Blizzard have partnered with e-sports megasite TeamLiquid to revamp their coverage of the Heroes of the Storm world championships with its own mini-site. So far they’ve got analysis of a few teams and more detailed links to the current state of the tournament. It looks like an attempt to make it much clearer what stage the various qualification rounds are at and where they’re leading. They’ve also released a new video explaining the structure of the already half-complete World Championships.
The next stage of the tournament for both US and EU are regional finals being held on September 19-20th in Las Vegas and October 3-4th in Prague respectively. A new wave of tickets for the Prague event, which also includes Hearthstone and World of Warcraft competition, will be made available tomorrow at 18:00 CEST (17:00 British time). Grab ’em through Eventbrite.
I would have killed for this sort of organisation and support in the heady early modern e-sports days of 2010, when SC2 was peaking. I’m interested to see how well the money and effort Blizzard are pouring into Heroes of the Storm works out. So far, I don’t know anybody who is interested in it as a serious competitive game – but I didn’t know anybody who was into League of Legends in 2010, or Counter-Strike a couple of years ago, outside passive observation.
Properly organised tournaments, effectively built hype and the fact it’s a game the Koreans probably aren’t totally dominating at yet could spell success. I’m just not sure the game itself can stand up to that scrutiny, or that it has any hope of beating out League, Dota and Smite in the packed field of MOBA-watching. But e-sports has proved time and again in recent years that it can support more than a couple of games, so perhaps it’s not that big of an issue.
As is plastered all over the site and accompanying materials, Blizzcon is the last stop for all of Blizzard’s games. It’s taking place November 6-7th and promises much more than just the Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft and WoW world finals – we’ll be getting further information on the Legion expansion, Overwatch’s upcoming beta and likely a few big announcements as well.