With the dust now settled on one of the most exciting weekends in gaming, a new crop of fantasy and real-world heroes has emerged. BlizzCon, Blizzard Entertainment’s two-day community festival taking place November 4–5 PDT (November 5 – 6 AEDT) at the Anaheim Convention Center, has come to a close with a bevy of new announcements for the company’s iconic games, and global champions crowned across Blizzard’s stable of world-class esports.
After months of intense competition leading up to the show, BlizzCon hosted the world championships for each of Blizzard’s global esports programs, with a combined prize pool of $2,750,000 USD up for grabs. These tournaments represent the pinnacle of competitive play in Blizzard’s iconic games, and the company again congratulates the champions who battled their way to victory:
StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals
In the 2016 WCS Global Finals for StarCraft II, Byun followed up his impressive Global StarCraft II League championship as a team-less free agent with an unforgettable WCS Global Championship run. With the most diverse cast of players in the tournament’s history competing at this year’s finals, every match was a must-watch.
Hearthstone World Championship
For the first time in the history of the Hearthstone World Championship, two players from Europe squared off against one another in the Grand Finals at BlizzCon. In a tense series, Russia’s Pavel defeated his Ukrainian opponent DrHippi 4-2 to claim the title of 2016 Hearthstone World Champion.
Heroes of the Storm Fall Championship
Winning team: Ballistix Gaming
Ballistix Gaming from Korea took home the Fall Championship trophy after a grueling final series with Sweden’s Fnatic, who had just taken down the favourites, MVP Black, in the semifinals. Incredibly, Ballistix dropped only two battlegrounds over the course of the event.
World of Warcraft Arena World Championship
Winning team: Splyce
In perhaps the most epic WoW Arena Grand Finals match to ever take place on the BlizzCon stage, the defending champions Splyce bested Method NA in a nerve-wrecking 7-game series, becoming the first team to ever win back-to-back titles.
Overwatch World Cup
Winning country: South Korea
With dominant performance after dominant performance, South Korea became the first winners of the Overwatch World Cup in front of a packed BlizzCon arena. Besting tournament heavyweights USA, Sweden, and Russia en-route to the final, South Korea didn’t drop a single game.
Blizzard also used the occasion to reveal its plans for the Overwatch League, a world-class sports ecosystem for professional Overwatch competition that’s launching in 2017. The Overwatch League will bring together some of the best elements of esports and traditional sports to create an experience that’s accessible and sustainable for players, teams, and fans.
Looking beyond esports, the company also detailed several major game updates for players in packed developer panels across both days of the show, including:
- Mean Streets of Gadgetzan—a new Hearthstone expansion, coming in early December, which will expose players to the darker side of Azeroth’s famous port town, with new game mechanics and 132 new cards
- “The Tomb of Sargeras”—the next major content update (patch 7.2) coming to World of Warcraft, which will feature a new raid zone and a new dungeon, introduce player-vs.-player Brawls, bring flying to the Broken Isles, and more
- “The Darkening of Tristram”—a special 20th anniversary update for Diablo III that will recreate the experience of Blizzard’s first Diablo game when it’s released in January
- The Necromancer—a brand-new Diablo III hero, coming to the game next year, who commands the dead on the battlefields of Sanctuary
- Varian and Ragnaros—two heroes who will bring new and vastly different styles of play to the Nexus in Blizzard’s fast-paced team brawler Heroes of the Storm later this year
- Blackheart’s Revenge—a uniquely asymmetrical attack/defend battleground, featuring everyone’s favorite ghost pirate, coming to Heroes of the Storm’s chaotic Heroes Brawl mode
- Alexei Stukov—a new (infested) co-op commander who will bring a blend of Zerg and Terran might to bear in StarCraft II’s popular Co-op Missions
- Sombra—a stealthy hacker who’s joining the roster of Overwatch, Blizzard’s smash-hit shooter released earlier this year