WCS Winter 2019

Blizzard Entertainment

StarCraft II esports—the competition and the community—impressed and inspired us more than ever before in 2018, and today we are excited to shed some light on what 2019 will look like. We are still working out the details so some of this may be subject to change.  Both WCS Korea and the WCS Circuit will continue in 2019, and we look forward to sharing the full details of both programs next year. In the meantime, we are pleased to announce WCS Winter.

What Is WCS Winter?

Serving as a prelude to the WCS 2019 season, WCS Winter replaces one WCS Circuit stop. This 10-week program will consist of a pair of 32-person online tournaments—one for the Americas (including Latin America, Taiwan, ANZ/SEA, and China) and one for Europe—each with a USD $60,000 prize pool, and with WCS points awarded as outlined below. Each tournament will culminate in a live, winner-advances battle between the top six, one for Europe and one for the Americas. See the full rules, including residency requirements, here.

WCS Winter Prize Pool and Points Distribution

Place Prize (in USD) WCS Points
1st $12,000 1,600
2nd $8,000 1,100
3rd $6,000 875
4th $5,000 775
5th $4,000 675
6th $3,000 575
7th $2,200 400
8th $1,600 300
9th–16th $925 175
17th–32nd $675 100


There are two ways players can qualify for WCS Winter’s two 32-person online tournaments.

The Ladder

Both the Americas and Europe will have eight of their 32 slots decided, respectively, by Americas and Europe ladder placements. The competition will take place between promotion windows and run January 10–13. For a full list of cut-off times per region, see the WCS 2019 ruleset.

Open Qualifiers

Europe: Three separate qualifiers will be held on the Europe servers on January 17, 18, and 20. The top eight from each will move to the European round of 32.

Americas: Two separate qualifiers will take place on the Americas servers on January 15 and 20. A third qualifier will be run on the Asia server on January 19. The top eight from the Asia server qualifier and the top 6 from each Americas qualifier will move to the Americas round of 32. Players who are eligible to play in the Americas region for WCS Winter but who are not in the China region may participate in all three of these qualifiers.

Sign-ups for both Americas and Europe qualifiers will be open soon; keep an eye on the StarCraft Esports Twitter for information.

China: Four players will be selected from a China qualifier and will move to the Americas round of 32.

The Rounds of 32, 16, and 8

Once the top 32 players in each competition have been determined, both regions will enter into their own GSL-style double-elimination groups, with a round-robin top eight.


In-Studio Finals—Round of 6

The top six players from both the Americas and Europe then will be seeded into two separate winner-moves-on tournaments—starting with the sixth seed taking on the fifth seed, the winner of which will fight against the fourth seed, and so on.

Korea in 2019

We’re currently putting the finishing touches on our 2019 plans for WCS Korea. Look for more details in the new year for the region that started it all.

We’ll have further information to share about the rest of the 2019 WCS Circuit soon. Next year the WCS will be streamed live at wcs.starcraft2.com, where you also can find the complete schedule for WCS Winter . Stay up to date with qualifier information, stream locations, and more via Twitter.

Following such a historic 2018, we can’t wait to cheer alongside you all as 2019 unfolds.