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STARCRAFT2 STARLEAGUE S2

Starcraft 2 StarLeague SEASON 2

For 2016 I'm previewing the second season of StarCraft 2 StarLeague. The season is divided into two major parts, the Challenge event and the Main event. These are then followed by the playoffs, and of course culminating in the grand finals. Both events are divided further into four groups, with only a single group played per week. Writing for TeamLiquid.net, developing is a concise narrative is key.  

challenge event

SSL Challenge Group A
SSL Challenge Group B
SSL Challenge Group C
SSL Challenge Group D

I started with previews for all four of the Challenge groups. With six players to a group, there was a lot of research going into each preview, and predicting the top three of each group wasn't easy.  The rather confusing format produced some really weird upsets, and towards the end it was really difficult to accurately predict who'd qualify for the main event.

main event

SSL Group A
SSL Group B
SSL Group C
SSL Group D

For the main event, four players were already seeded from the first season, and the other twelve qualified through Challenger. Before the Main Event started, there was a televised seeding event where the players picked out their groups by themselves.

Quarterfinals

Quarterfinals Day 1
Quarterfinals Day 2

The quarterfinals were played over two days, with two matches per day. All four semifinalists of the first season advanced from the Main Event of season two, so there was already a strong story line going into the quarterfinals. None of the four were playing against each other, so there was a definite feel of upstarts trying to dethrone the more established players from the first season.

Semifinals

Semifinals Day 1
Semifinals Day 2

With the semifinals, the competition is of course getting more fierce. By now there's an established story for all four players. It's also easy picking favorites by this point in the league.

Grand Finals

Grand Finals

And at last the grand finals. Writing finals is pretty much always more fun than anything else, simply because you can really let loose. The most important part is just trying to build up hype for the contenders, to get the audience really involved. There's also a perfect chance to look at how the finalists have done over the course of the competition.