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Posts with tag esport

Still no spectator mode in the works for WoW arena

Still no spectator mode in the works for WoW arena
While there are many changes in store for the arena in patch 5.4, there are still no development plans for a spectator mode according to EU community manager, Nakatoir.

The latest blue post on the matter reiterates much of what we've heard before -- that yes, a spectator mode would be awesome but would require great number of resources to develop. Thus it's not currently in the cards.

Nakatoir -- Spectator mode and the esport scene in general
I don't deny that getting a working spectator mode would help with community ran competitions and tournaments and it's one of the reasons that we would like to have one. Understand that this is something we know that players want and it's something that we would like to provide to you. We simply have no plans at this time to implement such a feature, but when we are able to implement this feature we'll be sure to let you know about it.


Given the incoming arena and PvP changes slated to arrive in patch 5.4, one might expect the demand for a spectator feature to increase, but who knows for sure? What do you think? Would having spectator mode increase your interest and participation in arena? Do you think the WoW eSports community would grow if there was a dedicated spectator mode like the ones found in StarCraft 2 or League of Legends?

Filed under: PvP

Shifting Perspectives: Spring cleaning

Shifting Perspectives The sound and the furry
Every week (sort of), WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, the bookmarks folder gets the root cellar treatment.

I've been away from the game since the holidays due to what I will politely refer to as technical difficulties. (I have a variety of impolite terms for it too, but this is a family blog.) During that time, I've watched the game from the sidelines and have grown bored enough to do some maintenance on stuff that usually gets ignored until I'm rooting through it in a hurry. Add-ons were updated, dead blog links were sent to their folder, interesting ones were added, and then I turned to my collection of bookmarks in order to prune there as well.

I have a pretty sizable cache of druid or druid-related links that's grown over the years, and a lot of them are still pretty interesting. In the absence of the ability to talk about what's actually happening in the game with any fluency, I thought it might make a decent stopgap Shifting. This is a selection that's kept me absorbed for many an hour on a snowy weekend, and it ranges from comparisons between druid and warrior tanks in the classic game to where you fall on a healer's priority list when you're a jackass.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Blizzard partners with ESL TV for Blizzard eSports Channel

Blizzard has announced a partnership with ESL TV to bring streaming footage of eSport competitions of Blizzard's games, including Warcraft 3, WoW, and Starcraft. The service has been dubbed the Blizzard eSports Channel, likely due to its preponderance of Blizzard, eSports, and channels (but no man can be truly certain). The service is accessible for World of Warcraft subscribers through the Account Management page of WoW's main site.

This is pretty cool news for the type of people who like to watch really, really good players have it out, replete with commentary. I visited the site today and found that there was not only a ton of archived games to watch, but there was a bunch of live games going on too. You can filter the videos and live channels by the game or game type, too, in case you hate watching Starcraft players practice their uber micro but just love Sentinels on Scourge action.

I imagine the chances are pretty good that we'll see Starcraft 2 added to the list of games available for viewing once it's launched, too, as well as future titles that make their way to Battle.net.

Given Blizzard's years-long push now for better representation in the eSports world, this is a neat step in the right direction, even if it might not be everybody's cup of tea. If you love eSports, it's worth a look; if not, then OMG! No rush.

Filed under: News items

Fnatic Orz just about the best team in the world


Familiar faces from the former Duelists Going For Gladiator -- Celex, Emolol, and Ely with a sub, Kesher -- who now compete under the new banner of Gravitas Gaming, faced off against the defending champions Fnatic Orz trio of Glick, Rhaegyn, and Hafu in the Finals of MLG-Dallas earlier today. Gravitas Gaming came into the Finals with a 3-1 lead carried over from their earlier matchup during the elimination rounds, needing only three wins to dethrone the MLG-Orlando Champs.

Fnatic played their strongest comp of Warlock (Glick), Warrior (Rhaegyn), and Druid (Hafu) while Gravitas Gaming countered with a Warrior (Kesher), Mage (Celex), and Priest (Ely) instead of their usual RMP. Some viewers wrote Fnatic Orz off considering their uphill climb to win five games against Gravitas' three, but the defending Champions showed exactly what they were made of by winning three straight matches after falling behind 5-2, evening out the competition at 5-5. The Grand Finals all rested on a single, do-or-die match -- played in Nagrand Arena -- a nailbiter that exemplified the best of professional Arena play. In what was one of the best comebacks I've seen in an Arena tournament, Fnatic Orz pulled off four straight wins to win back-to-back MLG Championships and cement their place in pro circuit history.

It was the second time the two teams met in the Grand Finals, with Gravitas still under the Frag Dominant banner. The games were broadcast streaming through GotFrag TV, with excellent, spot-on commentating and incredible camera work that made it relatively easy to follow the extremely fast-paced matches, although the last match's stream was plagued with hiccups. The winners walked away with $12,000 and three HP Blackbird 002, while the runners-up won $6,000. Pro circuit mainstays Team Pandemic took third place with $3,000 after losing to Fnatic Orz in the Semi-Finals.

Fnatic Orz' storied rise from being dropped by MoB Gaming, winning MLG-Orlando without a sponsor, and being picked up by Fnatic and winning a spot at the World Championships at BlizzCon just before this fantastic win today makes them one of the most exciting and favored teams to watch in the pro Arena tournament scene. It will be a treat to see them compete against the world's best at the World Championships next weekend... except that you'll need a DirectTV subscription for that.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Arena

Nihilum Arena wins CGS Championship


The premiere 3v3 Arena team from Europe of Cherez, Beasteh, and Hydra -- aka Nihilum Arena -- won top honors at the recently concluded Championship Gaming Series Arena Tournament. This win comes after their notable absence from MLG Orlando despite a 2nd place finish in San Diego. Considering the purse for the MLG series is $12,000 (and an HP Blackbird for each team member), Nihilum fortunately participated in this tournament, winning a whopping $25,000.

Frag Dominant Duelists continued their strong showing on the pro circuit, finishing 2nd again after falling to Orz in MLG Orlando about a week ago, and placing first in MLG San Diego. FD-DGFG ran a double healer Rogue, Druid, Priest comp, taking home $12,500 after their defeat to Nihilum Arena's Hunter, Druid, and Priest. Two runner-up teams took home $6,250 apiece. The tournament used a format that pitted Europe's against the United States' best in the finals.

The coverage was different from the MLG series, being much more friendly to viewers not overly familiar with the game or Arena tournaments, with extensive previews of the characters used by the players, and an overview of the Arena maps prior to matches. The shoutcasting was also much more casual-friendly, at a significantly slower pace than the MLG coverage. The choice of the infamous Leeroy Jenkins to commentate was definitely a marketing move, with more than a few mistakes (calling Scatter Shot Distracting Shot, saying Ice Block's cooldown as 2 mins vs. the correct 5, being fooled by Cherez' Feign Death, etc.). The level of analysis wasn't as deep as MLG's, which featured Arena pros for commentating. Camera view was also an overhead style as opposed to the third person view used by MLG. Both tournaments had good points, and it's exciting to see Arena play gaining a stronger foothold in the pro gaming scene.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Arena

The Art of War(craft): How WoW as an eSport can actually work


If you're even moderately interested in Arenas, I hope you caught the live stream of MLG Orlando yesterday, hosted by GotFrag TV. The stream quality was much better than the one from the Worldwide Invitational, and it was truly entertaining, um... television. A lot of video entertainment is available through the web these days, and GotFrag TV has been providing topnotch coverage of the Major League Gaming World of Warcraft Arena tournament series. As a student of Arenas, I've found the coverage to be extremely fun and educational. This is competition at its highest level, where players actually get paid, or win money, for playing. And just like any sport, there are a few special elements that make it interesting to watch.

The stars

Every sport has its stars. You have athletes like Tiger Woods being the face of golf, or Kobe Bryant being the guy you either love or hate in basketball (for the record, I've been a Kobe fan since he got drafted by the Hornets in 1996), or even Maria Sharapova for tennis, who doesn't even necessarily have to win in order to be fun to watch (I mean, look at Anna Kournikova). Tournaments, when they're in a televised LAN format -- as opposed to online, such as the Blizzard-sponsored 2008 World of Warcraft Arena Tournament -- means that audiences will actually get a glimpse of the players behind the characters. Just like sports stars, these players need to have some special quality that holds the interest of fans. Let's go through a few examples.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Arena

ESL replaced Warcraft 3 with WoW

In its previous two seasons , the Intel Extreme Masters (from the Electronic Sports League) focused on two main eSports disciplines --- Counter-Strike 1.6 and Warcraft 3. Now, however, that's changing. They've announced that World of Warcraft will take over the spot from Warcraft 3, based in part on the success of previous WoW tournaments. While ESL doesn't explicitly say it's an Arena tournament, I think we can safely assume that to be the case.

This is just part of the ongoing eSport effort, and I think we'll hear about a lot more tournaments in the coming months. I don't know if Blizzard meant to bump its own game from some rosters, but I suppose there's only so much room at each tournament. There's also $750,000 (US) in prize money for the victors. They've not announced how much will specifically go to World of Warcraft, but it'll definitely make it worth winning.

[Via Arena Junkies]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, News items, Arena

Activision stock reaches a new 52-week high

Steven Mallas over at BloggingStocks notes that Activision's stock (AVTI) capped a new 52-week high yesterday at $36.84. By the end of the day, the final price was slightly lower, but overall it grew nearly 5%. Mallas mentions what's on all of our minds -- Guitar Hero for DS, sure, but Activision is about to pick up a 10-million subscriber powerhouse called Blizzard. That's worth a little something to investors.

So while other, similar companies lost share price yesterday (Electronic Arts and Take Two, for example), our Activision overlords (whom I, for one, welcome with open arms) continues to do well. With Wrath of the Lich King pending around the corner, we can hope for the stock to pick up a few additional pennies. I don't know what effect the whole eSport buzz might have, but it could still be too early to tell.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Wrath of the Lich King

Forum post of the Day: E-Sportsmanship

I played softball when I was just a little mandy. I was in right field, and I wasn't particularly good, but I had a blast playing. Some how I came out of it with a few championship trophies and a lot of great memories. At the conclusion of each of our games we would line up as a team and slap hands with the opposition. "Good game. Good Game. Good Game. Good Game. Good Game." I'm sure that a number of you have had similar experiences. We were taught to be good sports when we won and when we lost.

The fascinating part of an esport is that we are not face to face. Rather than bringing out our magnanimous natures, we tend to get cranky in the wake of a loss, and sometimes even after a victory. Karelle of Hydraxis admitted in the general forums the he is a poor loser. He felt he was unjustly beaten by a team that overgeared him and was insulted when the team leader whispered "good game." Rather than repeating the greeting, the original poster /spit on the victor.

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Filed under: Virtual selves, PvP, Arena, Forum Post of the Day

The Art of War(craft): DotA-style Battleground in WotLK?


My brothers are addicts. Actually, make that my brothers, my best friend, my brother-in-law, and more than a handful of other friends. Although most of them have played World of Warcraft at some point or the other, circumstances ranging from subscription fees and schedules have prohibited them from playing the game regularly. Instead, they get their Warcraft fix by playing DotA. A lot. For those unfamiliar with the term, DotA means Defense of the Ancients, a highly popular Warcraft III scenario developed by various independent authors. In the scenario, players control a single unit, a Hero -- one of about ninety as of version 6.52c -- that they use to combat waves of NPCs and take down enemy Heroes. They play DotA for hours on end every day, and if the rumors are true, it just might happen that their addiction just might become mine, as well.

Through one of the most thorough tips WoW Insider's ever gotten, reader Kevin breaks down some speculation that the new Battleground in Wrath of the Lich King will be DotA-inspired. In the slew of interviews that Blizzard granted in early May about the next expansion, Tom Chilton and Jeffrey Kaplan confirmed that they would be introducing a new Battleground in WotLK which "(is) set up as sort of an attack-defend scenario; features siege vehicles, and (has) destructible building components." Those nebulous answers are wide open for interpretation, but if I allow my Battleground-hungry self to dream, all those features can translate into a World of Warcraft DotA map.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Battlegrounds, Rumors

European Arena Tournament 1st qualifying round ends, 2nd round begins

Slorkuz has posted some information of interest for European PvPers. The first qualifying round of the Arena Tournament is over, with the second one beginning today, May 21st, and lasting until June 2nd. You can sign up at the European Information page (for Americans, our information page is here). Ranked matches for this round will be starting on June 16th and last until July 16th, so you should have plenty of time to prepare and practice, and plenty of time to get in your matches.

Remember, if you win, that's a good 25,000 dollars in the bank. Not bad for a bit of 3v3, if you're already into it. Good luck to all competitors!

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Contests, Arena

Week 3 Arena Tournament Update


Teams continue to vie for top position in the $200,000 3v3 arena tournament Slash Bark continues to hold on to the top spot with a rating of 2056. Last weeks second and third place teams Let's Be Friends and Jacked as F have dropped into fourth and fifth places respectively, giving way to MoB Gaming (2022) and Eclipse (2020).

RMP teams are well represented among the top contenders. The top 11 teams are all within 100 points of first place, and I wouldn't count out any of the 20 teams over 1900 ratings just yet. At this point all team rosters have been locked and new additions cannot be made.

The remainder of the tournament will include a second qualifying round, followed by regional contests for a shot at the prize money. MLG Is preparing a $22,500 tournament as Blizzard works to make a place for WoW PvP as an Esport, without damaging the PvE game. I suspect that the second qualifying round on the tournament server will be much less popular than the first.

The WoW Insider team fell prey to scheduling difficulties with our Friday Night bouts, but should be back in the saddle this week.

Filed under: Ranking, Events, Blizzard, PvP, Arena

Major League Gaming hosts WoW competition


Major League Gaming, which is apparently the parent company of WoW Insider favorite MMO-Champion, have announced that there will be a new PC gaming circuit, featuring our favorite MMO. The circuit will have events in San Diego, from June 13th–15th; Orlando, July 11th–13th; and Dallas, October 3–5. Each event will have $22,500 in prizes -- it's no Blizzard Arena Tournament, but that's still a lot of money.

The circuit will be played on HP Blackbird 002 computers, so I guess you won't have to worry about frame rates (that thing has 1 GB of VRAM). The competition will be 3v3, just like Blizzard's tourney. Only 32 teams will be allowed to register, and you need to have an account set up on MLG's site first; registration opens May 15. They say "more details on rules and the official format will be released on May 15th" -- maybe Blizzard will let them use a special tournament server? At any rate, it looks like Blizzard may have been more successful at turning WoW into an esport than we thought.

[Thanks, Jeff]

Filed under: Events, News items, PvP, Arena

Bornakk speaks on the whole esports thing

So a while back, Tom Chilton talked about turning WoW into a "viable Esports platform" in an interview with Gamespy, and lots of players did not take it well. Some time later, the fire has still not died down. Darqchild of the Perenolde server posted another complaint about this the other day, expressing a belief that the creation of a 2nd rule set and the domination of the esports concept had already gone with the implementation of a Tournament server.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Classes, Buffs, Arena

Why the PvP game exists in WoW, and why it's a good thing

Last night I posted why I feel that the PvE game has been, is, and always will be the real game in WoW. One of the interesting inferences that people made was that I don't like PvP, and that I don't do it. Nothing is further from the truth. It was interesting to read the number of comments on that article, and I think it might surprise some folks that save for this introduction paragraph and a few edits I made, this article was written before I wrote my PvE piece.

So, why do I PvP? What attracts me to the PvP game, and why is it a worthwhile thing to do in WoW? There are three primary reasons that PvP is a game worth playing. First, it provides a critical and necessary change of pace from the PvE game. Secondly, it gives those with limited play time an opportunity to enjoy the game and succeed at what they do. Finally, PvP is beginning to turn into a legitimate eSport, and provides some good entertainment there in. Let's look at each of these reasons individually.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP

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