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Starcraft 2’s most elite league is finally returning, with season 1 of the Global Starcraft League kicking off on March 21.

The event marks the start of the game’s competitive circuit, which wrapped up with the world championship, IEM Katowice, at the end of February. Now, players are back to square one, competing in official ESL Pro Tour events as they aim to gather points to qualify for the next world championship.

This makes the GSL one of the most important tournaments of the year for players. Winning the event is almost enough to guarantee a place at the next IEM Katowice and for other players, every single placement matters in terms of points. As such, we can expect every single match in the GSL to be of the highest quality.

Before we take a look at the event in more detail, make sure to refresh yourself on all things Starcraft 2, and let’s dive right in.

Who’s Playing In Global Starcraft League Season 1 2022?

This season of the GSL will see 20 of the best players in Korea battle it out. Of those players, the top four of an earlier event, the Super Tournament, were given a direct seed, while the other 16 had to fight through a lengthy open qualifier to secure their spot.

We’ll see many of the usual favorites like Maru, Dark, Rogue, Trap and more at the event, as well as some underdogs making a return like DRG, herO and Nightmare. Overall, the tournament is also fairly balanced in terms of races, with seven Protoss and Terran players and six Zerg players. No matter which race is your favorite, you’ll see plenty of it.

When it comes to the event itself, it’ll be played out in a fairly standard GSL format, with a slight twist. It kicks off with five groups of four players, with the top two of each group advancing and the others being eliminated. In this stage, the groups are played in a double-elimination format, meaning once players lose two series, they are out.

The top 10 players then move on to the second group stage, featuring two groups of five. Here, players battle it out in a round-robin format, facing every other player in their group once. The bottom two players of each group are then eliminated and the first player in each group advances to the playoffs. There’s also a little twist this time around, with the second- and third-place players fighting it out in a “mini-playoffs” to see which two players advance to the final stage.

Last but not least come the playoffs, where players are seeded based on results and battle it out in a single-elimination playoff bracket.

Odds to Win Starcraft 2 GSL Season 1
Player Odds
Maru +200
Rogue +240
Dark +375
Trap +850
Cure +1000
Zest +1400
Zoun +1400
Byun +2000
Dream +2500
Solar +2500
Classic +3000
herO +3000
Bunny +3000
DRG +3500
Ragnarok +3500
Creator +5000
Armani +5000
Ryung +6600
Gumiho +25000
Nightmare +50000

Odds as of March 19 at Betway

Maru Looks To Bounce Back After Tough IEM Katowice Elimination

Maru enters this season of the GSL as a solid favorite, having been one of the best performing players in recent history.

The Terran player is a Starcraft prodigy, having competed at the highest level since 2012 (making his pro debut at just 13 years old) and never really slowing down. He did have a rough event at IEM Katowice, where he was defeated by eventual champion Serral in the quarterfinals.

However, there’s no Serral in Korea and Maru always has a good shot to win any event he’s playing in. His raw talent makes him a player to be feared and he’ll definitely be looking to bounce back and start the new competitive circuit strong.

With odds of +200 on Betway, or implied odds of 33.33 percent to win according to our Super Calculator, the favorite is a strong pick, but the odds also show the competitive nature of the GSL, where things are as competitive as can be.

Will Rogue Continue New Year Winning Streak? 

Rogue enters just behind Maru in the odds and is another key player to watch in this season of the GSL.

The Zerg player has always been one of the best and enters in not only solid form, having seen a handful of strong placements recently, but is also on an impressive start-of-the-year streak. In three of the last four years, Rogue has won a major tournament at the start of the year – either IEM Katowice or GSL season 1.

He bowed out of Katowice in 3rd-4th place this year, so if he can continue his streak, the GSL trophy is definitely in the cards. Considering his overall incredible level of play, his form and his streak, Rogue is definitely one to watch.

Can Dark Finally Rediscover His Form?

There was a time when any tournament Dark entered saw him end up on the podium. He was on top of the world and it was very rare to see anyone stop him.

Recently, however, things haven’t been going so well. The potential is still there and it’s easy to see sparks of brilliance, but he has been falling short throughout 2021, with over a dozen big events played and just one notable result – a triumph in season 2 of the GSL.

Dark will no doubt be looking to regain his form and get back on top – and what better place to do just that than the start of a new competitive circuit?