North American Star League

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North American Star League
NASLBannerS3.png
General Information
Industry: Professional Gaming League
Founded: 2011
Headquarters: Rancho Cucamonga, California, USA
Key people: Russell Pfister (CEO)
Mark K. Brown (COO)
Ken Silva (League Commissioner)
Employees: Ben "Mr. Bitter" Nichol
Kevin "RotterdaM" van der Kooi
Andre "Gretorp" Hengchua
Dan "Frodan" Chou
Events: North American Star League
Website: nasl.tv
Twitter
Facebook
YouTube




History[edit]

Season 1[edit]

The North American Star League, often abbreviated as NASL, is a competitive StarCraft 2 league that was introduced in February 2011. At the time of its introduction, the NASL was the first American league to rival the Global Starcraft 2 League (GSL), a South Korean production, in numbers of participating players as well as the size of the prize pool.[1]

The mission of the NASL is to foster the prominence of eSports and professional StarCraft 2 play in North America through highly visible, organized and invigorating competition.

Season 1 Player Selection[edit]

To select the participants for the first season, players were asked to submit videos to the NASL leadership answering a series of questions designed to gauge fan interest in the players. The staff reviewed the video interviews as well as community feedback via polls and invited 50 players to participate in the first league.

NASL Tournament Format Graph

The initial 50 players were then seeded into five divisions of ten players each. During the "season play" each division played a round robin schedule of best-of-three matches. The regular season matches were casted live by Geoff "iNcontroL" Robinson and Andre "Gretorp" Hengchua and rebroadcast throughout the week. After the round robins were completed, the top two players from each division advanced to the grand finals, a 16 player live event to determine the winner of the season, and the remaining 40 players were ranked. The top half of the remaining players played in a two round "playoff" tournament where the top 5 players advanced to the grand finals. The final seed in the grand finals was awarded to the winner of a 1024 player open tournament.

Season 1 Grand Finals[edit]

The first grand finals, a four round, single-elimination tournament was held in Ontario, California on July 8-10th. The open tournament victor, PuMa went on to win the event and the $50,000 first prize. The event was fraught with technical difficulties and drew some criticism from the gaming community. However, the event was, overall, deemed a success by the Team Liquid writing staff.[2]

Season 2[edit]

The second season of the NASL got off to a rocky start. A conflict over travel stipends caused several Korean teams to withdraw their participation in the league.[3] This caused the league to downsize to five divisions of eight players apiece. Additionally, latency issues caused Fenix to drop out of the league after six weeks of play.[4] The format stayed essentially the same, with ten spots in the grand finals going to the division winners, five spots to the playoff winners, and a final spot to the open tournament champion.

Season 2 Grand Finals[edit]

The second grand finals was held December 2nd-4th. The second incarnation of the event faced far fewer technical difficulties than the first, and fans in Ontario, CA watched PuMa capture his second NASL title over HerO, a rematch of the DreamHack Winter 2011 finals the week prior.

North American Star Team League[edit]

The North American Star Team League was announced on January 3rd, 2012.[5] The NASL Team League was an online team tournament played in the off-season between NASL Season 2 and NASL Season 3. The top four teams from the GosuCoaching Premiere League Season 2, Evil Geniuses, Empire, Mouz, and Team Liquid, along with four teams selected from two online qualifiers competed in the two-month-long league.

Season 3[edit]

For Season 3, NASL underwent a number of branding and employee changes. The organization updated the look of their logo, and hired the casting duo of MrBitter and RotterdaM as well as a third caster, Frodan.[6] A number of changes were made to their regular season play as well: effort is made to play and cast games live, and the winner of each match throughout the regular season is awarded $150.[7] Finally, it was announced that the Season 3 finals are going to be held at the International Centre in Toronto, Canada.[8][9]

Partnership with CBS Interactive[edit]

On April 17, 2012, it was reported that NASL has partnered with CBS Interactive.[10][11][12]

The Gauntlet - A King of the Hill Series[edit]

The Gauntlet, a regional King of the Hill event, was announced on July 31st, 2012.[13] Each week, there would be three king of the hill events; one for North America, Europe and Korea. Each event will feature 10 Grandmaster level players from the region, competing for prize money in each match as well as the chance to come back for a final event at the end of the series.

Tournaments[edit]

Starleague Date Winner Runner-Up TL Articles
North American Star League Season 1 2011 (2011-04-05 – 2011-07-10) Ticon small.png PuMa Picon small.png MC R&S
North American Star League Season 2 2011 (2011-08-30 – 2011-12-04) Ticon small.png PuMa Picon small.png HerO [ R&S]
North American Star League Season 3 2012 (2012-04-11 – 2012-07-15) Zicon small.png Stephano Picon small.png Alicia [ R&S]
North American Star League Season 4 2012 (2012-09-12 – 2012-12-09) Picon small.png HerO Zicon small.png viOLet [ R&S]
Teamleague Date Winner Runner-Up TL Articles
North American Star Team League 2012 (2012-01-19 – 2012-03-18) Liquidlogo std.png Team Liquid Mouzlogo std.png mousesports [ R&S]

Medals won per Race[edit]

Race Gold.png Silver.png Bronze.png
Ticon small.png Terran 2 0 1
Zicon small.png Zerg 1 1 2
Picon small.png Protoss 1 3 1

Medals won per Player[edit]

Gold[edit]

Gold.pngGold.png    South Korea Ticon small.png PuMa
Gold.png    France Zicon small.png Stephano  -  South Korea Picon small.png HerO

Silver[edit]

Silver.png    South Korea Picon small.png MC  -  South Korea Picon small.png HerO  -  South Korea Picon small.png Alicia  -  South Korea Zicon small.png viOLet

Bronze[edit]

Bronze.pngBronze.png    Taiwan Zicon small.png Sen
Bronze.png    South Korea Picon small.png MC  -  South Korea Ticon small.png Polt

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Official NASL Thread
  2. NASL - The Verdict
  3. Korean Teams Withdraw from NASL
  4. Fenix No Longer in NASL
  5. NASL Team League
  6. Mr. Bitter, RotterdaM, and Frodan Join for NASL Season 3 NASL.tv, 28 March 2012, last accessed 17 April 2012.
  7. NASL Season 3 Details NASL.tv, 29 March 2012, last accessed 17 April 2012.
  8. NASL Season 3 Finals - Toronto, Canada AxelTVx, TeamLiquid.net, 4 April 2012, last accessed 17 April 2012.
  9. NASL Season 3 Caster Interview - Mr. Bitter - Part 2 NASL, YouTube.com, 3 April 2012, last accessed 17 April 2012.
  10. CBS Interactive Games Links Twitch.tv with GameSpot, Partners with Pro Gamer Orgs Sam Thielman, Adweek, 17 April 2012, last accessed 17 April 2012.
  11. CBS Interactive partners with Twitch.tv and Major League Gaming to form esports behemoth Alex Wilhelm, TNW Insider, 17 April 2012, last accessed 17 April 2012.
  12. Gretorp announces NASL and CBSi partnership on his personal Twitter account
  13. The Gauntlet
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