If Wowhead is to be believed, arena Season 9 is set to begin on Dec. 14. The curious folks at our favorite WoW database (as well as Boubouille of MMO-Champion) found a little snippet of text while scrounging around the game files:

Arena battles and Rated Battlegrounds are only available during an active player versus player combat season. Season nine will begin on December 14th, so be prepared at that time to take your shot at glory!

This would coincide neatly with the recent announcement that arena Season 8 can end as soon as Oct. 12.

What makes this finding interesting is that arena Season 9 actually corresponds to rated battlegrounds Season 1, which means Cataclysm should be live by then. This could mean sometime in November. We'll find out for sure at this year's BlizzCon, but for now, all clues point to Blizzard's being on track to release the game before the end of the year. This gives players about a month or even less time -- about a week, to be exact -- to hit max level. If the uncovered code holds true, we should expect to see Cataclysm on the shelves by Dec. 7, if not sooner.

Zach delivers your weekly dose of battlegrounds and world PvP in one crazy column. Find out how the Cataclysm talent tree redesign affects PvP, how sub-speccing will work at higher levels in the expansion, and how the new Azeroth will affect world PvP. Visit Blood Sport for the inside line on arena PvP.

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.

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