With the arena system introducing a new kind of competitive PvP to the World of Warcraft, we're seeing our first professionally sponsored WoW arena teams. While Blizzard continues to market WoW to a core casual audience, the introduction of paid professionals into the arena brackets is anything but casual friendly. (Not that I've ever been a good enough PvPer to hit the top levels, but it was always nice to look at the arena gear and dream!) And the truth is we've probably only just seen the beginning of such sponsorships. Says Stephen Schoder of Check Six (sponsors of team ZERG IT UP):
In the future you will soon find that Blizzard has tweaked the game to near perfection [in regards to game balance] in preparation for mainstream eSports competition.
There's a whole new world of gaming out there, and Blizzard is only just getting its feet wet.
[Via 1up, with thanks to Dave for the tip!]