Esports at BlizzCon: Day One Highlights

All the results from the first day at BlizzCon.

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BlizzCon kicked off yesterday and Blizzard's highly anticipated event not only had a lot of esports to offer but also a lot of announcements, with Overwatch arguably taking centre stage for the day.

As many expected, hero Sombra was finally confirmed as well as new maps and modes. The biggest announcement, however, was that of the Overwatch League which will happen next year, seeing teams based around cities battle against each other for Overwatch supremacy.

Diablo fans also had announcements to sink their teeth into as well, as just before the Overwatch World Cup kicked off it was announced that a new expansion called Rise of the Necromancer would be coming for Diablo III, bringing with it the Necromancer class. For fans of the classic Diablo, the news that the original Diablo will return to Diablo III in an anniversary patch should be very welcome too.

Hearthstone players also had an expansion to get hyped for, as Mean Streets of Gadgetzan was announced as the fourth main expansion, bringing with it a new deck of 132 cards.

Coming back to esports, though, a whole host of tournaments are being played at BlizzCon, one of which is the World of Warcraft Arena World Championship, and yesterday the two semifinals took place. Splyce and Tempo Storm fought first, with Splyce taking home the victory 3-1, and in the other match between NG Blue and Method (NA), Method progressed via a 3-0 victory to set up a final with Splyce that will be played today.

In terms of the Heroes of the Storm Fall Championship, though, yesterday's matches were group matches to decide who progresses into the playoffs, and from Group A MVP Black and Team Dignitas made it through, whereas Group B saw Fnatic and Ballistix progress, setting up those two pairs in semifinals against one another.

The Overwatch World Cup had its quarter and semi finals underway to set up today's final, and the first match of the day was a close one between Russia and France, with Russia progressing with no small help from ShaDowburn. There was another close match between Finland and Spain, with Finland progressing also, and South Korea shrugged off opposition from the USA in a 2-0 victory, as did Sweden against China by the same margin. Russia then got a 2-0 win over Finland, as did South Korea over Sweden, in order to set up a Russia vs. South Korea final.

The quarter finals of the Hearthstone World Championship were not short of excitement either, especially since the community were buzzing from the announcement of the expansion. The first of these saw Jasonzhou beat Hamster 4-2, and Pavel beat Amnesiac 4-3 in order to set up a semi final with Jasonzhou. The other semifinal will see che0nsu, after beating Cydonia 4-1, face off against DrHippi after he comfortably defeated HotMEOWTH 4-0.

Lastly, the StarCraft II WGC Global Finals also had their quarter finals yesterday, too, and Elazer beat ShoWTimE 3-1 to set up a semi final with Dark, who beat Neeblet 3-0. The other quarter finals saw ByuN beat TY 3-1 to grab a place in the semi finals with Stats, who narrowly clinched victory against Zest.

What was your favourite part of yesterday's action?

Photo: Blizzard

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REVIEW. Written by Rasmus Lund-Hansen

"Overwatch is, without a doubt, the best multiplayer-shooter I've ever had my hands on."

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