Last year, during BlizzCon, we announced that we were working to bring one of the most requested competitive game modes to StarCraft II: Automated Tournaments. Tournaments speak to the competitive StarCraft II experience even more than the ladder, and we’ve been hard at work on building this feature into something truly promising. Now that we’ve spent some time building this feature, we are ready to show you what we’ve been working on.
Please keep in mind that everything you see here is a very early implementation of Automated Tournaments. There are still features to be added, bugs to be fixed, and feedback to be received. Nevertheless, we felt that it was time to offer this feature to our players so that we could gather the testing and feedback needed to ensure that Automated Tournaments ends up becoming the best feature possible.
With that said, let’s begin with a general rundown of how you can expect to use Automated Tournaments. Upon first logging in, you should notice that “TOURNAMENTS” is now clickable on the navigation menu.
After clicking it, you’ll be taken to the main tournaments portal. Here, you can view when the next tournament is taking place and sign up for it. There are two tournament formats:
Duration: Approximately 60–90 minutes
Format: Single-elimination bracket
Duration: Approximately 3-4 hours
Format: Group Stage -> Single-elimination bracket
Preparing for a Tournament Match:
After choosing a race and signing up for a tournament, you’ll wait for it to begin. You may only enter one tournament at a time, and once the tournament begins, you are locked into that tournament even if you log out or close your client; any matches you do not play will be automatically forfeit.
Once the tournament begins , you will receive a notifcation (even while in-game) that will take you to prepare for your first match. You will get a chance to veto up to three maps of your choice each round, allowing you to cater your map choices to the opponent you’re playing next. Your opponent will do the same, not knowing your veto choices. You’ll be able to see your opponent’s win record on each map to help with your veto decisions.
Each match in a tournament is currently limited to 25 minutes. This would equate roughly to a 35-minute game in Heart of the Swarm due to the game-clock changes in Legacy of the Void. If the game reaches the 25-minute limit, victory will be awarded to the player who has the highest experience point value. Experience is accrued throughout the game by earning money, constructing units, destroying units, etc.
Finishing a match will mark you as ready for the next round, and once everyone is marked as ready, the next round will start. If you mark yourself as ‘not ready,’ you will have until the start of the next round before you have to check in again.
We’ve implemented matchmaking in Automated Tournaments in an effort to make it fair for players of all skill levels. Please keep in mind that the matchmaking experience may not be optimal due to a smaller player pool in the beta.
Going forward, we have plans to make it so that you are automatically joined into a private chat channel with players in your tournament. We also are planning to add Automated Tournament rewards that will be visible in other areas of StarCraft II.
Due to the nature of this feature, it is more difficult to get a lot of internal playtesting compared to other parts of the game. Please do your best to try out various combinations and let us know if you find any bugs! Automated Tournaments should provide a gripping experience for those who value high-stakes StarCraft II competition. So if you enjoy the competitive side of StarCraft II, we hope you are as excited to try out the new game mode as we are to hear your thoughts. Thank you very much, please remember to submit your feedback, and we’ll see you in the finals!