II scene

Aug 30 // Patrick Hancock
Destructoid: Hi Sean! Before I begin I'd just like to mention how big of a fan I am and that I appreciate everything you do for the community. I also want to thank you for taking the time out and answering my questions! Sean "Day[9]" Plott: Hey Patrick! Thank you so much! And thanks for thinking of me for this interview! I have to return the favor: I love your website and read it all the time! Thanks for the great entertainment! :D Aww, shucks! So anyway, let's begin: If you have any, what non-StarCraft-related activities do you like to do in your free time? Oh, I have a million interests outside StarCraft! Too many! In fact, I need to spend more time nurturing them and less time working (don’t we all?). For one, I love to explore electronic music. I aggressively hunt down songs I hear and explore unusual genres. I try to track 30 or 40 different artists and keep up with their releases. Weird beats and sounds always intrigue me. I also do a lot of reading: books, comic books, online articles. Reading is my salvation when I travel. I do a ton of industry-specific reading to keep up with what is going on in the digital/interactive media world and then I relax with dark, gritty, genre novels. I love fantasy, sci-fi, apocalyptic plots. Recently, I’ve been reading Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files, and Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind. For comics, I love: Y: The Last Man, The Walking Dead, Watchmen, Akira, Spawn. The eSports community points me to great new stuff all the time. I have piles of it waiting to be read. Then of course I play a lot of games -- computer games, card games, board games. I’m really into Magic the Gathering right now (and I SUCK at it.  :/ ). In general, I spend a lot of time just thinking about games, game design, game philosophy, game dynamics, game culture, game motivation, game items, etc. (it’s what I got my master’s degree in). I’m also interested in the game of business and entrepreneurship. Business is basically a real-time strategy game where you only get only one life and you manage resources frantically until you get killed off.  :P  (Sometimes I get in situations where I just wish I could just reload the game. Or get to a save point. Just once.) But, nevertheless, a very interesting experience! How did you get into casting? Why did you choose to pursue this path rather than continuing to compete? Well, my brother Nick (“Tasteless”) got into casting before me. He was one of the original StarCraft casters. So casting was a concept I could wrap my head around. For a long time, there was a really nice partnership between us: I played competitively and Nick cast the tournaments. Then I entered graduate school and really had no time at all to play as a pro, but wanted to remain involved in the scene. Casting became an outlet for me to continue to explore and think about the game. I started a podcast, then switched to streaming and it grew organically from there. Casting may not be something I do forever but for the moment I am really engaged and enjoying myself. [embed]234000:44894:0[/embed] What do you think it is that helped separate you from other casters and make you the well known community icon you are today? Well, I don’t think I am separate from other casters. At tournaments, casting is ultimately an ensemble act and I’m just one member of that ensemble. One of the reasons the SCII eSports scene is so vibrant right now is because it has a wide assortment of really competent, professional casters. No other game can lay claim to the same level of casters as StarCraft. Moreover, there is a personality, a viewpoint and a casting style for every type of spectator.  This also makes for a rich viewing experience. If I were the only caster out there, the audience would rapidly become bored out of their minds -- and so would I! That said, I think I’m very lucky to have gotten to where I am today, and to be working with the people I work with. You have to understand that I am truly a product of the StarCraft community: I have roots in the game. That is the real reason I got a head start as a caster. I spent more than a decade as an active member of the community. I was known. I played a shit ton of StarCraft back before there was any tournament scene. I grew up socializing on all the SC Brood War forums, and the community played a significant role in forming me intellectually. In short:  I was (and am) a big damn community fanboy.   And, being a fanboy gave me the background I needed to talk about StarCraft. As people may know, you run a challenge called "Funday Monday" in which you challenge viewers to play a very specific style in their games. What was the inspiration behind this and how do you come up with these challenges? You know, I just reached a point, after the launch of SCII: Wings of Liberty, where I decided that players were taking StarCraft way, way too seriously. I mean, they were getting all uptight about their rankings and all anxious about getting on the Battle.net ladder and losing their standings. People kept writing to me about ladder anxiety and I thought, WTF? Nick and I grew up having fun with StarCraft. StarCraft was challenging, sure, but it was also about fooling around with our friends and having a good time in 2v2v2v2s. I began to think that maybe the community should lighten up a little. After all, one of the things I always loved most about the community was its hilarious sense of humor. So I came up with some crazy constraints to create some lighthearted tomfoolery. Though it might seem counterintuitive, in game design, constraint inspires creativity and play. By adding a constraint to gameplay in Funday Monday, I created a clear goal around which even the most inexperienced player could form a game plan. And the outcome made for a great, hilarious spectating experience. StarCraft players delight in seeing the crazy solutions that other players come up with. So, the Red Bull Seattle LAN -- what inspired this event? Personally, I'm looking forward to a more light-hearted tournament that should provide quite a few laughs. The Trial of the Xel’Naga is an idea we pitched to Red Bull in an early proposal in 2011, but I had the idea bobbling around in my head for at least 2 years before that. :D Reading stories of ancient Rome where the audience toyed with the gladiators sounded really fun. I wanted do a modern twist with more options and less risk of actual human death. I’m not sure anybody but Red Bull would have bought into the idea. Quite simply, Red Bull wants to push the boundaries of eSports and take eSports to the next level. Their LANs are designed to explore what being a cyberathelete means, what gaming performance means, what the spectator experience means. (Plus, let’s face it, Red Bull loves extreme spectator sports, loves crazy fun, and loves designing events that are a good time.) In any event, Red Bull was totally open to the idea when we pitched it. Then we took it to Blizzard, who said “Sounds cool! How can we help?” And that was that.  So now, in Seattle, we are breaking down the fourth wall and asking the audience to be part of the game. We’re trying to exploit the possibilities of mapmaking and interactive media and shake up the game. It should be a blast. What do you expect from this event? What SCII skills will help the players thrive in this random environment? I’m hoping the event gives the audience a total power trip. It’s a complete role reversal. Ordinarily, the audience is at the whim of the players, left to passively hope for their favorite pro. At PAX, the pros are virtually at the mercy of the viewers. In that light, though quick thinking and good humor will be essential playing skills for the pros, pandering, begging, and being cute will likely also be critically important to winning. :D This is a bit of a loaded question, but what do you think of the current eSports scene? What do you think is the "next step?" What I like about the current eSports scene is the amount of effort everybody is putting into it. It’s really exciting to see the industry grow. There is just so much going on. On the other hand, I would love to see more structure imposed on all that activity so there is a better build up to events. Sometimes it just feels like every weekend is just another major tournament. There are almost too many leagues to follow.  I’d love to see more developer involvement in helping grassroots eSports grow. For instance, I like that Blizzard has created the World Championship Series and that it involves the community at every level: community streamers help run local qualifiers and large organizations like MLG and ESL help run national and regional finals. It makes for a more coherent story across a season. I’m also intrigued by Valve and Dota 2, where they seem to be building tools in their games that support their community’s eSports efforts, such as creating ways for fans to generate revenue within the game client by creating events or running teams. I suspect that eSports will move more and more in this direction in the coming years -- an efficient economy built out of cooperation between developer and grassroots fans. A BarCraft gathering in Pittsburgh. (Image source) If someone was interested in StarCraft II and the eSports scene, where would you recommend they start? This is what I would recommend: Step one: start by watching the final day of one of the big eSports tournaments --an MLG or IPL event -- online on a Sunday. Try to watch with friends who know the scene. Get acquainted with the players who are competing, listen to some commentary. Drink some beer.  Step two: Post tournament, go to one of the major community sites like www.teamliquid.net  or  www.reddit.com/r/starcraft and just hang out and explore. Look for threads about the tournament you just watched. Follow the discussions and get some context.    Step 3: Start immersing yourself in these sites, and start posting and asking questions. (Never be afraid to ask questions -- people will help you out!)  Once you’ve done that, the next step is to use these sites to find your local eSports community -- usually a Barcraft or an eSports club. From there, you can start planning to attend one of the big live tournaments -- they are really electrifying, and are totally worth the trip. Thank you so much for your time and your amazing answers! Please keep up the outstanding work helping the eSports scene grow larger and larger! Hopefully this won't be the last time we cross paths.
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Sean "Day[9]" Plott has become a very popular person within the StarCraft II community. He runs his own stream over at day9.tv and has become one of the most prolific SCII commentators (read: casters) on the scene. ...

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Here are your MLG Summer Championship winners


Aug 28
// Patrick Hancock
Not every winner at the most recent MLG tournament were cheaters. StarCraft II, Mortal Kombat, and SoulCalibur V all went on without a hitch during one of the most intense weekends in recent memory. Heck, it was intense ...
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MLG Summer Championship is live soon


Aug 24
// Patrick Hancock
Tune in here! MLG Summer Championship will be live very soon with competitions for StarCraft II, Mortal Kombat, SoulCalibur V, and Leage of Legends. Here's a quick rundown of the competition times (EDT) for the weekend:...
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Red Bull LAN lets players mess with StarCraft II matches


Aug 21
// Patrick Hancock
The Red Bull LAN Seattle StarCraft II tournament is going to begin on August 30 and run until September 1 at PAX Prime, and holy cow do they have something genuinely hysterical up their sleeve. For the first t...
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TaeJa wins the MLG StarCraft II Summer Arena


Jul 23
// Patrick Hancock
This weekend, TaeJa (Terran) defeated Alicia (Protoss) in the MLG Summer Arena finals to take first place and $10,000! I do feel really bad for Alicia though, since he's come in second three times in a row now. While he's def...
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MLG's StarCraft II Summer Arena is LIVE


Jul 20
// Patrick Hancock
In case you forgot, 32 StarCraft II players from all around the world are competing this weekend at MLG's Summer Arena. There's over $25,000 dollars of prize money at stake, as well as an opportunity to compete at the ML...
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MLG's Summer StarCraft II Arena begins Friday


Jul 16
// Patrick Hancock
First things first: you'll be able to catch the main StarCraft II stream for free! This is actually the first time that MLG has done this, courtesy of Full Sail University. Hooray! In addition to the main stream, there will b...

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