NASL Shuts Down, ESL Takes Over WCS America Production
The company in charge of production of the Americas region of the StarCraft II World Championship Series announced on Friday that they would be ceasing to produce WCS effective immediately. In a statement on their website, the North American Star League announced that they would no longer producing StarCraft content.
The move to cease StarCraft production has come as a shock to the SC2 community. NASL was founded in 2011 by StarCraft fans to help grow the scene in North America. Their growth was validated by being chosen to take over production of WCS America midway through 2013 in Season Two of Blizzard revamped World Championship Series.
Currently, NASL is in the midst of the Round of 32 of the 2014 WCS America Season 1 Premier League. With their immediate end of producing StarCraft content, Blizzard announced the Electronic Sports League (ESL) would take over production of WCS America starting with the final two groups of the Round of 32. These matches will still happen at their previously scheduled date and times but will broadcast by an ESL production team.
In order to accommodate the change in production teams and Blizzard’s own rules, the offline Round of 16 portion of WCS America has been delayed to April 5th and 6th at ESL’s studios in Cologne, Germany. ESL says they are working with Round of 16 players on travel arrangements. The WCS AM Final Eight playoffs will be played from April 10 to 13 along with the same portion of WCS Europe’s Season One action.
Blizzard has not made a production decision for Seasons Two or Three of WCS America.
As for NASL, they may have shut down their StarCraft production but still have competitive World of Tanks games that they broadcast. As far as the announcement indicates, those productions won’t end.
And the North American StarCraft scene isn’t going to die as a result of this move. MLG is running StarCraft II events again, including a tournament at MLG Anaheim, broadcasting the ShoutCraft Clan Wars series and producing the recent GameOn tournaments. Red Bull is still running it’s Battlegrounds series. And there’s still WCS America that will be produced by someone and has more American players now than last year which can’t hurt the scene.