Japanese SC2 scene
History of the Japanese SC2 pro-scene
Background: Pre-beta times
PC games in general are not as popular in Japan as they are in South Korea or America, and thus Brood War never had the same following that it had in other countries and there was not much of a pro-scene at all.
In 2007, JeSPA, (日本eスポーツ協会準備委員会 or Japan e-Sports Society Arrangement Committee, or simply Japan's e-Sports Association) was founded, and in co-operation with KeSPA, a Brood War show match between ToSsGirL and NaDa was held, as well as matches between Japanese and Korean players in other games such as Tekken and Street Basketball.
In 2008, StarCraft Times, a Japanese site dedicated to Professional Korean StarCraft popped up. Although consisting of a small group of people, it managed to deliver updates and reports of Korean pro-gaming in Japanese and one of its members, Sugeo, made quite a few Japanese language commentaries of Korean games. He also commentated some of Blizzard's Battle Reports.
The Beta in Japan
In April 2010, StarCraft Times decided that they should cover SC2 as well as the BW scene and ran a number of "catch-up articles" on it (since the beta had been going on for two months already). However, there are no reports of any beta tournaments or the like happening in Japan.
Another site, that begain in June 2009, but laid pretty dormant until beta, simply called StarCraft II JP Community, arranged a beta tournament for SC2 May 29th 2010 called クローズドベータ終了記念 1vs1 トーナメント, Closed Beta Shûryô Kinen or Closed Beta Closing Memory 1vs1 Tournament. It was a 1v1 single-elimination tournament with 21 participants. It was won by odoita (Results) and featured nazomen, who played against BoxeR in IEF2009 and took 4th place in Shûryô Kinen. There were also VODs with Japanese commentary.
No official Japanese version of neither SC2 nor Blizzard pages have been announced. Moreover, the relationship between JeSPA and KeSPA might influence JeSPA's policy towards SC2.
Wings of Liberty
It might be interesting to note that the version of SC2 which was sold at amazon.co.jp was in fact the North American version. Thus, many Japanese might be playing NA servers and some of the tournaments require the participants to play on the US server.
Quickly after the release of Wings of Liberty, in August, the StarCraft II JP Community arranged a tournament, simply named 1st SC2JC 1vs1 Tournament. It was divided into three separate brackets; Novice for the players in Bronze or Silver, Gold for the players in Gold or Platinum and Master for the players in Diamond, with 44, 37 and 40 players, respectively. (Novice brackets, Gold brackets, Master brackets). The master tournament was won by saito.
Another site that was quick to pick up SC2 as an e-Sport was the Japanese e-Sports site CyAC, Cyber Athlete Competition. In the end of August, they arranged a tournament with 21 participants called StarCraft II Open Cup #1. The winner was nanasisan (brackets).
In September, SC2JPC arranged another tournament, following the same format with Novice, Gold and Master brackets, but this time divided into several stages and being played the whole month. This tournament structure is still in use and runs each month over 4 stages. The fourth tournament is due to on the 27th of February. Tournament listings
Razer ran a tournament on the 26th of February in conjunction with The CYAC. A 32 Man tournament with the winner taking home 50,000 Yen and a host of Razer products. Tournament SorrowRush took first place, with pixtar and KurOa taking second and third.
The CYAC E-Sports National tournament is due to take place on the 12th of March 2011. Qualifying started on the 11th of December. 8 Players were initially seeded into the second round. Then 2 qualifying stages of 32 players (Played on the 11th and 25th of December respectively) were played. The top 4 players from each of these two open qualifiers were placed into a round robin with the seeded 8, creating 4 groups of 4. The top 2 from each group qualified and will play in the finals on March 12th for part of a 100k Yen prize pool. Tournament Page
- odoita - winner of the Shûryô Kinen Tournament.
- saito - winner of the first SC2JC tournament.
- nanasisan - winner of CyAC StarCraft II Open Cup #1.
- nemuke - Japan representative in Electronic Sports World Cup 2011.
- breek - Japan representative in World Cyber Games 2011; retired.