Yesterday the SC2Improve Team League became one year old! It's absolutely crazy to think that it has been an entire year since I first announced the team league - but even crazier to look back and to see just how far we have come. In our first Season we saw about 50 teams play in four groups towards a playoffs. Season two did not see much growth in number of teams but did see the introduction of two separate divisions. Now in our third season we believe we are one of the strongest team leagues out there with over 80 teams competing across three divisions of play. So far the team league has been a huge success - but we only have bigger and better plans for the future which I will talk about in a moment!
First of all I want to say thank you to everybody who has made the team league such a success so far. Most importantly the teams and players who compete in the team league every single week. It's amazing to consider that throughout a season we have hundreds of different players from all around the world coming together to compete in this singular tournament. What's even more amazing is seeing how eager you guys are for the new season to begin once we finish our previous season.
Of course the team league is also made awesome by everybody who comes out and supports us when we are streaming. As time goes on we have only seen the numbers increase for the SC2ITL broadcasts. We are hoping that by the time Season 4 comes around we will have a whole new way to reward you guys and to get everybody more involved which will also reward our subscribers.
I would be lying if saying running the team league has been a breeze. For me personally it has been an absolutely HUGE learning experience and I have faced issues I have not come across before. The largest piece of drama was the Krr smurfing incident (http://www.sc2improve.net/blog/2014/6/10/games-vs-ruw-voided-due-to-account-sharing) which lead to him being banned from Season 3 of WCS. Thankfully the drama has been very minimal with only one or two major incidents every season.
The combination of improving what teams can do on their own (automated results reporting, etc) and the teams becoming very independent at scheduling their own matches has made a monumental difference in the ease of running the league. On average in Season 3 I only have to do around 5-6 hours of admin work a week to keep everything rolling over nicely.
Being half-way through Season 3 means that Season 4 is already in the planning and I think it's only right to reveal some of the plans for Season 4 to you guys now! Thing are looking incredibly positive for the fourth season. I believe that Season 3 will almost break even in terms of cost, after introducing an entry-fee for the First Division as well as with the ad-revenue from the crazy number of streams we have been trying to put on.
This means going into Season 4 we are going to look at once again increasing the prize pool. Nothing is definite yet and I need to do some research to see what sort of increase would realistically benefit the league while being cost effective (seeing which new teams would sign up because of an increased prize pool and so on.) The current plan is to put about €750 of my own money into the initial prize pool. Entry fees will look to bring this up to €1000 for our base prize pool. From here I believe I am going to be able to secure at least a further €500 from sponsors I am already in touch with.
I am also going to go on a major sponsorship-campaign to bring in some products and hopefully another €500 or so, to bring us to a prize pool which values just under €2500. Right now this is of course all just a plan and it will depend on multiple factors -- but I truly believe it can be done and it is going to be my sole focus in my free-time for the coming weeks.
I hope this gets you guys as excited for Season 4 as it gets me. Thank you all again for bringing us this far - and here is to taking it to a whole new level once again.