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 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               


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




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                      




    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.



      .

      Friday, May 4, 2018

      Show Notes, Blizzard News and Events May 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      



      New Comic: World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth #1 — Jaina: “Reunion”

      https://www.wowhead.com/news=284572/new-comic-world-of-warcraft-battle-for-azeroth-1-jaina-reunion
      https://www.mmo-champion.com/content/7623-Reunion-Comic-BfA-Pathfinder-Clarification-North-American-Arena-Championship

      download the free comic here. https://bnetcmsus-a.akamaihd.net/cms/template_resource/YXSGTG8RQU6W1526926114194.pdf




      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





      Clothing Company UNIQLO Partners With Blizzard and Reveals New Summer Line

      https://www.dbltap.com/posts/6070912-clothing-company-uniqlo-partners-with-blizzard-and-reveals-new-summer-line




      Play with the Blues on Thursday - Alliance Warfronts

      https://www.mmo-champion.com/content/7625-BfA-Beta-Protection-Paladin-and-Discipline-Priest-Feedback-Warfronts-with-the-Devs



      BlizzCon 2018 Tickets Sold Out

      https://www.mmo-champion.com/content/7597-BlizzCon-2018-Tickets-on-Sale-Again-in-2-Hours

      https://www.wowhead.com/news=284351/blizzcon-tickets-on-sale-saturday-may-12-at-10am-pdt



      World of Warcraft Player Sentenced to Jail for DDoS Attacks Against Blizzard

      https://www.wowhead.com/news=284224/world-of-warcraft-player-sentenced-to-jail-for-ddos-attacks-against-blizzard



      Bid on props from the Warcraft movie

      https://blizzardwatch.com/2018/05/03/everything-price-can-soon-bid-props-warcraft-movie/




      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/



      Per-Realm Character Limit Increased to 18 in Battle for Azeroth

      https://www.wowhead.com/news=284508/per-realm-character-limit-increased-to-18-in-battle-for-azeroth


      WoW Battle for Azeroth dataminers unearth a Diablo-themed pet

      https://www.pcgamesn.com/world-of-warcraft/wow-battle-for-azeroth-baal-pet-diablo



      The Dueler's Guild for PvPers in Battle for Azeroth

      https://www.wowhead.com/news=284356/the-duelers-guild-for-pvpers-in-battle-for-azeroth



      War Mode players will get a 15% experience boost in Battle for Azeroth

      https://blizzardwatch.com/2018/05/11/war-mode-players-will-get-15-experience-boost-battle-azeroth/



      On-use racial abilities and trinkets no longer to be added to GCD on the beta

      https://blizzardwatch.com/2018/05/11/use-racial-abilities-trinkets-no-longer-added-gcd-beta/

      https://www.wowhead.com/news=284294/battle-for-azeroth-racial-abilities-and-trinkets-once-again-out-of-the-gcd

      https://www.wowhead.com/news=283908/comprehensive-list-of-abilities-added-to-the-gcd-in-battle-for-azeroth

      https://www.mmo-champion.com/content/7592-Racials-and-Trinkets-Off-the-GCD-Battle-for-Azeroth-Beta



      Communities

      https://www.mmo-champion.com/content/7585-PvP-Talents-Battle-for-Azeroth-PvP-Tiers-Communities-Upcoming-Raid-Testing











                     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


      GSL (Global Starcraft League) Season 2 has begun its month long twice weekly tournament in Korea. Maru (the Season 1 victor) defeated Patience in Group A and moved on with Zest. No foreigners made it out of qualifiers. Thursday SoO, Rogue, Innovation and Dear play Group B.

      At GSL Group B, SoO, Dear, Innovation and Rogue played out SoO's fantasy of defeating all those who have beaten him previously in Finals. In GSL, matches are selected by the 4 top players of the previous season choosing their opponents from the remaining top 12 players and SoO undoubtedly thought he was joking when he made that comment about revenge, choosing Dear as his first pick, but it didnt happen and Dear walked away 1-2 thanks to practice with his best friend, Rogue.
      Maru, last Season's Champion, used his Winners ability to switch any two players of his choice and he gave SoO Innovation, completing the trifecta of devastation coming up. All SoO could do while waiting for the matches to start was laugh in his booth.
      Rogue tore through Innovation's Medivac play in stunning fashion 2-0, hatching banelings under the Terran army's feet, twice, and flooding mutas and zergling armies.
      Rogue then faced Dear, his friend and practice partner and promptly stampeded banelings and zerglings through Dear's natural, forcing  his first GG in under 5 minutes. Dear retaliated in match #2 with a strong counterattack that slowly but surely ground the zerg under his boots. Game 3, Dear scouted Rogue's Nydus and picked off the recent Champion to absolutely everyone's surprise.

      The WCS Qualifiers for Austin have been playing out in NA, EU and Asia as well on several Twitch streams 24/7 as players compete for spots in WCS Austin which is coming up.



      TotalBiscuit Passed Away

      Genna Bain  @GennaBain
       Rest in Peace my Dearest Love
      John @Totalbiscuit Bain
      July 8, 1984 - May 24, 2018

      https://www.reddit.com/r/cynicalbritofficial/comments/8g4eoj/official_totalbiscuits_future/
      Since it comes up quite a bit yes, I'm also retired from casting SC2. However, I am working on a solution to allow Shoutcraft Kings to continue, under the ownership and operation of a group of people I trust.  1:13 AM - 5 May 2018
      Let it be known I cast until physically unable to do so, go tell the peoploe in 2010 that accused me of being in it for the money, they fucked up.1:19 AM - 5 May 2018




      WCS Austin   June 1-3. 2018 WCS Austin is the second of four events of the 2018 WCS Circuit.

      North American Challenger Playoffs:  Neeb and MaSa.
      European Challenger: Serral and uThermal
      Latin America: SpeCial and Kelazhur
      Taiwan/Hong Kong/Japan: Has and ExpecT
      China: Time and BreakingGG
      Oceania: Seither and NXZ


      The group stages of the North American and European Challenger tournaments have concluded, and now it's time for the playoffs! The stakes are high: the top four players from each region will win invaluable seeds in the RO32 of WCS Austin, as well as flights and lodging for the duration of the tournament. But even after securing WCS seeds, the playoff players will have plenty of incentive to try and finish as high as possible, as extra WCS points and prize money will be awarded based on their placements.




      UK military fears robots learning war from video games

      http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-44217246




      Human trounces AI bots at StarCraft video game

      http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-41857503

      One of the world's best human players, Stork, trounced AI-controlled opponents 4-0 in a StarCraft tournament this week. The bots did not pose much of a challenge for Mr Song, who took a total of 27 minutes to defeat all four. The longest match lasted over 10 minutes and the shortest just four and a half. Other groups have taken on other games. One bot created by the non-profit OpenAI research group has managed to defeat top players of Dota 2.



      Hearthstone, Starcraft 2 will be Olympic Sports at the Asia Games

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/esports/article-5732359/LoL-Hearthstone-Starcraft-2-PES-Clash-Royale-r-Olympic-Sports-Asia-Games.html




      Siri’s creators are training AI to form memories - by playing StarCraft

      https://www.pcgamesn.com/starcraft-ii-wings-of-liberty/starcraft-siri-ai




      Serral sets new all time highest MMR record




      Interview with Maynarde!

      https://www.theroar.com.au/2018/05/07/south-australian-amateur-footballer-became-big-name-esports/



      Cal ‘StarCraft 2’ team makes dramatic comeback in Tespa Collegiate Series finals over Waterloo

      http://www.dailycal.org/2018/05/02/cal-starcraft-makes-comeback-tespa-finals/



      TESPA COLLEGIATE STARCRAFT SERIES FINALS!

      Congratulations UC Berkeley! Nick M., Ryan Q., Clayton F., and Derrick X. !

      https://www.twitch.tv/videos/255494564

      Feb 17 - Apr 22, 2018. 4 teams will qualify to join our 12 SC2 teams for their share of $35,000 in scholarships & prizing.   Brackets at  https://compete.tespa.org/tournament/101/phase/1  currently on Round 7 of 15.  At the end of the 8 weeks of round robin, the teams will be seeded into our Towers of Doom format with the conclusion being fought out in a single elimination bracket for a chance to earn their share of $35,000 in scholarships and prizing.



      Blizzard's next shooter is PvP-focused, and probably not Overwatch 2

      PCGamesN   https://pcgamesn.com/overwatch/blizzard-pvp-shooter
      Blizzard first started hiring for this project in November 2016, sending fans into a frenzy of speculation. At the time, we didn't know it would have a PvP focus, so an Overwatch campaign, or a StarCraft PvE shooter, emerged as the lead theories. This PvP focus seemingly puts the kibosh on either of those, ...



      Blizzard job listing reveals more on new PvP game

      Gamereactor UK   https://www.gamereactor.eu/news/654973/Blizzard+job+listing+reveals+more+on+new+PvP+game/
      As pointed out by PCGamesN, this may be a StarCraft shooter, since it sounds this way and StarCraft 2's director Dustin Browder has moved to work as director of this title. Recruiting for this project began in November 2016, so it's a long way in now, even if we hardly know anything about it. What do you ...




      STARCRAFT 2 ADDS COMMUNITY MAP STORE 9 YEARS AFTER PROMISING IT

      http://in.ign.com/starcraft-ii-wings-of-liberty/121775/news/starcraft-2-adds-community-map-store-9-years-after-promising
      https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/24/starcraft-ii-premium-arcade/







      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/




      An Ohio university is offering Starcraft esports scholarships

      https://www.pcgamer.com/an-ohio-university-is-offering-fortnite-esports-scholarships/

      Ashland University is offering scholarships of up to $4000 for qualified esports competitors. Ashland launched its collegiate esports program in February, when it announced Buchanan's hiring. The school said he has more than five years of competitive experience in esports and is ranked 40th in the US in StarCraft 2; he also works as a freelance StarCraft 2 coach and caster. Other games offered in Ashland's esports program include League of Legends, Overwatch, CS:GO, and Rocket League. Construction of a "gaming center" in the lower level of the school library, with 25 gaming stations equipped with PCs, accessories, and peripherals, is slated to start later this month. 



      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 Austin   June 1-3.

      WCS Valencia July 12-14

      WCS Montreal Sept 7-9







                   ESPORTS            




      North American Arena World Championship Recap

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



      Jdotb (Method NA), one of the best World of Warcraft players in the world, gives his thoughts on Mythic+ dungeons.

      https://www.dvsgaming.org/jdotb-talks-current-and-future-mythic-progression/




      Hearthstone, Starcraft 2 will be Olympic Sports at the Asia Games

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/esports/article-5732359/LoL-Hearthstone-Starcraft-2-PES-Clash-Royale-r-Olympic-Sports-Asia-Games.html



      New esports community center set to open fall 2018

      http://www.dailycal.org/2018/04/19/esports-community-center-set-open-fall-2018/
      On Wednesday, the Division of Student Affairs, working with the UC Berkeley Cal Esports Program, announced a one-of-a-kind partnership with NRG eSports and the San Francisco Shock to open up an esports community center at the Foothill housing complex come fall 2018.








                              DIABLO                      



        WoW Battle for Azeroth dataminers unearth a Diablo-themed pet

        https://www.pcgamesn.com/world-of-warcraft/wow-battle-for-azeroth-baal-pet-diablo



        Diablo 3 console version now up to patch parity with PC

        https://www.vg247.com/2018/05/03/diablo-3-patch-ps4-xbox-one/




        User Recreates ‘Diablo II’ in ‘Starcraft II’ Mod 

        http://bloody-disgusting.com/news/3491418/user-recreates-diablo-ii-starcraft-ii-mod/

        We’re still waiting on Blizzard to reveal whether or not they’re working to remaster Diablo II, but in the meantime, fans have turned to other means to get their updated fix of the 2000 classic: Modding. One such mod is The Curse of Tristram by egod123, which looks to recreate Diablo II using Starcraft II. The project has been in development since last year, and with no cease-and-desist letter in sight, things are looking promising.

        So promising, in fact, that the author had started an IndieGogo campaign to offset the time needed to devote to the game, with the campaign finishing up with $1,902 USD (of the cheeky $6,666 goal) in donations. The mod is free to download, and will be released as a series of custom maps published through Battle.net arcade. In fact, according to the IndieGogo site, the beta is “just around the corner”. The author also streams their progress on their Twitch channel quite regularly, so if you’re keen, check it out.

        https://youtu.be/hPHZKq9m-oM







             HEROES OF THE STORM     





        JUNE 12th :  Heroes of the Storm Ranked Season 2 ends.





        Lunara gets her own Heroes of the Storm rework, not quite as drastic as Diablo’s

        https://blizzardwatch.com/2018/05/11/lunara-gets-heroes-storm-rework-not-quite-drastic-diablos/



        Two Dark Nexus skins arrive in Heroes of the Storm

        https://blizzardwatch.com/2018/05/01/two-dark-nexus-skins-arrive-heroes-storm/

        https://www.mmo-champion.com/content/7570-Dark-Nexus-Event-May-1-Hotfixes



        Heroes of the Storm releases its first comic, Rise of the Raven Lord

        https://blizzardwatch.com/2018/04/30/heroes-storm-releases-first-comic-rise-raven-lord/



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








                      HEARTHSTONE              






        Hearthstone, Starcraft 2 will be Olympic Sports at the Asia Games

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/esports/article-5732359/LoL-Hearthstone-Starcraft-2-PES-Clash-Royale-r-Olympic-Sports-Asia-Games.html



        The Standard Brawliseum Has Taken Over Tavern Brawl This Week!

        https://www.hearthpwn.com/news/5531-the-standard-brawliseum-has-taken-over-tavern




        SO YOU THINK YOU CAN CAST: HEARTHSTONE EDITION 2018

        Starting March 13, we’ll review your submissions and reach out to shortlisted entrants with further instructions. The finalists will move on to cast the Hearthstone Collegiate Championship Playoffs for Spring, which will take place this April 28 – 29 2018.







                        OVERWATCH                



        Hanzo rework and Brigitte nerfs won’t be in Overwatch League’s Stage 4

        https://blizzardwatch.com/2018/05/11/hanzo-rework-brigitte-nerfs-wont-overwatch-stage-4/



        The latest Overwatch PTR buffs Ana, nerfs Brigitte

        https://blizzardwatch.com/2018/05/04/latest-overwatch-ptr-buffs-ana-nerfs-brigitte/

        https://www.mmo-champion.com/content/7572-Brigitte-Guide-May-3-Patch-Notes-Upcoming-PTR-Patch-Brigitte-and-Ana-Changes



        Overwatch patch with Rialto, Hanzo changes, and more now live

        https://blizzardwatch.com/2018/05/03/overwatch-patch-rialto-hanzo-changes-now-live/



        This week the Overwatch League saw some serious leaderboard shakeups

        https://blizzardwatch.com/2018/04/16/week-overwatch-league-saw-serious-leaderboard-shakeups/



        In Belgium, Overwatch loot boxes are now considered illegal gambling

        https://blizzardwatch.com/2018/04/25/belgium-overwatch-loot-boxes-are-now-illegal-gambling/



        New esports community center set to open fall 2018

        http://www.dailycal.org/2018/04/19/esports-community-center-set-open-fall-2018/
        On Wednesday, the Division of Student Affairs, working with the UC Berkeley Cal Esports Program, announced a one-of-a-kind partnership with NRG eSports and the San Francisco Shock to open up an esports community center at the Foothill housing complex come fall 2018.



        The Overwatch team is (still) working on better tools to fight Overwatch toxicity

        https://blizzardwatch.com/2018/05/03/tools-fight-overwatch-toxicity/



        Stage 3 kicks off in Overwatch League with new players and a new scandal

        https://blizzardwatch.com/2018/04/09/stage-3-kicks-off-overwatch-league-new-players-new-scandal/



        Overwatch hackers get $10k fine, 2 years probation in South Korea

        https://blizzardwatch.com/2018/05/01/overwatch-hackers-get-10k-fine-2-years-probation-south-korea/
        by Matthew Rossi on May 1, 2018 at 4:00pm @MatthewWRossi
        Back in January, thirteen people were arrested in South Korea for hacking Overwatch and fixing matches in the incredibly popular team shooter.








                       WARCRAFT CLASSIC               



        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  




        Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Will Be A Battlenet Exclusive

        https://gamerant.com/call-of-duty-black-ops-4-battlenet-pc/





        Sources for these news bits include:

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

        http://www.teamliquid.net/

        And others.



        .