Heroes Of The Storm’s First Championship Finals Are Coming To BlizzCon

Like a cunning master plan finally coming to fruition, Blizzard has, cracking its bejewelled knuckles, announced that the launch of Heroes of the Storm [official site] is going to be paired with the first ever Heroes of the Storm Championship Tournament.

Here’s what you should know:

Kicking things off, the regionals will start in China later this month, which is weird considering the game doesn’t even officially launch until June 2nd. That technically gives you mere days to try and get good enough to qualify your way into the top eight teams. Good luck, amigo. The tournament is likely more for those who, like me, have spent months wrapped in a cocoon of free betas and are well acquainted with the pre-release world of Heroes of the Storm. If you reckon you’ve got the chops, keep your eyes peeled for details on how to sign up.

The tournament will conclude this November at Anaheim’s Mecca of Zerg, BlizzCon, where the final eight fight for $200,000 of Blizzard’s filthy lucre.

As you may have noticed, it’s a slightly lower-than-average prize pool when compared to its more established eSports brethren. Comparatively, last year’s League of Legends World Champions walk away with $1 million, while the winners of the DotA 2 International 2014 went home with just over $5 million. But give ’em a break, it’s early days yet.

17 Comments

  1. Smashbox says:

    I usually find Blizzard’s art department pretty impressive from a form and function standpoint (at least in recent years), but that art is kind of a disaster. It’s unclear and strangely lit and … lacking some of the style I am usually impressed by from them.

    Oh and sorry that this comment isn’t about the game. Kinda funny to announce the world championship before they really let people play.

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      For anyone feeling teased every time by that image not being in a post about a new Lost Vikings and want some consolidation, a friendly reminder that the old game is still available for free :) link to us.battle.net

      • Bugamn says:

        Do they also have Norse by Norse West somewhere? That was the one that I used to play when I was younger. I left the CD at my parents’ house and I would need a plane ticket to get it again.

    • ButteringSundays says:

      I know they don’t do it in house but the card artwork on hearthstone always gets me. It’s like an episode of tattoo nightmares.

  2. Xzi says:

    Blizzard seriously thinks Heroes of the Storm is an “e-sport” worthy title? Either they think too highly of their screensaver-level gameplay, or they think too little of e-sports as an actual thing.

    • Nasarius says:

      My favorite thing about the Hearthstone streamer community recently is how “e-sports!” has become an ironic exclamation whenever something absurdly random wins them the game.

      Say what you will about HotS and MOBAs in general (why doesn’t it control like Diablo 3, rather than everything being a relic of an awkward RTS mod?), at least they’re not attempting to create a competitive environment with a huge amount of randomness in the game. It’s a test of teamwork, if nothing else.

      • Xzi says:

        My point was more to the fact that Heroes of the Storm doesn’t even live up to other MOBAs in terms of depth. LoL is pretty shallow but there’s still a lot more to it than HotS. I mean, Blizzard was so lazy with it that it doesn’t even have a unique acronym within their own game universe. Just feels like another F2P they quickly slapped together after Hearthstone, expecting people to play it anyway because they’re Blizzard.

        I’m holding out hope for Overwatch for some reason still, but if that only gets as much attention as Heroes of the Storm has, there are plenty of other first-person “MOBAs” coming out to compete with it anyway.

        • Philomelle says:

          The competitive value of a sport isn’t defined by its perceived complexity, just like mechanical complexity isn’t defined by completely arbitrary mechanics.

        • Kitsunin says:

          True, Overwatch will have lots of competition with Gigantic and

        • trn says:

          Having sunk hundreds of hours into the beta, I am not sure I could disagree more. What you see as a lack of depth, I see as ‘easy to pick up, difficult to master’. That’s what stands the game apart from the competition – my partner couldn’t make head nor tail of what I was doing in Dota, but has no such issue with HotS. I also believe this is what will win the game an audience of ‘non-gamers’. For the future of e-sport to expand, that is important. Football is not mechanically complex, but that doesn’t mean it lacks layers of depth and complexity. It just means unlike DotA, the viewer / player can choose how much to invest in understanding it.

          • Xzi says:

            ‘Easy to learn, difficult to master’ doesn’t really fly with HotS. That’s the tagline Blizzard used for their RTS games, any of which has far more depth than any MOBA. The only thing difficult, or rather impossible to master in HotS is getting your teammates to do what they should be doing at any given moment. So that’s the one aspect it really shares with LoL, but it drops the ball comparatively in every other aspect. Again, not that LoL is any sort of masterpiece, quite the opposite in fact, but that’s what makes HotS all the more disappointing.

          • Kitsunin says:

            I think it does fly. Yet again, you keep saying it’s watered down because things are simple compared to other MOBAs. Even at its very simplest, a MOBA is still plenty complex compared to games at large.

            Take Counter-Strike, you can move (equivalent to WASD in a shooter) attack (like shooting in an FPS), and you have four, maybe five abilities with various uses (I guess equivalent to grenades, jumping, and secondary weapons?) and you pick upgrades every so often (equivalent to buying new stuff between rounds?). I think that covers all of the core mechanics of both games, and hey presto, it’s already just as mechanically complex as Counter-Strike.

        • MrFlakeOne says:

          I soaked in LoL for 2 years and got bored by HOTS after 2 weeks, the gameplay is too shallow to offer something interesting in competitive MOBA scene imho.

          • Dawngreeter says:

            Well, there’s archery and there’s darts. Both are legitimately competitive sports, though I don’t imagine darts holds a lot of interest to practitioners of archery.

            That said, as a complete newbie to MOBAs who only recently mustered enough courage to play whole two games of DOTA 2 against real, actual people – I’d rather do that and be hopelessly out of my depth for however long it takes than play HotS. Which doesn’t mean HotS is bad (seemed fun, the couple games that I tried), it just means that for reasons I can’t exactly nail down, DOTA 2 gives me the impression of being a more meaningful activity.

            The fact that Blizzard deems themselves above allowing players to move between servers certainly doesn’t help. Yes, I’m switching continents in the near future and, yes, I’m pissed off about every single card in Hearthstone that I have, every single item in Diablo 3 I picked up… :-/

          • Morcane says:

            I soaked in LoL also, in the racial slurs and namecalling I got when playing my first game as a newbie. I have thick skin, but this took the cake.

  3. Billzor says:

    Worth mentioning that the current prize pool for the next Dota2 championship is at $8 million. There are stretch goals for up to $15 million. Dunno if they’ll get that high.

    I play HotS to relax, actually. I don’t find it as intense or thrilling as Dota2, but it’s kinda cute and fun enough to warrant going back again and again. I won’t be watching any tournaments of it, though. Just not enough appeal for me, mostly because, as one of the Hive Mind put it a short time ago, it doesn’t bring anything particularly new to the MOBA scene, instead choosing to go down the now-typical Blizzard route of attempting to refine something that already exists. So, I’m not all that interested in seeing pro games of it.

    I have no doubt it will become very popular once it’s out based solely on the number of Blizz fans out there, but not for me.