In a few days, you're going to have a lot more competition in StarCraft II. Blizzard plans to link different StarCraft II regions together so that players in different countries or areas of the world can communicate and play together.

You're not going to be able to play against anyone in the world, though. The change is limited to three pairs of territories. Starting the week of July 18th, Blizzard will link together European and Russian StarCraft II territories, North America and Latin America, and Korea and Taiwan. There's no mention of them expanding the linking any further than these pairs.

"Region linking will benefit players in the connected regions in a number of ways. First and foremost, a linked community means a larger pool of players to improve our automated matchmaker," explains Blizzard. "Whether you're an elite Grandmaster or a Bronze-league all-star, more players in the mix means that we'll be able to find you a matchup more quickly and more accurately. Players will also get access to a broader range of custom map games, which in turn means wider audiences for mapmakers. Those of you who have friends in the linked region will also be able to add them to your friends lists once the region linking is complete."

Blizzard says that the linking process will be seamless. It won't affect players' matchmaking rating and amateur builders won't be required to republish their maps. Furthermore, all players will use the same data centers they used before the region linking so game latency won't change.

For more details on the upcoming change, read the Region Linking FAQ.

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