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Posts with tag olympics

Should Warcraft be an Olympic sport?

Professional e-sports exist and can draw in significant interest - people watch streams on Twitch, top players can earn significant money, and we've seen people come out to watch them at places like BlizzCon and the Worldwide Invitational. But is it really a sport, and should we be seeing it in the Olympics? Rob Pardo, former chief creative officer at Blizzard, argues yes in this interview with the BBC.

In the interview, Pardo discusses the physical and mental ability of some of the best players in the world, how many decisions they made in a short period of time, as well as the draw of the games as a spectator sport. To be fair, he's mostly talking about games like Starcraft, but his other point about games and cultural definition as to what is and isn't a sport seems more likely to hamper gaming at an Olympic level than anything else. It's just not very common for an activity that takes place in front of a computer to be seen as a sport.

For the complete interview, head over to the BBC.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Breakfast Topic: Olympic WoW

goblin versus worgen
Even if you're not following the sports, there's no way you could miss that the Olympics are happening. Who would want to miss a worldwide spectacle of heroes and some of the finest athletes on the planet? They're beautiful, amazing, and downright breathtaking. They're also a big interruption to a busy schedule of dailies, farming, and raiding.

Of course, we're pretty deep in a pre-expansion lull, so that interruption isn't nearly as bad as it could be. (Thanks to Blizzard for not dropping Warlords in the middle of the Olympics.) Still, if you're trying to wrap up some goals, these Olympic fever could be pretty frustrating. At least you have plenty of random commentary and chatter during which you can squeeze in a little farming time.

Are you playing WoW during the Olympics? Are they playing on a second screen? Have you had to cancel a raid or take a brief break to see one more ski run? Has the games had any effect on your game at all?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Over the Haste Cap: What keeps Olympic gold medalist Aries Merritt hurdling raids?

You might imagine that an Olympic gold medalist and world record holder would take a competitive approach to gaming -- and in the case of hurdler Aries Merritt, you'd be absolutely right. Aries comes in over the haste cap both on the track and in Azeroth. Want to see how a true competitor tackles a game like World of Warcraft? Take a look at this guy's beastly activity feed: progression raiding, rep grinds, quest lines, rated battlegrounds, arena PvP, holiday events, maxed-out professions, pet battles, multiple characters at the level cap with more not far behind, farming, fishing -- even finding lore objects.

This guy takes his DPS parses as seriously as he takes his world records. He dashes it all off in a good-natured, down-to-earth manner that makes talking shop about shadow priests feel as natural as ticking down the to-do list of a phone interview. Aries lets us look into the life of an Olympian with a glimpse of how his competitive spirit propels his gaming hobby, including how he maintains his world-class winning edge and how he got through a potentially devastating injury with career-saving advice from a guildmate.

WoW Insider: One look at your character profile online, Aries, and it's obvious that you're really into WoW!

Aries Merritt: Actually, I have three 90s. My lock is 90, and my mage. My priest is my main, who's 90. And I have my 87 paladin I'm working on probably next, and then my druid. I'm probably going to try to get everything up to 90 eventually, but I'm kind of slowing it down a little bit (laughs) because I'm starting back training.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

15 Minutes of Fame: Olympic swimmer Megan Jendrick

15 Minutes of Fame is's look at World of Warcraft personalities of all shapes and sizes -- from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, from the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

There's only so many training hours you can spend in a swimming pool; that's why Olympic medalist Megan Jendrick fills her dry-dock time in World of Warcraft. Surprised to find an Olympian such as Megan in WoW? The very private Jendrick likes it that way. WoW is her private time to destress, let her hair down and turn the laser focus of a champion to something entirely entertaining.

"My first main character was a moonkin druid, which I actually started because I thought it was funny that they had aquatic form," she laughs. "Then I started playing a rogue when I got more into PvP, because I didn't want to heal for arena. I had to go with DPS, because I think I'm just a little too competitive to have to rely on someone else to win matches."

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

The Queue: I want a siege tank IRL

Welcome back to The Queue,'s daily Q&A column where the team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Today's edition of The Queue is brought to you by my bruised ego after a half-dozen rounds of crushing defeats in StarCraft II. Seriously? Twenty mutalisks in my base while I'm still trying to figure out where my dragoon buddies went? I hate everyone and everything. Yes, even you. Especially you, Taylor. You know who you are.

Tethra asked...

"Any idea when we're going to get our Olympics pets, other than 'soon'?"

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Filed under: Druid, The Queue

Arena Junkies hosts Arena Olympics

If you haven't heard, Arena Junkies is hosting their own Arena Junkies Olympic Contest. So while many of us are working on getting our own Spirit of Competition from the Azeroth Olympics, the Arena minded can compete to win a key to the Wrath of the Lich King beta.

Basically, you start a team with the phrase "AJOlympics" included in its name. Then, you go play in the Arena. The better you do, the more chances you get to win a key in the final drawing. You have to get at least a 2k Rating to even get one chance, so finally a 2000 rating will mean something again.

They'll keep updating their leaderboards until the end of the contest, so you can see how many people you'll be facing off against in the final drawing. I think it's a pretty cool contest, and I wouldn't mind seeing one of our readers win it. Not that I'm hinting at y'all or anything.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, News items, Contests

Around Azeroth: Let the games begin

Despite this year's political furor, the Olympics are still an important part of the summer. And one of the best parts of the Olympics is the opening ceremonies. I particularly like watching vaguely embarassed athletes walk past in impractical national costumes that no one has worn for hundreds of years. After receiving her Competitor's Tabard, Jilara of <Black Dragon Clan> on Perenolde felt inspired to recreate the opening ceremonies, complete with Mistyreed Torch. Sadly, the national costume of Lordaeron appears to include some very questionable athletic shorts.

Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see it on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!

Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more sunsets or pointless geopolitical spam in Trade Chat.

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth, Galleries

Win beta keys in Wowhead olympics

The Olympics are on both in Azeroth and in real life right now. And Wowhead has gotten into the spirit of the games: they're offering users the chance to win one of five lovely Wrath of the Lich King beta keys! What do you have to do for a chance to get your hands on one? Simply go to the contest thread in the Wowhead forums, and post your idea for an Olympics-themed achievement. An example given is "High Dive: Fall 65 yards or more into water, without suffering any fall damage."

Winners will be chosen randomly from the thread, one per day for the next five days (starting tomorrow). A few caveats:

  • You have to have a US WoW account to use the beta key (sorry, European readers).
  • Only one entry per person – you can put in multiple ideas if you want, but just put them in one post. This will not raise your chances of winning.
  • Achievements must have an Olympic theme.
  • Only entries go in the contest thread.
  • Don't post on multiple Wowhead accounts, or the folks at Wowhead will feed you to Magmadar.
  • Be nice – don't steal other posters' ideas.
  • Be creative; spammy entries will be deleted.

That said, go forth and compete! Good luck.

Filed under: Contests, Wrath of the Lich King

Olympic battleground rewards appear on European and Chinese servers

via tipster BumbleDespite the extensive problems and human violations rights perpetuated by the Chinese government, some in service of the Olympic games themselves, most of the world seems to content to settle in and watch the Beijing Olympics one way or another. Apparently, that attitude has spread to Blizzard itself.

Currently on the European and Chinese servers, there are NPCs at each major Battlemaster area in the capital cities who proclaim that Battlegrounds are hosting some type of "Spirit of Competition."

For simply participating in a battleground, you are sent a Competitor's Tabard, which features 4 multi-colored rings on a white background, a clear reference to the Olympics itself. If you win a battleground during this time period, you may also have a chance at receiving a gold medal which summons a spirit of competition, which looks like a small Chinese dragon according to tipster Ichthallus.

This competition does not appear to be live on the US Servers, nor has anyone from Blizzard spoken up to reveal if it ever will be as of this writing. We'll have to watch and see what happens. As Blizzard does not appear to be an official Olympic partner, there is some concern from some quarters that this could simply be a copyright issue. It's also possible that this was meant to be a Chinese servers only event, and it only accidentally got onto the EU servers.

Thanks to everyone who sent us tips on this!

EDIT: Belfaire has confirmed that this event will be coming to US and Oceanic servers starting at Midnight server time. Thanks to those who let us know in the comments!

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Events, News items, PvP, Battlegrounds

WoW Radio Pass the Torch contest on August 8

If you're not completely holed up in a cave somewhere, you're probably aware that some big sports event called the Olympics is happening in August. Of course, August also marks the start of a new season for our friends over at WoW Radio, who are holding a contest to celebrate their onslaught of shows. In keeping with the Olympics, WoW Radio is calling their August contest "Pass the Torch", and are giving away twenty (!) Worldwide Invitational cards as prizes. Just in case you didn't know, those cards contain the codes for a key to the Wrath Beta and a mini-Tyrael pet.

How do you join? Simple. Listen to their radio shows! Starting August 8 (or what the Chinese consider to be the lucky 08/08/08), five of their radio shows will be their torch-bearers. During each show, there'll be an 'Olympic ring' -- you'll know them when you hear them, according to WoW Radio -- containing a secret word. The five secret words will form a phrase, which you should then send to their e-mail address to be entered in their grand prize draw. Winners will be announced on the 15th of August on Blue Plz! Head on over to WoW Radio now and keep an ear out for those secret words!

Filed under: Blizzard, Contests, Worldwide Invitational

Study shows Horde have advantage for wearing red

All the red tabards on the Horde side really annoy me. How come everyone picks a red tabard? Isn't it enough that the Horde flag is red? Can't we have as much variation in our color schemes as we do in our tusk/horn/pigtail configurations? Red is so 2007.

Or maybe it's not. A study published in the Cyberpsychology & Behavior journal determined that teams who wore red while playing Unreal Tournament 2004 won 55% of the time over teams that wore blue. Another study from 2005 showed that wearing red gave an advantage to athletes in the 2004 Olympics, too. However, I'm not sure I buy the reasons given for this advantage, though. The neuroscientist who studied the Unreal Tournament matches thinks that because men turn red when they're angry this color acts as a psychological distractor. Sounds like some reaching, if you ask me.

Now, of course, in WoW we don't always wear the colors of our faction, but the predominance of red tabards on the Horde side and blue ones on the Alliance side may just put a Brutal Gladiator's Painsaw in the hands of those who claim the Horde has an advantage in the battlegrounds. But only if everyone wears red or blue. Hm. I wonder if I can change my guild's tabard color from green to red...

[Thanks, Avadann Kedeth.]

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, News items, PvP, Battlegrounds

WoW Olympics?

Aggro Me suggests a list of MMOlympic events that players could compete for -- ranging from a camping competition to a tricky roleplay race. Some more WoW-specific events that we're all longing to see:
  • Chest Competition -- Juggle bag space and run speed as you try to collect all the treasure chests in a zone; no dwarves allowed!
  • Auction House Wheeler Dealing -- Pit your salesmanship skills as you compete to sell AH items in the Trade channel for a profit
  • Hunt the Ninja -- Run instances with PuGs; try to be the first to find a ninja-free group
  • Survivability -- Level 1 characters race from their starting area to the furthest capital city via high-level zones; first through the gates alive wins!
I've heard of the last event taking place under several themes -- the Running of the Bulls sees baby Tauren characters sprint for survival, and gnome footraces have also been run on a few servers. While some of these events exemplify the bad side of behaviour ingame, others are just plain fun.

[via Wonderland]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, WoW Social Conventions

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