Sunday, March 3, 2019

Show Notes, Blizzard News, March 2019



        GENERAL BLIZZARD NEWS        



Activision Blizzard stock falls after Bernstein cuts target

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/activision-blizzard-stock-falls-after-bernstein-cuts-target-2019-03-28



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

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



Investors Should Cheer Activision Blizzard's Latest Move

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



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

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

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



Here's How Activision Blizzard Makes Its Money

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

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





                      STARCRAFT                      



ESL and Intel welcomed 174,000 fans at world’s most attended esports event 

https://www.realgear.net/news/esports/esl-and-intel-welcomed-174000-fans/
The$400,000 Intel Extreme Masters World Championship in StarCraft II was also the most viewed SC2 competition in ESL’s history. More than 5 million Unique Viewers (accumulated daily viewers over the duration of the entire event) watched Eo “soO” Yoon Soo, who had lost all 7 of the major SC2 finals he was featured in before, beating Kim “Stats” Dae-yeob 4-2 in the grand final. The first playoff matches took place at the Auditorium in front of a packed crowd. Fans tuned in at IEM Katowice 2019 SC2 for longer than 3.2 million hours (2018: 2.9 million HW and 3.5 million UV).


ESPN Pronounces The Collegiate Esports Championship for 2019

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

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



Get the Abathur: Evolved Bundle with Twitch Prime! 

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




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

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

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



WESG: MacSed vs Seventy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





[2019 GSL S1 RO16] 

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

HerO defeated TY to win the OlimoLeague February Finals. 

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

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

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

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





soO wins IEM Katowice 2019!

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

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






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

GET THE ABATHUR: EVOLVED BUNDLE

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Tespa Collegiate Series: StarCraft II Team Brawl

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

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





The Pylon Show, a Starcraft Podcast 

https://www.twitch.tv/incontroltv

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










                           ESPORTS                          



WCG Making its Return After 6 Years...Registrations Open for Everyone Until April 2nd

https://www.invenglobal.com/articles/7891/wcg-making-its-return-after-6-yearsregistrations-open-for-everyone-until-april-2nd



ESPN Pronounces The Collegiate Esports Championship for 2019

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

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



For those missing @BlizzHeroes esport events

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



WESG 

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



Welcome to the 2019 Mythic Dungeon International

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

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


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

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



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

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






                    WARCRAFT III                    




WCG Making its Return After 6 Years...Registrations Open for Everyone Until April 2nd

https://www.invenglobal.com/articles/7891/wcg-making-its-return-after-6-yearsregistrations-open-for-everyone-until-april-2nd



WCG 2019 Xi'an Official Games and Tournament Schedule Released

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






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





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




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



WCG announces first four titles for grand return


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



Daily and Weekly Tournaments here

https://www.twitch.tv/back2warcraft




                           DEEPMIND                        










               WORLD OF WARCRAFT           









                                 DIABLO                           



      Activision Blizzard stock falls after Bernstein cuts target

      https://www.marketwatch.com/story/activision-blizzard-stock-falls-after-bernstein-cuts-target-2019-03-28



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

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



      Diablo I is Now available for purchase & download

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

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



      Diablo: Immortal Complete, But No Release Date

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





                         HEARTHSTONE                   




      WCG Making its Return After 6 Years...Registrations Open for Everyone Until April 2nd

      https://www.invenglobal.com/articles/7891/wcg-making-its-return-after-6-yearsregistrations-open-for-everyone-until-april-2nd



      ESPN Pronounces The Collegiate Esports Championship for 2019

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

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



      WCG 2019 Xi'an Official Games and Tournament Schedule Released

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



      WESG  @WESGcom

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




                           OVERWATCH                     



      Activision Blizzard stock falls after Bernstein cuts target

      https://www.marketwatch.com/story/activision-blizzard-stock-falls-after-bernstein-cuts-target-2019-03-28



      ESPN Pronounces The Collegiate Esports Championship for 2019

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

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



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

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




                     WARCRAFT CLASSIC               








                HEROES OF THE STORM          



      Blizzard to cut link between loot boxes and real money in Heroes of the Storm

      https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-03-25-heroes-of-the-storm-can-no-longer-buy-loot-boxes-with-real-money



      ESPN Pronounces The Collegiate Esports Championship for 2019

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

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




      For those missing @BlizzHeroes esport events

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







                            BLIZZARD MOBILE                      








            OTHER BLIZZARD RELATED STUFF      










      Sources for these news bits include:

      www.google.com

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

      http://www.teamliquid.net/

      And others.



      .