Paris, France is home to Blizzard's 2008 Worldwide Invitational and also this funny tower thing, which we can see from the hotel.
Turpster on the left and Jennie Lees on the right.
Welcome to the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. The Worldwide Invitational is being held just to the left, in Hall 5.
The outside of Hall 5 is all dressed up for the beginning of the Worldwide Invitational.
The day before the Invitational is set to start, workers are still doing setup of some kind.
The banner hanging in front of Hall 5 features Arthas, Diablo, and Kerrigan -- so no real clues on what direction they might be going with tomorrow's announcement. (However, Turpster points out that the fire around Diablo's hand is shaped something like the number 3... Diablo 3, perhaps?)
Because the white picket fencing seems to indicate rows (or lines), we're guessing that registration will be held in this tent, just past the entry gate.
Though this dog may appear to be innocently sleeping (and safely muzzled), we assure you he was quite large and threatening as he eyed visitors approaching Hall 5.
Though there was no one waiting in line when we checked this evening, a long stretch of sidewalk is already fenced off and waiting for people.
These doors are scheduled to open at 8AM local time to let people in for the first time. Wrath of the Lich King and StarCraft 2 demo stations will be opening at 9AM and the opening ceremonies will start at 11:45AM, so we expect there's lots of "waiting in line" time scheduled in for everyone.
After all, we know the difference between "press" and "presse." Let us inside, please!
The sheer number of signs scattered about the expo complex is staggering. Turpster suggests Blizzard may employ someone whose sole responsibility is those signs.
Okay, we're kidding. The expo is really quite a distance from the Seine. However, this unmarked van piqued our curiosity...
The more we look at this banner, the more the fireball in Diablo's hand looks like the number 3. Of course, with Blizzard's little splash screen game going on, we're seeing clues everywhere.
We snapped this through a slightly grimy window (which, fortunately for us, was not guarded by dogs). Unlike previous events, where the announcement-to-be was rather obvious (like Blizzard employees sporting Wrath of the Lich King t-shirts at last year's BlizzCon), nothing we've seen so far jumps out as the answer. Though blurry, Diablo is featured in a small art gallery directly across from the window.
Even with 12 hours until doors open, people have started to congregate outside of Hall 5, waiting for the big event.
When the sun starts to set, we gave up on taking pictures and trekked back to the hotel. Goodnight, and we'll see see you at the Invitational in the morning!
The expo entrance.
Flying high above the show floor, there's no question where the two shops are.
This chappie is for sale at the Blizzard store. Cuddly or what?
You too can own a non-exclusive t-shirt of your favourite band.
Postcards from Black Temple.
Some beautiful images from Blizzard's fan art gallery adorn the walls.
Empty... for now!
The queues for the Starcraft hands-on were already bustling at 9am.
The hands-on stations, up close and personal.
A Frostmourne replica, encased in a glass box. Dare you wield it?
Feeling withdrawal symptoms? Buy the board game!
WoW's not the only Blizzard product to be immortalised in plastic and cardboard.
Moving upstairs, the main stage before all the excitement kicks in.
You too can be Arthas for a day.
In case you want to get a bit.. physical.
These people were enjoying dressing up as ogres and jumping on each other a little too much.
When we checked, everyone was staring at a login screen. No previews just yet, guys!
Photo-ops and timewasters abound at every corner.
Outside the Upper Deck exhibition area, some real-life WoW items amuse passers-by.
This friendly chap greets visitors to Upper Deck, but don't worry -- he doesn't bite.
Unfortunately, this summoning stone doesn't actually work. We would have kidnapped it if it did.
Don't you wish you could just fit one of these into your pocket at all times?
Have your picture taken with a model who won't object. Right outside the Upper Deck area.
Up close and personal with Upper Deck.
Winners Council of Mages take their $36k cheque.
L70ETC. Je suis plus qu'un poisson Je suis plus qu'un humain La mort monte comme la mer Je suis Murloc Je suis le roi des mers Mais pas Aquaman La mort monte; Et je gronde Je suis Murloc
Standing ovation for L70ETC.
The Video Game Pianist performs a Warcraft II medley.
Russell Brower and the hosts of Video Games Live wrap up the show.