Saturday, September 15, 2018

Show Notes, Blizzard News September 2018



Due to GamesCom and BlizzCon secrecy, and 
the Warcraft expansion, there has been very little 
to report lately that you can't find through Blizzard's 
own press releases. As always, if I do see anything, 
I'll continue updating here. 

See the Calendar Post 
for complete list of events, micro holidays, 
tournaments and in game events.





      WORLD OF WARCRAFT      


As I have left World of Warcraft I will no longer provide the usual links to all of the standard WoWhead and MMOChampion content you can find everywhere, just any new articles I come across that might be interesting or out of the way.



BlizzCon 2018 November 2-3

You have until July 20 to edit the information on your tickets.  The Benefit Dinner will be Thursday, November 1 and tickets are $750.  Community Night is undergoing some changes, but there will still be a costume contest.

More info: https://t.co/BlDJnUpfsy       https://t.co/yVVSmudS8l








                 STARCRAFT                 



SUMMARY



GSL Super tournament

GSL Super tournament , the last decider for the Korean wing of the lead up to BlizzCon, plays Sept 27 - 30. 

Seven players, GuMiho, Trap, SoS, soO and Solar will be battling for the last BlizzCon seat to complete the Round of 16 in November. Although foreigners did enter they failed to make it through the offline qualifiers and many have instead moved on to prepare for WESG USA and WESG Canada this weekend. 



Maru wins GSL, Promises BlizzCon

Maru took his third GSL victory this year, only the second time to ever happen in the GSL, in a 7 game, 3 hour match up against fellow Korean Terran, TY. 

While Maru focused on his signature proxy 2 barracks followed by medivacs and cyclones with banshees with vikings, TY threatened to proxy but never did, instead defending against Maru's shenanigans and taking the first two maps, with hellions and air. As the pair traded games, Maru evened the score.  With victory in sight, Jin Air rallied with Maru for a strategy session, SpeCiaL joining his friend TY to offer his own analysis as one of the top terrans after Maru and TY themselves. In game 7, Maru pushed early with cyclones, tanks, marines and a banshee, cutting through TYs natural and forcing the GG and history.

TY has won over half a million dollars playing Starcraft, the 4th highest Starcraft II player after SoS, Rogue and Maru, who  has taken over half of his $672,735 total in this year alone, with BlizzCon and its prize pool  still to go. 



Starcraft AI Tournament Season Begins

The longest running Starcraft AI Tournament, SSCAIT, will begin in a few weeks and run through December or January. Kings of the North: Probot Season 2 has already gotten underway however while SC2AI.net, a Starcraft II AI Tournament will begin in October.



And Lastly

And lastly, the TotalBiscuit Commemorative Pack is in the store for a limited time. All proceeds go to his family towards hospital bills for his cancer treatment. There is also the Starcraft War Chest for a limited time, with sweet in game skins, a Heroes of the Storm Probius skin, and loot chests for OverWatch and Hearthstone.



Chinese Researchers developed AI capable of defeating StarCraft II’s AI 

on the highest difficulty levels in full matches — making them the first to do so. 
https://thenextweb.com/artificial-intelligence/2018/09/20/tencent-created-ai-agents-that-can-beat-starcraft-2s-cheater-ai/




The Pylon Show Episode 21, a Starcraft Podcast 

https://www.twitch.tv/incontroltv

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

This week's guests, Nathanias, uThermal, Lambo, and TLO!










             ESPORTS            









                          DIABLO                      



    Diablo Netflix series confirmed by accident 

    http://www.adventuresinpoortaste.com/2018/09/22/blizzards-diablo-franchise-is-getting-a-series-on-netflix/   
    The would-be showrunner let the cat out of the bag.   Thanks to a now deleted Tweet sent out, we know that the rumors were accurate.  " I guess I can confirm I am indeed in final talks to write and show-run the new DIABLO animated series for Activision and Netflix. It’s very exciting and I hope to the High Heavens it all works out." — Andy Cosby (@andycosby) September 20, 2018




         HEROES OF THE STORM     





    HEROES OF THE DORM   https://heroesofthedorm.com/








                  HEARTHSTONE              









                    OVERWATCH                










                   WARCRAFT III               



    Daily and Weekly Tournaments here

    https://www.twitch.tv/back2warcraft











                   WARCRAFT CLASSIC               










      OTHER BLIZZARD RELATED STUFF  








    Sources for these news bits include:

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

    http://www.teamliquid.net/

    And others.



    .

    Saturday, August 4, 2018

    Show Notes, Blizzard News August 2018



    It's very long. I know. I'm sorry. Please leave comments and suggestions!


    <3 Alisaunder


    See the Calendar Post 
    for complete list of events, micro holidays, 
    tournaments and in game events.





          WORLD OF WARCRAFT      


    As I have left World of Warcraft I will no longer provide the usual links to all of the standard WoWhead and MMOChampion content you can find everywhere, just any new articles I come across that might be interesting or out of the way.




    BLIZZCON 2018 CONTEST REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

    https://blizzcon.com/en-us/news/21975714




    10 biggest changes in the history of World of Warcraft

    https://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/article/644677/10-biggest-changes-history-world-warcraft/




    Activision to adapt more IPs as mobile games

    https://www.tweaktown.com/news/62703/activision-adapt-more-ips-mobile-games/index.html



    Think ‘World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth’ can play on any PC? Think again.

    https://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/world-of-warcraft-battle-for-azeroth-pc-performance-guide/
    World of Warcraft was released in 2004, which of course means its development began years earlier. At the time, most people were running Pentium III or AMD Athlon processors, and most developers believed that single-core processors running at insanely high speeds was the future. Dual-core processors weren’t found in gaming PCs. World of Warcraft, like its peers, was developed to make as much use of a single core as possible. That doesn’t translate well to modern computers.



    Mikes Rant – Despite The New DLC Is World of Warcraft Dead?

    https://www.eteknix.com/mikes-rant-world-of-warcraft/

    I know what youre thinking, and I agree with you, but he has one valid point near the end and leaving myself, I see some mild validity in the idea that Blizzard is very slowly bleeding out as players age and arent necessarily replaced. People come back for the new expansions, new raids, but they go away again. I can tell you, the longer you are away from WoW, the less you feel a need to go back when you could play so many other things. But overall, I think WoW is not dead, no, nor close.



    BlizzCon 2018 November 2-3

    You have until July 20 to edit the information on your tickets.  The Benefit Dinner will be Thursday, November 1 and tickets are $750.  Community Night is undergoing some changes, but there will still be a costume contest.

    More info: https://t.co/BlDJnUpfsy       https://t.co/yVVSmudS8l








                     STARCRAFT                 



    SUMMARY




    GSL

    Over in Korea the GSL round of 16 began playing out with the American Neeb taking out 16 year old Reynor to advance with Maru. Rogue and Gumiho swept group B and C & D play Wednesday at 1 am. In the Round of 8, Neeb will be facing last years BlizzCon champion Rogue and Gumiho vs Maru, which will not help him pile up points for BlizzCon. 

    Neeb surprisingly is doing quite well on the Korean ladder if not in tournaments and is secure in his #1 US Region lock to send him to BlizzCon. 


    Meanwhile the rest of the world is preparing for WCS Montreal, their last chance for BlizzCon points. 

    The Challenger Series for open bracket seats 

    Back in Korea, the fallen have one last shot with the GSL Super Tournament to gain points, to play out in September or October. 

    Looking further ahead to November, Maru the dominating Champion this year in Korea, is starting to show signs of slipping just when he needs to be strongest, first with an erosion of win rate on his usual builds allowing Reynor to come very close to knocking him out of the tournament and his loss to Serral and Stats in GSL vs the World. If he falters his teammate Rogue, last years BlizzCon Champion, is at hand, as is Serral the Terminator. 

    Almost impossible to dislodge now from going to BlizzCon are SpeCial the Mexican Terran #2 in the world, Neeb, Kelazhur from Brazil, Stats, Rogue, with uThermal on the edge. 

    And lastly, GamesCom news! There isnt any till Wednesday at 7 am. The only thing I've heard at all is a 1v3 showmatch and 2 co-op show matches which, yay, I guess? But . . . 

    And the Starcraft war chest is out and active with great skin sets for each race. Comes with Probius skin for heroes of the storm and loot crates for OverWatch and Hearthstone. 



    . . .





    The Korean Starcraft League (Starcraft 1)  



    In Starcraft 1, KSL finished round of 16 with Light vs the Legendary JaeDong. This tournament is Blizzard inviting the old legends back to play against the current top players for the 20th anniversary of Starcraft and the legends are showing their A game. 
    Light is ranked #1 and #2 on the ladder ahead of Flash who went 3 years unbeaten until earlier this year. 
    JaeDong has won tournaments for years and the longer this year goes on the better he is getting from a shaky start. Forcing Light to play in and out of the standard meta JaeDong engulfed the map and powered a 3-2 victory! 

    Next week JaeDong faces Rain, the new blood who broke Flash's 3 year winning streak. 
    Next up Stork vs Best. Stork is another of THE legends of Starcraft 1.
    Best being one of the new blood I dont know him well but he took Stork down 3-1. 


    starts July 19 but qualifiers are up on https://www.twitch.tv/starcraft/videos/all from late June.  The 2018 Korea StarCraft League Season 1 or KSL Season 1, is an offline tournament, organized by Blizzard in celebration of the 20th anniversary of StarCraft. Tournament will feature open online qualifiers with top 256 players advancing to the offline stage. Round of 16 play will begin on  July 19, 2018. Matches will be broadcast every week on Thursday and Friday, 19:00 KST.




    [Asian Games] Interview with Korean League of Legends and Starcraft 2 National Teams: "I will wear the gold medal at any costs"

    https://www.invenglobal.com/articles/5992/asian-games-interview-with-korean-league-of-legends-and-starcraft-2-national-teams-i-will-wear-the-gold-medal-at-any-costs



    Team Liquid founder and co-CEO Victor Goossens: How this 35-year-old turned the gaming fan site he started as a teen into one of esports’ biggest franchises, worth multimillions

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/21/victor-goossens-founded-esports-champion-team-liquid-as-a-fan-website.html


    WAR CHEST SEASON 3 PREVIEW

    https://starcraft2.com/en-us/news/21919227
    From August 9th - December 6. The Starcraft II war chest includes bonus loot for Hearthstone (card packs), OverWatch (loot case),  and Heroes of the Storm (Probius skin). 



    GSL vs. The World Viewer’s Guide

    https://wcs.starcraft2.com/en-us/news/21965904/GSL-vs.-The-World-Viewer%E2%80%99s-Guide/



    Blizzard is celebrating StarCraft II's eighth birthday with cake and double XP

    https://www.destructoid.com/blizzard-is-celebrating-starcraft-ii-s-eighth-birthday-with-cake-and-double-xp-514028.phtml

    Many of the Foreign hopes have been practicing in Korea for years now, and familiar with losing to the top Koreans on a regular basis. SpeCial the Mexican mountain has the best record 


    StarCraft: Remastered Patch 1.22.0

    https://starcraft.com/en-us/articles/21965879?blzcmp=app



    The Pylon Show Debuts, a Starcraft Podcast by 2 Pro casters

    https://www.twitch.tv/incontroltv

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





    WCS Montreal Sept 7-9



    GSL VS THE WORLD    Play begins August 2nd - 5th, with the top 8 Korean players facing the top 8 foreigners. Watch here: http://www.twitch.tv/gsl or http://afreecatv.com/afgsl .

    As of the current voting results, much as expected with HeroMarine, Scarlett, and Mana in the lead. Has only needs 500 votes so any support his way would be appreciated. The top vote getter in each race will join Serral, SpeCial, Neeb and Showtime against Maru, Classic, Stats, Rogue and the top 3 race winners currently Innovation, Dark, and Zest, with the 4th spot neck and neck between SoO at 1876 votes and SoS at 1759. 















                 ESPORTS            


    Professional gamers, dream job for many amid esports boom

    https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/tech/2018/08/134_254579.html













                            DIABLO                      



      Netflix, Blizzard may be working on ‘Diablo’ TV series

      http://entertainment.inquirer.net/291253/netflix-blizzard-may-working-diablo-tv-series



      Wild Rumors About a Diablo Show Coming to Netflix

      https://io9.gizmodo.com/wild-rumors-about-a-diablo-show-coming-to-netflix-1828612947




      Blizzard Reveals Mephisto, The Lord of Hatred, as the Newest Hero in Heroes of the Storm

      mxdwn.com



      Overwatch On Switch Is Feasible, But StarCraft 2 Isn't

      https://www.gamespot.com/articles/overwatch-on-nintendo-switch-is-feasible-but-starc/1100-6461195/


      Story Campaign May Go Away

      https://www.polygon.com/2018/8/16/17698984/diablo-sequels-blizzard-future


      Diablo III leaks for the Switch, out later this year

      https://www.theverge.com/2018/8/15/17693840/diablo-3-switch-port-eternal-collection-2018-release-date-blizzard



      Activision Blizzard Inc. released a video announcement Aug. 8 teasing its continuing work on the popular Diablo video game series....

      http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2018/aug/08/silicon-beach-report-aug-8-blockchain-startup-sage/



      Blizzard sent out a tweet today assuring fans the franchise is far from dead

      http://www.adventuresinpoortaste.com/2018/08/08/blizzard-has-multiple-diablo-projects-in-the-works/





           HEROES OF THE STORM     


      Blizzard Disables Loot Boxes in Belgium

      https://www.guru3d.com/news-story/blizzard-disables-loot-boxes-in-belgium.html



      WAR CHEST SEASON 3 PREVIEW

      https://starcraft2.com/en-us/news/21919227
      From August 9th - December 6. The Starcraft II war chest includes bonus loot for Hearthstone (card packs), OverWatch (loot case),  and Heroes of the Storm (Probius skin). 





      HEROES OF THE DORM   https://heroesofthedorm.com/








                    HEARTHSTONE              




      WAR CHEST SEASON 3 PREVIEW

      https://starcraft2.com/en-us/news/21919227
      From August 9th - December 6. The Starcraft II war chest includes bonus loot for Hearthstone (card packs), OverWatch (loot case),  and Heroes of the Storm (Probius skin). 








                      OVERWATCH                




      Blizzard Disables Loot Boxes in Belgium

      https://www.guru3d.com/news-story/blizzard-disables-loot-boxes-in-belgium.html



      Overwatch On Switch Is Feasible, But StarCraft 2 Isn't

      https://www.gamespot.com/articles/overwatch-on-nintendo-switch-is-feasible-but-starc/1100-6461195/


      WAR CHEST SEASON 3 PREVIEW

      https://starcraft2.com/en-us/news/21919227
      From August 9th - December 6. The Starcraft II war chest includes bonus loot for Hearthstone (card packs), OverWatch (loot case),  and Heroes of the Storm (Probius skin). 









                     WARCRAFT III               



      Warcraft 3's latest patch, 1.30, goes live 

      https://www.invenglobal.com/articles/5895/warcraft-3s-latest-patch-130-goes-live-on-battlenet-servers



      Daily and Weekly Tournaments here

      https://www.twitch.tv/back2warcraft











                     WARCRAFT CLASSIC               










        OTHER BLIZZARD RELATED STUFF  








      Sources for these news bits include:

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

      http://www.teamliquid.net/

      And others.



      .

      Sunday, July 1, 2018

      Show Notes, Blizzard News July 2018



      It's very long. I know. I'm sorry. Please leave comments and suggestions!

      <3 Alisaunder


      See the Calendar Post 
      for complete list of events, micro holidays, 
      tournaments and in game events.





            WORLD OF WARCRAFT      



      Profits fall 14% at Blizzard Ireland games firm

      https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/business/profits-fall-14-at-blizzard-ireland-games-firm-854322.html



      Blizzard Explains The Entire History Of WORLD OF WARCRAFT In This (Almost) One Hour-Long Video

      https://gamefragger.com/pc/massively_multiplayer/world_of_warcraft/blizzard-explains-the-entire-history-of-world-of-warcraft-in-this-almost-one-hour-long-video-a9940



      Blizzard Bans Cloud Gaming Services

      https://flickstiq.com/blizzard-bans-cloud-gaming-services/




      How Activision Blizzard Inc. Makes Its Money

      https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/06/28/how-activision-blizzard-inc-makes-its-money.aspx




      Artifact Power Tokens Now Vendor for Gold

      https://www.wowhead.com/news=285213/artifact-power-tokens-now-vendor-for-gold



      The Artifact Retirement Quest is Now Available

      https://www.wowhead.com/news=285204/the-artifact-retirement-quest-is-now-available-max-concordance-and-artifact-leve





      BlizzCon 2018 November 2-3

      You have until July 20 to edit the information on your tickets.  The Benefit Dinner will be Thursday, November 1 and tickets are $750.  Community Night is undergoing some changes, but there will still be a costume contest.

      More info: https://t.co/BlDJnUpfsy       https://t.co/yVVSmudS8l










                     WARCRAFT III               


      Blizzard Hiring New Employees for Warcraft III, and "Other Classics"

      http://comicbook.com/gaming/2018/07/10/blizzard-hiring-warcraft-iii-remaster/



      Warcraft 3 receives another massive patch fueling hope for remastered edition.

      https://www.invenglobal.com/articles/5558/warcraft-3-receives-another-massive-patch-fueling-hope-for-remastered-edition


      Warcraft 3 marches on with its slow but steady resurgence.

      https://www.invenglobal.com/articles/5041/warcraft-3-marches-on-with-its-slow-but-steady-resurgence
      Warcraft 3 in China is still thriving -- last years Gold Championship series finals peaked at 1,416,594 viewers with an average concurrent viewership of 575,284. While China has a history of inflated viewership, it's still an important reminder of Warcraft's enduring legacy there.



      Warcraft 3 - Patch 1.29.2

      https://www.mmo-champion.com/content/7573-Activision-Earnings-Call-Blue-Posts-Blue-Tweets-WC3-Patch-1-29-2-DLC-630

      Specific Changes & Improvements

      • Ladder reset
      • Joining a custom game on Mac will result in a crash
      • Cursor does not match the mouse position when resolution is taller than wider
      • In 24 player games, AI buildings may become stuck in construction
      • Automated tournament map pool updates will be available Soon™




      Daily and Weekly Tournaments here

      https://www.twitch.tv/back2warcraft









                       STARCRAFT                 



      SUMMARY




      WCS Valencia

      Going into Valencia everyone assumed Serral would win this tournament as he has every tournament this year barring Korea, and the fight was on for 2nd place and BlizzCon points.  Like the old joke, how do you outrun a lion, by outrunning your friends, Serral systematically took apart everyone that came near him on the ladder. Scarlett the only female in top Starcraft play, fought hard and well in exciting matches and went out 3-2 with brilliant play, her BlizzCon hopes almost impossible, she needs a round of 8 at Montreal as a minimum. 

      Reynor the 16 year old Italian wonder was next , earning enough points in his run to Round of 8 to reach #24 on the ladder. He needs to reach the Grand Finals at Montreal now.  

      Then it was long time German former Terran champion HeroMarine, a 3-0 speed bump to the Finals. 

      Meanwhile far away on the other side of the brackets, Showtime solidified his BlizzCon ticket at #3, rising past 16 year old Clem in a brilliant series that led to a must see Game 2 draw which almost never happens, as the two battled it out to the last unit, harvesters included and Showtime who has been a Champion longer than Clem has been playing Starcraft made it work and took on Neeb, 3-2, then came Has (Hoss).

      Has in the grand finals for the first time in his long career . Has the greater cheeser in Starcraft II. Has from Taiwan. Has the crazy Protoss cannon rusher that does something weird and you know hes going to do something weird and rush you and yet it still often works, only now, its worked more than ever and here he is on the stage. 

      Serral entered the stage to applause. Has entered the stage to a standing ovation.             

      Noone practices against Has, because at this level of Starcraft players just dont play this way other than Has and Bly. Noone takes them that seriously.  Noone wants to play them because its so weird and everyone likes to watch them because its something different. 

      Cheese in Starcraft started with the infamous Zerg rushing tactic, "cheap" tactics rather than "skill" and better players move on to perfecting the current meta and "real" tactics and strategies, only resorting to cheese if they are on match point against a better player and about to go out of a tournament. Has and Bly though never stopped, only expanding their creative tactics and adding real skills to them, enough to be dangerous year after year and both are having a good year. Bly's chances are slim, and he will likely take out a few hopes at the BlizzCon open Qualifiers and may get a seat if his seeding is good, but Has has broken into the top 8 now by making it to the Finals, and if he can hold on at Montreal  he can be there. All he needs is Snute, Elazer and Mana to falter too soon, Or HeroMarine and Nerchio to fall too soon above him. 

      Serral took the Finals, sometimes trying to counter cheese first to throw off whats coming, always scouting like a paranoid player should and sometimes too late, often abandoning a lost base even his main rather than wasting resources on defensing a lost cause. Serral's skill is immense with micro and macro play, eeking out the tiniest of wins here and there and snowballing them, finding weakness and wedging it open and Has is better than we've ever seen but defense isnt his strong point and several games came down to who could destroy the other fastest. 

      4-1 is better than most who face Serral, who is now 3 out of 4 WCS championships this year and looking to be the first person to take all 4 at WCS Montreal, but before that comes Korea vs the World and Serral vs the best of Korea for the first time.

      The WCS Ladder:  https://liquipedia.net/starcraft2/2018_StarCraft_II_World_Championship_Series_Circuit/Standings and the top 8 currently heading for BlizzCon. 

      Matches to see: 
      Showtime vs Clem Game 2A   https://www.twitch.tv/videos/284538999
      Serral vs Scarlett    https://www.twitch.tv/videos/284510853
      Reynor Versus SpeCial, the best Terran outside of Korea https://www.twitch.tv/videos/284510361
      Has vs Elazer   https://www.twitch.tv/videos/284097129




      GSL VS THE WORLD voting ends this week on July 17. Play begins August 2nd - 5th, with the top 8 Korean players facing the top 8 foreigners. Watch here: http://www.twitch.tv/gsl or http://afreecatv.com/afgsl .

      As of the current voting results, much as expected with HeroMarine, Scarlett, and Mana in the lead. Has only needs 500 votes so any support his way would be appreciated. The top vote getter in each race will join Serral, SpeCial, Neeb and Showtime against Maru, Classic, Stats, Rogue and the top 3 race winners currently Innovation, Dark, and Zest, with the 4th spot neck and neck between SoO at 1876 votes and SoS at 1759. 

      Many of the Foreign hopes have been practicing in Korea for years now, and familiar with losing to the top Koreans on a regular basis. SpeCial the Mexican mountain has the best record 

      If interested in voting , http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/starcraft-2/535350-gsl-vs-the-world-team-world-vote      Vote Has (Protoss!) Vote SoO (Korean Zerg!)




      The Korean Starcraft League (Starcraft 1)  starts July 19 but qualifiers are up on https://www.twitch.tv/starcraft/videos/all from late June.  The 2018 Korea StarCraft League Season 1 or KSL Season 1, is an offline tournament, organized by Blizzard in celebration of the 20th anniversary of StarCraft. Tournament will feature open online qualifiers with top 256 players advancing to the offline stage. Round of 16 play will begin on  July 19, 2018. Matches will be broadcast every week on Thursday and Friday, 19:00 KST.



      In GSL, the pursuit of the Season 3 Championship is underway with the Round of 32 upsets.
      In Group A Reynor became the youngest player to win a spot at age 15 and a week, and in his first official match, defeated the top Protoss player in the world, Classic 2-0 with an incredible APM often double his opponent and hitting upwards of 700+. Harassing nonstop, everywhere, from just a few bases rather than expanding to engulf the map as most zergs do, he was constantly limitted by his economy and went down to the wire in his final match with both players scra[ing the bottom to replace units, but his harass against the slower Protoss units finally , systematically, broke Classic base by base until he was down to the original alone and tapped out looking extremely unhappy to lose this final shot at a GSL victory this year, and in the first round against his hand picked young opponent.
      Currently #4 on the Korean ladder. Classic almost certainly will still make it to BlizzCon again, he is #2 on Korean WCS points with a wide enough margin to likely hold on till November.
      Reynor is adorable, looking like Harry Potter during NationWars this year and all killing Team France, now morphed into a beaming Clark Kent with his new glasses. An exuberant Clark Kent that radiates joy just to be here like no player since Byun. Hes been living in the Project Unity House in Korea practicing and Neeb ( the last years 3X US champion) helped coach him. He is the first Italian player in the GSL and everyone is super excited to see what he will do now that he is officially 16 as of July 1, and able to join in the WCS Road to BlizzCon.  Due to his age, Reynor has 0 WCS points going into the Road to BlizzCon and the only way he can hope to make it this year is through winning WCS Valencia and Montreal or runner up at both, through the open Qualifiers or winning both GSL Season 3 and GSL SuperTournament 2.  https://liquipedia.net/starcraft2/Reynor
      https://liquipedia.net/starcraft2/2018_StarCraft_II_World_Championship_Series_Korea/Standings

      In GSL Group B, Maru danced on Forte's grave as expected, and Leenock advanced over Dear into the Round of 16. Upcoming this week Group C ( Stats, Hurricane, Cure and InnoVation ) and Group D (GuMiho, MMA, herO and Solar ) will play. Stats needs to advance and InnoVation needs to advance as far as possible. He walked away with the win at HomeStory Cup but the Korean road has been rough this year for him. Solar is within range of the top 8 if he can do well here and GuMiho too. But the top Koreans are all long time former Champions and although it can be done, has been, it wont be easy. Any advance will be a victory for Leenock, who hasnt been having a good year since his tournament win at Valencia in 2014 but he took a match off of Maru and made him work for the victory, so maybe 2019 will be his year. Maru has already won all 3 Korean tournaments held so far this year and to win the 4th would be insane, but noone is betting against him any more.


      WCS Valencia will begin on July 12th. 
      ShowTime, Ranked #4 might solidify his ticket to BlizzCon if he can do well. Serral, the #1 god of all non-Korean tournaments will be there and probably take home another 3000 WCS points because he can. SpeCial the Mexican Terran at #2 at 2680 pts has 800 points over #3 Neeb, last years US phenom but the second place finisher at Valencia will gain 2100 points, the third and 4th place 1650, and 5th-8th 900 pts. Enough to upset SpeCial, or anyone of the top 8 and let in a TRUE or Lambo. Lambo the perennial Also There Guy who came in second at HomeStory Cup two weeks ago over most of the biggest names possible. Only 400 points separate #4 from #10 right now, but only 8 get to go to BlizzCon.  https://liquipedia.net/starcraft2/2018_StarCraft_II_World_Championship_Series_Circuit/Standings


      GSL Code S Season 3 returns this week with the round of 32. GSL vs The World 2018 is the next big Korean Tournament, featuring the top 8 Korean players vs the top 8 foreigners, in August, and will be the first look at what to expect from BlizzCon as Serral has never played against the Korean ranks.

      Challenger NA is underway today, with Silky, the winner of this years TESPA Collegiate Starcraft tournament, defeating Neeb (The reigning WCS NA champion 3 times over) 3-2 in the first matchup.  The top 4 in each Challenger series will be automatically seeded into the upcoming WCS Valencia brackets.   http://www.rankedftw.com/ladder/lotv/1v1/mmr/

      HomeStory Cup 16 is underway with Lambo just making it into the final 3 over Stephano. SoO defeated Solar and will face Lambo next, fresh from the Group stages for the first time in the wake of a stint in Korea, while Solar faces Zest and Innovation vs Stephano in the losers bracket later today.

      Blizzard Adds Global StarCraft: Remastered Tournament Series in Partnership with StarLadder
      https://esportsobserver.com/blizzard-starcraft-series-starladder/




      IOC AND GAISF TO HOST ESPORTS FORUM

      https://www.olympic.org/news/ioc-and-gaisf-to-host-esports-forum

      12:55 – 14:00 NETWORKING LUNCH Level 2
      Starcraft II: Explanations & Showmatch (by Blizzard)  10-minute explanation (by Mike Morhaime)
      • Exhibition match: Théo “Ptit Drogo” Freydière vs Dario “TLO” Wünsch (cast by Dan “Frodan” Chou & Yoan “ToD” Merlo) 
      15:00 – 16:00 ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION 3: THE ATHLETE PERSPECTIVE
      Galleria, Level 2 In this round table, Olympians and professional esports players, will discuss what defines an athlete, the training routines of traditional athletes and esports players, what challenges athletes and players face, how they view health and wellness, and more.
      Professional Esports Players:
      • Stephanie “missharvey” Harvey, Canada, Five-Time World Champion, Professional
      Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Player, Counter Logic Gaming Red
      • Chan “Deer” Ka-Ching, Captain & Video Gamer, PandaCute
      • Jacob “Jake” Lyon, Professional Overwatch Player
      • Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon, Professional Overwatch Player, Shanghai Dragons
      Dario “TLO” Wünsch, Starcraft II Player, Team Liquid



      Blizzard is celebrating StarCraft II's eighth birthday with cake and double XP

      https://www.destructoid.com/blizzard-is-celebrating-starcraft-ii-s-eighth-birthday-with-cake-and-double-xp-514028.phtml



      QLASH StarCraft II Invitational

      https://dailyesports.tv/qlash-starcraft-ii-invitational-can-intensify-the-sc-community/



      New StarCraft: Remastered ladder system is live!

      https://dailyesports.tv/new-ladder-system-starcraft-remastered/



      Enhanced brain connectivity observed in frequent StarCraft II players

      https://www.psypost.org/2018/07/enhanced-brain-connectivity-observed-in-frequent-starcraft-ii-players-51793




      StarCraft II shows steady viewership growth over 2017

      https://dailyesports.tv/starcraft-ii-shows-steady-viewership-growth-over-2017/



      'StarCraft II': How Blizzard Brought the King of Esports Back From the Dead

      https://variety.com/2018/gaming/features/starcraft-ii-esports-history-1202873246/



      Well Played: Pro gamers, devs meet with Olympic committee

      http://www.times-standard.com/article/NJ/20180714/FEATURES/180719922




      You Could Cast the Open Qualifiers for WCS Challenger Season 3!

      https://wcs.starcraft2.com/en-us/news/21971147/You-Could-Cast-the-Open-Qualifiers-for-WCS-Challenger-Season-3!/




      Hearthstone and StarCraft II players revealed for Asian Games. 

      https://www.gamereactor.eu/esports/677483/Hearthstone+and+StarCraft+II+players+revealed+for+Asian+Games/
      The continent's best players can compete to win medals as well. The competition starts on August 18. The qualified players can be found here for Hearthstone https://playhearthstone.com/en-gb/blog/21935288 and here for StarCraft II, https://wcs.starcraft2.com/en-us/news/21936839/StarCraft-II-Headlines-Esports-at-the-Asian-Games/
      Maru is the South Korea contender, and the only two other players I have heard of are Nice from Chinese Taipei and Meomaika from Vietnam, so considering how dominant Maru has been this year, Id say hes a safe bet with Nice and Meomaika rounding out things.


      Indian Esports Athletes Shine at the South Asian Qualifiers for Asian Games - 2018

      It is to be noted that Esports will be a Medal Sport in Asian Games-2022 at Hangzhou, China and very recently the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) have announced an “esports forum” on 21 July at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne. https://www.sportskeeda.com/esports/indian-esports-athletes-shine-at-the-south-asian-qualifiers-for-asian-games-2018



      IOC to hold esports exploratory forum next month (Olympics)

      http://www.espn.com.au/esports/story/_/id/23918056/international-olympic-committee-hold-esports-forum-next-month




      StarCraft fans at San Diego Comic-Con will be able to get their hands on some slick new convention exclusive covers courtesy of Dark Horse Comics.

      http://comicbook.com/comics/2018/06/26/dark-horse-convention-covers-starcraft-quantum-age/




      Blizzard Adds Global StarCraft: Remastered Series in Partnership with StarLadder

      https://esportsobserver.com/blizzard-starcraft-series-starladder/





      In celebration of the 20th anniversary of StarCraft, Blizzard Entertainment is launching the Korea StarCraft League (KSL). 

      https://ksl.starcraft.com/en-us/
      https://news.blizzard.com/en-us/starcraft/.../introducing-the-korea-starcraft-league




      Dark Horse Launches ... Starcraft Scavengers in July ...

      https://www.bleedingcool.com/2018/04/18/dark-horse-quantum-age-she-could-fly-incredibles-2-starcraft-scavengers-july-2018-solicits/




      The Pylon Show Debuts, a Starcraft Podcast by 2 Pro casters

      https://www.twitch.tv/incontroltv

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




      WCS Valencia July 12-14

      WCS Montreal Sept 7-9







                   ESPORTS            





      IOC AND GAISF TO HOST ESPORTS FORUM

      https://www.olympic.org/news/ioc-and-gaisf-to-host-esports-forum
      https://stillmed.olympic.org/media/Document%20Library/OlympicOrg/News/2018/07/esports-forum/IOC-GAISF-Esports-Forum-Programme.pdf#_ga=2.228254750.2047620503.1532276142-747244726.1532276142

      12:55 – 14:00 NETWORKING LUNCH Level 2
      Starcraft II: Explanations & Showmatch (by Blizzard)  10-minute explanation (by Mike Morhaime)
      • Exhibition match: Théo “Ptit Drogo” Freydière vs Dario “TLO” Wünsch (cast by Dan “Frodan” Chou & Yoan “ToD” Merlo) 
      15:00 – 16:00 ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION 3: THE ATHLETE PERSPECTIVE
      Galleria, Level 2 In this round table, Olympians and professional esports players, will discuss what defines an athlete, the training routines of traditional athletes and esports players, what challenges athletes and players face, how they view health and wellness, and more.
      Professional Esports Players:
      • Stephanie “missharvey” Harvey, Canada, Five-Time World Champion, Professional
      Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Player, Counter Logic Gaming Red
      • Chan “Deer” Ka-Ching, Captain & Video Gamer, PandaCute
      • Jacob “Jake” Lyon, Professional Overwatch Player
      • Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon, Professional Overwatch Player, Shanghai Dragons
      • Dario “TLO” Wünsch, Starcraft II Player, Team Liquid
      10:45 – 11:10 NETWORKING COFFEE BREAK
      Level 2
      • Featuring esports demo and media interview area
      Hearthstone: Explanations & Showmatch (by Blizzard)
      • Five-minute explanation by Dan “Frodan” Chou
      • Exhibition match:



      Well Played: Pro gamers, devs meet with Olympic committee

      http://www.times-standard.com/article/NJ/20180714/FEATURES/180719922




      Hearthstone and StarCraft II players revealed for Asian Games. 

      https://www.gamereactor.eu/esports/677483/Hearthstone+and+StarCraft+II+players+revealed+for+Asian+Games/
      The continent's best players can compete to win medals as well. The competition starts on August 18. The qualified players can be found here for Hearthstone https://playhearthstone.com/en-gb/blog/21935288 and here for StarCraft II, https://wcs.starcraft2.com/en-us/news/21936839/StarCraft-II-Headlines-Esports-at-the-Asian-Games/
      Maru is the South Korea contender, and the only two other players I have heard of are Nice from Chinese Taipei and Meomaika from Vietnam, so considering how dominant Maru has been this year, Id say hes a safe bet with Nice and Meomaika rounding out things.



      IOC to hold esports exploratory forum next month (Olympics)

      http://www.espn.com.au/esports/story/_/id/23918056/international-olympic-committee-hold-esports-forum-next-month




      Mythic Dungeon Invitational Global Finals Begin June 22!

      https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/news/21797343?blzcmp=app
      https://www.wowhead.com/news=285080/mythic-dungeon-invitational-global-finals-survival-guide











                              DIABLO                      



        New Diablo Comic Series

        http://comicbook.com/gaming/2018/07/22/blizzard-titan-comics-teaming-up-diablo-series/



        Is Heroes of the Storm facing an identity crisis?

        https://dailyesports.tv/identity-crisis-heroes-of-the-storm-azmodan-rework-design/




        Diablo 2 artists had a topless monster quota

        https://www.pcgamesn.com/diablo-2/diablo-2-nudity




        Coder Spends 1,200 Hours Piecing Together Diablo's Source Code

        https://kotaku.com/coder-spends-1-200-hours-piecing-together-diablos-sourc-1827001247
        They also noted that having access to source code means the game can continually be updated to run on newer hardware—something that’s become more and more of an issue over time.








             HEROES OF THE STORM     





        HEROES OF THE DORM   https://heroesofthedorm.com/








                      HEARTHSTONE              






        IOC AND GAISF TO HOST ESPORTS FORUM

        https://www.olympic.org/news/ioc-and-gaisf-to-host-esports-forum
        https://stillmed.olympic.org/media/Document%20Library/OlympicOrg/News/2018/07/esports-forum/IOC-GAISF-Esports-Forum-Programme.pdf#_ga=2.228254750.2047620503.1532276142-747244726.1532276142

        12:55 – 14:00 NETWORKING LUNCH Level 2
        Starcraft II: Explanations & Showmatch (by Blizzard)  10-minute explanation (by Mike Morhaime)
        • Exhibition match: Théo “Ptit Drogo” Freydière vs Dario “TLO” Wünsch (cast by Dan “Frodan” Chou & Yoan “ToD” Merlo) 
        15:00 – 16:00 ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION 3: THE ATHLETE PERSPECTIVE
        Galleria, Level 2 In this round table, Olympians and professional esports players, will discuss what defines an athlete, the training routines of traditional athletes and esports players, what challenges athletes and players face, how they view health and wellness, and more.
        Professional Esports Players:
        • Stephanie “missharvey” Harvey, Canada, Five-Time World Champion, Professional
        Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Player, Counter Logic Gaming Red
        • Chan “Deer” Ka-Ching, Captain & Video Gamer, PandaCute
        • Jacob “Jake” Lyon, Professional Overwatch Player
        • Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon, Professional Overwatch Player, Shanghai Dragons
        • Dario “TLO” Wünsch, Starcraft II Player, Team Liquid
        10:45 – 11:10 NETWORKING COFFEE BREAK
        Level 2
        • Featuring esports demo and media interview area
        Hearthstone: Explanations & Showmatch (by Blizzard)
        • Five-minute explanation by Dan “Frodan” Chou
        • Exhibition match:


        Hearthstone and StarCraft II players revealed for Asian Games. 

        https://www.gamereactor.eu/esports/677483/Hearthstone+and+StarCraft+II+players+revealed+for+Asian+Games/
        The continent's best players can compete to win medals as well. The competition starts on August 18. The qualified players can be found here for Hearthstone https://playhearthstone.com/en-gb/blog/21935288 and here for StarCraft II, https://wcs.starcraft2.com/en-us/news/21936839/StarCraft-II-Headlines-Esports-at-the-Asian-Games/



        Indian Esports Athletes Shine at the South Asian Qualifiers for Asian Games - 2018

        It is to be noted that Esports will be a Medal Sport in Asian Games-2022 at Hangzhou, China and very recently the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) have announced an “esports forum” on 21 July at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne. https://www.sportskeeda.com/esports/indian-esports-athletes-shine-at-the-south-asian-qualifiers-for-asian-games-2018





                        OVERWATCH                



        IOC AND GAISF TO HOST ESPORTS FORUM

        https://www.olympic.org/news/ioc-and-gaisf-to-host-esports-forum
        https://stillmed.olympic.org/media/Document%20Library/OlympicOrg/News/2018/07/esports-forum/IOC-GAISF-Esports-Forum-Programme.pdf#_ga=2.228254750.2047620503.1532276142-747244726.1532276142

        12:55 – 14:00 NETWORKING LUNCH Level 2
        Starcraft II: Explanations & Showmatch (by Blizzard)  10-minute explanation (by Mike Morhaime)
        • Exhibition match: Théo “Ptit Drogo” Freydière vs Dario “TLO” Wünsch (cast by Dan “Frodan” Chou & Yoan “ToD” Merlo) 
        15:00 – 16:00 ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION 3: THE ATHLETE PERSPECTIVE
        Galleria, Level 2 In this round table, Olympians and professional esports players, will discuss what defines an athlete, the training routines of traditional athletes and esports players, what challenges athletes and players face, how they view health and wellness, and more.
        Professional Esports Players:
        • Stephanie “missharvey” Harvey, Canada, Five-Time World Champion, Professional
        Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Player, Counter Logic Gaming Red
        • Chan “Deer” Ka-Ching, Captain & Video Gamer, PandaCute
        • Jacob “Jake” Lyon, Professional Overwatch Player
        • Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon, Professional Overwatch Player, Shanghai Dragons
        • Dario “TLO” Wünsch, Starcraft II Player, Team Liquid





        Well Played: Pro gamers, devs meet with Olympic committee

        http://www.times-standard.com/article/NJ/20180714/FEATURES/180719922









                       WARCRAFT CLASSIC               



        Developer Watercooler: Classic WoW will use Patch 1.12,

        https://blizzardwatch.com/2018/06/15/developer-watercooler-classic-wow-will-use-patch-1-12-no-transmog-plus/
        https://www.wowhead.com/news=284983/dev-watercooler-wow-classic-will-start-on-patch-1-12-drums-of-war







          OTHER BLIZZARD RELATED STUFF  



        Blizzard Hiring New Employees for Warcraft III, and "Other Classics"

        http://comicbook.com/gaming/2018/07/10/blizzard-hiring-warcraft-iii-remaster/




        4 Compelling Reasons to Buy Activision Stock and Hold for the Long Term

        https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/06/18/4-compelling-reasons-to-buy-activision-stock-and-h.aspx
        The publisher best known for its Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush franchises has gained 35% over the past year, more than doubling ...






        Sources for these news bits include:

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

        http://www.teamliquid.net/

        And others.



        .

        Friday, June 1, 2018

        Show Notes, Blizzard News and Events June 2018



        It's very long. I know. I'm sorry. Please leave comments and suggestions!

        <3 Alisaunder


        See the Calendar Post 
        for complete list of events, micro holidays, 
        tournaments and in game events.





              WORLD OF WARCRAFT      




        Blizzard Bans Cloud Gaming Services

        https://flickstiq.com/blizzard-bans-cloud-gaming-services/




        How Activision Blizzard Inc. Makes Its Money

        https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/06/28/how-activision-blizzard-inc-makes-its-money.aspx




        Artifact Power Tokens Now Vendor for Gold

        https://www.wowhead.com/news=285213/artifact-power-tokens-now-vendor-for-gold



        The Artifact Retirement Quest is Now Available

        https://www.wowhead.com/news=285204/the-artifact-retirement-quest-is-now-available-max-concordance-and-artifact-leve



        Welcome Back Weekend: World of Warcraft is Temporarily Free to Play

        https://www.wowhead.com/news=285074/welcome-back-weekend-world-of-warcraft-is-temporarily-free-to-play
        https://www.mmo-champion.com/content/3692-Warlords-of-Draenor-PvP-Stats-Blue-Posts-Blue-Tweets-Hearthstone-Beta-Patch



        Welcome Back Weekend: Character Services 25% Off on the Blizzard Shop

        https://www.wowhead.com/news=285075/welcome-back-weekend-character-services-25-off-on-the-blizzard-shop
        https://www.mmo-champion.com/content/3692-Warlords-of-Draenor-PvP-Stats-Blue-Posts-Blue-Tweets-Hearthstone-Beta-Patch



        Developer Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas - Battle for Azeroth

        https://www.mmo-champion.com/content/7693-Developer-Q-A-with-Ion-Hazzikostas-Battle-for-Azeroth
        https://www.wowhead.com/news=284967/liveblog-of-the-june-14-battle-for-azeroth-beta-q-a-with-ion-hazzikostas



        Warcraft Battle for Azeroth Story Panel

        https://www.mmo-champion.com/content/7692-Warcraft-Storytelling-Panel-at-E3-Warfronts-Testing-Friday-FinalBossTV-Warlocks


        • Join us on Friday, June 15 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. PDT and help test Warfronts in the Battle for Azeroth Beta.
        • In order to be eligible to queue for Warfronts, you need to be level 120, and have completed enough of the campaign to have unlocked World Quests. We're also working to make it more apparent when the Warfront is actually open, and what its current state is. We previously had Warfronts available starting at level 110 for early testing; that is no longer the case.
        • Also just to clarify an earlier point: each state of the Warfront should be active for approximately two days, but the exact amount of time can change based on player participation. We're not planning on accelerating that any further in the Beta for the time being, because we want to see how things work out on this schedule.



        Hunters getting Toad pets

        https://www.mmo-champion.com/content/7647-Fetid-Devourer-Preview-Blue-Tweets-DLC-634
        Ok, cat's out of the bag. And it's a toad. You are. Congrats that guy that kept tweeting me about frogs. Baby steps my friend. Croak croak. (Muffinus)



        Before the Storm:  the Novel 

        https://www.mmo-champion.com/content/7688-Before-the-Storm-Seven-Ways-the-Novel-Sets-the-Stage-for-Battle-for-Azeroth




        Battle for Azeroth - Simultaneous Launch in all Regions

        https://www.mmo-champion.com/content/7665-Battle-for-Azeroth-Simultaneous-Launch-in-all-Regions




        Three Sisters - Battle for Azeroth Comics: Issue #3

        https://www.mmo-champion.com/content/7657-Three-Sisters-Battle-for-Azeroth-Comics-Issue-3




        New Comic: World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth #2 — Magni

        https://www.wowhead.com/news=284667/new-comic-world-of-warcraft-battle-for-azeroth-2-magni-the-speaker

        download the free comic here. https://bnetcmsus-a.akamaihd.net/cms/template_resource/ILEQWF6X5TWN1527610169674.pdf




        BEFORE THE STORM: EXCERPT ONE

        https://news.blizzard.com/en-us/world-of-warcraft/21788098/before-the-storm-excerpt-one




        4th Annual Running Of The Trolls

        Saturday June 9, 2017 :  The 4th Annual Running of the Trolls 2018. For donations or information,
        Info Post: https://t.co/v9hXRQ5HNe   
        Donate: http://give.thetrevorproject.org/TrollRun2k18





        Before the Storm Novel by Christie Golden Comes Out June 12

        https://amazon.com/Before-Storm-Warcraft-Christie-Golden/dp/0399594094/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8




        BlizzCon 2018 November 2-3

        You have until July 20 to edit the information on your tickets.  The Benefit Dinner will be Thursday, November 1 and tickets are $750.  Community Night is undergoing some changes, but there will still be a costume contest.

        More info: https://t.co/BlDJnUpfsy       https://t.co/yVVSmudS8l








         WARCRAFT BETA (Spoiler Free) 



        Potential Story Spoilers will be in yellow. For full Alpha information see below links as I will only post bits I think interesting.

        Information from https://www.mmo-champion.com/  and https://www.wowhead.com/











                       WARCRAFT III               



        Warcraft 3 marches on with its slow but steady resurgence.

        https://www.invenglobal.com/articles/5041/warcraft-3-marches-on-with-its-slow-but-steady-resurgence
        Warcraft 3 in China is still thriving -- last years Gold Championship series finals peaked at 1,416,594 viewers with an average concurrent viewership of 575,284. While China has a history of inflated viewership, it's still an important reminder of Warcraft's enduring legacy there.



        Warcraft 3 - Patch 1.29.2

        https://www.mmo-champion.com/content/7573-Activision-Earnings-Call-Blue-Posts-Blue-Tweets-WC3-Patch-1-29-2-DLC-630

        Specific Changes & Improvements

        • Ladder reset
        • Joining a custom game on Mac will result in a crash
        • Cursor does not match the mouse position when resolution is taller than wider
        • In 24 player games, AI buildings may become stuck in construction
        • Automated tournament map pool updates will be available Soon™




        Daily and Weekly Tournaments here

        https://www.twitch.tv/back2warcraft









                         STARCRAFT                 



        SUMMARY



        Maru defeated Zest in the korean GSL Season 2 Finals, as expected, 4-0 in 33 minutes total. Maru hasnt lost a tournament in quite a while. Maru's victory made him only the second player ever to win back-to-back Code S tournaments. Maru, 20,  is known for being a near prodigy, the youngest GSL player of all time, winning his first televised game at the age of 13.

        GSL vs The World 2018 is the next big Korean Tournament, featuring the top 8 Korean players vs the top 8 foreigners, in August, and will be the first look at what to expect from BlizzCon as Serral has never played against the Korean ranks.

        Challenger Series 2 is underway with EU happening on Saturday. As expected Serral took this tournament like every other this year outside of Korea, and it was almost a replay of WCS Austin in matchups and victors excepting Namshar who made it to the finals with Serral. Taking so many BlizzCon slots is throwing heat on the Ladder rankings as they will determine who takes those extra seats, but the results have been mixed enough that not many obvious winners can be identified. Neeb, Scarlett and SpeCial are currently on top of the list but very closely followed by at least a dozen players.

        Challenger NA is underway today, with Silky, the winner of this years TESPA Collegiate Starcraft tournament, defeating Neeb (The reigning WCS NA champion 3 times over) 3-2 in the first matchup.  The top 4 in each Challenger series will be automatically seeded into the upcoming WCS Valencia brackets.

        Copa América 2018 Season 2  is the second season of Copa América 2018. 16 players from Latin America battle it our for a $10,000 prize pool and two seeds to 2018 WCS Valencia. Cham has taken out Kelazhur but SpeCiaL is still in the Quarterfinals and the winner of SpeCiaL vs Cham will face Kelazhur, then the winner .
        https://liquipedia.net/starcraft2/Copa_America_2018/Season_2

        HomeStory Cup 16 starts next Friday, possibly the most popular, laid back tournament outside of Anaheim.

        Blizzard Adds Global StarCraft: Remastered Tournament Series in Partnership with StarLadder
        https://esportsobserver.com/blizzard-starcraft-series-starladder/

        The 2018 Korea StarCraft League Season 1 or KSL Season 1, is an offline tournament, organized by Blizzard in celebration of the 20th anniversary of StarCraft. Tournament will feature open online qualifiers with top 256 players advancing to the offline stage. 16 best players from the offline qualifiers will participate in the main tournament. Round of 16 play will begin on Thursday July 19, 2018. Matches will be broadcasted every week on Thursday and Friday, 19:00 KST. English coverage will be provided by Artosis and Tasteless
        https://ksl.starcraft.com/en-us/
        https://news.blizzard.com/en-us/starcraft/.../introducing-the-korea-starcraft-league

        A new Starcraft 1 Proleague has been announced, consisting of the players that made up the previous league plus each team must include 1 female player who will take part in a mandatory Female vs Female match. Scheduled to behin June 3, Flash, Jaedong and Stork have confirmed they will be participating in the ProLeague. The ProLeague will be sponsored by AfreecaTV, the sponsor of the Starcraft II Global Starcraft League.



        IOC to hold esports exploratory forum next month (Olympics)

        http://www.espn.com.au/esports/story/_/id/23918056/international-olympic-committee-hold-esports-forum-next-month




        StarCraft fans at San Diego Comic-Con will be able to get their hands on some slick new convention exclusive covers courtesy of Dark Horse Comics.

        http://comicbook.com/comics/2018/06/26/dark-horse-convention-covers-starcraft-quantum-age/





        Blizzard Adds Global StarCraft: Remastered Series in Partnership with StarLadder

        https://esportsobserver.com/blizzard-starcraft-series-starladder/

        ByuL Retires From Starcraft 2



        In celebration of the 20th anniversary of StarCraft, Blizzard Entertainment is launching the Korea StarCraft League (KSL). 

        https://ksl.starcraft.com/en-us/
        https://news.blizzard.com/en-us/starcraft/.../introducing-the-korea-starcraft-league



        TaeJa is Back and Will Play in GSL Qualifiers

        https://www.vpesports.com/more-esports/starcraft/taeja-is-back-and-will-play-in-gsl/

        He’s been in the military for the past 19 months or so



        [2018 Asian Games] Maru and Surrender Will Represent Korea for StarCraft 2 and Hearthstone

        https://www.invenglobal.com/articles/5196/2018-asian-games-maru-and-surrender-will-represent-korea-for-starcraft-2-and-hearthstone




        Dark Horse Launches ... Starcraft Scavengers in July ...

        https://www.bleedingcool.com/2018/04/18/dark-horse-quantum-age-she-could-fly-incredibles-2-starcraft-scavengers-july-2018-solicits/




        The Pylon Show Debuts, a Starcraft Podcast by 2 Pro casters

        https://www.twitch.tv/incontroltv

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




        WCS Valencia July 12-14

        WCS Montreal Sept 7-9







                     ESPORTS            





        IOC to hold esports exploratory forum next month (Olympics)

        http://www.espn.com.au/esports/story/_/id/23918056/international-olympic-committee-hold-esports-forum-next-month




        Mythic Dungeon Invitational Global Finals Begin June 22!

        https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/news/21797343?blzcmp=app
        https://www.wowhead.com/news=285080/mythic-dungeon-invitational-global-finals-survival-guide




        North American Arena World Championship Recap

        https://www.mmo-champion.com/content/7623-Reunion-Comic-BfA-Pathfinder-Clarification-North-American-Arena-Championship









                                DIABLO                      




          Coder Spends 1,200 Hours Piecing Together Diablo's Source Code

          https://kotaku.com/coder-spends-1-200-hours-piecing-together-diablos-sourc-1827001247
          They also noted that having access to source code means the game can continually be updated to run on newer hardware—something that’s become more and more of an issue over time.



          Video Shows How Blizzard Created Diablo 3’s Visual Effects

          http://www.ubergizmo.com/2018/06/how-blizzard-created-diablo-3-visuals/



          Microsoft and Blizzard Team Up to Give Away an Awesome Diablo III Xbox One X Console

          https://www.ausgamers.com/news/read/3596875/microsoft-and-blizzard-team-up-to-give-away-an-awesome-diablo-iii-xbox-one-x-console




          PATCH 2.6.1A UPDATE NOW LIVE!

          https://news.blizzard.com/en-us/diablo3/21817225/patch-2-6-1a-update-now-live








               HEROES OF THE STORM     




          Heroes of the Storm's Warcraft Battleground Now Live Alongside XP Bonus Event




          HEROES OF THE DORM   https://heroesofthedorm.com/








                        HEARTHSTONE              




          Hearthstone Global Games tournament Free Card Pack

          https://playhearthstone.com/en-us/esports/global-games/




          [2018 Asian Games] Maru and Surrender Will Represent Korea for StarCraft 2 and Hearthstone

          https://www.invenglobal.com/articles/5196/2018-asian-games-maru-and-surrender-will-represent-korea-for-starcraft-2-and-hearthstone






                          OVERWATCH                








                         WARCRAFT CLASSIC               



          Developer Watercooler: Classic WoW will use Patch 1.12,

          https://blizzardwatch.com/2018/06/15/developer-watercooler-classic-wow-will-use-patch-1-12-no-transmog-plus/
          https://www.wowhead.com/news=284983/dev-watercooler-wow-classic-will-start-on-patch-1-12-drums-of-war





          WoW Diary Kickstarter - A Book Covering Vanilla WoW's Dev Cycle

          https://www.wowhead.com/news=283134/wow-diary-kickstarter-a-book-covering-vanilla-wows-dev-cycle






            OTHER BLIZZARD RELATED STUFF  



          4 Compelling Reasons to Buy Activision Stock and Hold for the Long Term

          https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/06/18/4-compelling-reasons-to-buy-activision-stock-and-h.aspx
          The publisher best known for its Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush franchises has gained 35% over the past year, more than doubling ...




          Dozens of NoN-Blizzard PC games drop tracking software after surveillance fears

          http://www.wired.co.uk/article/red-shell-game-tracking-gdpr




          Neverwinter Online closes in on 18 million players

          https://venturebeat.com/2018/06/21/neverwinter-nears-18-million-players/

          Does this mean WoW is no longer the biggest MMO????





          Sources for these news bits include:

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

          http://www.teamliquid.net/

          And others.



          .