Following the news of our North American expansion earlier this week, we are happy to announce that ESL and Blizzard are joining forces to broadcast World Championship Series (WCS) America in our new Los Angeles studios! With immediate effect, ESL will run WCS America alongside WCS Europe, albeit from opposite sides of the globe.
"ESL has always been a great partner for Blizzard eSports. They've consistently produced high quality and entertaining events such as WCS Europe and the Intel Extreme Masters series, and we're looking forward to seeing them bring their expertise with StarCraft II eSports to WCS America," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment.
As previously announced, a brand new 7,000 square foot studio is under construction in Los Angeles, USA. The broadcast studio, capable of seating hundreds of visitors, will be the new command center of WCS America, but also home to some familiar faces.
The Dutch StarCraft commentator Kevin “Rotterdam” van der Kooi will be rejoining the ESL family as he sticks around for the upcoming WCS America seasons. The Protoss player will continue his work on the premier StarCraft tournament series and had this to say of the developments:
“Two years ago I moved to California to cast StarCraft. It's been a bumpy road but I’ve started to feel more and more at home. I was definitely a little worried about everything but I'm very happy ESL reached out and asked me to continue casting WCS. Casting WCS has been fun from the get-go and I'm excited to put up a kick ass show with the new ESL America people. Thanks for keeping me on board and I can't wait to do the first shows from our new place!”
Nathan “Nathanias” Fabrikant will be joining the WCS America team as a StarCraft II commentator. When asked about the changes to WCS America, he said:
“As not only a commentator but a player who has competed in many American competitions and open brackets, it's a great pleasure of mine to cover the best of the best from the American region and take part in crowning my region's champion. Many of these players are good friends of mine so I couldn't ask for a better tournament to work on! ESL has done a fantastic job with WCS Europe and we'll see nothing but equivalent excellence from the new American studio, I look forward to having a home port for WCS production through them.”
ESL remains fully committed to bringing the best possible eSports experience to the community. Fans can rest assured that the standard of production for WCS will only be raised by the addition of WCS America.
“We are very proud to be extending our partnership with Blizzard onto WCS North America. We want the new ESL studios in California to be home to the finest eSports competitions and WCS NA is the best possible start for us," said Michal Blicharz, director of pro gaming at ESL.
Details concerning the Season 2 Challenger and Premier League schedules will be announced shortly. Don’t forget the WCS America round of sixteen takes place in the ESL TV Studios in Cologne, Germany, this weekend!