Blizzard lays out World of Warcraft’s esports 2019 plans, will crowdfund part of prize pools

    
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Although Blizzard may have cut back on esports support for Heroes of the Storm, World of Warcraft’s esports scene is back and bigger than ever in 2019, and the studio has recently announced its plans for this year’s Arena World Championships and the rebranded Mythic Dungeon International. Both esports events will be boasting even larger prize pools, which will be augmented by the sales of two new in-game toys that will go on sale this spring, with the final prize pools set to be announced “later this year.” Yes, you read that right: Blizzard will be taking a page out of Riot’s book and crowdfunding part of the prize pools.

As for the tournaments themselves, there have been a few changes to way things work. For would-be AWC competitors, there will be two arena seasons each for NA and EU, with six cups per season. In each cup, teams will vie for “their share of a $10,000 [US] prize pool,” with each cup awarding the players points that will determine who will move on to compete in the spring and summer finals. As for the AWC itself, the competitors will be organized as follows: The first-place teams from NA and EU season 1, the first- and second-place teams from the NA and EU summer finals, the top point-earners from NA and EU, and the winners of the China, APAC, and Latin America finals. Players can sign up to compete in the first cup now, until registration closes on January 28th.

Meanwhile, the event formerly known as the Mythic Dungeon Invitational has been renamed as the Mythic Dungeon International “in order to better reflect its increased scope and global search.” Competitive dungeon delvers will get their first shots at securing their places at the MDI by taking part in the Proving Grounds qualification period from February 26th to March 12th. Those who qualify will be granted access to the Tournament Realm, where they’ll go head-to-head against other teams in a series of weekly cups, each of which carries a $12,000 US prize pool. The MDI will come to its riveting conclusion when the best teams of MDI’s East and West divisions will meet to compete in a LAN tournament for a share of the $100,000 prize pool.

Although some details are still forthcoming at a later date, if you want to check out all the details on this year’s WoW esport events, you can find the full announcement post over at the game’s official site.

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J

At this point any WOW news that is not Classic related, just makes my eyes roll back as I lapse into a brief coma. The live game is at an all time low subscriber count. Throwing money at this tiny niche (arena esports) is not the way forward.

Vaeris
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Vaeris

Well, they are already selling stuff in their cash shop and people aren’t at issue with that so much. If they had just created these new items as more cosmetics and used the sales to augment…and not said they were going to do so, I’d bet folks wouldn’t be upset as they are. So the issue is them being transparent.

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Danny Smith

Blizzards unmitigated thirst to try and get that brood war lightning in a bottle again never ceases to amaze me. 2019 and they still think one of these games is going to be some esports darling for no reason beyond ‘it will happen if we just keep pushing it, eventually some magic combination of external factors will unlock the limiters and these years and years of wasted time and money will all be worth it!’.

Like if Halo gave up on the esports meme maybe its time to get the message hey?

Xijit
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Xijit

“slowBlink.gif”

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Bannex

Everything about this screams fucking dumb to me. WoW and esports? crowdfunded prize pools? yikes…

What kind of idiot sees all these budget cuts and then is like “hot damn i’mma give blizz prize money for dumb fucking e sports…”?

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Armsbend

someone who wants a sparkle mount.

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Bannex

The singularity can’t happen soon enough

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Armsbend

I doubt they will bother keeping us as pets. We don’t deserve it.

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Bannex

Pretty sure it will advance so quickly past us it will leave the planet with little to no catastrophic impact to our stupid way of life.

Its classic human egotism that leads us to believe the super AI would even bother fighting with us primates.

A vastly superior intellect will have no oppressive interest in us much like we don’t make it our purpose to enslave newts.

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Armsbend

Good point. Our blood may make a good parts lubricant though.

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Bannex

Ease up on the hollywood :)

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Ironwu

Yes, Sir! Activision has NOTHING to do with these decisions! Nope. Someone else is at fault. Must be the Developers for putting in the code to support this! Yup. That’s it. The Developers fault. Not Activision.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Well, I hope it’s been worth it to alienate a segment of their players. Some of the ham-handed WoW design decisions can be traced to their desire to create an audience for esports.

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Zora

Well there actually is a debate in the M+ community about design choices (linearity and affixes interaction among them) and in the attempt to “reverse-engineer” them to figure out the origin and comparing the previous legion design compared to the current… making the entire playthrough e-sport friendly ended up as the most likely culprit

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rafael12104

Crowdfunding prize pools?

Oh my heavens, no!

That’s a fuck no!

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Armsbend

DotA has been doing it successfully for years.

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rafael12104

I heard about it, and other games augment their prizes with player contributions. It has to stop.

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Armsbend

I think it is useful for finding out who the morons are who walk the street. When the Great Purging begins you’ll know exactly who to lock up for the death squads first.

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Bruno Brito

Ok, that was too much even for me.

That being said, i agree it’s ridiculous that DotA has a community prizepool when Valve rakes on the cash.

That ALSO being said, considering they would get that money anyway, them using it to feed the prizepool is the least scummy thing i can think off.

Actually scratch that: They could hire 6 more developers and a fucking manager for TF2.

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Armsbend

.

K38FishTacos
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K38FishTacos

It would be too expensive because the numbers are too overwhelming. It would be cheaper to just develop a space program toward the end of traveling to a fresh earth-like planet so the descendants can watch the whole process happen again over there.

P.S. This is what happens when you genetically modify from a primate root species.

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BDJ

Again. Me and you don’t see eye to eye.

eSports are trying to be like real world sports right?

Every sport in existence is crowdfunded. When you buy a jersey for the Saints or any merchandise, or when you buy tickets, go to a game then buy concessions, you are funding the sport. This is no different. Instead of buying an autographed helmet from NFLShop, you buy skins in League with a portion of the proceeds going to the prize pool.

I guess everyone who watches the NFL, NBA, etc needs to be purged too right?

You need to go see a shrink bro. For real. I’m worried about ya.

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rafael12104

No, BDJ. This is different.

Prize pools in pro sports come from the net profits made from customers buying their stuff. That is true.

Crowdfunded prize pools are from fans or customers who buy nothing but “donate” the prize money. Net, net, this money is not transactional and it allows said company to pad their profits.

IMO companies like Valve who are cash rich shouldn’t be asking for my money.

They have to earn my money.

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Bruno Brito

Crowdfunded prize pools are from fans or customers who buy nothing but “donate” the prize money. Net, net, this money is not transactional and it allows said company to pad their profits.

Agreed…to an extent. Valve DOES sell stuff for DotA. If you think those are worthless, that’s another discussion entirely.

Zulika Mi-Nam
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Zulika Mi-Nam

Count me in as one of those.

Competitive DoTA is the only thing other that gets me hype now since the wussifcation of the NFL and the engineering restrictions of Formula 1 – so I support it like I used to support those.

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Annoyed badger

awwww look at the baby who is salty others have disposable income to spend on these things.

Its not up to you to decide what people should spend their money on.

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Bruno Brito

Calm down.

Zulika Mi-Nam
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Zulika Mi-Nam

DoTA is 100% free to play doh

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Greaterdivinity

Blizzard will be taking a page out of Riot’s book and crowdfunding part of the prize pools.

Wait, Riot does this? I thought it was Valve with TI for DOTA 2. Vague memories of Riot maybe starting to do this, but I can’t remember for sure.

Oh well, I still don’t know why Blizzard is trying to force this so hard. It never seems to have been too much of a success for them, especially not outside the core WoW playing community. But who knows, maybe they’re seeing shit we don’t see…but it sure looks similar to initiatives that never seemed to pan out for GW2 and PS2.

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Armsbend

To my knowledge LoL doesn’t at all.

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BDJ

They do. With team icons, ward skins, worlds themed stuff like capsules. etc. mostly.