Leg 1 of the NGL StarCraft II Online League has been completed, and registrations are now open to all players wanting to compete in Leg 2. The online league is hosted on the PolarfluKe website and you can go here to register.

We spoke to Matthew Merks, Managing Director of PolarfluKe, to get an update on the league.

NAG: How has Leg 1 of the league gone? And what has been the response so far from the SCII community?

Leg 1 was very successful.  Having 80 entries to the first leg of a new league is something to be very positive about.  The response has been very positive from the community who have jumped at the chance to have an additional opportunity for competitive play.

NAG: Do you have to have played in Leg 1 to enter Leg 2?

There are no restrictions based on previous legs for players.  The only thing to take into consideration are seedings when it comes to picking players for the grand finals at rAge, where top seeded players and players who have supported the league will be considered first.

NAG: What in your opinion is the general calibre of play in SA compared to some of the professional international players?

Our community has a long way to go, but we are seeing signs from the top players that they do have the skills and talent to make the move to the professional scene.  We can only get better as we move forward.

NAG: How big is the local SCII community and do you think we will see some new talent making an appearance in Leg 2?

The local community is the largest we have ever had for a RTS game and we are seeing new talent making its way through all the time.  Leg 2 will just solidify names that have emerged in the community.

NAG: How would a new player get involved in competing locally? Are there any resources available for them to better their playing skills?

The best way to get involved is just to play.  Play in the ladder, play in the local leagues and tournaments.  When it comes to StarCraft II, practice makes perfect is the best saying.  For resources players need look no further than www.PolarfluKe.co.za for locally hosted tournaments and www.TeamLiquid.net for general resources to better their play.

NAG: In your experience does the release of an expansion to a game, in this instance Heart of the Swarm due for release later this year, bring new talent and skill to the fore, or do you generally find existing top rated players moving over and dominating?

Top players will definitely have an advantage over new players when the expansions come.  But a new expansion brings back a lot of players who may have dropped from the competitive scene and brings a lot of new players to the game.  We should see some promising talent who will be able to take on the current top players in the months after Heart of the Swarm’s release.

NAG: Where would you like to see the SCII community going to ensure we stay on par with international player standards?

I would like to see more of the community taking an active part in the scene.  By this I mean that players need to start showing support for the sponsors of the local leagues and tournaments.  A simple email to a sponsor makes all the difference and at the end of the day gives the sponsors what they are looking for.  If our sponsors are happy, they can make the community happier and help us really drive forward with current and future events.  Players really need to take the initiative to move to a standard with international players.  Playing a couple of league games a week is a good start, but players need to be playing on the ladder and playing in international tournaments as well.  StarCraft II is evolving very quickly in the international scene and it takes a lot of work to keep up with international standards.  It may seem like a lot of work to most players, but will be very beneficial to put in the work when the prizepool for NGL Grand Finals at rAge are announced.

 To view the results and group standings from Leg 1 go here.

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