Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft is about to enter its 15th year, and the game has already seen a few esports events. The most recent was an invitational for the 2018 HGC League in Seoul, South Korea where 16 teams competed over $1.8 million USD prize pool.

The “esports scholarships” is a world of Warcraft esports tournament that will have a $1.8M prize pool, and hope for summer live events.

World of Warcraft esports prep 15th year with $1.8M prize pool, hope for summer live events

Gifts?

Given that the standard MMORPG community response to esports is a collective eye-roll, it may come as a surprise to find that World of Warcraft’s esports ecosystem is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. Despite the ongoing controversy, Blizzard is planning to “rethink and expand” competitive World of Warcraft in 2022.

“Our idea for 2022 is to iterate and improve throughout the year to continually grow on what makes WoW Esports a community that everyone can be proud to be a part of,” adds the company. “With our planned improvements and over $1.8 million in prize money across all three programs, 2022 is sure to be one of the most exciting years in competitive sports!”

Blizzard says say it’s “seeking a return to an in-person event” this summer, but whether that’s possible given the epidemic remains to be seen. Meanwhile, the Arena World Championship starts online on March 18th, while the Mythic Dungeon International tournament’s first time trials begin on March 30th. The Classic Arena Tournament, for WoW Classic aficionados, will enter its third season, with signups available until February 9th.

Due to a lengthy run of controversies in the MMO and gaming field over the past several years, including the Blitzchung boycott, huge layoffs, labor issues, and executive pay controversy, Activision-Blizzard is regarded a problematic corporation in the MMO and gaming industry. The company was sued by the state of California last summer for fostering a work environment that was riddled with sexual harassment and discrimination, and the company’s disastrous response has only added to Blizzard’s ongoing pipeline issues and the widespread perception that its online games are on the decline. Employees are on strike and demanding Bobby Kotick’s resignation, prompting many state and federal organizations to investigate the corporation.

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