Starcraft 2's Biggest Showmatch Ever! The Prize? 12 Bitcoins
The Festivus Pole has some mighty fine presents gathered 'round it this year for eSports fans! For starters, on December 21, 2013, fans will see the biggest prize pool for a single, one-off Starcraft 2 showmatch. While it's not on the scale of most tournaments, with prizes ranging between $50,000 to $250,000 at the extreme end, it beats out most fan-favorite showmatches by a couple of zeroes.
But, unlike just about every prize pool for a tournament or showmatch (in any sport), it's not to be awarded as USD, or Euros. The prize is paid out in Bitcoins (BTC) --12 of 'em to be exact. Currently, this averages just under $10,000 USD, but the actual total could fluxuate wildly as time goes on.
Though it's not necessarily the mainstream limelight, this is certainly a big step forward as the digital currency spreads into common use. We won't likely see MLB contracts paid out in BTC anytime soon, but the sponsors of the aptly-named Bitcoin Starcraft Challenge are surely heading in that direction.
"With Bitcoin, any player in the world can receive sponsorship and tournament winnings regardless of where they are," said ThePiachu, mod of sponsor /r/Bitcoin. "It's just as easy to send money to someone in the same room, as it is to send money to say, China. Payments are instantaneous and very cheap. Even players from countries that are excluded from the traditional payment systems (like PayPal), like Argentina, Pakistan or Bangladesh are on the same playing field.
"The /r/Bitcoin community likes to support new and innovative ways to use Bitcoin. In the past we have embraced initiatives with donations (for example, 8 months ago donations to Sean's Outpost fed over 100 homeless people), and we did the same this time in hopes to spark interest in both the Challenge, as well as Bitcoin. At this time, we have raised over 3BTC for the event, and we hope to promote future esports events with Bitcoin prize pools."
The Queen of Blades versus The King in the North!
The combatants are sure to be a huge draw, as well! Two huge fan favorites in SC2 communities throughout the world will be duking it out in a Best of 7 (maps TBD).
AcerScarlett has been one of the most prolific Western players in the past few months. In fact, she was the only pro from west of the Atlantic to make it into the top 25 for the World Championship Series (WCS) in 2013. In the minority as a Canuck Zerg player, The Queen of Blades herself went toe-to-toe with the defending WCS champion Bomber, losing out 2-3 after an incredibly close series.
AllianceNaNiwa was the only non-Korean player to make it into the WCS Global Finals, where he carried the dreams of Western players hoping to unseat the reigning competition. His Protoss play from the land of the North has carried him through big tournaments like DreamHack and MLG, though usually just short of the finish line. Love him or hate him, he's certainly a capable player and will bring some lively action to the showmatch.
WANTED: To those bilingual gentlepersons who feel like they have the chops to serve as a caster, Sr. TotalBiscuit is recruiting those with streams and experience (just PM him on the TeamLiquid forums).