Bitcoin StarCraft Challenge Right Now!

Subject: General Tech | December 21, 2013 - 12:43 PM |
Tagged: Starcraft II, esports, bitcoin

Update: The main series prize pool was increased to 14 BTC in addition to 1 BTC for the intro match.

So Bitcoins are becoming popular and a legitimate currency. TotalBiscuit decided to create a StarCraft 2 tournament where they are the prize. At the time of the announcement, the 12 Bitcoin prize was valued at about $10,000. Currently, after a little issue in China, it is worth about $7000 to $8000 USD. The English casters are TotalBiscuit and IdrA with several other languages provided including Portuguese and Vietnamese.

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The headlining act is Scarlett versus NaNiwa in a best of 7 matchup. Also, they just announced an opening act for a single Bitcoin prize: iNcontroL versus Destiny in a best of 3. The latter pairing are two very comedic personalities. iNcontroL was a prominent player in the Starcraft: Brood War era while Destiny got popular in the StarCraft 2 Beta through Wings of Liberty.

Still no MULEs to mine Bitcoins though.

The stream is running now at TotalBiscuit's Twitch account.

The VoDs will be available later at his Youtube. Update: The specific playlist is here.

Read on after the teaser break for spoilers as we update throughout the event. Update: The match is now over. The full article contains summaries of each game.

The first game between iNcontroL and Destiny begun with a Stargate opening versus a flood of Zerglings. iNcontroL used some great forcefields to trap and wreck the Zerg swarm while, to the surprise of the casters, getting out an Oracle and few Void Rays. Both players pushed their unconventional play against one another and get decimated several times. Eventually this back and forth worked its way up to BroodLord and Swarm Host versus Tempests and a full Mothership. A few more instances of running head-first into brick walls and eventually the Protoss deathball succeeded.

iNcontroL wins round one and plays his victory music. Seriously. That was his victory music.

The second game opened with a different type of flare. Destiny got an earlier Spawning Pool than iNcontroL expected and was able to enter his main base with four Zerglings. He then lost every one as they were surrounded by iNcontroL's probes. Destiny, in the middle of the game, noted "some call me the NA version of Life" with his amazing Zergling micromanagement skills. The rest of Destiny's control was sufficient enough, however, to push iNcontroL back into his natural base. At the end of the match, iNcontroL helped Destiny's micro by pushing down his natural ramp and almost entirely surrounding his own army in Zerg.

Destiny wins round two.

In the ace match between the two players, iNcontroL starts with his first cannon rush. At the other end of the map he noticed Destiny opened with a very early pool. He did not even place his first pylon before aborting that mission and going home. On two bases he went down the Stargate path and picked up his Void Ray after one Oracle with sentries composition from the first game. He moved out onto creep and got wrecked before using his Mothership Core to recall home. He did manage to send his Zealots to Destiny's third base and kill it, however, despite losing most of his army. The Oracle did survive and continued to annoy and distract. Destiny then moved out with a pile of Roaches, Hydralisks, and Vipers. The Protoss got picked apart by Viper abductions pulling units one at a time into the Zerg ball.

Destiny wins round three, the entire matchup, and a whole single Bitcoin.

On to the main event. NaNiwa and Scarlett are competing for 14 Bitcoins which brings the value up near $9000 USD. It is not entirely winner takes all but the loser will get a very little amount of it. I am guessing the split is 12-to-2 but they are surprisingly quiet about those details.

It was revealed at the end of the matchup that the winner takes 11.2 Bitcoins (~$7300 at a current exchange of $650/BTC) and the loser, 2.8 (~$1800).

In the first round, NaNiwa and Scarlett (who is going by the name [Acer]TossImba) go up to two and three bases respectively. Scarlett expected he would warpgate rush but he, instead, got three Dark Templars into her base without detection. As the Zerg was being battered, NaNiwa got up double Stargate. He was unable to push in and take out her fourth base but he saved his army with a very low health Mothership Core recalling everything home. He came back over a half-dozen Phoenixes, over a half-dozen Void Rays, a few Archons, Zealots, and so forth. The fourth base fell and Scarlett called the game.

NaNiwa wins game one.

In the second round, Scarlett is actually playing as [Acer]Scarlett. As we all know, the most important information is the trolling (or lack thereof). Once again, nothing major occured until a three base and two base split between Zerg and Protoss. NaNiwa pushed up to Scarlett's third base and lost most of his Zealots to a Zergling surround. The eventual Zergling counterattack made its way into NaNiwa's base when his army was not home. NaNiwa went for a base trade and was unable to really do anything with it; several Fungal Growth spells chained together took his army down to a state that a handful of Zerglings finished off. The game eventually changed into Zergling, Infestors, and Ultralisks against Immortals and Storm High Templars. One good Psi Storm wrecked a pile of Zerglings but Scarlett still overrun him cleanly.

Scarlett wins game two.

In the third game, Scarlett chose her third base towards NaNiwa's direction. A Zealot four-gate destroyed it and pushed in to her natural base. An Oracle followed in and wrecked her drones. She kept in the game but, of course, could not make anything of it. Void Rays floated their way in and finished off the Zerg army.

NaNiwa wins a fairly quick game three.

The fourth game was a map that Scarlett hates. She got a very quick speed Zergling rush. NaNiwa cast Photon Overcharge but Scarlett had plenty of Zerglings. Fourteen workers were killed and his economy was sent into shambles, but Zerg was not miles ahead on economy. NaNiwa decided a one base Sentry all-in was the choice. Scarlett built a half dozen static defenses that NaNiwa walked right on past before they finished building. He locked himself into her main base with Sentries and killed many probes. Scarlett lost her lead and NaNiwa took his third base with an advantage in workers. Both armies build up in tech and size although Scarlett took several bases (two of which on NaNiwa's side of the map). Protoss pushed into Scarlett's base in NaNiwa's fourth position and broke it with Storms. A base race wrecked both players but Scarlett less-so.

Scarlett ties up the series in game four on her unfavored map.

The fifth game started fairly quiet for the first several minutes while NaNiwa prepared a two base rush with four Warp Gates. Three Dark Templars were warped in and killed one of Scarlett's bases. He was able to Mass Recall home and convert those Dark Templars into two Archons which were dropped back in another one of Scarlett's bases along with a Zealot warp in. She counterattacked with Mutalisks but was unable to do much with them. She continued to expand the flying ball against a flood of Blink-upgraded Stalkers. NaNiwa split them off into groups and destroyed all of her technology. They danced around the map basically without any income. Eventually, and I do mean eventually, the Protoss ball rolls over the Zerg.

NaNiwa wins game five and puts him within one game of winning.

The sixth game started with a four gate.  Several waves of four Zealots were warped in and wrecked Scarlett's day. She was down to barely one base which had about eleven Zealots and a Mothership Core in it. As soon as she saw the Oracle without any anti-air to speak of, she tapped out.

NaNiwa wins game six, the series, and 11.2 of the 14 Bitcoins.

Source: TotalBiscuit

December 21, 2013 | 04:54 PM - Posted by Dares (not verified)

Come on...bitcoins are a fad. Traditional currencies might not be the gold-standards they used to be, but they're not completely fictional and completely worthless as bitcoins are going to turn out to be.

There's NOTHING backing up bitcoins. No gold, no governments, no real value. Just "let's call this money, until someone realizes we're being daft and it all turns into dust".

It's only worth something as long as people keep talking it up. Just like any other pyramid scheme.

December 21, 2013 | 05:14 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

It's the same thing backing up every currency: an ongoing mutual agreement between all parties.

Bitcoin is also not anywhere close to the definition of a pyramid scheme. First and foremost: full transactions occur on a peer-to-peer basis, not a pyramid, and the derivation of additional currency is free (and decentralized at that).

Now, of course, there are many potential (and instincts say likely) problems that can arise with hording and such. They're not pyramid schemes though. Don't toss that term around willy-nilly.

December 23, 2013 | 04:10 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Other than the increasing computational power it takes to mine the fixed number of total bitcoin, how many places will directly convert bitcoin into other currencies? Also bitcoin is sort of a non govermental Fiat currency, with no tangible backing, and once all the Bitcoins are hashed, the only thing remaining is subdividing the bitcoins, and that can degrade into a defacto unlimited minting of the fractional bitcoins, and rapid devaluation, if the process is not controllable by some collective agreement, as Each bitcoin can be subdivided into 100 million egual units. Any exchange currency with rapid, unpredictable value fluctuations is soon going to run into trust problems as a medium of exchange! Bitcoins sort of remind me of collateralized debt obligations and their tranches, only with out any collateral, and when the last bitcoin is mined out, or even before, if to many tranches(subdivisions) happen, and have to be linked back to the orginal bitcoin from which they were created, and each successive division linked back, layer upon layer, the computing power to handle the back checking, and dual menting protections, will become exponential.

December 23, 2013 | 08:40 AM - Posted by phearbot

While it's true it isn't necessarily backed by a gold standard or a government, currency is really just whatever people agree upon trading with. The important thing it has is restriction mechanisms so it's not easily forged or reproduced, and so it can somewhat hold it's value.

Will it last forever? Nothing ever does, but to fully discount on it and call it simply a fad or a pyramid scheme seem a little short-sighted. At a minimum I think it's an important interim currency as the world is exploring digital currencies.

December 21, 2013 | 05:43 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I've got my money in Tulips, and the hashcode in stored in the DNA!

Maybe, just maybe, we should as that famous psychohistorian
Hari Seldon, or his protege Yugo Amaryl, or maybe P. T. Barnum!

December 21, 2013 | 05:48 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

edit as to : Ask.

December 21, 2013 | 05:46 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Your spam filter is blocking wikipedia refrences, please google: Tulip Craze to see the refrence that should have been accepted by spam filter!

December 21, 2013 | 07:15 PM - Posted by snook

didn't bitcoin just have a large drop in value?
sad, the "prize" is taking the same hit.
still free money, in a sense, is a win.

December 21, 2013 | 11:59 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

He got over $7000 worth of Bitcoins. Sure, $11,000 would be that much better, but it is nothing to sneer at.

December 24, 2013 | 04:53 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Yes if you are winning bitcoins as a prize, and have no bitcoins to begin with, but what about someone who receives bitcoins as a payment for goods or services, who is going to pay Quants (quantitative analysts) to quantify the bitcoin market volatility indices, for a current index number, to factor the costs of bitcoin price fluctuations into the sales prices of the goods or services so the trader/s is/are not left holding a bit bag of devalued bitcoin! The big players will have the Quants, but what about the small players, and for trade these market metrics are a vital necessity! Volatility can ruin your day, or your business, and just look at Argentine hyper-inflation of the 1980s, one wheelbarrow full of cash for one loaf bread, and the daily spend it now or it will be worthless by the evening's news. If you want truely sane money/monetary policy, move to the channel islands with their monetary policy of only allowing sufficient money supply to cover actual wages/earnings, and a currency that is not legal tender outside of the politically incorporated area/nation. Use Gold to trade, or any other rare element, that gets rid of the Fiat money and the currency/economic speculation that goes with it, and the debt driven economies! Just going back to bartering would keep many economic items/production local.

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