Blizzard is considering WoW competitive raiding e-sports again
If you were annoyed by the apparent subsumption of World of Warcraft art and lore panels by other games’ e-sports at last year’s BlizzCon, prepare to keep on being annoyed: A new interview on PCGamesN suggests that Blizzard is very much not giving up on e-sports for WoW.
In fact, Blizzard E-Sports Director Kim Phan told the publication that the studio sees “an opportunity” in renewed attention on the 2004 MMO and its competitive raiding scene, which as PCGamesN points out seems a belated reaction, given how many raiding guilds have already signed off from the current meta over the grind.
How might Blizz approach this? Says Phan,
“We’ve been doing the live raid races for a long time, just to see which team can do it better – that’s still competitive. It’s not your traditional eSports where it’s two teams head to head, the dungeon races is another one. Even though you’re not going head to head with another player, I think that’s exciting to see. […] We have experimented last year and we’re going to continue to experiment this year. Now, whether or not we make it a big program with prize money and all of that stuff – I don’t think that’s the only thing that defines eSports anymore. For me, eSports is just being able to watch to see who the best is at something.”
Huh. Can any of you think of a supremely popular e-sports venture without prize pools attached?