The Starcraft II weekly cup caster organisation BaseTradeTV has announced sponsorship of professional Starcraft II player Han “ByuL” Ji Won.
The Canadian organisation has announced that they will be offering a “short-term test contract” initially.
ByuL is currently teamless, having last played for the South Korean organisation CJ Entus until they disbanded their Starcraft roster back in October of last year. Under them, ByuL managed to place 2nd at the 2015 Global Starcraft II League Season 3 and 3-4th at IEM Season XI – Gyeonggi while teamless.
BaseTradeTV announced their first live event back in 2015 with the prize pool and player travel funds provided by a Kickstarter which more than doubled its goal of CA$ 6,015, gaining a total of CA$ 27,559 (£15,000). This is the first time BaseTradeTV has sponsored a player, which means that if it goes well, they could branch out and sponsor more players in the future.
The professional scene of Starcraft II took a major hit back in October when KeSPA decided to discontinue its ProLeague after 14 years of running. KeSPA chairman Jun Byung-hun cited that the reason for this was “a drop in the number of ProLeague teams and players, difficulty securing sponsorships and match-fixing issues as elements that led to the closing of ProLeague.”
This led to a number of big teams like SK Telecom T1, KT Rolster, Samsung Galaxy, CJ Entrus and MVP disbanding their Starcraft II rosters. While other teams exist, like Splyce, Dead Pixels, IsIMBA and Jin Air Green Wings, having big name orgs like SKT and Samsung Galaxy leave, really hurt the game’s reputation.
Esports Insider says: Starcraft is one of the oldest esports titles that still exists. If a company dedicated to developing a community like BaseTradeTV begins sponsoring smaller players, then perhaps the game will have another chance at being a popular esports game once more.