Blizzard has introduced an official eSports portal and a new way to allow players to play for free to Starcraft II.
Blizzard has introduced two new features into their hit RTS Starcraft II; one of which will greatly benefit fans of the Starcraft eSports scene and another which will allow players to play the game for free….Sort of.
In an effort to no doubt drum up appeal for the game, the new “Spawning” feature allows players who are using Starcraft II’s Starter Edition (a sort of “free trial” version which locks out many of the game’s features) to gain access to all of the content from both Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm as long as they’re in an online party with another player who already owns either of those games.
Spawning allows Starter Edition players full access to the game’s single-player story content as well as all of the online multiplayer content including custom game maps and modes, all team vs. A.I. modes, and all team competitive ladder modes. New achievements and portraits that are tied directly to the spawning system will hopefully encourage more and more players who own the game to spawn in their friends or at least friendly strangers.
Even better, spawning can also be used to allow players who own Wings of Liberty but not Heart of the Swarm to play through all of the HotS content as long as they’re in a party with another player who owns HotS.
Lastly, Blizzard has also debuted the official Starcraft II World Championship Series Portal (which can be found at http://www.starcraft2.com/wcs). The portal provides ready access to several Starcraft II eSports resources including up-to-date brackets for all regions, an integrated video player, competitor profiles, and the latest news and updates from both the Blizzard and eSports communities.