StarCraft II Proleague

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StarCraft II Proleague
StarCraft Proleague Logo.png
SportStarCraft, StarCraft II
Founded2003
Ceased2016
CountrySouth Korea
ContinentAsia
Last
champion(s)
Jin Air Green Wings
Most titlesSK Telecom T1
Official websiteProleague Official Page (Korean)

StarCraft II Proleague, also known as StarCraft Proleague or Proleague for short, was the longest running StarCraft league in the world and the most prestigious team league. Hosted by the Korean eSports Association (KeSPA), the league was played offline in South Korea. Proleague began in 2003 with the game StarCraft: Brood War before switching over to StarCraft II in 2011 and then discontinued in 2016. It was broadcast by SPOTVGames prior to being discontinued.

History[edit]

In 2003, the game broadcasting company MBCGame created the KPGA Team League, the first major team league in StarCraft professional competition.[1] MBCGame's competitor, OnGameNet created their own team league in response and so two major team leagues were active in the early 2000s.

In 2005, KeSPA merged the two team leagues to create the Proleague, a unified league.[1] SK Telecom T1 swept the first two rounds of the newly formed league and ended up winning the grand finals as well to be the first champion. From its inception, the Proleague format had the teams alternate between 1vs1 and 2vs2 games in a best of five or best of seven match. However, the 2vs2 matches were discontinued in 2008, leaving only 1vs1 games.[2] After the 2008 season, the format of Proleague changed again to span a longer portion of the year, typically starting from the end of one year and ending in the Fall of the next. The 2009 – 2010 season led to the creation of the modern Proleague format where teams face off each other in four or five rounds of round robin. At the end of the season, the highest scoring teams face off in a single-elimination playoffs bracket to determine the champion.

Prior to the release of StarCraft II in 2010, Blizzard Entertainment, disputed with KeSPA over intellectual property rights of broadcasting StarCraft games.[3] This put pressure on KeSPA and in 2011 the case was resolved with an eSports commentator noting that the case was a push to expand the broadcasting market into StarCraft II.[4] The 2011 – 2012 Proleague ended up being a transitional season for the league as featured both Brood War and Wings of Liberty. Each match was played alternating between Brood War and Wings of Liberty, with each player having to prepare for both games as well.[5] Following the closure of MBCGame in 2012, SPOTVGames broadcast Proleague alongside OnGameNet.[1]

The full transition into StarCraft II came into place for the 2012 – 2013 season which also featured EG-TL, a partnership between rivals Team Liquid and Evil Geniuses which made them the first non-Korean team to play in Proleague.[6] EG-TL did not achieve much success in Proleague and ultimately pulled out of the league in the following season. OnGameNet stopped broadcasting Proleague starting the 2013 – 2014 season, leaving SPOTVGames as the sole broadcaster for the league.[7]

KeSPA announced on October 18, 2016 that Proleague would be discontinued citing sponsorship issues, declining amount of professional teams, and match fixing scandals.[8]

Tournaments[edit]

OnGameNet and MBCGame Leagues[edit]

MBCGame hosted their first major team league in 2003.[1]

Year Name of Tournament Winner Result of Final Runner-Up
2003 2003 KeMongSa KPGA Tour Team League Suma GO 3–1 STX SouL
2003 2003 LifeZone KPGA Team League Suma GO 3–2 Hanbit Stars
2003–2004 2003–2004 LG IBM MBC Team League SK Telecom T1 3–2 KTF MagicNs
2004 2004 Tucsan MBCGame Team League I SK Telecom T1 4–3 Suma GO
2004 2004 Tucsan MBCGame Team League II SK Telecom T1 4–3 Suma GO
2004–2005 2004–2005 MBCMovies MBCGame Team League Suma GO 3–2 WeMade FOX

OnGameNet also hosted their own team competitions in 2003 and 2004.

Year Name of Tournament Winner Result of Final Runner-Up
2003 2003 KTF EVER Cup SK Telecom T1 3–0 Woongjin Stars
2003 2003 Neowiz Pmang Cup Suma GO 3–0 Pantech EX
2004 2004 SKY Proleague Grand Final Hanbit Stars 4–2 Pantech & Curitel Curriors

United League[edit]

OnGameNet and MBCGame came together to host Proleague starting in 2005.

Year Name of Tournament Winner Result of Final Runner-Up
2005 SKY Proleague Grand Final SK Telecom T1 4–2 KTF MagicNs
2006 SKY Proleague Grand Final MBCGame HERO 4–3 Pantech EX
2007 2007 Shinhan Proleague Grand Final Lecaf OZ 4–2 Samsung KHAN
2008 Shinhan Bank Proleague Samsung KHAN 4–1 Hite SPARKYZ
2008–2009 Shinhan Bank Proleague SK Telecom T1 2–0 Hwaseung OZ
2009–2010 Shinhan Bank Proleague KT Rolster 4–2 SK Telecom T1
2010–2011 Shinhan Bank Proleague KT Rolster 4–3 SK Telecom T1
2011–2012 SK Planet Proleague Season 1 SK Telecom T1 4–3 KT Rolster

Hybrid League[edit]

Prior to the switch to StarCraft II, the 2011 – 2012 SK Planet Proleague Season 2 league featured both games.

Year Name of Tournament Winner Result of Final Runner-Up
2011–2012 SK Planet Proleague Season 2 CJ Entus 2–0 Samsung KHAN

StarCraft II Leagues[edit]

Proleague fully switched to StarCraft II starting with the 2012 – 2013 season.

Year Name of Tournament Winner Result of Final Runner-Up
2012–2013 2012 – 2013 SK Planet Proleague STX SouL 4–2 Woongjin Stars
2013–2014 2014 SK Telecom Proleague KT Rolster 4–2 SK Telecom T1
2014–2015 2015 SK Telecom Proleague SK Telecom T1 4–2 Jin Air Green Wings
2016 2016 SK Telecom Proleague Jin Air Green Wings 4–0 KT Rolster

Teams[edit]

For the 2016 season, the final season, there were 7 teams in Proleague.[9]

Prize Pool[edit]

The prize pool for the grand finals of the 2014 – 2015 Proleague season was a total of 70,000,000 KRW.[10] In addition, each round had its own separate prize pool and additional awards were given out to outstanding players.

Place Amount (KRW)
1st 50,000,000
2nd 20,000,000

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "MBCGame: In Memoriam". January 31, 2012. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  2. ^ "스타2 프로리그 2014, 프리시즌 이벤트전 개최" [StarCraft 2 Proleague 2014, Pre-season Event Information] (in Korean). December 11, 2013. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  3. ^ "StarCraft Losing in Gaming League". May 19, 2008. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  4. ^ "Blizzard – KeSPA license official". May 17, 2011.
  5. ^ "[SPL] Opening Day". May 20, 2012. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  6. ^ "Unholy Alliance". December 4, 2012. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  7. ^ "[스타2] SK텔레콤 스타크래프트2 프로리그 2014시즌 – 미디어데이 (+ 사진)" [[StarCraft II] SK Telecom StarCraft 2 Proleague 2014 Season – Media Day (and Pictures)] (in Korean). December 14, 2013. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  8. ^ "KeSPA announces discontinuation of StarCraft ProLeague". October 18, 2016. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  9. ^ "Proleague Media Day". Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  10. ^ "2015 SK Telecom Proleague Playoffs". Retrieved November 25, 2015.