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Bitcoin is the prize in the biggest-ever 'StarCraft 2' showmatch

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Two days ago, the richest showmatch in StarCraft 2 history was going to award more than $10,000 to its winner. Today, the number has shrunk to $5,600 and falling. The culprit is Bitcoin.

Backed by YouTube star TotalBiscuit and a cadre of Bitcoin professionals, the “Bitcoin StarCraft Challenge” was conceived as a way to promote the digital currency to young, tech-savvy gamers who might learn to love it. Featuring the two best players outside of South Korea, the match has generated serious hype around the world.

Now, it’s yet another spotlight on the rapidly falling price of Bitcoin.

The Canadian Zerg player Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn will face off against the Swedish Protoss player Johan “NaNiwa” Lucchesi on Dec. 21. The pair have combined to win more than $78,000 in prize money at major tournaments this year, with Lucchesi taking home twice as much as his Canadian opponent. Despite that, Hostyn’s late-year hot streak has fans divided on who will come out on top.

The showmatch is sponsored by some of the biggest name in the Bitcoin business world including Erik Voorhees, founder of Coinapult and the gambling website SatoshiDice, which he sold for $11.5 million in bitcoins in July of this year.

The inclusion of Bitcoins is one part of a somewhat larger embrace between the gaming and Bitcoin worlds. Team Liquid, the largest StarCraft 2 website, recently began accepting Bitcoins as payment for its TL+ service and to buy products from its store. SC2BTC is a new startup designed to provide automated tournament play for Bitcoins.

Despite the 50 percent fall in prize pool, the showdown between the two Western titans still features the richest prize in StarCraft 2 showmatch history but there are still three days until the games are played to see where the price lies. 

Suddenly, a group of gamers that never gave digital currency a thought are glued to the price index. Maybe this has been a success for the Bitcoiners after all.

Image via Antana/Flickr