Plus the Overwatch Cup and a few others
Blizzard goes hard on eSports at BlizzCon. Every game has its own eSports stage (Overwatch even took over the StarCraftarena from last year), analysts, and commentary.
Here’s a recap of what went down.
In World of Warcraft‘s Arena Championship, European team ABC defeated the popular Panda Global in an upset.Alex ‘Alec’ Sheldrick, who typically mains a DPS role led the charge with an arcane mage, as did Kristoffer “Asgarath” Wilhelmsen on healer, Niki “Niksi” Hietala, and Maxime “Cara” Montesquieu.
Overwatch‘s World Cup was probably the most exciting to watch, with many teams coming close to taking down South Korea in any given round — but ultimately failing to defeat the reigning champions — in terms of silver and bronze Canada came in second, followed by Sweden.South Korea dominated Canada in the championship match 4:1, winning on Oasis, King’s Row, Hanamura, and Numbani to Canada’s one win on Junkertown. The key to South Korea’s consistency was Yeon-oh “Flow3r” Hwang (who is underage, and thus will be inactive in the first season of the Overwatch League), who used Pharah to great success throughout the World Cup. Mercy was heavily favored of course making an appearance in nearly every matchup on both sides, and Winston, Tracer, and Ana were also frequently used. This World Cup also saw the debut of a more enhanced spectator mode that seemed to catch on with the audience.
Not to be left out as the eSport that pre-dated all of these other competitions,StarCraft: Remastered had a title bout in addition to StarCraft II, with Bisu winning the former and Rogue taking the latter. In StarCraft II, the final matches were Zerg versus Zer, Remastered featured a showdown between Zerg (Jaedong) and Protoss (Bisu).
Heroes of the Stormhad yet another upset, as the South Korean MVP Black defeated fan favorite Swedish team Fnatic in the HGC Finals. As a fan of the playerJae Won “Rich” Lee (who rocked Greymane for most of HGC) I was excited to see them win, and they took the series in a final decisive victory on Tomb of the Spider Queen. Fnatic went for a gimmick-heavy setup in the final round with a Stitches/Medivh gorge/portal setup (which would allow them to eat someone with Stitch’s ultimate, teleport with Medivh’s portals, and set them up for a kill) — but they were often on the defense, and in the end, were overrun by MVP Black’s aggressive playstyle.Popular heroes for HGC included Muradin, Falstad, Rehgar, and Kharazim. Ana was one of the more popular newcomers to get some HGC play, and Genji made a few appearances when he wasn’t banned.
Finally we have Hearthstone, which saw a win from the Grimestreet Grifters, a team with Andrey ‘Reynad’ Yanyuk, Hakjun ‘Kranich’ Baek, and Pathra Cadness. It was a tight win in a series that went 6-5,which saw play from the heroes Valeera, Thrall, Gul’dan, Malfurion, and Anduin (at least one match was Thrall vs. Thrall). As a reminder, Hearthstone is using a 3v3 format, where all three members can choose the best course of action against another team.