|Korea e-Sports Association|
|Parent Company:||Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism|
|Headquarters:||Seoul, South Korea|
|Key people:||Seo Jin-woo (Chief Executive)|
The Korea e-Sports Association, often abbreviated KeSPA, is a South Korean body established to manage e-sports in South Korea. This organisation oversees more than twenty e-sports, including StarCraft: Brood War.
For more than ten years, the KeSPA has overseen the Brood War professional scene. It has broadcast the games from two major channels, OnGameNet and MBCGame. Both of these channels had their own leagues, the OnGameNet Starleague (OSL) and the MBCGame StarCraft League (MSL). Players seeking to compete in a league had to acquire a Progaming License. This was either obtained by competing in the Courage tournament, a tournament held multiple times in a year, or was given by a professional StarCraft team. KeSPA also published a ranking of progamers based on their results in KeSPA-sanctioned leagues.
At the beginning of the StarCraft II beta phase, Blizzard Entertainment tried to promote its new game directly to the teams and players of the Brood War pro scene, but the invitation was turned down by most of the invites and the event was cancelled. This was perceived as the sign of a power struggle between Blizzard and the KeSPA. In April, Blizzard stated that, after three years of fruitless negotiations with the KeSPA, it was going to cease the talks and begin looking for a new partner in South Korea. The KeSPA put the blame on its American counterpart, and the two organisations seemed to be unable of working together. It then appeared that the KeSPA wouldn't take any role in the upcoming StarCraft II professional scene, as, on May 26th 2010, Blizzard and GOMTV signed a partnership agreement giving to this channel exclusive rights to broadcast e-Sports matches of Blizzard games for the next three years.
Subsequently, the KeSPA kept overseeing the Brood War events in South Korea, while GOMTV organised and broadcast the main Korean StarCraft II individual and team leagues. However, the Brood War scene suffered a series of losses in 2011 and 2012, with the end of the MSL and the reorientation of MBCGame channel toward music videos, as well as of the disbanding of three major teams (MBCGame HERO, WeMade FOX and Hwaseung Oz).
Over time KeSPA has stirred up controversy among fans, players, and coaches over its practice in its judgment on rules. The most controversial type of disqualifications have been over sending chat messages; some of the notable players who have been disqualified are Leta and GoRush. Many people on the Internet have displayed their discontent regarding these disciplinary actions against the players.
- ↑ "Pro-game teams snub Blizzard?". TeamLiquid.net, 3 March 2010.
- ↑ "Blizzard to cease negotiations with KeSPA". TeamLiquid.net, 25 April 2010.
- ↑ "KeSPA Speaks Out On Intellectual Property Rights". TeamLiquid.net, 4 May 2010.
- ↑ "GOM TV/Blizzard Sign Exclusive Broadcast Agreement". TeamLiquid.net, 27 May 2010