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Blizzard working with ESL on offline tourneys

Mike Schramm

Lots of people (including MMO Champion) reported over the weekend that according to this interview with David "Shawn" K of the Electronic Sports League, Blizzard is lending their support to get offline tournaments up and running. Blizzard apparently gave ESL a special event realm to run their tournaments in (Upper Deck has also used an event realm to run online tournaments and instances at their TCG events), accounts on those servers with tons of gold and PvP gear per player, and has also implemented special UI modifications for observers.

Interesting. So it seems that the ESL might be stepping up to fill in the space that the WSVG abandoned when they fell apart. In our interview with then-WSVG president Matt Ringel, he also mentioned that they were getting support from Blizzard in the form of special realms and UI mods. So it looks like ESL is now benefiting from the work Blizzard did there.

Of course, the other question we have about these types of updates is when, if ever, they'll be placed in player hands as well. Players have wanted an observation system for PvP, especially in the Arenas, for a long time, and it's not a stretch to think that if Blizzard is developing tools for professional tournaments, they might also have a plan to get those tools into player hands in some form. But even if we don't see them in the game for a long time, it's good to know that tournament development on Blizzard's end didn't die off completely with the WSVG.

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