Everything You Need to Know About WCS Challenger Season 1

Blizzard Entertainment

The World Championship Series (WCS) Challenger tournament is a crucial piece of the puzzle for aspiring and seasoned pro StarCraft® II players. In addition to seeking the title of regional champion in the European and North American Challenger events, players can win prize money and those all-important WCS points, which count toward qualifying for the WCS Global Finals.

Here are all the latest details for WCS Challenger Season 1:

Qualifying for Challenger

Sixteen players in North America and another 16 in Europe will qualify for this season of WCS Challenger. In each region:

  • 4 players will qualify from their final placement at the WCS Leipzig Pre-season
  • 4 players will qualify from their current rank on the competitive ladder
  • 8 players will qualify from the online open qualifiers

Ladder Qualifiers

  • Top 4 players from the respective ladder (NA/EU) automatically advance to WCS Challenger
  • The cut-off will be based on overall rating and take place Sunday April 1 at 11:59 p.m. in CEST (for Europe) and EDT (for North America)


Signups for the Challenger open qualifier events are coming soon. In each region, players will have two days (four players qualify each day) to show they have what it takes to compete in the European or North American Challenger event.

  • North America qualifiers will run April 7-8 starting at 4:00 p.m. PDT.
  • Europe qualifiers will run April 9-10 starting at 5:00 p.m. CET.

The main WCS Challenger tournament will run on weekends beginning April 14, with the first half of each broadcast day dedicated to Europe and the second half focused on North America.

In both Europe and North America Challenger there will be a group stage featuring four groups of four players each. The “dual tournament” format will see the first player to win two matches in a group advance to the knockout phase, while the first to lose two matches is eliminated. The remaining two players will battle for the group’s last spot in the single-elimination playoff. The full tournament breaks down as follows:

  • April 14: 7:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. PDT
  • April 15: 7:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. PDT
  • April 21: 7:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. PDT
  • April 29: 7:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. PDT
  • Finals TBD


The top four WCS Challenger players in both North America and Europe will receive invites to the Round of 32 at WCS Austin. Based on their performances in the first season of WCS Challenger, the field of players receive cash prizes and WCS Points as follows:

1st Place 200 WCS Points $1,600 USD
2nd Place 140 Points $1,200 USD
3rd – 4th Places 90 WCS Points $800 USD
5th – 8th Places 60 WCS Points $600 USD
9th – 16th Places 30 WCS Points $400 USD

Join us as the first season of WCS Challenger 2018 begins in April with pro players beginning the fight for European and North American crowns and beyond.