On Tuesday, Blizzard officially announced its plans to shake-up StarCraft II for 2020. This includes retiring the World Championship Series for good.
According to the announcement, Blizzard plans to replace WCS by combining ESL Pro Tour StarCraft II and DreamHack SC2 Masters to create a new StarCraft II esports circuit.
The new circuit will feature four international DreamHack tournaments and two ESL tournaments a year. Competitions will also be held weekly which will add to ESL. The global finals will also change to the IEM Katowice World Championship starting in 2021.
Blizzard had this to say about the partnership with ESL and DreamHack and the new StarCraft II circuit:
“The StarCraft II competitive community is one of a kind. It is passionate, creative, and loyal, and you have always been and will always remain important to Blizzard. We want to ensure that your home is secure for as long as possible, and relationships like this one with DreamHack and ESL is what we need to do to make that happen.”
Blizzard also announced that the new StarCraft II circuit will feature a prize pool of $1.9 million for the 2020-2021 season. They will also be increasing the IEM Katowice prize pool $400,000.
The WCS will be ending after a seven year run. The last person to have won the WCS will have been South Korean StarCraft II player Dark in 2019.