Article

Revealing the EU and NA WCS Challenger format for 2017

Hans Oelschlägel
Editor / Content Manager
Share this article:

2017 will be a busy year for StarCraft II with everyone fighting for a slot at the WCS Global Finals. Of the 16 players that will eventually qualify for the US$500,000 final, eight will come from the various DreamHack stops during the WCS Circuit: Austin, Summer, Valencia, and Montreal. Each of the WCS Circuit stops will have its own WCS Challenger event, allowing eight players from EU and NA to secure their tickets to the WCS Circuit.

ESL and Blizzard are partnering up to bring you the biggest WCS Challenger yet, with 32 days of broadcast throughout the year and $80,000 in prizing between North America and Europe.

The format

Four WCS Challenger events will be hosted in 2017 with the best players earning WCS Points and prize money, as well as winning travel and accommodation for the respective WCS Circuit event. 

  • WCS Challenger #1 -> WCS Austin, April 28-30
  • WCS Challenger #2 -> WCS Jönköping, June 17-19
  • WCS Challenger #3 -> WCS  Valencia, July 13-15
  • WCS Challenger #4 -> WCS Montreal, September 8-10

Each of the WCS Challenger events will be a week-long affair to determine the eight players, four from EU and four from NA, that will make the trip to their respective WCS Circuit tournament. The top players of the in-game ladder will automatically qualify for the WCS Challenger events with the remaining players being determined through open cups.

The schedule for each WCS Challenger will look as follows

  • Day 1, Sunday – Grand Master League cutoff
    Top eight players from the respective ladder (NA/EU) automatically advance to the WCS Challenger Playoff
    • The cut-off will be based on MMR and take place at 11:59 p.m. in CET and EDT
    • Players must complete 15 ladder games a day between Grandmaster League promotion windows (20:00 EDT, 21:00 CEST) starting on the Thursday-Friday window and continuing though Sunday
    • Starting at the Thursday promotion window, players will be required to play under the name that they wish to use during the WCS Circuit event. Please contact esportsteam@blizzard.com if you require a free character name change to compete.
  • Day 3, Tuesday – Open Cup #1
    Four players advance to the WCS Challenger Playoff
  • Day 4, Wednesday – Open Cup #2
    Four players advance to the WCS Challenger Playoff
  • Days 6-7, Friday to Saturday – WCS Challenger Playoff
    Sixteen participants
    Eight from the GrandMaster League
    Four from the Open Cup #1
    Four from the Open Cup #2
    Double-elimination, Best-of-five

Player must be eligible to compete based on th residency requirements outlined in section 4.4 of the WCS 2017 Rules.

Timeline and prize pool

Each of the WCS Challenger tournaments will take place with ample time before their respective WCS Circuit stop. You can find the complete timeline overview below.

WCS Challenger #1
NA: 26.03 – 01.04.
EU: 02.04 – 08.04.

WCS Challenger #2
EU: 14.05 – 20.05.
NA: 21.05 – 27.05.

WCS Challenger #3
EU: 28.05 – 03.06.
NA: 04.06 – 10.06.

WCS Challenger #4
EU: 06.08 – 12.08.
NA: 13.08 – 19.08.

The top four players from each region will qualify for the WCS Circuit. On top of that, players will also have the chance to get their hands on a share of the prize money, as well as the all-important WCS points.

Place Prize Money WCS Points Other
1st $1.600 200

Qualifies to WCS Circuit
2nd $1.200 140
3rd/4th $800 90
4th-8th $600 60 -
9th-16th $400 30 -


We’re looking forward to watching the EU and NA WCS Challenger events unravel. Other regions will of course also have their respective WCS Challenger tournaments - more information regarding those will be announced shortly on StarCraft2.com/WCS. And don’t forget that you can follow ESL StarCraft II on both Twitter and Facebook to receive any further update regarding our tournaments.