Blizzard: More Money, Please

By Alec Meer on February 15th, 2008 at 11:50 am.

World of Warcraft is to go e-sports, in an official PVP tournament with a $200,000 cashpot. Terrifying, but entirely understandable – there are, after all, tens of thousands of elves and orcs and gnomes and trolls who’ve effectively spent the last three years in training for this day. Rocky Bal-Shaman, your time is now.

Not unsurprisingly, it involves players spending more money.

$20/£12 buys you a spot on a special Tournament server with access to a no-limits level 70 character builder. Then you and two chums (the deal is 3v3 arena matches) set to it in a couple of regional qualifier rounds, hoping to make it through to the global championship.

Now, e-sports has always been a curious affair. While its stationary athletes’ skills are certainly impressive, it’s remained very much a niche endeavour, solely for the supremely dedicated few. When you’re talking World of Warcraft, it’s a different matter – this is a game that’s birthed more ultra-competitive gamers into the world than any other. So is this a toe-dipping experiment or part of the grand design? It’ll certainly be fascinating to hear how many entrants this tournament has – with those sign-up fees, Blizzard needs at least 10,000 players if it’s to pay off the prize-pot. From a potential pool of 10 million, that’s surely easy money.

More details here.

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13 Comments »

  1. cullnean says:

    crazy, but is this a one off fee?

    i heard a rumour of a stand alone pvp/arena client with lvl70 premade toons

  2. Butler` says:

    I’m very anti-WoW with regards to eSports due to its failings as a competitive platform, but this will be interesting nonetheless.

  3. Leelad says:

    I love the idea. I was devatstated why the PTR came up this time with no premade 70′s

    I’ll pay it just for the toon builder. I’ll suck at the events though.

  4. Leelad says:

    EEEK the fee is for each round!!

    Maybe not then!

  5. Acosta says:

    I am somewhat tempted, but seeing the skills some people have in some Youtube videos, I am pretty sure I would be a pie (I play my good amount of hours to WoW but I am not even close to the dedication of other players, without counting that my focus is spread between PVP and PVE).

    I think that, in the future, real money will merge with MMOs in a more clear way that is now. We will see money for championships, money for betting, money for resources… I don´t know if I would like it, but I believe it could be a standard scenario, especially when talking of millions of players.

  6. Cyren says:

    Too bad WoW’s arena combat is one of the worst implementations of PvP that I’ve ever played. If only they’d take more notes from Guild Wars. I guess these tournaments are inevitable with the size of WoW’s playerbase, though.

  7. drunkymonkey says:

    One thing I -won’t- be participating in.

    Still, at least there’ll be an absence of corpse-camping, eh?

  8. Michael says:

    This is a great idea! Unfortunately I’m not that good in PvP, but lots of people will surely enjoy this!

  9. egtas says:

    Acosta, have you heard about Entropia Universe?

  10. undead dolphin hacker says:

    this is one of those shady gimmicks that you expect to see from crap moneygrabs like Fury or Archlord. of course, if blizzard pulls a shady moneygrab gimmick, everyone politely looks the other way or keeps their mouth shut because they’re horrificly addicted to WoW.

    i’m beginning to wonder how blizzard can be stopped. corporate infiltration and sabatoge? supreme court hearings ala big tobacco? finding the WoW gold master and having a midget drop it into a volcano?

  11. Garth says:

    Anyone who enters this deserves to pay that kind of money for nothing.

    Losing to someone with 2893728932 different macros and add-ons playing for them isn’t my idea of a good time.

  12. Cigol says:

    Forgive me but where is the skill in WOW?

    I could understand tournament play if it were free or there had to be a single buy-in to provide a pool of money for the eventual winner – but this sounds rather daft given my short experience in the trial.

  13. brog says:

    > Forgive me but where is the skill in WOW?

    I haven’t played WOW myself, but.. the “no-limits level 70 character builder” would seem to eliminate most of the problems with it as a tournament game. No bringing characters with better stats or items to the field.