Given that the default MMORPG community reaction toward esports in MMORPGs tends to be a collective eye-roll, you might be surprised to learn that World of Warcraft’s esports ecosystem is turning 15 years old this year. In spite of its still-looming scandal, Blizzard is pushing on into 2022 with plans to “rethink and expand” competitive WoW.
“For 2022, our philosophy is to iterate and improve throughout the year to constantly expand on what makes WoW Esports a community that everyone can be proud to be a part of,” the studio says. “With our planned changes and over $1.8 million (USD) in prizing across all three programs, 2022 is bound to be one of the best years for the competitive scene!”
Blizzard does note that it’s “targeting a return to an in-person event” this summer, though of course whether the pandemic makes that a possibility is still up in the air. In the meantime, the Arena World Championship begins virtually on March 18th, and the initial time trials for the Mythic Dungeon International tourney begin March 30th. And for WoW Classic fans, the Classic Arena Tournament will enter its third season, with signups open through February 9th.