Sunday, March 3, 2019

Show Notes, Blizzard News, March 2019



        GENERAL BLIZZARD NEWS        




Activision Blizzard (ATVI) Down 2% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

https://www.zacks.com/stock/news/359458/activision-blizzard-atvi-down-2-since-last-earnings-report-can-it-rebound



Investors Should Cheer Activision Blizzard's Latest Move

https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/03/12/investors-should-cheer-activision-blizzards-latest.aspx



Sources: Call of Duty franchise spots to sell at $25 million per team

http://www.espn.com/esports/story/_/id/26249076/call-duty-franchise-spots-sell-25-million-per-team

Activision Blizzard has begun the sales process for creating a franchised, city-based Call of Duty esports league, setting the franchise price at $25 million per team, sources familiar with negotiations told ESPN.



Here's How Activision Blizzard Makes Its Money

https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/02/25/heres-how-activision-blizzard-makes-its-money.aspx

Management explained that in 2019, it plans to grow the number of individuals working on its Call of Duty, Candy Crush, Overwatch, Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Diablo franchises by "approximately 20%."





                      STARCRAFT                      



ESPN Pronounces The Collegiate Esports Championship for 2019

http://en.brinkwire.com/news/espn-pronounces-the-collegiate-esports-championship-for-2019/

Players and teams will be competing across five games: “Hearthstone,” “Heroes of the Storm,” “StarCraft II,” “Overwatch,” and “Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition.”



Get the Abathur: Evolved Bundle with Twitch Prime! 

https://twitch.amazon.com/prime/loot/starcraft2?ref_=starcraft2launchtpsocial 
Each Bundle contains a Co-op Commander, portraits, a console skin and more. April brings the Swann: Machined Bundle and in May the Vorazun: Nerazim Bundle.




WESG: Maru vs Scarlett Semi Finals match #1 was amazing. Lasted over an hour, with over 30 nukes going off, the entire map full of creep, Admins were involved, and a rare finish! Match 2 was about 4 minutes long to compensate. The Finals were this morning, Serral vs Innovation.

Starcraft: Soldiers #3 comic is out. Nydus armor was nerfed from 5 to 3 and Cybernetics Core times were increased by the Balance Team. If you have Twitch Prime, you can get the Abathur: Evolved bundle free this month, and 2 more bundles in April and May.

And Mini faces Last for the first ASL Championship Finals in years that dont include Flash.



WESG: MacSed vs Seventy

Today around noon at the massive WESG tournament in China, during the round of 48, MacSed, one of the top three Starcraft players in China and the Chinese Qualifier Winner, faced Seventy, the runner up from the Serbia Qualifiers who made it to the tournament after Serbian Qualifier Winner ZeroX couldn't make it. Seventy's MMR is much lower than MacSed.

MacSed quickly won game 1 with phoenixes and a push up Seventy's ramp. In Game 2, Seventy proxied to MacSed's third while MacSed set up beside Seventy's main. Seventy sent three basic Protoss units to stab MacSed's workers, who surrounded their attackers and zapped them almost to death with their little static electricity nibbles, then turned and fled aimlessly around their main for a few seconds being chased and then MacSed surrendered. 

At which point a Chinese Starcraft fan who had put a bet down on the match went WTF and found that sometime after he had placed his bet, someone else or several someone's had placed a very large bet that Seventy would take one match off of MacSed. Large enough to strongly alter the odds. 

He then wrote up this information in some detail on the biggest Starcraft Forum besides Reddit, TeamLiquid. 

Did MacSed throw the match? He would not be the first to do so. I went back to watch the two matches (MacSed won the third but didnt advance out of the group, and hadn't been expected to really) and I'm not a great player, the vod I watched had no casters,  just an observer to show what was happening, so, really,  what do I know about high level Protoss vs Protoss, but really, WTF was that? 

We discussed it on The Pylon Show and although a lot of people are saying what they think outright, Blizzard has not issued as any statement, MacSed and Seventy havent made any statements at this time, and The Pylon Show didnt state any conclusions lacking evidence confessions, but it does  look extremely questionable. 

Usually the bookies investigate to see if they've been cheated, but proving collusion is difficult so it may be that noone will ever know, but a lot of people are talking about it.

Also, the British caster tweeted at one point that there was an explosion in the studio then followed it up that they couldn't find the Producer. WESG this year has had plenty of technical issues and at one point the casters, in Kiev, lost the feed and had to cast matches off of an unofficial stream on YouTube. 





[2019 GSL S1 RO16] 

The #GSL returns with Group A of the RO16!  Maru could potentially win his 4th consecutive GSL title. Will Impact, Bunny or Patience stand in his way? Live 3/8 @ 3AM PST       http://bj.afreecatv.com/gslenglish



ASL S7  Finals Sunday March 17th.  Last has always choked his way out of tournaments after showing great form and games before it. Can he finally overcome that curse vs Rain? Or will the Protoss juggernaut be to strong for him and advance to his second ASL grand finals.

Tespa Collegiate Series: StarCraft II Team Brawl at https://tespa.org/compete?blzcmp=app#starcraft   Registration for Qualifier #2 will remain open until March 7th and play March 9-10th. Next week the regular season begins. Teams that qualify will compete in nine weeks of play, fighting to be one of the eight teams to compete in the Final Bracket. Regular Season runs from March 16 - May 4 with Playoffs and Finals May 11-12, and May 18-19.

The 2019 Collegiate StarLeague Spring Season continues. University of British Columbia defeated  George Mason University on March 2nd. Temple University advanced to first in it’s Conference.  Vods at https://www.twitch.tv/egxeno .  Teams from 20 Colleges across the US
and Canada compete for a place in the Playoffs and a Prize Pool Totaling $5,000.

At the God AZAE ProLeague in Korea, Team 1 lost to both Team 3 and 4 this week.
Team 2 plays Team 3 on March 7th, completing this round.

Sign-ups are now open for OCE-SEA Spring 2019 WCS Challenger Qualifier! The path to becoming a StarCraft II pro begins on April 6!  Hosted by Gamestah Media (Pty) Ltd  

Korea StarCraft League is back, starting March 8th! Blizzard Entertainment announced that the global StarCraft: Remastered tournament will be returning for its third season in April 2019, for two seasons this year, with 8 weeks of competition per season.  KSL is a Blizzard-operated StarCraft esports league. All KSL matches will be broadcast live through the official Blizzard Entertainment StarCraft Twitch channels, in Korean and English.  Online registrations  March 8 through March 20 
Online qualifiers        March 23 and 24 

HerO defeated TY to win the OlimoLeague February Finals. 

Season 1 of the Chinese Team League will run from April 14th to June 12th. Playoffs 
which features the top 4 teams will be played offline in Shanghai, China 
on June 10th and 11th. 11:00 GMT (+00:00) every playday.

Dario, TLO, tweeted  “Super excited to be back in England assisting @DeepMindAI with their @StarCraft Alphastar project. When I find the time I'll still be streaming here and there.”

At the The AIST Season 2 Starcraft  AI Tournament, Velocirandom defeated Locutus 3-2. AI vs Human Match :   Mid March 2019

Undermind Episode 13 – A very special one, for Brood War AI beginners with special guest feardragon joining show host Sonko, along with guests Johannes Bradberg and Jasper. Like the title says, this episode a special one, aimed at people who are looking to begin Brood War AI development.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaWTbJCwVTU





soO wins IEM Katowice 2019!

https://twitter.com/IEM/status/1067855648979861505?s=19

The legendary curse of soO, the player that always comes in second place, continues to remain broken! For the second time in 2019 he has won a tournament and this time, a major tournament which automatically seeds him into BlizzCon! Losing the first two matches against Stats, the greatest Protoss player, the Sheild of Aiur, you could see soO thinking it was happening to him again in what could be his last opportunity, but it did not. Congratulations soO!






StarCraft is one of those franchises that really just gets better with age., a series that continues to be revered for its incredible universe and interactions ...

GET THE ABATHUR: EVOLVED BUNDLE

Each bundle includes a Co-op Commander, Announcer, Console Skin, portraits and more! Must install StarCraft II to claim. Offer only available where Twitch Prime is available. Each Blizzard and Twitch Prime account may only claim a StarCraft II reward once per campaign. In April the Swann: Machined Bundle will launch followed by the Vorazun: Nerazim Bundle in May. https://twitch.amazon.com/prime/loot/starcraft2?ref_=starcraft2launchtpsocial



Tespa Collegiate Series: StarCraft II Team Brawl at https://tespa.org/compete?blzcmp=app#starcraft   Teams that qualify will compete in nine weeks of play, fighting to be one of the eight teams to compete in the Final Bracket. Regular Season runs from March 16 - May 4 with Playoffs and Finals May 11-12, and May 18-19.

The 2019 Collegiate StarLeague Spring Season continues. March 2nd. University of British Columbia will play George Mason University March 2nd at https://www.twitch.tv/egxeno .

ProBots 2019 - Season 1 Finals - MicroMachine defeated Tychus 4 - 0. Specializing in Reaper Micro and hyperflight rotor Cloaked Banshees, MicroMachine focusses on aggression and darting in and out to attack. APM was capped at 100k.

MicroMachine vs Humans Exhibition :
LingLord, a Silver League zerg player (Not THE LingLord). Said LingLord after his hydra army was surrounded, “There’s no PAUSES. It just GOES. I really enjoy playing this bot.”
AGMcLeod, T3 Plat Terran, proxied MicroMachine three times, lost, and said, “It’s exhausting.”
“We’ve tried two humans, now let’s try a Korean.”
MaSa, Korean GM after watching the bot play said,“It’s what I try to do against humans. I’m pretty sure this guy isn’t smart enough to recognize it.” And it did not until much too late, as he made secret bases in the corners while the AI assaulted his main. “I look forward to playing a better bot.”

QLash Community Series resumes after IEM Katowice with a 4th event - March 6th

Korea StarCraft League is back, starting March 8th! Blizzard Entertainment announced that the global StarCraft: Remastered tournament will be returning for its third season in April 2019, for two seasons this year, with 8 weeks of competition per season. KSL is a Blizzard-operated StarCraft esports league.   KSL registration runs Online registrations  March 8 through March 20.

The newest StarCraft: Remastered team league on AfreecaTV is the GOD AZAE league ft. GoRush & FirebatHero casting!  Broadcast on AfreecaTV.  Four teams of the original SC1 pro players playing online proleague style Feb 18th, 22nd, 25th, 28th, March 4th, 7th 10:00 GMT. Offline playoffs March 11, 14. Finals March 23rd.  Team 1: 4-3   Team 2: 7-6   Team 3: 4-2   Team 4: 4-8

The AIST Season 2 AI Tournament Tournament Start :  1st of March 2019, with an AI vs Human Match :   Mid March 2019.  AIST is a human style AI  tournament with a human vs bot at the end, designed to as closely as is reasonably possible replicate a human professional tournament in order to further bot development and create middle ground between the human and bot focused tournaments.

The Undermind Podcast #12, a weekly podcast for all things Starcraft BroodWar AI, is looking for someone who is an AI beginner and wants to learn developing AI for an interview. Last week's show guests were Hao Pan,  McRave, and Antiga. Hao Pan, and McRave are bot authors (Terran and protoss, top 10-16 ranking in the ladder) and Antiga is the organizer of the AIST Tournament, and the pizza challenge. Our topics were the SSCAIT Finals results, a lot of technical stuff, and The Dan Grant, and we discussed how useful BASIL is (another, non-broadcasted ladder for bot matches).  Happy listening!

The Double Artosis Pylon   https://clips.twitch.tv/AmusedConfidentTitanPlanking




Tespa Collegiate Series: StarCraft II Team Brawl

https://tespa.org/compete?blzcmp=app#starcraft

All systems, go! After an exciting preseason that saw eight teams earning a guaranteed spot in the spring season, we’re ready to kick off the 2019 StarCraft II Tespa Collegiate Series - Team Brawl. Students of all skill levels, across the US and Canada, are invited to sign up and represent their schools. Teams that qualify will compete in nine weeks of play, fighting to be one of the eight teams to compete in the Final Bracket.





The Pylon Show, a Starcraft Podcast 

https://www.twitch.tv/incontroltv

With Artosis and iNcontroL every Wednesday! Also available on YouTube and as a podcast.










                           ESPORTS                          




ESPN Pronounces The Collegiate Esports Championship for 2019

http://en.brinkwire.com/news/espn-pronounces-the-collegiate-esports-championship-for-2019/

Players and teams will be competing across five games: “Hearthstone,” “Heroes of the Storm,” “StarCraft II,” “Overwatch,” and “Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition.”



For those missing @BlizzHeroes esport events

Houston Texas   May 10-12
Heroes of the Storm esports tournament partnered with @espn
To buy tickets:  https://t.co/9pjX5Vjcs1



WESG 

WESG has begun in China for several games and a huge payout. Qualifiers across 6 continents, most every nation on the planet and 6 months, 80,000 players, its finally here. This is China's knockoff of the Olympics.



Welcome to the 2019 Mythic Dungeon International

https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/esports/mythic

Western Cup #1   Saturday @ 8:00 amMar 30th, 2019
Eastern Cup #1    Friday @ 5:00 pmApr 5th, 2019
Western Cup #2   Saturday @ 8:00 amApr 13th, 2019
Eastern Cup #2    Friday @ 5:00 pmApr 19th, 2019


Warcraft Mythic Dungeon International: More Than 4,400 Teams In Progress In Less Than 36 Hours

https://www.forbes.com/sites/hnewman/2019/02/27/warcraft-mythic-dungeon-invitational-more-than-4400-teams-in-progress-in-less-than-36-hours/#33fda8e9735a



https://tespa.org/news   https://tespa.org/compete?blzcmp=app#starcraft

Tespa is excited to announce new spring programs for Overwatch, Hearthstone, StarCraft II, Heroes of the Storm, and Rocket League! Over the past decade, over 30,000 students have competed in Tespa competitive leagues, spanning 7 different games and awarding over $3M in scholarships! Leagues are open to all Tespa members, regardless of college or chapter status.






                    WARCRAFT III                    



WCG 2019 Xi'an Official Games and Tournament Schedule Released

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/wcg-2019-xian-official-games-and-tournament-schedule-released-300809837.html






GOG says Warcraft and Warcraft II will follow soon. Warcraft III is getting a remaster later this year, so obviously that won't be on there, but you know 





Warcraft: Orcs & Humans is also heading to the platform, alongside its ... Given that we'll be waiting a while for Diablo 4, however, the re-release is ...




Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne is selected as an Official Game Title for WCG 2019 Xi’an.  The Warcraft series has become a leading WCG game with many legendary players such as Grubby, Moon, and Sky. WCG 2019 Xi'an – Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne Global tournament is available to everyone, and participants who have passed the online and regional qualifiers/finals will be invited to the Grand Final in Qujiang New District, Xian, China in July 18-21 2019. Details will be announced on WCG website (www.wcg.com) on March 4, 2019.    http://en.wcg.com/news/view/438



WCG announces first four titles for grand return


This successful return of WCG would not be possible without the full support of the People’s Government of Xi’an.  In 2017, Xi’an started to develop local esports industry and the Qujiang New District was selected as the cultural and creative industry base to accelerate local esports development.  In 2018, Qujiang New District partnered with multiple Chinese esports giants like Team WE and Banana Culture to build an extensive platform for esports development.  At present, Qujiang New District has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with WCG Inc. to prepare for the return of this world renowned esports festival, and it is expected that all esports fans will keep a keen eye on Xi’an to witness the return of WCG in July.



Daily and Weekly Tournaments here

https://www.twitch.tv/back2warcraft




                           DEEPMIND                        










               WORLD OF WARCRAFT           









                                 DIABLO                           



      Blizzard Files Diablo Trademark Under Film And Television, Movie Or A Live-Action Series?

      https://segmentnext.com/2019/03/15/diablo-trademark-movie/



      Diablo I is Now available for purchase & download

      https://twitter.com/Blizzard_ANZ/status/1103758038408810496

      Diablo I is Now available for purchase & download at GOG | http://blizz.ly/2XJGpXN



      Diablo: Immortal Complete, But No Release Date

      https://www.dvsgaming.org/diablo-immortal-complete-but-no-release-date/
      https://www.mmorpg.com/diablo-immortal/news/netease-says-diablo-immortal-development-is-complete-is-it-coming-soon-1000051657





                         HEARTHSTONE                   




      ESPN Pronounces The Collegiate Esports Championship for 2019

      http://en.brinkwire.com/news/espn-pronounces-the-collegiate-esports-championship-for-2019/

      Players and teams will be competing across five games: “Hearthstone,” “Heroes of the Storm,” “StarCraft II,” “Overwatch,” and “Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition.”



      WCG 2019 Xi'an Official Games and Tournament Schedule Released

      https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/wcg-2019-xian-official-games-and-tournament-schedule-released-300809837.html



      WESG  @WESGcom

      We are approaching the second day of WESG Grand Finals in Hearthstone with four groups, Groups E — Group H, coming into action. The initial matches start at 04:00 CET.  Join us on Twitch and support 24 players in their quest to qualify to the next stage.  https://www.twitch.tv/wesg_hs




                           OVERWATCH                     




      ESPN Pronounces The Collegiate Esports Championship for 2019

      http://en.brinkwire.com/news/espn-pronounces-the-collegiate-esports-championship-for-2019/

      Players and teams will be competing across five games: “Hearthstone,” “Heroes of the Storm,” “StarCraft II,” “Overwatch,” and “Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition.”



      PHL Boombox: "We know when we play at our best, we can beat anyone."

      Boombox was a Protoss player in the middle of the Heart of the Swarm expansion. After the Fusion’s victory against the LA Valiant in Week 4, Boombox spoke with Inven Global about his time playing SC2, what he compares the GOATS meta to a meta in SC2, and how crucial his contributions are to the Fusion this season.




                     WARCRAFT CLASSIC               








                HEROES OF THE STORM          




      ESPN Pronounces The Collegiate Esports Championship for 2019

      http://en.brinkwire.com/news/espn-pronounces-the-collegiate-esports-championship-for-2019/

      Players and teams will be competing across five games: “Hearthstone,” “Heroes of the Storm,” “StarCraft II,” “Overwatch,” and “Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition.”




      For those missing @BlizzHeroes esport events

      Houston Texas   May 10-12
      Heroes of the Storm esports tournament partnered with @espn
      To buy tickets:  https://t.co/9pjX5Vjcs1







                            BLIZZARD MOBILE                      








            OTHER BLIZZARD RELATED STUFF      










      Sources for these news bits include:

      www.google.com

      https://news.blizzard.com/en-us

      http://www.teamliquid.net/

      And others.



      .

      Saturday, February 2, 2019

      Show Notes, Blizzard News, February 2019



              GENERAL BLIZZARD NEWS        



      Collected Works: Jeff Kaplan. 

      https://www.pcgamer.com/collected-works-jeff-kaplan/

      This article was originally published in issue 307 of Edge, back in May 2017.  The game director of Overwatch on false starts and new beginnings at one of the world’s most storied studios.



      Blizzard is working on several Warcraft and Diablo games despite layoffs

      https://venturebeat.com/2019/02/12/blizzard-more-world-warcraft-games/






                            STARCRAFT                      



      Summary



      BoxeR is the latest addition to the Esports Hall of Fame

      https://www.gamereactor.eu/esports/734483/BoxeR+is+the+latest+addition+to+the+Esports+Hall+of+Fame/




      Tespa Collegiate Series: StarCraft II Team Brawl

      https://tespa.org/compete?blzcmp=app#starcraft

      All systems, go! After an exciting preseason that saw eight teams earning a guaranteed spot in the spring season, we’re ready to kick off the 2019 StarCraft II Tespa Collegiate Series - Team Brawl. Students of all skill levels, across the US and Canada, are invited to sign up and represent their schools. Teams that qualify will compete in nine weeks of play, fighting to be one of the eight teams to compete in the Final Bracket.




      StarCraft II Esports in 2019
      Seven new 2019 SEASON 1 Maps have come out, tending towards beautiful, lush green landscapes.

      Blizzard announced the rest of the Starcraft Esports schedule, with WCS Spring and Summer to both take place live in Kiev, Ukraine, replacing Dreamhack Valencia, Dallas and Leipzig.
      WCS Fall will take place at DreamHack Montreal. Three Challenger Series, 3 GSLs, 2 GSL SuperTournaments and GSL vs The World fill out the remaining schedule.
      Blizzard also revised their recent policy change restricting players from competing in both Season 1 of GSL and Season 1 of WCS Challenger. Intending to limit the number of WCS Circuit players who would compete in the Korean tournament, the rule change succeeded, as all the usual foreigners except Scarlett pulled out of the GSL competition. Season 2 and 3 will return to the 2018 rules.
      In addition, Blizzard announced plans to release a second War Chest later this the year.

      WCS Winter
      In WCS Winter EU, Serral advanced first out of his group undefeated. Reynor, uThermal, HeRoMaRinE, Elazer, Harstem, Lambo, MaNa, Namshar, Rail, Hellraiser and PtitDrogo also advanced, with Nerchio falling out 0-4. ShowTime, Zanster, SortOf and HateMe play later today.
      In WCS Winter NA, Neeb advanced undefeated, with TIME, Probe, Rex, MaSa, Astrea, Coffee and Silky. Has, puCK, Firefly and PSiArc play later today.
      Group Stage 2  begins February 14 for both regions.

      BroodWar Patch 1.22.3  has arrived.
      The first season of 2019 has officially begun Featuring New Zerg themed ranked play rewards.
      New features have been added to the WCS GameHeart Extension Mod, which will now automatically prevent skins from being displayed for players but Skins will be visible to Observers.

      GSL Season 1
      Two GSL players received the NesTea award for 10 consecutive Code S appearances this week: Classic and Losira. They are the ninth and tenth players to accomplish the feat.
      MC joined ROOT Gaming this week. One of the most decorated players of all time, MC retired from pro-gaming to become a League of Legends coach, but looked anything but rusty in the lead off match of the GSL Group Stages, easily defeating Stats, last years BlizzCon's Finalist, before being knocked out himself. Emerging from the Group Stages so far are Dark and Dear, Classic and Trap, Gumiho and Cure, SoS and Bunny. Maru and Scarlett are next to play along with soO, INnoVation, TY, Zest and Rogue in Groups E through H.

      ASL Season 7
      Round of 16 Group Stage have just begun with EffOrt and Horang2 advancing over GuemChi and PianO.

      IEM KATOWICE 2019,
      Season 13 Group Stages begin Feb 25th - March 3rd.




      Starcraft 2 In Wine & Select Games Could See Nice Performance Win With RadeonSI Patches

      https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=RadeonSI-SDMA-Constants

      I admit Im not entirely sure what this article says.




      &   &   &




      At the Ladies Only Banshee Tournament, Miyamori defeated Kyla to win this week after defeating the undefeated Ladies Champion, Tilea, in the Round of 4. Miyamori was found to be male however, a player named Kiyj who last week disrupted the Banshee Tournament by playing using the name of another regular player, Ragnarokette. Accordingly the prize money was revoked and split among the remaining top 3 players. Tilea announced her semi retirement a few days later for undisclosed reasons, but plans to co-cast future Banshee Tournaments with ZombieGrub and perhaps will play if the opportunity presents. 💜 

      Zest won the BaseTradeTV  TING  Open  Season  5 over Cure, one of the longest tournaments in Starcraft history due to scheduling issues.

      Congratulations to Astrea for winning the 1st season of The NA Apprentice Tournament for up and coming players.

      Innovation defeated soO to win the OlimoLeague Winter Grand Finals.

      Indy, a Polish caster, won the QLash Casters Invitational after the Caster JimRising was unable to compete in the Live Finals and was replaced by French Caster Yogo.

      SAIDA and Locutus advanced out of the Round of 4 in the SSCAIT, Student StarCraft AI Tournament. SAIDA is created by the Samsung Corporation and currently tied with Locutus with a  Win Loss Percentage at  95.77%.

      Bly won this weeks Wardi Arena but in WCS Winter Europe failed to advance out of Group A. uThermal, MaNa, HeRoMaRinE, and Rail have advanced at this time with 6 Groups yet to complete. SpeCial, MCanning, Scarlett and Epic have advanced on the WCS Winter Americas side. Groups C and D for both will play out this weekend, E through H on February 7th through the tenth.

      Dark and Dear advanced out of Group A in GSL Season 1 Code S Round of 32. Group B consisting of Classic, TRUE, Losira and Trap play February 7th. Stats, MC, Cure and GuMiho play on February 8th. Scarlett was the only foreigner to qualify this season and plays Maru, RagnaroK and herO in Group E on February 13th. GSL will take a hiatus in three weeks to allow its Korean players to compete in IEM Katowice.



      An AI crushed two human pros at StarCraft—but it wasn’t a fair fight

      https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/01/an-ai-crushed-two-human-pros-at-starcraft-but-it-wasnt-a-fair-fight/
      AlphaStar may be the strongest StarCraft AI ever created. But it wasn't quite as big of an accomplishment as it might appear.

      Top StarCraft players can issue instructions to their units very quickly. Grzegorz "MaNa" Komincz averaged 390 actions per minute (more than six actions per second!) over the course of his games against AlphaStar.  But of course, a computer program can easily issue thousands of actions per minute, allowing it to exert a level of control over its units that no human player could match.

      To avoid that, DeepMind says it put a hard cap on the number of actions per minute AlphaStar could make. "We set a maximum of 600 APMs over 5-second periods, 400 over 15-second periods, 320 over 30-second periods, and 300 over 60-second period," wrote DeepMind researcher Oriol Vinyals in a reddit AMA following the demonstration.

      But as other redditors quickly pointed out, five seconds is a long time in a StarCraft game. These limits seem to imply that AlphaStar could take 50 actions in a single second or 15 actions per second for three seconds.

      More importantly, AlphaStar has the ability to make its clicks with surgical precision using an API, whereas human players are constrained by the mechanical limits of computer mice. And if you watch a pro like Komincz play, you'll see that the number of raw actions often far exceeds the number of meaningful actions.

      And as I mentioned earlier, the API used by AlphaStar in its initial games gave it a godlike view of the entire battlefield (albeit only those portions of the battlefield within range of one of AlphaStar's units). If a human player wants to take actions in two different parts of the board, he has to first take the extra step of moving the camera to the new location. When AlphaStar was forced to use the camera as well, MaNa was able to defeat it.

      It's not yet clear if the camera restrictions introduced last week are sufficient to make the fight truly fair. AlphaStar is still accessing information about the game through a specialized API that's different from the rendering shown to human players. This API may allow the software to glean more information and issue instructions more quickly and precisely than would be possible for a human player.


      The DeepMind StarCraft AI May Have Been 'Cheating' After All

      https://www.thegamer.com/starcraft-deepmind-ai-cheating/



      &   &   &



      DeepMind Starcraft II Demonstration took place on DeepMind's YouTube channel on January 24th, with Tim Morton the Lead Producer of StarCraft, Oriol Vinyals the lead of the DeepMind Team  casters RotterDam and Artosis, Dave Silver co lead of the DeepMind , and Pro Starcraft players TLO and Mana of Team Liquid.

      First announced in 2016 at BlizzCon, DeepMind has previously defeated Chess and Go.

      After a brief chat about the history of the DeepMind StarCraft project, TLO, a top Zerg player for Team Liquid who is known for creative strategies, spoke about his experience as the first professional Starcraft player to compete against DeepMind, first playing 100 games as Protoss as preparation in the week leading up to the match.

      Artosis and RotterDam cast 2 of the more interesting of the 5 matches, explaining the differences between a human and the AI, and the strategies involved, with discussion of the other 3 between matches.

      DeepMind sees 30 screens a minute as he moves around the map to gives new unit orders, a similar rate to a SC pro and has been limited to a somewhat human speed which can go as high as 700 or more Actions Per Minute instead of the 3500 DeepMind was capable of at that time in the week before Christmas. Moreover, DeepMind has no "mindset". Human players choose a favorite unit or strategy style and become known by it, as well as understand the current meta of the game, but DeepMind has trained only against copies of itself called AlphaStar that compete using wildly different strategies rather than copying a meta, and TLO played 5 different versions of DeepMind instead of one, leading him to make assumptions of how it would play that turned out to harm his own play instead.

      DeepMind uses "Imitation learning" from replays to try to understand the basics of Starcraft and imitate each particular move. The AlphaStar matches became known as the League, creating a diversity of strategies and over time a whole new set of strategies emerged onto the ladder. Sometimes proxy strategies emerged. One week of DeepMind training is equivalent to 200 years of human Starcraft.

      Said RotterDam of AlphaStar, "Good Starcraft, but not perfect Starcraft."

      One AlphaStar version made the mistake of massing up to 18 disruptors, far more than the 4 or 5 maximum of the human meta and blew chunks out of TLO's army anytime his reactions werent fast enough to avoid their shots.

      All AlphaStars regularly made 24 drones  rather than the long accepted human meta of 16 per nexus, a "mistake" but because of it, TLOs attacks that would normally cripple a nexus' worker count clipped redundant workers instead to little if any effect.

      Human players handle going up a narrow ramp into a defended enemy base with extreme caution, whereas AlphaStar with its inhuman micro  had no fear at all, surprising the human player unused to it, leading to more losses.

      And worst of all, AlphaStar demonstrated perfect micro at all times, able to individually move units at the precise time and location needed, as all of the best AIs have demonstrated, but to an extremely high level so that units near to death were removed and fresh units continuing the fight until tiny mistakes made by TLO led to the loss of his armies by a thousand paper cuts.

      All 5 matches are available to watch on www.deepmind.com or the DeepMind YouTube channel  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUTMhmVh1qs  and strongly bring SkyNet to mind.

      A week later after more training time for DeepMind, AlphaStar faced top Protoss, MaNa in another 5 games, 2 or 3 of which are shown on the video.

      With only a week, DeepMind showed clear improvement.

      The Demonstration ended with analysis, some videos of how the DeepMind team had reacted to the ten pro matches, and a Live show match with MaNa.


      soO defeated ParTing in the chinese Masters Coliseum 4 tournament

      Probots 2019 Season 1, a StarCraft AI tournament, has begun at https://www.twitch.tv/eschamp/

      Bombastic  StarLeague  6 Nation Wars.  Starcraft Brood War has its own NationWars underway with Peru, Russia, Poland and Chile advancing from the ladder. Only players living outside of South Korea can participate in BSL. The top 5 players from each country form a Nation team.

      StarCraft: Soldiers #1 has come out.

      IEM KATOWICE 2019, Season 13  Patience, INnoVation, & Maru qualified from NA.  SpeCiaL, Neeb and uThermal from EU.  They join the WCS 2018 Global Champion Serral. Dark, Bunny, Zest, TY and Rogue have qualified from Korea.  Group Stages begin Feb 28th - March 1st.

      WCS Winter will be starting on January 31st!

      2019 GSL Season 1 Code A Qualifiers begin Jan. 23rd (Wed.) & Jan. 24th

      AfreecaTV StarCraft League Season 7 ​​Group Stages Group E and F will play out on Jan 27th and 29th. Larva, Horang2, Snow, pianO, Best, Sacrsi, Mind and Modesty have already qualified.








      IEM Katowice 2019

      https://twitter.com/IEM/status/1067855648979861505?s=19

      We’re excited to announce that StarCraft II will once again be featured at Intel® Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice Grand Finals on March 3, players will be battling it out for their share of a prize pool worth over USD $400,000.

      There will be an on-site qualifier at the ESL studio in Katowice on February 25–26. Keep an eye on the official IEM website.

      2018 World Championship Series champion Joona “Serral” Sotala has accepted his invitation to compete and will be seeded directly into the Round of 24.




      The Pylon Show, a Starcraft Podcast 

      https://www.twitch.tv/incontroltv

      With Artosis and iNcontroL every Wednesday! Also available on YouTube and as a podcast.










                                 ESPORTS                          



      https://tespa.org/news   https://tespa.org/compete?blzcmp=app#starcraft

      Tespa is excited to announce new spring programs for Overwatch, Hearthstone, StarCraft II, Heroes of the Storm, and Rocket League! Over the past decade, over 30,000 students have competed in Tespa competitive leagues, spanning 7 different games and awarding over $3M in scholarships! Leagues are open to all Tespa members, regardless of college or chapter status.






                          WARCRAFT III                    




      Daily and Weekly Tournaments here

      https://www.twitch.tv/back2warcraft




                               DEEPMIND                        




        An AI is playing Pictionary to figure out how the world works

        https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612882/an-ai-is-playing-pictionary-to-figure-out-how-the-world-works/







                   WORLD OF WARCRAFT           









                                     DIABLO                           




          2.5 per cent of core PC users played Diablo III in January, six month high for Blizzard's dungeon crawler

          https://www.pcgamesinsider.biz/news/68555/diablo-iii-hits-six-month-player-share-high-according-to-newzoo/



          Blizzard is working on several Warcraft and Diablo games despite layoffs

          https://venturebeat.com/2019/02/12/blizzard-more-world-warcraft-games/




          Want a Little More Diablo in Your Life? You Can Have it with the Book of Adria

          https://www.mmorpg.com/diablo-3/news/want-a-little-more-diablo-in-your-life-you-can-have-it-with-the-book-of-adria-1000051436









                             HEARTHSTONE                   









                               OVERWATCH                     









                         WARCRAFT CLASSIC               








                    HEROES OF THE STORM          









                                BLIZZARD MOBILE                      








                OTHER BLIZZARD RELATED STUFF      










          Sources for these news bits include:

          www.google.com

          https://news.blizzard.com/en-us

          http://www.teamliquid.net/

          And others.



          .


          Wednesday, January 2, 2019

          Show Notes, Blizzard News January 2019



                  GENERAL BLIZZARD NEWS        



          CYBERPUNK 2077 HEAD WRITER JOINS BLIZZARD

          https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/01/24/the-witcher-3-creative-director-joins-blizzard



          Activision Blizzard Hit With Multiple Class Action Lawsuits Over Bungie Split

          https://screenrant.com/activision-blizzard-bungie-lawsuits-split/



          Activision Blizzard Under Investigation For Securities Fraud

          https://screenrant.com/activision-blizzard-securities-fraud-investigation/



          Blizzard Has 3 Art Books & a Pop-Up Book Coming in 2019

          https://www.mmorpg.com/news/blizzard-has-3-art-books-and-a-pop-up-book-coming-in-2019-1000051190



          THE EARLY DAYS OF BLIZZARD WITH CO-FOUNDER ALLEN ADHAM

          https://sea.ign.com/starcraft/144965/feature/the-early-days-of-blizzard-with-co-founder-allen-adham



          Former Blizzard Entertainment President Leaving Advisory Role In April

          https://esportsobserver.com/morhaime-exits-blizzard-april/



          Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase Extend Publishing Partnership Through 2022

          https://esportsobserver.com/blizzard-netease-china/



          Activision Blizzard Has Just Appointed Three New Presidents 

          https://t.co/wQvczQFDPF

          https://twitter.com/Twinfinite/status/1083036580686643201



          Activision Blizzard Set To Fire Its CFO After Rocky 2018

          https://hothardware.com/news/activision-blizzard-fires-cfo





                                STARCRAFT                      


          Summary



          At the Ladies Only Banshee Tournament, Miyamori defeated Kyla to win this week after defeating the undefeated Ladies Champion, Tilea, in the Round of 4. Miyamori was found to be male however, a player named Kiyj who last week disrupted the Banshee Tournament by playing using the name of another regular player, Ragnarokette. Accordingly the prize money was revoked and split among the remaining top 3 players. Tilea announced her semi retirement a few days later for undisclosed reasons, but plans to co-cast future Banshee Tournaments with ZombieGrub and perhaps will play if the opportunity presents. 💜 

          Zest won the BaseTradeTV  TING  Open  Season  5 over Cure, one of the longest tournaments in Starcraft history due to scheduling issues.

          Congratulations to Astrea for winning the 1st season of The NA Apprentice Tournament for up and coming players.

          Innovation defeated soO to win the OlimoLeague Winter Grand Finals.

          Indy, a Polish caster, won the QLash Casters Invitational after the Caster JimRising was unable to compete in the Live Finals and was replaced by French Caster Yogo.

          SAIDA and Locutus advanced out of the Round of 4 in the SSCAIT, Student StarCraft AI Tournament. SAIDA is created by the Samsung Corporation and currently tied with Locutus with a  Win Loss Percentage at  95.77%.

          Bly won this weeks Wardi Arena but in WCS Winter Europe failed to advance out of Group A. uThermal, MaNa, HeRoMaRinE, and Rail have advanced at this time with 6 Groups yet to complete. SpeCial, MCanning, Scarlett and Epic have advanced on the WCS Winter Americas side. Groups C and D for both will play out this weekend, E through H on February 7th through the tenth.

          Dark and Dear advanced out of Group A in GSL Season 1 Code S Round of 32. Group B consisting of Classic, TRUE, Losira and Trap play February 7th. Stats, MC, Cure and GuMiho play on February 8th. Scarlett was the only foreigner to qualify this season and plays Maru, RagnaroK and herO in Group E on February 13th. GSL will take a hiatus in three weeks to allow its Korean players to compete in IEM Katowice.





          What DeepMind’s AlphaStar beating StarCraft players means for AI research

          https://towardsdatascience.com/what-deepminds-alphastar-beating-starcraft-players-means-for-ai-research-62ca70ccb403




          DeepMind Starcraft II Demonstration took place on DeepMind's YouTube channel on January 24th, with Tim Morton the Lead Producer of StarCraft, Oriol Vinyals the lead of the DeepMind Team  casters RotterDam and Artosis, Dave Silver co lead of the DeepMind , and Pro Starcraft players TLO and Mana of Team Liquid.

          First announced in 2016 at BlizzCon, DeepMind has previously defeated Chess and Go.

          After a brief chat about the history of the DeepMind StarCraft project, TLO, a top Zerg player for Team Liquid who is known for creative strategies, spoke about his experience as the first professional Starcraft player to compete against DeepMind, first playing 100 games as Protoss as preparation in the week leading up to the match.

          Artosis and RotterDam cast 2 of the more interesting of the 5 matches, explaining the differences between a human and the AI, and the strategies involved, with discussion of the other 3 between matches.

          DeepMind sees 30 screens a minute as he moves around the map to gives new unit orders, a similar rate to a SC pro and has been limited to a somewhat human speed which can go as high as 700 or more Actions Per Minute instead of the 3500 DeepMind was capable of at that time in the week before Christmas. Moreover, DeepMind has no "mindset". Human players choose a favorite unit or strategy style and become known by it, as well as understand the current meta of the game, but DeepMind has trained only against copies of itself called AlphaStar that compete using wildly different strategies rather than copying a meta, and TLO played 5 different versions of DeepMind instead of one, leading him to make assumptions of how it would play that turned out to harm his own play instead.

          DeepMind uses "Imitation learning" from replays to try to understand the basics of Starcraft and imitate each particular move. The AlphaStar matches became known as the League, creating a diversity of strategies and over time a whole new set of strategies emerged onto the ladder. Sometimes proxy strategies emerged. One week of DeepMind training is equivalent to 200 years of human Starcraft.

          Said RotterDam of AlphaStar, "Good Starcraft, but not perfect Starcraft."

          One AlphaStar version made the mistake of massing up to 18 disruptors, far more than the 4 or 5 maximum of the human meta and blew chunks out of TLO's army anytime his reactions werent fast enough to avoid their shots.

          All AlphaStars regularly made 24 drones  rather than the long accepted human meta of 16 per nexus, a "mistake" but because of it, TLOs attacks that would normally cripple a nexus' worker count clipped redundant workers instead to little if any effect.

          Human players handle going up a narrow ramp into a defended enemy base with extreme caution, whereas AlphaStar with its inhuman micro  had no fear at all, surprising the human player unused to it, leading to more losses.

          And worst of all, AlphaStar demonstrated perfect micro at all times, able to individually move units at the precise time and location needed, as all of the best AIs have demonstrated, but to an extremely high level so that units near to death were removed and fresh units continuing the fight until tiny mistakes made by TLO led to the loss of his armies by a thousand paper cuts.

          All 5 matches are available to watch on www.deepmind.com or the DeepMind YouTube channel  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUTMhmVh1qs  and strongly bring SkyNet to mind.

          A week later after more training time for DeepMind, AlphaStar faced top Protoss, MaNa in another 5 games, 2 or 3 of which are shown on the video.

          With only a week, DeepMind showed clear improvement.

          The Demonstration ended with analysis, some videos of how the DeepMind team had reacted to the ten pro matches, and a Live show match with MaNa.


          soO defeated ParTing in the chinese Masters Coliseum 4 tournament

          Probots 2019 Season 1, a StarCraft AI tournament, has begun at https://www.twitch.tv/eschamp/

          Bombastic  StarLeague  6 Nation Wars.  Starcraft Brood War has its own NationWars underway with Peru, Russia, Poland and Chile advancing from the ladder. Only players living outside of South Korea can participate in BSL. The top 5 players from each country form a Nation team.



          StarCraft: Soldiers #1 has come out.

          IEM KATOWICE 2019, Season 13  Patience, INnoVation, & Maru qualified from NA.  SpeCiaL, Neeb and uThermal from EU.  They join the WCS 2018 Global Champion Serral. Dark, Bunny, Zest, TY and Rogue have qualified from Korea.  Group Stages begin Feb 28th - March 1st.

          WCS Winter will be starting on January 31st!

          2019 GSL Season 1 Code A Qualifiers begin Jan. 23rd (Wed.) & Jan. 24th

          AfreecaTV StarCraft League Season 7 ​​Group Stages Group E and F will play out on Jan 27th and 29th. Larva, Horang2, Snow, pianO, Best, Sacrsi, Mind and Modesty have already qualified.




          DeepMind Plays Pro Starcraft Player Live!

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUTMhmVh1qs


          https://www.teamliquid.net/forum/starcraft-2/541114-alphastar-ai-goes-10-1-against-human-pros-in-demonstration



          Balance update coming to Starcraft 2 on Jan 22

          https://estnn.com/balance-update-coming-to-starcraft-ii-on-jan-22/



          Dark Horse Is Expanding The StarCraft Comics Universe With StarCraft Soldiers

          https://www.gamespot.com/articles/dark-horse-is-expanding-the-starcraft-comics-unive/1100-6464477/



          NEVER FORGET WHERE YOU’RE COMING FROM: THIS KIND GESTURE FROM A UK OVERWATCH PRO EVOKES THAT ESPORTS COMMUNITY SPIRIT

          https://esports-news.co.uk/2019/01/23/overwatch-boombox-epiclan/


          SUMMARY


          At IEM Katovice 2019 Patience, INnoVation, & Maru qualified from NA, SpeCiaL, Neeb and uThermal from EU.  They join the WCS 2018 Global Champion Serral. Trap, RagnaroK, Cure, Bunny, soO, aLive, herO and Solar have advanced in the 1st of two Korean Qualifiers. Group Stages begin February 28th, with Finals March 3rd.  The NA qualifiers saw a 50% increase in participants compared to 2018.

          WCS Winter 2019 Announcements :   Three separate qualifiers will be held on the Europe servers on Jan 17, 18, and 20. The top eight from each will move to the European round of 32.  Two separate qualifiers will take place on the Americas servers on January 15 and 20. A third qualifier will be run on the Asia server on January 19.

          AfreecaTV StarCraft League Season 7 ​​Group Stages will begin on Sunday, January 13th, hosted by Afreeca TV and play every Sunday and Tuesday at 7pm.

          The GPL 2018 Grand Finals are the conclusion of the 2018 Chinese Gold Series. Four players chosen by 2018 WCS Circuit Standings competed for the most prestigious trophy in China.  On January 11th and 12th, TIME defeated TooDming in the Finals.

          At the OSC Battle of the Americas: North America vs Latin America Finals, Neeb from the US defeated SpeCial 4-2.

          The OSC Championship 6 Finals take a place January 13 featuring Gumiho vs Guru.
          The Starcraft 2 BJ Destruction Team League, Season 2, Finals took place with  Team "Our Goal Is 2nd Place" led by soO defeating the power house Team "Fly JinAir".

          Master's Coliseum 4 is a Chinese online invitational tournament. soO defeated ParTinG 4-3.  soO's legendary curse seems to be well and truly broken for 2019.

          The National Electronic Sports Open 2018 is a comprehensive e-Sports tournament organised by the Chinese State General Administration of Sport and hosted by NeoTV . iAsonu defeated XiGua 4-0 in the Finals.

          In Starcraft AI news, ProBots 2019 - Season 3 has begin.  All the ProBot action happens Mondays and Wednesdays starting from Jan 7th at 7:30 pm EST on the ESChamp Twitch Channel.

          The Pizza Pie Weekly #52 was won by Raze 2-0 over Nycro. Numerous changes are being made to the Pizza Pie*/ Weekly in 2019, including return to biweekly status, but offering cash prizes in addition to the pizza which now includes an additional topping, and pizza points for all entrants that go towards qualification to an end of the year grand finals.

          Bombastic  StarLeague  Season 6  ladder stage is underway.  The goal of the Bombastic StarLeague is to focus on the development of Starcraft Remastered players outside of South Korea, both the very best and top amateurs to encourage new players.



          ASL Season 7 Qualifiers underway in Korea. [Red]NaDa has qualified for #ASL Season 7 over 16 years after winning his first championship in 2002.

          https://twitter.com/RAPiDCasting/status/1081487624638889984



          ESPN announced  "Moment of the year: Serral becomes first non-Korean to win WCS"

          War Chest: Katowice 2019 Complete Bundle is live with new skins, 3 new comics, a Diablo pet, HotS and Hearthstone loot boxes . 25% of all War Chest purchases go to StarCraft II esports. Earn Warchest XP by watching SC streams !

          Blizzard announced it is still working out details of SC 2019 Esports.  Both WCS Korea and the WCS Circuit will continue in 2019, and something new called "WCS Winter" replaces one WCS Circuit stop. Qualifiers run Jan 17, 18, and 20. This GSL style 10-week program of 2 online tournaments—one for the Americas and one for Europe— will culminate in a live, winner-advances battle between the top six, one for Europe and one for the Americas.



          IEM Katowice 2019

          https://twitter.com/IEM/status/1067855648979861505?s=19

          We’re excited to announce that StarCraft II will once again be featured at Intel® Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice Grand Finals on March 3, players will be battling it out for their share of a prize pool worth over USD $250,000.

          There will be a series of online qualifiers in January, as well as an on-site qualifier at the ESL studio in Katowice on February 25–26. Keep an eye on the official IEM website.

          2018 World Championship Series champion Joona “Serral” Sotala has accepted his invitation to compete and will be seeded directly into the Round of 24.




          The Pylon Show, a Starcraft Podcast 

          https://www.twitch.tv/incontroltv

          With Artosis and iNcontroL every Wednesday! Also available on YouTube and as a podcast.








                                     ESPORTS                          



          Blizzard Entertainment Revamps World of Warcraft Esports, Introduces Crowdfunded Prize Pool

          https://esportsobserver.com/blizzard-revamps-wow-esports-2019/



          Lead Designer Q&A: 'World Of Warcraft' Mythic Plus Dungeon And Competition Changes

          https://www.forbes.com/sites/hnewman/2019/01/17/lead-designer-qa-world-of-warcraft-mythic-plus-dungeon-and-competition-changes/#e3b7dc32f91a


          Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase Extend Publishing Partnership Through 2022

          https://esportsobserver.com/blizzard-netease-china/



          NBC4i.com: Ohio State begins work on competitive e-sports arena. 




          Blizzard Wants to Clean Up Twitch Chat Using Battle.net Accounts

          https://www.pcmag.com/news/365644/blizzard-wants-to-clean-up-twitch-chat-using-battle-net-acco







                              WARCRAFT III                    


          Warcraft 3 Legend, Moon's Endless Saga

          https://www.invenglobal.com/articles/7258/interview-warcraft-3-legend-moons-endless-saga



          Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase Extend Publishing Partnership Through 2022

          https://esportsobserver.com/blizzard-netease-china/



          Warcraft III: Reforged reminds us why mod toolsets should matter

          https://venturebeat.com/2018/12/10/warcraft-iii-reforged-reminds-us-why-mod-toolsets-should-matter/



          Daily and Weekly Tournaments here

          https://www.twitch.tv/back2warcraft







                     WORLD OF WARCRAFT           





          Lead Designer Q&A: 'World Of Warcraft' Mythic Plus Dungeon And Competition Changes

          https://www.forbes.com/sites/hnewman/2019/01/17/lead-designer-qa-world-of-warcraft-mythic-plus-dungeon-and-competition-changes/#e3b7dc32f91a


          World of Warcraft Doubles Viewership on Twitch in 2018 With New Expansion


                                       DIABLO                           



            Blizzard unveils Diablo 3's Season 16

            https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2019-01-18-blizzard-unveils-diablo-3s-season-16-for-pc-xbox-one-ps4-and-switch



            Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls Update Version 1.28 (PS4) Patch Notes 2.6.4 (PC, Xbox One)

            https://gearnuke.com/diablo-3-reapers-of-soul-update-version-1-28-patch-notes-2-6-4/



            Activision Blizzard hiring Quest Designer for Possibly Diablo 4

            https://www.thenerdmag.com/activision-blizzard-hiring-quest-designer-for-possibly-diablo-4/



            Diablo 3 Season 16 Starts on January 18th



            The Loot Goblin Amiibo Will Steal Your Heart (And Wallet)

            https://twinfinite.net/2018/12/the-loot-goblin-amiibo-will-steal-your-heart-and-wallet/



            SEASON 16: THE SEASON OF GRANDEUR BEGINS 1/18

            https://news.blizzard.com/en-us/diablo3/22820656/season-16-the-season-of-grandeur-begins-1-18



            League of Legends, Overwatch, PUBG, Fortnite among list of games reportedly banned in China

            https://www.foxsportsasia.com/esports/996831/996831/

            LoL is joined by several games developed by Blizzard Entertainment, including Overwatch, Diablo, and World of Warcraft (WoW), among the group of games that needed to take “corrective action.”







                               HEARTHSTONE                   









                                 OVERWATCH                     


            PCGamesN: Overwatch Contenders player leaves team after threats of doxxing.




            Blizzard Wants to Clean Up Twitch Chat Using Battle.net Accounts

            https://www.pcmag.com/news/365644/blizzard-wants-to-clean-up-twitch-chat-using-battle-net-acco




            British Esports League

            https://twitter.com/British_Esports/status/1076084871422865408?s=19








                           WARCRAFT CLASSIC               








                      HEROES OF THE STORM          




            Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase Extend Publishing Partnership Through 2022

            https://esportsobserver.com/blizzard-netease-china/






                                  BLIZZARD MOBILE                      



            The Loot Goblin Amiibo Will Steal Your Heart (And Wallet)

            https://twinfinite.net/2018/12/the-loot-goblin-amiibo-will-steal-your-heart-and-wallet/








                  OTHER BLIZZARD RELATED STUFF      




            Starblo – Blizzard’s Unreleased Sci-Fi ARPG

            https://techraptor.net/content/starblo-erich-schaefer









            Sources for these news bits include:

            www.google.com

            https://news.blizzard.com/en-us

            http://www.teamliquid.net/

            And others.



            .