LEGENDARY GAME UNIVERSES AND ESPORTS SUPERSTARS TAKE CENTER STAGE AT BLIZZCON® 2018
Blizzard Entertainment’s annual community celebration showcases new content and new titles coming to the company’s blockbuster game universes
World-class competitors clash in Overwatch®, StarCraft® II, Hearthstone®, Heroes of the Storm®, and World of Warcraft® esports before an audience of millions of viewers around the globe
IRVINE, Calif.—November 3, 2018—At BlizzCon® 2018, more than 40,000 gamers gathered to celebrate and be among the first to learn what’s coming next for their favorite Blizzard games, and to cheer on some of the top esports competitors in the world, with millions more tuning in online. For two days, the Anaheim Convention Center was packed with developer panels, friendly competition, and live entertainment as the Blizzard community learned about and went hands-on with new heroes, new content updates, and new games coming to the company’s stable of blockbuster franchises.
Attendees and viewers also witnessed the dramatic conclusions to numerous esports championships and exhibition-style competitions as they unfolded across multiple stages:
StarCraft® II World Championship Series Global Finals
Winner: Joona “Serral” Sotala
History was made at BlizzCon 2018 with the first non-Korean to win a StarCraft global final in the franchise’s 20-year history. After winning all four WCS Circuit events in 2018, Finnish Zerg Serral completed his incredible run by defeating the South Korean Protoss Kim “Stats” Dae Yeob 4-2 in their best-of-seven final series.
Heroes of the Storm® Global Championship Finals
Winning team: Gen. G
After Gen.G’s harrowing 4-3 victory over Team Dignitas in the Grand Finals of the Mid-Season Brawl earlier this year, Dignitas were granted another shot at the Korean kings of Heroes of the Storm. But Gen.G brought a slew of pocket strategies and drafts that helped them out-maneuver Dignitas at each point of contention. With their 3-0 victory in the Grand Finals, Gen.G became the first team to win back-to-back BlizzCons and remain the reigning HGC World Champions.
World of Warcraft® Arena World Championship
Winning team: Method Orange
After fighting their way through a stacked 12-team double-elimination bracket, North American squad Method Orange won the World of Warcraft Arena World Championship Grand Finals 4-0 over fellow North American competitors The Gosu Crew. The win is particularly sweet for Method Orange’s Charles “cdew” Dewland, a new father who first competed at BlizzCon in 2014.
World of Warcraft® Mythic Dungeon Invitational All-Stars
Winning team: Free Marsy
The top four teams from the World of Warcraft Mythic Dungeon Invitational (MDI) Global Finals were invited to compete on stage at BlizzCon, but there was only room for one winner—Free Marsy from Australia. After underperforming at the Global Finals in June, the 2017 inaugural MDI Champions came roaring back in Anaheim, dying all of twice across four maps on their road to total dungeon domination.
Overwatch® World Cup
Winning nation: South Korea
If there was any doubt about which country reigns supreme in Overwatch, South Korea put it to rest, again. The Koreans notched an Overwatch World Cup three-peat, dispatching China 4-0 in the gold-medal match. South Korea’s Seong-Hyun “Jjonak” Bang was named T-Mobile™ MVP after racking up more eliminations, and at a faster rate, than any other support player throughout the entire tournament. In the bronze-medal match it was Canada dispatching the United Kingdom.
Hearthstone® Global Games
Winning team: China
Forty-eight four-person national teams embarked this summer on their 2018 Hearthstone Global Games (HGG) journey, battling for eight coveted playoff slots at BlizzCon. Team China, comprised of Gao “Leaoh” Yang, Zheng “OmegaZero” Lin, Zhang “YouLove” Lichen, and He “Trunks” Huan, triumphed with a clean 3-0 win over a surging Brazil in the Grand Finals. Said Trunks, “This is my first trophy at a global tournament ever, and this also proves how good Chinese Hearthstone is!”
StarCraft: Remastered Show Match: KSL vs. ASL
Winner: Jung “Rain” Yoon
The champions of Korea StarCraft League (KSL) Season 1 and Afreeca Starleague (ASL) Season Five—Kim “Last” Sung Hyun and Jung “Rain” Yoon, respectively—were invited to compete in a best-of-five series at BlizzCon. The Protoss Rain, who last appeared on a BlizzCon stage in 2015, defeated the Terran Last 3-1 to secure his first BlizzCon trophy ever. Said Last, “Brood War® is really popular in Korea, but it’s awesome to see that there are fans here, too!”
In addition to all of the epic esports action, Blizzard had several major game highlights during the show, including:
- Diablo Immortal™ – Blizzard announced an authentic Diablo experience for mobile devices with Diablo Immortal, a mobile MMO action-RPG that presents a new chapter in the globally acclaimed series.
- Diablo III: Eternal Collection™ now available – Nintendo Switch owners can now get their gauntlets on Diablo III: Eternal Collection, combining all of the content from Diablo III, the Reaper of Souls® expansion, and the Rise of the Necromancer™ pack.
Warcraft® III Reforged
- Warcraft III: Reforged – Experience this beloved real-time strategy game like never before. All-new art and animations, 62 single-player missions, a refreshed user interface, an overhauled World Editor, full Battle.net® integration, and more await in this timeless classic—coming in 2019.
World of Warcraft
- Tides of Vengeance – The war between the Horde and the Alliance reaches a crucial turning point in Tides of Vengeance, the upcoming first major content update for the Battle for Azeroth® expansion coming the week of December 10 that will bring the Battle of Dazar’alor raid, the Battle for Darkshore warfront, and more.
- WoW® Classic – BlizzCon attendees got to test an early build of WoW Classic on the show floor. Attendees and Virtual Ticket holders can access the BlizzCon WoW Classic Demo from home until 10 a.m. PT on November 8. WoW Classic will launch Summer 2019, and will be included with a World of Warcraft subscription.
- Adopt Whomper and Support Code.org – A new in-game pet and plushie—Whomper, the playful baby yeti—is now available for purchase, with proceeds going to benefit Code.org—a nonprofit dedicated to expanding computer science education in schools and increasing participation by women and minorities.
- Ashe – A new hero, the notorious gunslinging outlaw Ashe, will soon be joining the roster of Overwatch, Blizzard’s widely acclaimed team-based shooter.
- McCree Animated Short – A new Overwatch animated short was revealed during the ceremony—in “Reunion,” McCree runs into his old friend, Ashe.
- Rastakhan's Rumble™ – A new Hearthstone expansion, launching December 4, pits players against the finest troll gladiators Azeroth can muster. Step into Gurubashi Arena and fight for glory with 135 brutal new cards, including Wild Gods that have manifested in the form of nine new Legendary Loa minions.
- Rumble Run – In the single-player mode for Rastakhan’s Rumble, Rumble Run, compete for glory before cheering crowds in a no-holds-barred throwdown in the Gurubashi Arena. Players will choose a troll champion and climb the ranks in this gladiatorial contest to be crowned champion. Rumble Run is free for all players; no pre-built decks are required for entry.
- Pre-Purchase Now Available – Eager combatants can pre-purchase Rastakhan’s Rumble card packs via two bundles: a 17-pack Challenger’s Bundle, which includes the Ready to Rumble! card back, and the 50-pack Rumble Bundle, which includes the King Rastakhan Shaman Hero and the Ready to Rumble! card back. These one-time-only bundles are available on any platform for $19.99 and $49.99, respectively (players can purchase each bundle once per account).
Heroes of the Storm
- New Hero: Orphea – The first-ever Nexus-born Hero—Orphea, heir of Raven Court and daughter of the nefarious Raven Lord—is an approachable ranged Assassin with a high skill cap who rewards opportunistic plays. BlizzCon attendees and Virtual Ticket holders will get Orphea free when she makes her way to the Nexus in Blizzard’s fast-paced MOBA later this month.
- Match-Quality Updates and Community Content – The 2019 gameplay update is coming to Heroes of the Storm with the goal of making games feel closer and more competitive, including exciting new changes to the experience system and matchmaking. The Heroes of the Storm team is also paying homage to some of the community’s most hotly requested items by adding skins like Janitor Leoric, the Kevin Johnson aka Cloaken announcer, and more.
- Zeratul – Prepare to strike from the shadows with the next Commander for StarCraft II’s popular Co-Op mode: Zeratul, the renowned Dark Templar prophet. By collecting powerful artifacts, Zeratul unlocks new capabilities and the ability to customize his global top bar abilities.
- Warchest/Twitch – For the first time ever, the War Chest will integrate directly with Twitch to reward players for watching StarCraft II. Players can unlock exciting in-game content such as player portraits, sprays, emoticons, banners, and for the first time ever, building skins. Learn more.
For more information on the games, players, and esports excellence that was celebrated at BlizzCon 2018, or to watch VODs of the action with the BlizzCon 2018 Virtual Ticket, visit www.blizzcon.com.
About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Overwatch, the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo franchises, and the multi-franchise Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes twenty-two #1 games* and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online-gaming service, Blizzard Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.
*Sales and/or downloads. Based on internal company records and reports from key distribution partners.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment's expectations, plans, intentions, or strategies regarding the future, including statements about the availability, features, and functionality of Diablo Immortal, Warcraft III: Reforged, WoW Classic, and new content for Overwatch, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and StarCraft II are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Blizzard Entertainment's actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include unanticipated product delays and other factors identified in the risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Blizzard Entertainment nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Blizzard Entertainment or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.