Boasting some of the biggest games in esports (Overwatch, Hearthstone, Starcraft and Heroes of the Storm), Blizzard will have a brand new arena where they will be able to accommodate their competitors and fans. Announced on the Blizzard website, The Blizzard Arena, Los Angeles is a custom-designed venue which has the capacity to host and broadcast multiple events simultaneously. Blizzard fans will squeal in delight because there will also be able to shop in an on-site Blizzard store that will “feature a rotating selection of gear and goods based on the event taking place at the time.” The Blizzard Arena already has high profile events scheduled for later this year with the Hearthstone Summer Championship and Overwatch Contenders Playoffs in October. It was also stated that the Arena will be the home for the Overwatch League when it launches later this year. Blizzard posted the following information on the coming events:
“The Overwatch Contenders Playoffs will run the weekend of October 7–8 and serve as the grand opening event of Blizzard Arena Los Angeles. The top Overwatch Contenders teams from Europe and North America will arrive to battle over prize pools and regional dominance as they take center stage at the Arena. On October 13, the Summer Championship for the Hearthstone Championship Tour takes over the Arena for a full weekend of championship competition with $250,000 on the line. The players left standing will be the final entrants in the Hearthstone World Championship, scheduled for early 2018.”
Frankly, I love this idea from Blizzard, albeit very risky. Being able to host all of their major tournaments from the Arena instead of renting other large venues will save them lump sums but I feel as if they are betting a lot on the success of the Overwatch League. If the Overwatch League finds the fame and popularity it’s looking for then I believe that the venue will be able to find incredible success and potentially become one of the worlds premiere venues for hosting esports tournaments.