It would appear that it’s not all doom and gloom after all when it comes to eSports and Blizzard, as the company has announced a new system known as the Hearthstone Masters Tour to create a more “sustainable, entertaining, and accessible” platform.
Sport1 has claimed a number of rights to broadcast competitions from Blizzard Entertainment on a new pay-TV eSports channel. The German commercial broadcaster has signed a two-year agreement which will see the coverage of the Overwatch League, amongst other Blizz properties.
In recent months, the representation of minority groups in video games has been a HOT topic across social media – and for good reason. There have been huge swathes of both support and criticism for games such as Overwatch, Battlefield V, and even a game that many would never expect to be caught in the crossfire; The Sims 4.
Recently, we saw Blizzard shut down the eSports side of the popular MOBA title Heroes of the Storm, and there is now the fear the Hearthstone could potentially going the same way. Following the development cutbacks for HOTS, as well as its competitive gaming scene being done away with, Blizzard sent out a survey to Hearthstone players to gauge their attachment to the eSports side of the digital card game.
Last month, the much-discussed topic of females in eSports was once again raised when eSports team SecondWind signed up a highly ranked player known as Ellie. However, the player soon left after ‘some unforeseen reactions.’ In a rather unexpected twist, it turns out that Ellie was in fact male, posing as a female to conduct a social experiment. So how did Punisher manage to convince the world that he was female? Apparently, the player drafted in female friends to chat for him, allowing his true identity to fly under the radar.
It looks as if Blizzard are looking to bring a method of improving maturity within its popular first person shooter, Overwatch. This isn’t necessarily directed at making improvements for just the players, but rather including the audience in the changes being made, primarily revolving around the testing of a chat moderation system for the Overwatch Contenders feeder league.
Blizzard has dropped a bombshell on the eSports community by revealing that they will be shifting focus to development of other games, at the expense of Heroes of the Storm, which included the closure of the Global Championship eSports league.
A little known secret was exposed earlier this week by Buffrussian – a top 500 Widowmaker player and content creator. He explains that Widowmaker can sit on the defending side of point A, and use her venom mine on the small windows of Hanamura to get an easy headshot on the opposing teams players.
It was a special night for Blizzard, Overwatch in particular, at the 2018 eSports awards, with the popular shooter claiming the prestigious eSports Game of the Year award, as well as the Overwatch League grand finals winning the Live Event of the Year. Blizzard also picked up an award of their own, winning Publisher of the Year.