StarCraft: Longest Running Esports League To Be Discontinued
It was announced on Facebook this week that the Korean eSports Association (KeSPA), the world's longest-running esports league, would be discontinued. The professional StarCraft league cited match fixing issues and lack of adequate sponsorship for the league's failure.
The announcement came from KeSPA chairman Jun Byung Hun, who wrote “it deeply saddens me” to break news on both the dissolution of the ProLeague as well as KeSPA in one single announcement.
The StarCraft ProLeague was formed in 2003. It was officially the longest-running esports league, managing to maintain leadership for 14 years. However, those years were not without struggle and controversy.
After multiple reports of match fixing the Pro League competitions fell out of favor with players and fans alike, but more importantly, with sponsors. Without sufficient sponsorship funds the league had difficulty competing with the swift rise in popularity of other esports such as Dota 2 and League of Legends.
While this is most certainly the end of an esports legacy, StarCraft fans should not fret yet: Blizzard is reportedly still standing behind their game. According to the Korean news site iNews24 and reported by IGN, Blizzard is planning to launch a HD version of the original StarCraft.
Featuring “improved graphics resolution and user interface,” the game could be enough to motivate a new generation of professional StarCraft players and revive the once leading esport. The original StarCraft was a pioneer in the genre of real-time strategy games. Released in 1998, it boasts nearly 20 years of play on Windows and Mac OS.