In the October 30th issue of the Economist, on page 69 lies an article that would pique the interest of many starcraft 2 players. It is short and less than a page but its contents reveal quite a bit of the commercial aspect of Starcraft 2.
It covers the Global Starcraft 2 League also known as the GSL that is being played at, no surprises there, Seoul of South Korea. They look to be covering the invitational's which would probably tally with their 32 securing places after the first round and it mentions names like FruitDealer whom you would be familiar with if you watch the Day 9 coverage or the just as popular Husky and HD starcraft on youtube commentary. His real name happens to be Kim Won Ki and he seems to be the reigning champion for Starcraft 2.
The first prize is pretty big at USD 87,000 according to the article, so I'm guessing it might be 100,000 in KRW (Korean won) although I am not too sure about this. That is a really pretty sweet deal no matter how you slice it. In the economist article they single out a player on a team flush with sponsorship cash in that Nada ("Lee Yeon Yeol") earns about USD 200,000 a year while an entry level licensed player (yeah they need a license to play professionally there) may make just $20,000 but that is still better than a job at macdonalds or starbucks.
In case you're unaware about Korea, in Korea they watch Starcraft (1) tournaments on their TVs and Cable just like Americans watch NFL or baseball on theirs. It is big money over there for electronic sports in the arena of starcraft with huge corporations sprouting out around it. There are even plenty of fan girls who go crazy over the Korean pro gaming stars of the starcraft scene over there in korea and they are known to give more than just simple run of the mill starcraft gifts.
In the west, e-sports as a spectator sport has not been that developed yet, and it features ESL of Europe and MLG (Major League Gaming) in USA which has been really active recently in the Starcraft 2 scene. It talks further about how 'activision blizzard' thinks faster broadband will make internet broadcast and downloading/streaming the future of spectator sports in America.
What the article doesn't say is that Blizzard recently sued the Korean broadcasters over 'copyright infringement' of broadcasting their live games.
And this is when Gom TV has opened up its tournament rules by allowing non Korean players to enter so long as they qualifiy and has also added an English track of game commentary.
They end it off nicely with Day(9) also known as Sean Plott, whose replays you have probably seen if you're into Starcraft 2. The sponsorship from firms like Sony Ericsson works due to the demographics of the audience who would be well educated in his 30s and thus with plenty of disposable income to throw onto gadgets and all. With this money comes the trend of professional players, and professional gaming may soon turn into a proper job even in the west, just like that of "professional sports from tennis to snooker". Starcraft 2 Presents an opportunity for the world of e-sports!