To the detriment of all StarCraft 2 fans the world over, GSL was cut short in 2016. This also happened around the same time that the StarCraft 2 pro league was disbanded, which left many players and fans alike wondering what the future of the game would look like. Fortunately, AfreecaTV, the Korean streaming hub that historically sponsors and runs the GSL, announced that it would be increasing its support for GSL in 2017. With this news coming on the tail end of an exciting first week of Nation Wars IV, SC2 is in great shape.
Not only is GSL 2017 going to be bigger than the curtailed 2016 tour schedule, it’s going to be bigger than ever before. It’s being increased back to three seasons instead of two, but AfreecaTV will also host two “GSL Super Tournaments.” Over the course of the year, GSL competitors have the opportunity to earn up to 570 million, which is a 20% increase when compared to last year’s prize pool.
There are also some changes to the format which will hopefully streamline the process a bit more for viewers. Instead of the normal Code A and Code S groups, there will simply be qualifiers and Code S. While the reasons for this change are unclear, it may simply be to consolidate the viewership towards the Code S matches. Other than that, the rest of the tournament will remain the same. The round of 32 and the round of 16 will be groups of four, and the round of 8 will be single elimination.
The Super Tournaments are a little different. The 1st and 2nd place players from the last 2016 GSL season will be automatically entered into the Super Tournaments, and the rest of the competitors will have to enter through qualifiers.
Like preceding seasons of GSL, the English stream will be cast by Dan ‘Artosis’ Stemkoski and Nicolas ‘Tasteless’ Plott. The qualifiers for Season One begin on December 27 and the main league will start shortly after in January 2017.