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Star Nation: A look at the players and people behind the hit game StarCraft II.
Since 1998, the online video game StarCraft has become one of the most popular spectator sports in South Korea. Released during the middle of an economic meltdown, StarCraft's popularity was fueled by it being a cheap, easy, and accessible form of entertainment.
The case can be made that similar circumstances are surrounding the rapid rise in popularity of StarCraft II in the United States. The amount of online spectatorship that StarCraft II games have been generating in the US, South Korea, and throughout Europe, has made for a unique culture that is providing people surrounding the game a means of living. Some players are charging upwards of $200 dollars an hour for lessons, play-by-play 'castings' of games are posted on youtube and within 2 days they regularly have over 100,000 views, and a recent tournament, TSL3, had a $15,000 1st prize. The top earning South Korean StarCraft professional reports to be earning approximately $224,000 in 2011. With increases in tournament prizes, viewership, and sponsorships, it is not inconceivable that we may end up seeing earnings reach that kind of number in the US.
StarCraft II is considered a 'real-time strategy' game. Real-time strategy games pit players against one another in three-dimensional playing fields called 'maps'. Players compete for resources to build combat units and then use those units to destroy the other players’ bases. Games can be team-based, accommodating up to four players per team, or intense (and more popular) one-on-one matches. Most games will last in the range of 10-20 minutes, but some games may reach upwards of 40 minutes---until players have reached the necessary army size for strenuous competition for the very last of the remaining resources.
Through this project I hope to answer the question, “Who are the people behind the game StarCraft II?” To do this, I think it is important to view the game from the perspective of every individual involved with the StarCraft II scene, including professional players, people trying to break into the professional scene, the spectators who attend tournaments, the people playing in local LAN tournaments, play-by-play casters on YouTube and those who stream games full-time on justin.tv, the guys who put on these tournaments, the people making a living from coaching other players, team managers, and the men and women who developed the original StarCraft game and now StarCraft II. The documentary will follow players, fans, and industry people throughout the ranks of the StarCraft community.
On June 3rd, I'll be traveling to Columbus for the second MLG Pro Circuit event of the season. The top three players from this event will be headed to Korea to compete in the most prestigious StarCraft league in the world, the Global StarCraft League.
I'll be posting updates with new footage in the coming weeks, so check back!
Shooting will wrap up at the MLG's National Championship in late November of this year. With the documentary premiering late winter/early spring 2012.
100% of the money donated to the project will be used for travel expenses, a dedicated sound person, and small equipment upgrades. If I reach my funding goal, I will shoot footage at three of the remaining Major League Gaming (MLG) Pro Circuit tournaments: MLG Anahiem (CA) where I will also be traveling to Blizzard's headquarters, the National Championship in Providence, RI, and either MLG Raliegh (NC) or MLG Orlando (FL). I have also budgeted for trips to players homes and to small LAN tournaments, to see how players are preparing for these events and to gain a broader view of the StarCraft II community. Equipment upgrades will include minor improvements like purchasing a lavalier mic for interviews.
If I exceed my funding goals, I plan on traveling to more players' homes, more tournaments, and to Korea to attend a GSL tournament and follow the players seen at US MLG events!
For more information on rewards, check out the list in the righthand side bar. Most reward levels offer an addition amount per character to add a personalized message to your donor name in the credits. As long as it is kept non-offensive and PG-13 this can be anything you would like (for example, a message to your friends/family, a shout out to your clan/team, comment on what SC2 means to you, or even the address to your stream or youtube channel).
***Please add $5 for shipping outside of the continental United States!***
Thanks to 'Mother Falcon' of Austin, TX for use of their song.
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- (45 days)