Blizzard reveals the first official World of Warcraft Classic tournament

Following months of idleness, the developers from Activision Blizzard have decided to make a move towards World of Warcraft Classic esports, introducing the first official WoW Classic player-vs.-player tournament. The announcement comes nearly 10 months after the relaunch of Classic servers and after several community endeavors to create WoW Classic competition. 

The World of Warcraft Classic Summer Bowl will kick off on Wednesday, June 17th and will run for three weeks, with 10-vs.-10 teams competing for a separate prize pools of $4,000 for North America and Europe. 

The event will use recently added War game feature, which allows players to create groups and battle against other groups in their region. All battles will be played in Capture the Flag mode on Warsong Gulch battleground.

There will be two stages for each region: qualifiers and finals. Qualifiers are open for signups to teams of ten players with a level 60 character. The best six teams from each Europe and America will proceed to the Summer Bowl finals on July 4th and 5th.  The format of the tournament and other details are yet to be revealed and will very likely depend on number of registered teams. 

Even though this will be the very first WoW Classic tournament hosted or supported by Blizzard, there have already been community efforts to show the game could be an esport. Shortly after WoW Classic’s release, famous Method streamer Tips Out announced Classic Dueler’s League, which met with quite a success and continued in CDL Spring League this May. Furthermore, there is another season specifically for EU region currently ongoing, with group stages starting on June 14th. 

Another WoW Classic competition emerged by the end of last year in Twitch Rivals: Warsong Gulch Challenge, where well known streamers fought each other for a piece of $10,000 reward. The event reached over 60 000 concurrent viewers. 

It is not the first time the community has played a big role in forming an esport. In Blizzard’s case it was much needed, as they’re still recovering from losing a lot of support due to controversy around Chung “blitzchung” Ng Wai, Hong Kong player who got suspended from Hearthstone Grandmasters for expressing his support towards protests for Hong Kong liberation. 

However, Activision Blizzard waited with engagement until players proved that the game can be successful as an esport and increase revenue, which says quite a bit about developer’s confidence in the title and also about approach towards players. In the sake of not only this one title, let’s hope that after this experience, Blizzard will listen more to what its community has to say.