A sense of play: the Worldbuilders Starcraft Tournament

Last year as a part of our Worldbuilders fundraiser, the folks at Cards Against Humanity helped us put on a very-last-minute Overwatch Tournament.

It was a smashing success, and this year we decided to try something similar and have a 2v2 Starcraft Tournament.

Now first off, I’d like to make it clear that I did not pick the game. At first I thought we might be playing PUBG. Which I am hilariously bad at. Or maybe Rocket League, which I have never played at all.

But they picked the original Starcraft. A game I actually used to play back in the day. Back in the beforetimes. Back when you could even have considered me to be, in some small way, l33t.

Now I’m not saying I was the best at Starcraft or anything. But I *am* saying that I used to play against 3 AI opponents set to the highest level of difficulty. And I would win. I would win while laughing maniacally.

Admittedly, that was… oh sweet christ… More than 17 years ago. So there might have been some *minor* skill degradation since then.

What I’m really getting at here is that if I’m awesome at this game, I expect you to be really impressed and assume it’s because I’m possessed of nigh-godlike powers. But if I suck at it, it’s really not my fault. Can we agree to those terms?

Okay. Great. Good talk.

Last year we pitched our Tournament as kind of a Hunger Games style thing. Which is fairly appropriate, as we *are* combating hunger.

What’s more, we have ten teams, and each of them will have a donation page. (see below) All that money will be part of the Worldbuilders fundraiser, and 100% of it will get passed along to Heifer International. (Also, you’ll be entered into the Worldbuilders prize lottery, getting a chance to win cool swag for every $10 you kick in.)

The meta-game, if you will, is that each team will be trying to raise more money than their opponents. Fundraising will be incentivized by the simple fact that when each team goes head-to-head, the one that’s raised the most money (as of 10 minutes before the match starting) will get a tactical advantage over their opponent.

The other team will not get an advantage. Very much not. In fact, they will be exiled to the outer darkness, where they will doubtless wail and gnash their teeth in impotent rage.

Here’s our full list of the teams:

The links will take you to their pages where you can donate to support them (and, of course) feed hungry kids.

The tournament starts on Monday, December 4, with our first round of matches. Wednesday, December 6, will have the second round of matches and the Championship Game.

Even better, this tournament will have honest-to-goodness commentators hosting the full event from the Cards Against Humanity office studio. Pre-game talk will be beginning at 7:30pm CST both days, with the first matches of the night starting at 8pm CST.

Our commentators will be Chris Geiger and Mary Beth Smith of The Nerdologues, some real professional comedians, and they’ll be explaining what’s going on, as well as keeping you up to date on the funds raised and other interesting facts about Worldbuilders and the tournament in general.

You’ll be able to watch the entire thing on the Worldbuilders Twitch channel, and I’ll be rebroadcasting it on my channel as well. The first night is scheduled to run until about 11pm CST or so, and you’ll be able to pop into the twitch anytime and see the games or the hosts working their magic.

Below we have a lovely bracket graphic that breaks down the schedule, as well as shows you who all of our teams are in a more graphic sense, in case that is a little more up your alley than a bulleted list.


If you’ve never been on Twitch before, I’d encourage you to create an account (it’s free) so you can join the chat. (You can also follow my channel if you like, so you can catch me when I stream games, do Q&As, or have conversations with cool folks.)

Okay, that’s it. Donate to your favorite geeks team’s pages to make sure they have an unfair advantage during their melee. Join us next Monday and Wednesday to watch people blow each other to kingdom come. For charity.

Later Space Cowboys,


This entry was posted in Beautiful Games, Worldbuilders 2017. By Pat14 Responses


  1. Jsherry
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

    On an unrelated note, every time you sign off using “Space Cowboys,” I instantly think of the glorious, messy wonder that is Battle Beyond the Stars.

    As always, the movie remains both silly and somehow relevant (and always awesome):
    “…the Akira believe that no form ends until all the lives that it has touched are ended, until all the good that it has done is gone.”

    • Posted November 29, 2017 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

      Heh. I meant it to be a reference to Cowboy Bebop….

      • James
        Posted November 30, 2017 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

        I always figured it was an oblique Firefly reference.

  2. PostPostModernism
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 11:59 AM | Permalink

    This is so cool! Have you guys tried reaching out to any professional starcraft people for this? If you need another commentator, I would suggest talking to Sean “Day9” Plott – he has been doing this for almost as long as Starcraft has been a thing and may be willing to help out a good cause like this – or at least help blast out awareness of the tournament to starcraft-minded people! I’m going to post this to the Starcraft subreddit for awareness.

    • AlNaw
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

      Somehow getting Day9 involved was my first thought, too. Maybe if we mention him enough he will be summoned.

      Also, for folks new to the game looking for a primer, Day9 has been doing a Let’s Learn Starcraft series on youtube.

      Good luck everyone!

  3. ASamuelson
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    StarCraft was the addiction that almost cost me my graduate career. =Apoptosis= was a feared name on BattleNet back in 1997-98. Many a night in the post-doc offices after 8 pm did we go to battle until the sun began to dawn. Just say’n.

    P.S. Pat definitely practice. We dusted off SC last year and I was shocked at how badly my response times had deteriorated. And you and I are of a similar age. Good luck!

    • ASamuelson
      Posted November 29, 2017 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

      P.S. I am available if you need a last minute substitution…

      • Posted November 29, 2017 at 12:50 PM | Permalink

        Heh. The term you might be looking for there is, “ringer.”

  4. Alphonse
    Posted November 29, 2017 at 5:22 PM | Permalink

    8 pm CST is way late in the night for me (especially on a weekday).
    But I wouldn’t mind watching the matches on youtube later on…

    • Posted December 1, 2017 at 1:14 AM | Permalink

      Twitch also archives the videos….

      • Alphonse
        Posted December 1, 2017 at 3:18 AM | Permalink

        Au temps pour moi…

  5. Micah
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 1:05 PM | Permalink

    R0(|<37 |_346|_|3 <3 :)

  6. jkester1986
    Posted November 30, 2017 at 9:19 PM | Permalink

    Cards Against Humanity…you mean Prongles? :P

  7. choefer
    Posted December 1, 2017 at 7:01 AM | Permalink

    You realize that you are creating a good bit of pain for the peeps in the east, right? For those of us that have to get up at 0500… now I’m going to be up until 2300 EST just to watch you guys go at it live.

    All complaints aside, is there any way to do a fan competition for Worldbuilders?

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