Blizzard Entertainment may soon announce the remake of an all-time esports classic.
Released in 1999, StarCraft: Brood War is still widely considered to be one of the most complex and individually taxing esports in history due to its variety in strategy, and still has something of a cult fanbase in the west. In South Korea, however, the game enjoyed a period of almost 11 years at the top of the country’s esports circuit, and is still widely popular among the nation’s many PC Bangs (internet cafés).
Said to feature up-to-date graphics, and integration into Blizzard’s online platform Battle.net, StarCraft Remastered won’t change any of the gameplay aspects from the original Brood War release. This is an approach similar to that of Valve’s MOBA Dota 2, which acted primarily as an updated version of its predecessor.
Despite Brood War’s long period as the top esport in South Korea, the circuit was rocked in 2010 after it was revealed that several of the game’s top players had been implicated in a widespread match-fixing network. Several organizations elected to cease operations or pull support for Brood War as a result of the revelations, although a decrease in viewers is also commonly cited as a reason for the game’s demise.
Additionally, MBCGame, one of the two major television networks that broadcasted Brood War, ceased operations on Jan. 31, 2012. Leaving only OnGame Net as the sole broadcaster and tournament organizer left to cover the game.
Enjoying no support from major South Korean teams or sponsors, competitive Brood War began occupying the South Korean streaming platform Afreeca, as minor tournaments were being hosted by enthusiasts. Eventually, however, the events attracted some of Brood War’s most-established names, such as Kim “Bisu” Taek Yong, to compete, following mixed results in the game’s sequel StarCraft 2. Incidentally, the sequel never enjoyed the same success as its predecessor in South Korea in terms of popularity or esports.