Pin It

Attending A StarCraft 2 Tournament In Seoul

Gom TV studio

GOM TV – where it all happens live!

On day 7 of our South Korean tour, Vicky and I arrived in Seoul and I had one thing on my mind.

Not Gyeongbokgung palace…

Not even the DMZ…


Starcraft 2 – to be exact (not what I had in mind).

This is the part where about 90% of readers exit the article, however, for the 10% of you who dare to continue, prepare to have your world turned upside down.

What Is StarCraft?

Starcraft Studio

Stuff is about to get real

To a small portion of us here on planet Earth, StarCraft ranks above the NFL, homemade apple pie, and maybe just below any religious affiliation we might have.

To another small portion, it’s a computer game.

And to virtually everyone outside of South Korea, it’s something they’ve never heard of.

But if you’re in South Korea, you’ll soon realize that it’s a big deal, so big that in 2005 120,000 people gathered live in a stadium to watch a StarCraft championship (over 40K more than attended the Super Bowl).

StarCraft is the best selling pc game of all time, and of the 9 million StarCraft copies sold, guess how many went to South Korea?

4.5 million

That’s right, half. (South Korea population of ~50 million, or less than 1% of the world’s population).

Here, StarCraft is not simply a computer game, it’s a way of life. Literally, it’s a career, an acceptable career at that.

But they train hard for it, and few make it. Of the millions of people in South Korea playing SC2, only a few hundred would ever be considered professionals, and even a smaller percent of them are actually earning enough to support a reasonable standard of living.

All the same, if you do play seriously, your day probably looks a little bit like this:

  • You live in a team house, resembling a sort of barracks, surrounded by other professional gamers.
  • You wake up and play StarCraft for 10-14 hours devising strategies, studying your opponents, and working on improving your technique.
  • You sleep, probably dreaming of StarCraft

However, the few who make it are revered as demi-Gods.

As a result, South Korea dominates the StarCraft scene. If you’re a foreigner (a term used to describe any StarCraft player who is NOT South Korean), and you’re serious about becoming a professional, you move to South Korea. Plain and simple.

Starcraft Studio

We’re about to watch a semi finals match where one of the greatest players of all time is about to p0wn

As for me, I was lucky enough to attend a semi-finals match of the most recognized StarCraft 2 tournament in the world – the Global StarCraft League (GSL), where LG-IM MVP, the world’s greatest SC2 player, was playing (he won 3-2).

While I could have simply watched it on one of the two StarCraft dedicated channels, I thought it would be more exciting to attend in person. At my request, Vicky and I arrived 40 minutes early to secure center seats. I’ll spare you the details, but it was a great match!

American casters

Oh hello Tastosis

Korean casters

And the Korean casters

If you enjoyed this article, join others and get free email updates!

12 Responses to Attending A StarCraft 2 Tournament In Seoul

  1. This is pretty cool.

    Elaine October 15, 2012 at 10:35 AM Reply
  2. Spare us the details???? NOOOOOOOOO

    Kiryl October 15, 2012 at 10:37 AM Reply
    • Standard TvP, after falling behind 2-1 trying some dumb all in MVP mans up and terran wins in the end – tvz finals!

      Dave and Vicky October 15, 2012 at 11:19 AM Reply
      • whoaaaa nerd chiiilllsss lol

        Kiryl October 16, 2012 at 10:49 AM Reply
  3. Pingback: Korea Wrap Up - Daily Average $41 Per Person

  4. Awesome pictures! I hope some day to visit Korea and check out a live SC2 tourney! Getting to Diamond League is all I can hope for in the meantime 🙂 Love the site by the way*

    JC October 20, 2012 at 7:14 AM Reply
    • Hey thanks, keep at it! I started in Gold and then worked my way up to Masters (NA ladder). That was a while ago though, since we’ve been traveling I haven’t been playing. Fun to still watch on occasion though!

      Dave and Vicky October 20, 2012 at 8:37 PM Reply
  5. Pingback: Green Beans with Shallots and Pine Nuts - avocadopesto

  6. Pingback: Travel Memory Friday with... Dave from acoupletravelers | The Travel Tester

  7. Hey! Would like to check with you that i’m going to Seoul in September and i wanna bring my bf there to watch KT Rolster play Starcraft 2. Would you mind advising me on where can i bring him to watch them play and where can i purchase their merchandise?

    Thank you so much!

    Angeline March 26, 2013 at 4:16 AM Reply
    • This should be everything you need right here:

      Check the schedule, most games are in the evening around 6-8pm. They are free, no ticket required. Show up a bit early to get good seats and to get headsets so you can listen to the English commentators. Gonna be a great time, good luck, let us know if you need anything else!

      Dave and Vicky March 26, 2013 at 7:44 AM Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.