Coming off the heels of the recent 1.2 patch announcement, fans may know that Blizzard has decided to spice things for the best of Battle.net. Specifically, the developer has added the Master League, an all new top-flight league for the most elite StarCraft 2 players.
Whereas most leagues divy up players in schools of 20% (Bronze for the bottom 20%, Diamond at the top), this league will only be available to the top 2% of active players. If that doesn't sound exclusive enough, Blizzard further mentioned that they're making this as a transition before introducing the even more exclusive Grandmaster League, which will encompass the top 200 players from each region. Gamers who qualify for that are probably making a living off playing the game.
Since the Diamond League only accounts for the top 20% of active players, the top leaders in each division of Diamond may not be promoted to the Masters. The Battle.net automated placement systems determines who will be promoted by comparing a given player's matches with all the other players in their region, so for those who are a bit low on the rank, it's not too late to hassle into fighting contention. Players who are in a spot to be promoted still have to win a match to get a promotion, so they can't sit there turtling - in the lobby, we mean.
Blizzard also took a moment to mention that eventually, they will reset the leagues -- meaning that all battle stats will be reset and everyone will start on even ground. While some may lament the loss of precious records, it's healthy for the league system as a whole and creates a lot of activity -- people are encouraged by a suddenly even chance at a run for the Masters, just like any sports team at the beginning of a season.
Blizzard topped off he announcement with a lovely farewell to their community:
"It's important to us that the StarCraft II matching system provides fast, fair, and fun competition for everyone, and we'll continue to improve the league and ladder system to provide a great gameplay experience for all of our players. We hope you've been enjoying yourself so far, and we look forward to sharing more of our plans in the future."
What do you think about the announcement of a Masters League? Are you, or any of your friends, in contention to earn placement in such a prestigious division? We look forward to hearing your thoughts, and seeing many battles unfold between the elite.