Sunday, December 9, 2018

Show Notes, Blizzard News December 2018



        GENERAL BLIZZARD NEWS        



3 Growth Opportunities for Activision Blizzard

Long term, Activision has plans to introduce in-game ads throughout its titles.



With Activision's Influence Growing, Blizzard Is Cutting Costs

https://kotaku.com/with-activisions-influence-growing-blizzard-is-cutting-1831263741



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

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

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



Heroes Esports cancelled

https://news.blizzard.com/en-us/blizzard/22833558/heroes-of-the-storm-news



NetEase Discusses Importance of Chinese Gaming Regulation, Anti-Addiction Measures

https://variety.com/2018/gaming/news/netease-china-game-regulation-1203030537/

"Over the summer, Tencent noted that Chinese government regulators had mostly halted approval of new game releases in China starting in the spring, not allowing the release of paid games in the country. That evolved into a push for greater control of and limitations on games developed for children and concerns of addiction to video games. Tencent has since reduced its marketing budget but still saw a strong third quarter."






                      STARCRAFT                      



SUMMARY


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

Kelazhur won "Best Athlete of other Genres" in Brazil. (IE of Esports)

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

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

Patch 4.8.0 is out with numerous bug fixes and no nerf in sight for the Protoss.

Dota 2, Starcraft II, Tekken 7, Arena of Valor, and Mobile Legends confirmed as esports to be played in the SouthEast Asian Games in late 2019,  the first time that esports will be a medal event in a major sports competition.

SoulKey defeated Sharp to win Season 2 of KSL,  the Blizzard Starcraft ReMastered tournament. SoulKey had not won a Championship before.

Flash won't be playing in ASL  Season 7 due to his wrist injury. ((Flash is a Legendary player, Equivalent to a Michael Jordan )

Byun, the 2016 BlizzCon Champion who has suffered extreme wrist problems of his own this year, announced he is going to retire and depart for mandatory military service in January.

The National Championship Series, a nationwide series of in-person esports competitions Backed by Comcast and N3rd Street Gamers was announced. The season will feature Hundreds of regional tournaments and weekly training events including Overwatch, Hearthstone, and StarCraft II



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

http://www.espn.com/esports/story/_/id/25535120/espn-esports-awards-moment-year-serral-becomes-first-non-korean-win-wcs



Dota 2, Starcraft II, Tekken 7, Arena of Valor, and Mobile Legends confirmed as esports to be played in the South Asian Games 2019

https://www.foxsportsasia.com/esports/1003133/sea-games-2019-dota-2-starcraft-ii-tekken-7-arena-of-valor-and-mobile-legends-confirmed-as-esports-to-be-played-in-the-games/
The 2019 SEA Games will mark the first time that esports will be a medal event in a major sports competition.



StarCraft II War Chest

https://warchest.starcraft2.com/en-us/



WCS Winter Announced

https://wcs.starcraft2.com/en-us/news/22820912/Introducing-WCS-Winter-2019/



N3rd Street Gamers Announces National Championship Series of Esports

https://www.prweb.com/releases/n3rd_street_gamers_announces_national_championship_series_of_esports/prweb16004266.htm



This week, SoulKey defeated Sharp to win Season 2 of the Starcraft ReMastered tournament,  KSL. This is a Blizzard sponsored tournament along with the other SC BroodWar tournament the ASL. 

SoulKey had not won before but has been getting farther and farther in the rankings every season so good for him. 

No word yet on the new War Chest that is to be out in December. War Chests typically contain a new set of racial skins and a digital comic book to unlock by playing the game, either vs AI or players, and the first $1 million in proceeds goes towards prize pools for the major tournaments and other unknown related purposes.  

Another SC comic book mini series is coming out in late January, Starcraft: Soldiers. 

Various Community organized tournaments are going on daily and weekly. 



One of the bigger LANs Cheeseadelphia 8, just ended with an upset by Future, a 16 year old to keep an eye on for the future after defeating MaSa and #4 ranked in the world  SpeCiaL. 

Most of those foreigners planning to make a GSL run in early 2019 are back in Korea or soon will be, at the ROOT - Unity House to practice their butts off. 

GSL and WCS dates are not yet announced other than IEM Katovice but should be any time now. 

The SSCAIT Starcraft AI tournament should start up again soon for season 7 once classes are back in session. The practice ladder is still dominated by SAIDA, the bot entry from Samsung Corporation. SAIDA won the internal Samsung competition to become their official entry over the autumn. FaceBook's bot, CherryPi, is hovering around 4th last I looked. 




eSports is taking over video game tournaments

http://www.ramaponews.com/news/view.php/1036515/eSports-is-taking-over-video-game-tourna



STARCRAFT II: DEC. 6 – DEC. 19 PERIOD ANALYSIS

https://estnn.com/starcraft-ii-dec-6-dec-19-period-analysis/



Competitive Video Game StarCraft Finds Strong Following at Michigan State

http://www.wkar.org/post/competitive-video-game-starcraft-finds-strong-following-michigan-state#stream/0



The Pylon Show On The Blizzard Launcher!














Starcraft This Week:  World Electronic Sports Games Qualifiers are ramping up at the national and Regional level, to compete in the Global Finals in China in March for a huge payout. Hearthstone, CS:GO and 3 other games will all compete there.

TESPA Collegiate Starcraft Tournament was won by printf, who broke into the top ranks just in time to qualify for the Finals and won a $7500 scholarship for his effort.

Cheeseadelphia 8 is finally here and MCanning knocked Neeb out of the tournament with a 3-2 victory over the favorite.



IEM Katowice 2019

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

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

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

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




The Pylon Show Episode 32, 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, Rotterdam, Maynarde and Neuro! The last episode of the year. With beverages!







                           ESPORTS                          



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

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



N3rd Street Gamers Announces National Championship Series of Esports

https://www.prweb.com/releases/n3rd_street_gamers_announces_national_championship_series_of_esports/prweb16004266.htm



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

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

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



eSports is taking over video game tournaments

http://www.ramaponews.com/news/view.php/1036515/eSports-is-taking-over-video-game-tourna



Drilling deep on how to monetize esports

https://venturebeat.com/2018/12/16/drilling-deep-on-how-to-monetize-esports/



State of OverWatch

https://twitter.com/Slasher/status/1073817398770327554



Heroes Esports cancelled

https://news.blizzard.com/en-us/blizzard/22833558/heroes-of-the-storm-news



Esports is an official medal event at the Southeast Asian Games

https://www.pcgamer.com/esports-is-an-official-medal-event-at-the-southeast-asian-games/

Hearthstone is sure to be one of the 6. It was in both trials, its nonviolent, its popular, and I think it has girls playing at high level. The IOC liked that when Scarlett won Pyeongchang, that it wasnt a white male.



Shanghai releases guidelines over eSports athlete registration and management

https://news.cgtn.com/news/3d3d414f7955544f30457a6333566d54/share_p.html



WESG Continues working its way through Nationals and Regionals to World Finals

Starcraft II and Hearthstone players have been competing for months in over 40 nations to qualify. The Global Finals will be in Shanghai China in March 2019.  JustSaiyan is the US Hearthstone winner. Canada Qualifier Finals play Live at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto on December 2.



Hangzhou Opens Esports Town, LGD Gaming and Allied Esports Debut Venue

https://esportsobserver.com/hangzhou-opens-esports-town/

Hangzhou’s government plans to invest up to $1.26B across 14 esports projects by 2022, including an esports academy, hotel, office park, and hospital.

After a demonstration event at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) director general Husain Al-Musallam said esports still requires a single international federation before it can be fully included.







                    WARCRAFT III                    



Warcraft III: Reforged reminds us why mod toolsets should matter

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



NetEase Revealed Esports Plan With Blizzard For Next Year, $720K Prize Pool For WarCraft III Series  

https://esportsobserver.com/china-esports-recap-nov29/

The Chinese city of Hangzhou opened its “esports town”, which currently spans 3.94M square feet (17K square meter). The initial cost for the complex is ¥2B RMB ($280M), though Hangzhou’s government plans to spend up to ¥15.45B RMB ($2.22B) on the project through 2022, according to the Chinese government-run website People.cn. Some of the planned facilities for the town include an esports academy, esports-themed hotel, theme park, a business center, and even a hospital designed for esports players.





The WGL  Winter Grand Finals are underway

http://dz.blizzard.cn/article/news/2521

The Warcraft III Golden League Winter Tournament was won by Moon over Ukrainian born Foggy!

The Warcraft Gold League 2018 Winter Season is the second part of the most important individual tournament in 2018. With one the biggest prize pool of the year ($21,655) and the obligation to earn his place via a qualifier tournament, this is the most prestigious event in the scene.

It is organized by Blizzard Entertainment's Chinese partner : NetEase, played at Shanghai, offline. During November, the very best players of the world will fight in a double elimination groupstage before going into the single elimination playoffs.




https://comicbook.com/2018/11/07/warcraft-iii-reforged-world-of-warcraft-references/



Daily and Weekly Tournaments here

https://www.twitch.tv/back2warcraft







           WORLD OF WARCRAFT           




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

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

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




SPOILERS: World of Warcraft is redefining undeath and rewriting a race

                               DIABLO                           



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

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



    SEASON 16: THE SEASON OF GRANDEUR BEGINS 1/18

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



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

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

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







                       HEARTHSTONE                   




    N3rd Street Gamers Announces National Championship Series of Esports

    https://www.prweb.com/releases/n3rd_street_gamers_announces_national_championship_series_of_esports/prweb16004266.htm






                         OVERWATCH                     




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

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



    N3rd Street Gamers Announces National Championship Series of Esports

    https://www.prweb.com/releases/n3rd_street_gamers_announces_national_championship_series_of_esports/prweb16004266.htm



    British Esports League

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



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

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

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



    OVERWATCH LEAGUE SUSPENSIONS: 7 PLAYERS DISCIPLINED

    https://estnn.com/overwatch-league-suspensions-7-players-disciplined/



    State of OverWatch

    https://twitter.com/Slasher/status/1073817398770327554







                   WARCRAFT CLASSIC               








              HEROES OF THE STORM          




    Heroes Esports cancelled

    https://news.blizzard.com/en-us/blizzard/22833558/heroes-of-the-storm-news






                          BLIZZARD MOBILE                      



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

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



    Drilling deep on how to monetize esports

    https://venturebeat.com/2018/12/16/drilling-deep-on-how-to-monetize-esports/






          OTHER BLIZZARD RELATED STUFF      




    Starblo – Blizzard’s Unreleased Sci-Fi ARPG

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









    Sources for these news bits include:

    www.google.com

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

    http://www.teamliquid.net/

    And others.



    .

    Thursday, November 8, 2018

    Show Notes, Blizzard News November 2018



            GENERAL BLIZZARD NEWS        



    NetEase Discusses Importance of Chinese Gaming Regulation, Anti-Addiction Measures

    https://variety.com/2018/gaming/news/netease-china-game-regulation-1203030537/

    "Over the summer, Tencent noted that Chinese government regulators had mostly halted approval of new game releases in China starting in the spring, not allowing the release of paid games in the country. That evolved into a push for greater control of and limitations on games developed for children and concerns of addiction to video games. Tencent has since reduced its marketing budget but still saw a strong third quarter."



    Activision Blizzard Inc (ATVI) Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

    https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/11/08/activision-blizzard-inc-atvi-q3-2018-earnings-conf.aspx

    "Last quarter, on average, 345 million people played our games each month and our players spent a record 52 minutes per day playing Activision Blizzard and King games. "

    "Third, the expansion of our existing franchises on to mobile, the world's largest platform and the creation of new franchises. And fourth, new and growing franchise engagement revenue models such as esports leagues and digital advertising."

    "Now, not all our franchises are experiencing the momentum we see in Call of Duty and Candy Crush and we have to improve the pace of innovation and the cadence of in-game content. "

    "Mobile remains the largest and fastest growing platform for gaming in the world and while King is a clear leader in mobile, we're still investing in Activision and Blizzard franchises for mobile releases."

    "These are just two of the many mobile initiatives under way across Activision and Blizzard. And King Mobile expertise is now being shared throughout the company, so our beloved PC and console franchises can expand their reach."

    "Overwatch League is already well into planning its second season and we are actively advancing how the league model and infrastructure will be applied to Call of Duty and other franchises. "

    "At Blizzard, monthly active users were 37 million consistent with the prior quarter. "

    "Next year, Blizzard will celebrate World of Warcraft's 15th anniversary with events both in and out of the game." 

    "As I said earlier, some of our franchises are underperforming relative to the opportunity that we see including our live operations capabilities and we will continue to push innovation and new content to drive stronger engagement and in-game revenue generation."

    "And we'll continue to invest in the reach of the different franchises that we have to acquire more players globally across all platforms including PC, console, and mobile. "

    "We have some classic battlegrounds from World of Warcraft that we are remastering and we're going to add some seasonal content as well."

    "Later planned updates are going to add new zones, dungeons, and raids for people to explore an additional PVP arena. "



    Activision Blizzard (ATVI) 3rd Quarter Earnings: What to Expect

    https://www.nasdaq.com/article/activision-blizzard-atvi-3rd-quarter-earnings-what-to-expect-cm1052454



    Activision props up World of Warcraft and Call of Duty as top-earners

    https://www.destructoid.com/activision-props-up-world-of-warcraft-and-call-of-duty-as-top-earners-530618.phtml



    Activision Blizzard Hits Q3 Goals Thanks to WoW and Candy Crush, Destiny 2 Disappoints

    https://wccftech.com/activision-blizzard-q3-2018-earnings/





               WORLD OF WARCRAFT           



    Check out World of Warcraft recreated as a Google Map

    https://www.pcgamesn.com/world-of-warcraft/wow-google-maps
    http://worldofmapcraft.com/



    Blizzard’s Mobile WARCRAFT Spin-Off Is Reportedly Heavily Influenced By POKÉMON GO

    https://gamefragger.com/pc/massively_multiplayer/world_of_warcraft/blizzards-mobile-warcraft-spin-off-is-reportedly-heavily-influenced-by-pokmon-go-a12221

    https://www.pcgamesn.com/warcraft-mobile-pokemon-go


    Blizzard has officially announced that WarCraft 4 is not happening anytime soon, but as the company is instead working on a "Warcraft version of Pokémon Go, which is in development for smartphones now.
    This information comes from a report published earlier this week by Kotaku.



    Blizzard Working on Possible Warcraft and Heroes of the Storm Mobile Games

    https://segmentnext.com/2018/11/08/blizzard-new-mobile-games/



    Blizzard is rewriting bits of Warcraft III to better mesh with World of Warcraft

    https://www.destructoid.com/blizzard-is-rewriting-bits-of-warcraft-iii-to-better-mesh-with-world-of-warcraft-529818.phtml



    https://esportsobserver.com/method-raid-races-blizzard/





                          STARCRAFT                      



    SUMMARY


    Starcraft This Week:  World Electronic Sports Games Qualifiers are ramping up at the national and Regional level, to compete in the Global Finals in China in March for a huge payout. Hearthstone, CS:GO and 3 other games will all compete there.

    The AIIDE  Starcraft AI Tournament was won by SAIDA, the Starcraft AI programmed by a team at Samsung in South Korea. 2nd and 3rd place went to the FaceBook team's AI and a group of Chinese researchers. SAIDA is currently leading in the long running SSCAIT tournament.

    TESPA Collegiate Starcraft Tournament completed its 8 week ladder series. Playoffs begin Dec. 1st, noon Pacific, Saturday and Sunday.

    The Starcraft 1 KSL tournament has revved back up post BlizzCon with the Round of 8 next week.

    Blizzard's long awaited 20th anniversary tournament in Russia was won by the top 3 Koreans, Sharp, Shine and Miso, to noone's surprise, and lastly HomeStory Cup in Germany begins in 1 week.

    .

    Starcraft is back now that everyone is home and semi recovered and the new season starts on November 20th. The new maps have been posted as well on Team Liquid.

    WESG qualifiers continue world wide throughout November including tomorrow the USA finals in California. Tickets are free. WESG is a super huge annual event in China handing out a ton of cash.

    Blizzard's ANZ ProLeague team tournament Down Under began today.

    Blizzard's long awaited 20th anniversary tournament in Russia is finally about to begin and HomeStory Cup begins in 1 week.




    The Pylon Show On The Blizzard Launcher!





    IEM Katowice 2019

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

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

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

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



    HomeStory Cup Memories with the StarCraft Team

    https://wcs.starcraft2.com/en-us/news/22792660/HomeStory-Cup-Memories-with-the-StarCraft-Team/



    Exclusive First Look at 'Starcraft: Soldiers' #2

    https://comicbook.com/gaming/2018/11/20/starcraft-soldiers-exclusive-first-look/



    An old-fashioned AI has won a Starcraft shootout

    https://www.technologyreview.com/the-download/612438/an-old-fashioned-ai-has-won-a-starcraft-shootout/



    A History of Starcraft AI Competitions (and UAlbertaBot)

    http://www.cs.mun.ca/~dchurchill/starcraftaicomp/history.shtml



    History of SAIDA

    https://github.com/TeamSAIDA/SAIDA



    INTERVIEW: SERRAL DISCUSSES HIS HISTORIC STARCRAFT II VICTORY

    https://www.gamecrate.com/interview-serral-discusses-his-historic-starcraft-ii-victory/21290




    The One Word to Sum Up MMA’s SC2 Career is Heart

    https://www.vpesports.com/more-esports/starcraft/the-one-word-to-sum-up-mmas-sc2-career-is-heart/




    The Pylon Show Episode 27, 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, Catz and Neuro!









                               ESPORTS                          



    Esports is an official medal event at the Southeast Asian Games

    https://www.pcgamer.com/esports-is-an-official-medal-event-at-the-southeast-asian-games/

    Hearthstone is sure to be one of the 6. It was in both trials, its nonviolent, its popular, and I think it has girls playing at high level. The IOC liked that when Scarlett won Pyeongchang, that it wasnt a white male.



    Redeye (@PaulChaloner)

    In other news I read a private report today that showed that less than 3% of under 20's watch traditional sports on TV.  In comparison, more than 38% watched esports online.

    https://twitter.com/PaulChaloner/status/1068063438658813952?s=19



    Shanghai releases guidelines over eSports athlete registration and management

    https://news.cgtn.com/news/3d3d414f7955544f30457a6333566d54/share_p.html



    WESG Continues working its way through Nationals and Regionals to World Finals

    Starcraft II and Hearthstone players have been competing for months in over 40 nations to qualify. The Global Finals will be in Shanghai China in March 2019.  JustSaiyan is the US Hearthstone winner. Canada Qualifier Finals play Live at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto on December 2.




    Hangzhou Opens Esports Town, LGD Gaming and Allied Esports Debut Venue

    https://esportsobserver.com/hangzhou-opens-esports-town/

    Hangzhou’s government plans to invest up to $1.26B across 14 esports projects by 2022, including an esports academy, hotel, office park, and hospital.

    After a demonstration event at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) director general Husain Al-Musallam said esports still requires a single international federation before it can be fully included.



    Time to end prejudice against esports

    http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201811/05/WS5bdfa44fa310eff303286832.html



    Legendary Game Universes and Esports Superstars Take Center Stage at BlizzCon® 2018

    https://www.apnews.com/676266208ddb45e986245ef157e3155a






                        WARCRAFT III                    


    NetEase Revealed Esports Plan With Blizzard For Next Year, $720K Prize Pool For WarCraft III Series  

    https://esportsobserver.com/china-esports-recap-nov29/

    The Chinese city of Hangzhou opened its “esports town”, which currently spans 3.94M square feet (17K square meter). The initial cost for the complex is ¥2B RMB ($280M), though Hangzhou’s government plans to spend up to ¥15.45B RMB ($2.22B) on the project through 2022, according to the Chinese government-run website People.cn. Some of the planned facilities for the town include an esports academy, esports-themed hotel, theme park, a business center, and even a hospital designed for esports players.



    The WGL  Winter Grand Finals are underway


    http://dz.blizzard.cn/article/news/2521

    The Warcraft III Golden League Winter Tournament will start at 16:30 on November 28. This is the first Golden League offline match after the 1.30 version is launched. The top 24 players from Europe, America, South Korea and China will compete for the championship and rich prizes from November 28th to December 8th.

    The Warcraft Gold League 2018 Winter Season is the second part of the most important individual tournament in 2018. With one the biggest prize pool of the year ($21,655) and the obligation to earn his place via a qualifier tournament, this is the most prestigious event in the scene.

    It is organized by Blizzard Entertainment's Chinese partner : NetEase, played at Shanghai, offline. During November, the very best players of the world will fight in a double elimination groupstage before going into the single elimination playoffs.



    Warcraft 3: Classic Has Vanished from the Battle.net Store

    https://twinfinite.net/2018/11/warcraft-3-classic-has-vanished-from-the-battle-net-store/



    There will be a Warcraft 3: Reforged beta – probably “early next year”

    https://www.pcgamesn.com/warcraft-iii/warcraft-3-reforged-beta



    Warcraft 3: Reforged requires “orders of magnitude” more work than Starcraft Remastered

    https://www.pcgamesn.com/warcraft-iii/warcraft-3-reforged-more-work-starcraft-remastered



    https://comicbook.com/2018/11/07/warcraft-iii-reforged-world-of-warcraft-references/



    Daily and Weekly Tournaments here

    https://www.twitch.tv/back2warcraft





                                 DIABLO                           



      Blizzard Confirms New ‘Diablo’ Products Will Be Revealed in 2019 

      https://variety.com/2018/gaming/news/blizzard-diablo-reveal-2019-1203066945/



      Pre-Release party for Rastakhan's Rumble

      Open your packs, hang out with Hearthstone Creative Director Ben Thompson & more at Australia's only Pre-Release party for Rastakhan's Rumble - 1 December at Good Games Top Ryde City. Reserve your ticket here, strictly limited spots available!



      Diablo III's Next Patch and Season 16 Aims to Be 'Game-Changing'

      https://www.ausgamers.com/news/read/3611511/diablo-iiis-next-patch-and-season-16-aims-to-be-game-changing



      The Past, Present, And Future Of Diablo

      https://kotaku.com/the-past-present-and-future-of-diablo-1830593195



      Blizzard Co-Founder Says The Company "Tried" To Showcase DIABLO 4 At BlizzCon 2018 After All

      https://gamefragger.com/mobile_gaming/blizzard-co-founder-says-the-company-tried-to-showcase-diablo-4-at-blizzcon-2018-after-all-a12150



      Domino's Pizza in Malaysia has a dig at Blizzard and Diablo Immortal

      https://www.altchar.com/games-news/581284/dominos-has-a-dig-at-diablo-immortal-shots-fired



      Blizzard acknowledges the mobile reality

      https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2018-11-09-blizzard-acknowledges-the-mobile-reality

      If this is true, and it probably is, its probably going to be other Blizzard games coming next.



      24 Diablo Immortal Memes For People Who Are Pissed At Blizzard

      http://gaming.ebaumsworld.com/pictures/24-diablo-immortal-memes-that-you-can-view-on-your-pc/85807069/








                HEROES OF THE STORM          



      Heroes of the Storm Mobile Wouldn't Be a 'Simple Port': Blizzard

      https://gadgets.ndtv.com/games/features/heroes-of-the-storm-mobile-overwatch-orphea-characters-tier-list-blizzard-1948416



      Blizzard Working on Possible Warcraft and Heroes of the Storm Mobile Games

      https://segmentnext.com/2018/11/08/blizzard-new-mobile-games/




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








                         HEARTHSTONE                   




      Esports is an official medal event at the Southeast Asian Games

      https://www.pcgamer.com/esports-is-an-official-medal-event-at-the-southeast-asian-games/

      Hearthstone is sure to be one of the 6. It was in both trials, its nonviolent, its popular, and I think it has girls playing at high level. The IOC liked that when Scarlett won Pyeongchang, that it wasnt a white male.



      WESG Continues working its way through Nationals and Regionals to World Finals

      Starcraft II and Hearthstone players have been competing for months in over 40 nations to qualify. The Global Finals will be in Shanghai China in March 2019.  JustSaiyan is the US Hearthstone winner. Canada Qualifier Finals play Live at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto on December 2.




      Activision Blizzard Hits Q3 Goals Thanks to WoW and Candy Crush, Destiny 2 Disappoints

      https://wccftech.com/activision-blizzard-q3-2018-earnings/






                           OVERWATCH                     



      Overwatch Director Says Blizzard Is "Very Open-Minded" About Switch Release
      "We would love to do it"

      http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2018/11/overwatch_director_says_blizzard_is_very_open-minded_about_switch_release






                     WARCRAFT CLASSIC               



      Back2Warcraft  @Back2Warcraft

      We interviewed Pete Stilwell, Senior Producer of @Warcraft3 and discussed the current progress, design philosophies, esports, mapmaking and more.

      Also, as a B2W exclusive, Pete reveals a new feature for the game!







            OTHER BLIZZARD RELATED STUFF      








      Sources for these news bits include:

      www.google.com

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

      http://www.teamliquid.net/

      And others.



      .

      Saturday, November 3, 2018

      BlizzCon 2018 Edition!


      STARCRAFT GLOBAL FINALS 2018


      Stats, the Korean Shield of Aiur, wiped out SoS 3-0 as the opening match of the Quarter Finals, and between Rogue and Serral is looking forward to facing Serral because of their hard fought 4-3 match at GSL vs the World where he barely lost. This is Stats first time in the Global Finals despite many years as a Champion elsewhere. 

      Coming up, Rogue, the defending Global Champion, versus Serral, the most dominant foreigner Starcraft has ever seen. 

      Serral took match 1, finding a gap in Rogue's wall off of his natural and exploiting it over and over  but when match 2 came Serral went for a fast zergling all in and for an exciting few minutes Rogue's Queen went down and lings swarmed each other in a frenzy in Rogue's natural. Counterattacking Serral's natural, both had to pull back but Serral only regrouped with reinforcements and was back in, straight into Rogue's main but had to tap out. 

      Match 3 Rogue's lings went on the aggression but couldn't quite get through Serral's wall off and Serral's banelings decimated chunks of Rogue's army and barely saved his third. With his economy behind, Rogue started to retaliate but gave up mid push and Serral went to match point!

      Both players teched up towards the late game with the exact same build. Serral shut down Rogues baneling drops with minor losses in his drone line but his roaches kept Serral busy for far too long. Serral found Rogues Ravagers in the open and murdered them, then chased his lurkers home but his own lurkers were waiting and caught them in the cross fire! Serral muscled into Rogues territory and got his lurkers down. The two ripped into each others bases but Serral got vipers first. 

      He took out Rogues Nydus immediately but the second one got in and the third in an incredibly bloody knife fight back and forth. Rogues lurkers kept sneaking in and hurting Serral's bases and his larger army was kept busy with incessant attacks but he sniped some of Rogues army, not enough, as the blood shed dragged on as he slowly wore Rogue down with paper cuts and incredible level of patience that have won him at least two titles this year coming back from behind inch by inch as the blood just kept flowing. Serral found more hydras alone and murdered them as his army just kept growing, so close to moving on to the Finals! The Finnish Hydras sniped Rogues bases cutting his ability to replenish his gas units. Rogue cut down Serral's last mining base and tried to find someplace, any place, to get an edge but the surround caught him first and Serral is the first foreigner to ever be in the Global Finals!










      The best of 7 began with an unusual proxy from Stats just outside Serral's natural. Stats was the first into the enemy base with twin zealots and an oracle but Serral's fast lings broke through Stats' wall and harassing his probes leaving him with a slight edge. Archons and warp prisms as Stats kept up his assault but Serral kept holding as his supply kept building. Suicide roaches attacked the Protoss third and the blood bath from Rogue/Serral game 4 was on. Stats hung on despite ravagers and swarm hosts but the immortals got too far from home and surrounded, and Serral dived but had to retreat from his own losses. Locusts took out the last immortal and Serral was up 1-0!     

      Game 2 started as a more standard game, the forte of both these players with their impeccable defenses at least until Stats lost his two adepts to a mistake. Stats lost another Oracle trying to kill the drone line and relentlessly harass Serral's drones, without much effect. Serral dropped a pile of roaches on Stats pylons and got out fast without much damage. Another hydra roach drop pushed back the Immortals and ravaged Stats base as Stats assaulted his own base and Serral held and is up 2-0!

      Game 3. A bunch of adepts get surrounded just like that. Seven queens lay in wait for 6 Phoenixes and the Zerg just keep growing. Stats manages to use his mobility to his advantage and bruise Serral's economy but the creep by then was almost touching Stats across the map on Dreamcatcher. Banelings take a chunk out of Stats as Serral maxes out and Serral attacks the third through the Archons. Locusts on the fourth and banelings as Serral keeps assassinating high value units where he can and Stats taps out. Serral is on match point for history!

      Stats almost got Serral in GSL vs the World, going 4-3 against him in the Finals but today Serral made it look almost easy against the best Koreans of every race. Stargate opening from Stats, another normal game opening from both with emphasis on Scouting. The Oracle and Phoenix killed absolutely nothing on their first foray. Phoenixes try to take out some drones but Queens and spores keep them from having too much effect. Locusts took out Stats new fourth before he could save it and he found the swarm hosts by themselves. Serral's Overlord bomber took out 17 probes while Stats wasnt looking. Storms hit dead on but the locusts coming from behind and Stats pulls off a win!

      Up 3, on the beautiful ice map of Fracture, Stats goes for a very aggressive build and Dark Shrine. Dark Templars drop into the Zerg main and chase out the Queens to the natural. Taking out roaches and moving back to regen shields. Picking off a roach here and there. Stats moves out with his small army but swarm hosts are already up and waiting at the top of the ramp. Zerglings do a run by on Stats and he charges Stats Army but has to run home for cover. Serral sends his ravagers and hosts to Stats fourth but has to run with Stats in pursuit and Stats sends zealots into sneak attack a base but has to run himself. Stats finds the ravagers in the open and destroys some, storms and Stats gets a second win! 

      Serral 3 Stats 2, Stats sticks with what's working for him, Phoenizes in the drone line and Serral has his Queens out to slow him down but hes getting quite a few each time. He takes out two Queens and scout the future brood lords, 22 drones dead is hurting, and Stats army in the field chases off too few lings that try for a nexus. Banelings dont have the effect Serral wanted but the five broodlords are out now with hydras and he keeps harassing with the lings. Hydras attack Stats but Stats is warned and going for Tempests. Warp prism down as Serral moves south again. Storms force Serral back as the Tempests come into view. Corruptors join the Brood Lords and Stats move out with the Tempests and 11 archons. Tempests hit the Brood Lords. Hydra bane harass forces a recall home and Stats moves onto creep pushing the creep. Serral playing cautious takes out another nexus instead of defending but at the last second the mothership cloaks and saves the Nexus. Not ten seconds later the Vipers abduct the Mother Ship and Stats loses a valuable piece. Serral picks off Stats carrier and archons as he goes offense but Stats is  base trading! Another nexus down to Corruptors! Serral jumps the carrier Fleet and destroys it ALL.  Stats fights with Archons but cant replace any losses for awhile. Stats keeps up harass with zealots to keep Serral busy but the banelings destroy another nexus and keep rolling through another probe line! Serral keeps looking to pick off what he can and asa Stats rescues his base wall the Corruptors sneak up from behind but get swatted on the nose and Stats glides away. Another nexus goes down and Serral abducts 2 Tempests at Stats last base as he plays the patience game he does so well. Lings get into another base. Lings hit another base. SERRAL PICKS OFF THE MOTHER SHIP! SERRAL DOES IT! 
















      WHAT'S NEXT PANEL


      The Starcraft What's Next Panel took place Saturday at BlizzCon and here's some quick highlights from my notes. Larger versions of the images can be seen by using Right Click to new Tab. All images Copyright Blizzard Entertainment 2018.


      They want to have Starcraft tournaments viewable inside the game client at some point.


      War Chest IV by the end of the year.


      Buildings will have skins.


      • They showed the Special Forces Terran, Forged Protoss and Simulant Zerg Building Skins.









      Can unlock War Chest rewards by watching Starcraft tournament Live on Twitch.


      Talked about the design idea behind the new Co-op Commander Zeratul.


      • He is Xel-Naga Influenced in the campaigns so that plays a big role.
      • He can call on other units to appear and join him such as Legendary Protoss Legions and Ultimate Xel'Naga Constructs.
      • Xel-Naga cannons can fire up.
      • He can find three fragments on the map to boost your top bar abilities
      • He can customize his top bar abilities











      DESIGN PATCH NOTES

      Went over the last month's balance patch notes again.






      GOOGLE DEEP MIND PROJECT UPDATE


      • Deep Mind uses an Emulate human mouse click approach.
      • The team combined approaches from earlier AI vs Atari Games and also AI vs Go because of the nature and complexity of Starcraft.
      • Deep Mind has achieved a "very competitive level, maybe Grand Master." against other AIs the team created for it to play against.
      • Deep Mind began with Protoss, probe rushing the enemy base and lost. Seeing that, the team (which includes Starcraft amateur players) focused on teaching it to imitate how actual humans play the game, with economies and unit building.
      • The Community has not yet played against Deep Mind.







      AUDIENCE Q&A

      Nova story campaign type stuff?  Not really replayable content unlike Co-op. Emphasizing Co-op. 

      War Chest Skin Twitch unlocks requires LIVE views currently.  Can play to unlock tiers though.

      Plans to open source Codes for Deep Mind?  Last week open sourced some libraries. 

      Coop plans to make it more brutal?  We discuss it but found Commanders are so powerful they overwhelm everything.  Trying to find new ways for extreme players to play. 

      What will you do about trolls in Co-op?  We should fix, have discussed it. Players are creative though.

      Zeratul Commander Co-op Models finalized?  Should be playable on the floor but will check.

      Wide screen support?  Gives an advantage but Community, give us feedback on it. 

      How many more Coop Commanders should we expect?  Running out of lore characters. Don't see an end in sight though. Selendis maybe. Tosh. Can always add new characters to SC2.