Table of Contents
Intro: Easter, Minus the East
European LAN Weekend
Easter, Minus the East
This weekend, us Americans will be busy doing what we do best – putting on a brash, expensive, over-the-top spectacle. Of course, what's an eSports spectacle without Koreans, by and large the best players in the world? IPL has certainly spared no expense in that department, as nearly forty top-notch Korean players will be in attendance at Las Vegas. On the other hand, Europe will be glancing sideways at their noisy friends across the Atlantic and their enigmatically gifted guests as they hold their own, cozier kinds of celebrations.
There are three major European LANs taking place over the weekend: Copenhagen Games in Denmark, Gamers Assembly in France, and The Gathering in Norway. European LANs have long been standard-bearers of esports, and the tradition has continued in recent years with the inclusion of large Starcraft II tournaments for pro-gamers and amateurs alike. With nearly €30,000 in prizes being awarded over the weekend, business is indeed, serious.
While the Koreans have been entirely distracted by the fanfare of IPL4, many of the best European pro-gamers have chosen to play closer to home. For some it may be a sign of commitment to their local scenes, though for many it's likely to be the result of a shrewd financial decision. Whatever the reason may be, they have made these three tournaments harken back to the days before Starcraft II's wild success led to its inevitable globalization.
Perhaps those days are gone for good, never to return. But at least for one weekend, Europe will relive the past, when one could be king of one's own backyard.
Starcraft II at The Gathering 2012
Date: April 4th - April 8th.
Location: Hamar, Norway.
Prize Pool: 100,000 NOK (≐ €13,000).
AlaStOr, BiOhAzArD, Bischu, BRAT_OK, Chi, DBS,
Grubby, HappyZerG, IMBADUDE, meRz, LucifroN, MorroW,
NightEnD, PhoeNix, RaNgeD, Seala, SjoW, Snute, ThorZaIN,
Titan, Turuk, VortiX, Znow, zUP, + 16 BYOC Tournament Players.
Resources: Official page, Information thread on TeamLiquid.
Streams: Imba.tv (EN), SC2.no (NO).
Dammit Sweden, if you were just going to walk into Norway and take their money anyway, why bother to dissolve the union? With a fearsome trio of ThorZaIN, MorroW, and SjoW leading the way, Sweden seems determined to show that you don't need Koreans to stage an esports invasion. However, Norway might just be able to hold its ground.
After spending a long time as one of Europe's hidden gosu's, Norway's Snute finally exploded into the spotlight last week by winning the second ONOG Invitational, where he took down Killer, Sheth, Titan, and NightEnd on his path to victory. Could there be a possible better end to this tournament than an Sweden vs Norway final, where international star ThorZaIN takes on the crowd-backed, local hero in Snute? One can only hope.
Copenhagen Games SC II Challenge
Date: April 4th - April 8th.
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark.
Prize Pool: €6,500.
AiCola, AiHonor, Aristeo, Avekatten, BabyKnight, Bly, Ciara,
ClouD, CupCake, elfi, FaiLo, Fargo, FooFighter, Fuzer,
Happy, Honor, Jimpo, Joe, Kas, KrasS MyWa, Protosser,
StjarNaN, StrinterN, Welmu.
Stream: Copenhagen Games.
Resources: Official Site, Information thread on TeamLiquid (schedule included).
Unlike Norway, Denmark is still looking for a national Starcraft II savior who can make a splash on the international scene (unless you count mono-battle extraordinaire, Bumblebee). Even so, the spectators will surely hope players like Ciara, BabyKnight and Avekatten can use their home field advantage to manufacture some memorable upsets against the notable competitors. Interestingly enough, Copenhagen will play host to a large contingent of Finnish players on the weekend, with elfi, Fuzer, Protosser, and Welmu all in attendance.
On paper, it looks like Kas would be the favorite to take home the first place prize. However, with players like Happy, Bly, Cloud, elfi and Jimpo participating, we might see an unexpected winner. Of course, you can never count out the hometown boys, and with a few dozen lesser known Danish gosu's also playing, you never know what might happen.
Medion Trophy at Gamers Assembly
Date: April 7th - April 9th.
Location: Poitiers, France.
Prize Pool: €10,000 (cash and prizes).
All Star Trophy Participants
biGs, Eeel, FremAN, HasuObs, MaNa, Monsteuh, TypeReaL, Tefel.
Open Tournament Participants
Adelscott, AureS, KenZy, MoMaN, SarenS, SonG.
Resources: Player List (FR), Official Page (FR).
Streams: MilleniumTV (FR), ???
Is this what égalité and fraternité mean? Europe's best players have spread themselves between three tournaments, giving everyone a better shot. Even Stephano – the best European player – seems to be in on it, travelling to the United States as to give his brothers a chance (fittingly, at Las Vegas, it's more about hitting the jackpot).
The defending champion Adelscott will be looking to make it back to back championships, but he's going up against a strong field of challengers. Mouz is bringing some of their big guns in HasuObs, biGs, and MaNA, while AureS, MoMaN, SarenS, and KenZy will be eager to show that there's real depth to the French SC II scene.
Oh don't mind TypeReaL, he's practically German.