Esports Betting on the WCS Global Finals

by Mark Perry
on October 27, 2017

We have previously referred to Magic: the Gathering as the grandfather of esports. Of course, this terminology implies that another game took over to be the true instigator in the process of birthing competitive video gaming. As the history books will write it, this game, without question, is Starcraft. While the first edition of the game garnered some attention early on, the release of the second game in 2010 was the spark that lit the keg.

Seven years later, and seemingly against the odds, the game is still going strong. This weekend, Starcraft II fans are gearing up for the finals of the 2017 World Championship Series, and it’s sure to be a fun ride. With 16 of the world’s greatest Starcraft players duking it out for a total of $700,000, stakes are high and sweat will drip.

Of course, esports betting websites are doubling down their servers in preparation for increased activity. Happening parallel to the HGC Finals, the WCS Global Finals are sure to attract bets with stakes just as high as the tournament itself. If you are looking to join in on the fun this weekend, this article is for you. Today, we’re going to go over the structure of the WCS Global Finals, how to bet on Starcraft II, and the players who will be competing in the WCS Global Finals. In short, this will be the complete guide for betting on the WCS Global Finals.

Betting on Starcraft II

Starcraft II is like the football of esports. Having a long history, it seems logical that the game would be easily predictable. It should be a solved meta at this point, where developing strategy should be as easy as recalling a famous game. However, like football, and like chess, Starcraft II has only gotten better since the game began. The layers of strategy, resource management and so on, have created an ever-evolving game. While enfranchised players will know the ins and outs of the game like the back of their hand, they are forced into playing a reactive game. Great players can seemingly see into the future, needing to develop the God Read of the opponent.

This makes Starcraft II and interesting game for esports betters. This is not a game you can simply walk in and bet on, you need to have done your research. Because of this, I would advise against betting on the WCS Global Finals as your first Starcraft II event, with one exception. If you have time to spend, you can learn the relevant pieces of the game as the tournament progresses. This guide aims to serve as a good start for a new better, but from here you will have to turn to other resources.

Being that Starcraft is as old as it is, the betting competition will be just as fierce as the game itself. If you aren’t confident in your ability, be ready to lose money. However, if you think you know something the books don’t, this weekend could be huge for you.

The Structure of the WCS Global Finals

Like many other esports events, the WCS Global Finals will begin in a group phase. Sixteen players will be split into groups of four, seeded by their WCS Korea and WCS Circuit points. The group phase will be played in a dual tournament format, with matches decided on a best two out of three basis. The top 2 players of each group will then advance to the next stage.

Players who took down the group stage will be placed into a single elimination bracket. Players who failed to make it to this stage will earn $12,000 for coming in 13th through 16th, and players who came in 9th through 12th will walk away with $14,000. Beginning with the quarterfinalists, players will earn $21,000, which doubles to $42,000 if they make it to the semifinals. Finalists will earn split $420,00 with two thirds, or $280,000 going to the winner, and the remaining $140,000 going to the runner-up. These matches will all be decided on a best of five basis, except for the finals, which will increase to a best of seven.

Reigning World Champion TY has been invited to the tournament, as well as 7 other players from the WCS Korea circuit. The remaining 8 players are the highest points earners from the rest of the WCS circuit.

Players By Starcraft II Faction

The Protoss, Terran and Zerg will all be represented, if in uneven numbers, at the WCS Finals. Eight of the sixteen players, or half the field, will be playing Zerg, with 5 (including reigning champion TY) fighting for the Protoss, and the three remaining for the Terran.

For the Zerg we have:

  • Dark
  • soO
  • Rogue
  • Elazer
  • Nerchio
  • Serral
  • Snute
  • TRUE

For the Protoss we have:

  • TY
  • GuMiho
  • INnoVation
  • Kelazhur
  • SpeCial

And, for the Zergs we have:

  • Stats
  • herO
  • Neeb

Despite having the greatest numbers, the Zerg players have not taken the highest seed in either category. However, they do eat up slots 2 through 5 for the WCS Circuit. The Korean players stand at 3, 4 and 8. These middle of the road results are largely irreflective of the players themselves. Zerg player Dark, a recent ex-pat of SK Telecom T1, has shown very strong results in recent tournaments, and likely will not disappoint here. soO had a tough 2016 but is back in full force this year. Rogue, a lower seed, has spiked several tournaments recently, and esports betters must decide if this is a fluke or a pattern. Elazer has shown very strong results in WCS tournaments, while Nerchio again has some spiky data points.

Protoss’ strongest player is TY, who is coming back to defend his title. The only other Protoss player showing any remarkable stats is INnoVation, who will be closing out 2017 as a very well paid man after some extremely strong finishes.

Zerg is where things get weird. herO is 7th in the WCS Korea division but holds the spot formidably. However, both the number 1 seed for WCS Korea and WCS Circuit are Zerg players.

Stats and Neeb are walking into this tournament with a target on their head but, if the past season shows anything, it’s that they can handle it.
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