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One Year of StarCraft II!

As many of you are already aware, today marks a significant milestone: one year since the launch of StarCraft II! In celebration of this happy occasion, we’ve put together a collection of info-packed articles which look back at the past 12 months of the game. We’ll release these over the next few days, but you can look forward to topics including videos, music, art and machinima, a developer blog and, of course, a retrospective look at the exciting events in eSports.

Happy Birthday, StarCraft II The StarCraft II Development Team looks back on one year of StarCraft II.


Community Spotlight – Music
Coming soon...

Community Spotlight – Videos and Compilations
Coming soon...


Community Spotlight – Art and Machinima
Coming soon...

eSports is here, and we love it
Coming soon...


Happy Birthday, StarCraft II!

On July 27, 2010 we launched StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. We sent Blizzard developers to major launch events in locations spanning the globe including London, Berlin, Paris, Stockholm, Moscow, Fountain Valley (near Blizzard HQ), Singapore, Taipei, Mexico, Brazil and Australia. We were grateful for a chance to celebrate the launch with gamers all over the world, but we weren’t out of the woods yet. We watched and worried for the next few days. Was the game good enough to be worthy of the StarCraft name? Would the players like it?

Within the first 48 hours, the game sold over 1.5 million copies, making it the fastest-selling strategy game of all time. Within a week, we finally breathed a sigh of relief, believing that maybe we had created a game that could stand on its own, a game strong enough to carry the StarCraft legacy onward for years to come.

Even after the launch we had no idea what would happen. Would the balance hold up to the demands of the eSports community? Would the professional players want to play? With the first season of GomTVs Global StarCraft II League and the addition of StarCraft II to Major League Gaming, those fears were put to rest. From legendary Brood War heroes to relative newcomers, these players displayed incredible skills in head-to-head competition. Since then, more tournaments have sprung up to make StarCraft II a truly global phenomenon, including hundreds of local and regional tournaments, as well as the North American Star League, IEM, Dreamhack, and TSL tournament series, and to date nearly $2,000,000 has been awarded to these truly exceptional players.

These tournaments have left us with electrifying memories: FruitDealer’s triumph in GSL season one. HuK’s epic victory at DreamHack Summer. NaNiWa’s legendary streak at MLG Dallas. MarineKing showing us what it takes to dodge banelings. NesTea teaching us how to crack a protoss wall-in. We’ve witnessed many great moments in StarCraft II competition in such a short time, and we’re barely scratching the surface. The amazing games and incredible plays we have seen in this first year are too numerous to list and have left us eager to see what happens next.

Of course, eSports is only part of the picture. The StarCraft story continued to unfold as players fought desperate battles in the Wings of Liberty campaign. We watched as a whole new generation took up the challenge of proving their skills as StarCraft II players. We witnessed millions of ladder matches and team games played on over two seasons of ferocious ladder competition, and we’re getting ready for a third. We derive our greatest sense of fulfillment from watching as players around the world enjoy the game.

The mapmaking community did its part too. With tens of thousands of custom maps uploaded to Battle.Net and hundreds of amazing custom games to play, we have all marveled at the technical, artistic, and creative skill of the StarCraft II mod community. Desert Strike, Storm of the Imperial Sanctum, City of Tempest, The Star Strikers, Smashcraft, Star Battle and, of course, Nexus Wars have shown us an entertaining glimpse of what the talented StarCraft II community is capable of creating. We couldn’t resist throwing our hat into the ring and hope that players have enjoyed Aiur Chef, StarJeweled, and Left 2 Die.

StarCraft is more than just StarCraft II, it is a culture that has been with us for over a decade. It’s a game and a world that we are honored to be part of. We’ve been hard at work making sure that the sequel holds up to the high standard of excellence we’ve set for ourselves. We released 14 patches since the game’s launch, including many small balance adjustments and a ton of improvements too. We’ve added brand-new features like the Master and Grandmaster Leagues, custom game improvements, chat channels and more, and we remain hard at work on further improvements.

We’re not even close to resting on our laurels and we remain just as fiercely dedicated to StarCraft II today as we were the day it launched. Today we have a Blizzard DoTA playtest. Tomorrow we are going to play the first part of the Heart of the Swarm campaign (complete with cutscenes!). We continue to work on expanding multiplayer and improving Battle.Net. We can’t wait for BlizzCon this year: not only will we get to meet with players from all over the world and make some exciting announcements, but we’ll also get a chance to watch some of StarCraft II’s best players go head to head live in both the Global Invitational and the GSL Finals.

So, we wish you a happy birthday, StarCraft II. You had an amazing first year, and we’ll do our best to make sure that you’ll have many more great years to come.

- StarCraft II Development Team

EU+RU Region Linking Now Live, Season 3 Begins!

The previously announced StarCraft II region linking is now in effect with the start of Season 3, and is an amazing step forward in bringing players together from around the world. We welcome players from Russia to the battlefield, and look forward to facing them on the ladders. Get ready to compete!

For more information on region linking please see the original announcement and FAQ.

The third StarCraft II League season has begun! Bonus pools and standings have been reset, and Season 2 milestones have been awarded. To see your Season 2 results, simply hop in-game and head on over to the Leagues and Ladders section.

The launch of Season 3 also brings 10 new maps to the ladder pool. You can learn more about these new maps here. For a full list of ladder pool changes, check out this blog post.

Don't forget: The hidden skill ratings used for matchmaking and league placement have carried over, so that means if you were already placed in a league prior to the Season 2 lock, you'll only need to play one placement match to kick off the new season.

Good luck, and have fun!

Get Ready for the Free HD Live Stream of the 2011 European Invitational!

Pripremite se za fantastične mečeve na Invitational-u, i ako želite da budete informisani u sekundu kako krene sam događaj, budite sigurni da pratite naš Twitter i Facebook profil!

The 2011 European Invitational is fast approaching and you’ll be able to follow all the action free of charge. To get you warmed up, we’ve begun uploading some VoDs of the best StarCraft II, Warcraft III and World of Warcraft matches from last year’s event. Visit our site to find out what eSports was like back in 2010—when Reapers were fast to build and the Lich King reigned from atop the Frozen Throne.

StarCraft II Show Match #1: Liquid`TLO vs. SK.MaDFroG
We have a very special treat to begin with: a show match between Dario ‘Liquid`TLO’ Wünsch and Fredrik ‘SK.MaDFroG’ Johansson! Don’t miss this epic TvZ from almost one year ago, when the StarCraft II metagame was still in its infant stages. Your hosts are no other than Benjamin ‘DeMusliM’ Baker and Blizzard’s own Rob ‘The Voice’ Simpson.

Sit back and discover how macro-games used to unfold on the ever-popular map Metalopolis. You surely don’t mind watching the power of the swarm being unleashed against heavy, entrenched terran defences, do you?

Be sure to check out the last part of the VoD as well to witness one of the first appearances of Xel’Naga Caverns in professional gaming. Oh, and stick around for an interview with both players after the match, conducted by none other than Kevin ‘RotterdaM’ van der Kooi.

Visit our site dedicated to the 2011 European Invitational frequently, as we'll keep updating it with free VoDs and more!

Info-Packed Website za 2011 European Invitational

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Source)
From today, we’ll be supplying you with lots of mouthwatering updates, information and treats on this dedicated event website leading up to the big weekend. Browse the site and discover the free HD live stream, detailed information about the event, and much more.

Get into the right mindset with classic matches and pictures of last year’s event. We’ll continue to add more content over the coming weeks, so by August 6, when the action is about to start, you’ll find everything you need to know about the 2011 Invitational in one place:

  • Tournament information: What is it, when, why, and where? Any more questions?
  • Travel information: Do you want to soak up the atmosphere at the Invitational in person? We’ll tell you how to get there
  • Video playlist: Find classic replays and the newest matches conveniently listed right on the front page
  • Twitter feed: Stay up to date with all Invitational tweets
  • Facebook integration: Like, share and follow the event together with your friends
  • Blog overview: Missed a blog update? See all related articles about the event at a glance

Coming soon:

  • Player profiles: Who will be fighting for glory and prize money?
  • Media section: Browse pictures of past events and watch videos of the matches – stay tuned for current media
  • Brackets: What legendary encounters are you about to witness?
  • Tournament schedule: Know what’s happening when
  • HD live stream: Watch the combatants battling it out live on stage, professionally shoutcasted and broadcast right into your home

So, are you ready for juicy eSports action? Our website will provide you with everything you need to enjoy the 2011 European Invitational in Warsaw, Poland. Make sure to stop by regularly in the coming days to get warmed up for the big showdown!

Novi Dark Legacy i Teh Gladiators stripovi

Metalopolis Removal Explanation

In Season 3, we’re introducing a number of changes to the map pool; we’re dropping some older maps, and adding a number of new ones. One of the more notable changes we’re making is the removal of Metalopolis. We realize that this is quite a popular map, and we wanted to discuss the reasons why we might make such a change and hopefully lay some of your concerns to rest. We also would like to point out that merely because a map has been removed from the pool, does not mean that it will never make a return in the future. Despite its flaws, Metalopolis has strong potential to be a map that returns in future ladder seasons.

Still, there are reasons why we decided to retire Metalopolis for now:

Metalopolis has been around for quite a long time, over a year including beta. We felt that taking it out of the rotation would make some room for variety in the map pool.

Metalopolis suffers balance issues when close spawn positions occur, but becomes too predictable when they are simply disabled. Close positions have been under a lot of discussion lately, and we’re definitely examining better options to allow for random spawn positions across the map pool without also creating too much predictability and vulnerability to proxy rushes.

Overall balance has also proven to be an issue on Metalopolis -- even factoring in close position spawn issues. It’s among the least balanced maps currently in the ladder pool, and along with Scrap Station (also being removed) and Tal’darim Altar, has a heavy (60%+) bias toward zerg at the highest levels of play.

If Metalopolis makes a return to the ladder pool in the future, it will likely receive some balance tinkering, much like that administered to Lost Temple which resulted in the creation of Shattered Temple. In the meantime, we hope that you enjoy the fresh maps that have been added to the ladder pool in Season 3.

Season 3 Ladder Map Changes

Along with a new season of ladder play, we continue to update and refresh the map pools, with the goal of providing a fresh and invigorating set of challenges for StarCraft II players of all stripes. With the start of Season 3, you'll find a number of new maps to explore and master while other maps are being rotated out.

The following changes have been made to the ladder map pool when Season 3 begins on Wednesday, July 27:



  • Scrap Station (2)
  • Slag Pits (4)
  • Delta Quadrant (4)
  • Metalopolis (4)

Carried over:

  • Xel’Naga Caverns (2)
  • Backwater Gulch (4)
  • Shakuras Plateau (4)
  • Tal'Darim Altar LE (4)
  • The Shattered Temple (4)
  • Typhon Peaks (4)


  • Nerazim Crypt (4)
  • Searing Crater (4)
  • Antiga Shipyard (4)
  • Abyssal Caverns (4)




  • Monlyth Ridge (4)
  • Gutterhulk (4)
  • Omega Sector (4)
  • Red Stone Gulch (4)

Carried over:

  • Discord IV (4)
  • High Orbit (4)
  • Khaydarin Depths (4)
  • Scorched Haven (4)
  • The Ruins of Tarsonis (4)
  • Tempest (8)


  • Tyrador Keep (8)
  • The Boneyard (8)




  • Quicksand (6)
  • Colony 426 (6)
  • Monsoon (6)
  • Typhon (6)

Carried over:

  • Arakan Citadel (6)
  • Cinder Fortress (6)
  • Dig Site (6)
  • Frontier(6)
  • The Bio Lab (6)
  • Ulaan Deeps (6)


  • Green Acres (6)
  • Temple of the Preservers (6)




  • High Ground (8)
  • Megaton (8)

Carried over:

  • District 10 (8)
  • Extinction (8)
  • Lava Flow (8)
  • Outpost (8)
  • Sand Canyon (8)
  • Toxic Slums (8)


  • Fossil Quarry (8)
  • Deadlock Ridge (8)




  • Metalopolis (4)
  • Slag Pits (4)

Carried over:

  • The Shattered Temple (4)
  • Quicksand (6)
  • Tectonic Rift (6)
  • Abyss (8)


  • Abyssal Caverns (4)
  • Antiga Shipyard (4)
  • Nerazim Crypt (4)
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