The North American 2016 Road to BlizzCon

The 2016 World of Warcraft Arena World Championship is about to kick off—and for teams across North America, the battle begins in just a few weeks.

This year, we’re pleased to announce that we’re partnering with Major League Gaming to produce the entire North American Road to BlizzCon, including all three qualifier cups. Over the years, MLG has played a major role in World of Warcraft’s development as an esport, and it’s exciting to be working with them once again.

Additionally, the fine folks from GCDTV will be joining us again, working behind the scenes with MLG to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible.

North America Online Qualifiers & Sign-ups

The battle begins with three online qualifier cups, starting in mid-June, each with their own $6000 prize pool (see our previous announcement for more details). You’ll be able to catch them all live on and beginning with the Round of 8, with the following schedule:

  • Cup 1: June 18
  • Cup 2: July 2
  • Cup 3: July 16

Sign-ups for the qualifiers are now open! If you’re interested in competing, head over to the official MLG website.

Note to competitors: games played prior to the Round of 8 will be played in the days leading up to the broadcast.

Americas Regionals

The top two teams from each qualifier cup (six teams in total) will move on to the Americas Regionals, where they’ll be joined by two other teams: one from Latin America, and one from Australia and New Zealand. This year’s Regionals will be held at the MLG Arena in Columbus, Ohio on October 8 and 9. Once again, our eight competitors will be fighting for their share of a $100,000 prize pool and one of three coveted spots in the Arena World Championship finals at BlizzCon 2016.

Rules Update

We’ve heard a ton of community feedback on the 2016 changes to the Road to BlizzCon rules we laid out in our previous blog. We’ve been listening to your feedback and have decided to change a rule: Teams who qualify for a Regional will no longer be eligible from participating in additional qualifiers. This is consistent with previous years rules and will open up additional slots to competition.

The complete official rules are available here — for even more information on this year’s rules, read our forum update.

We can’t wait to see what path this year’s Road to BlizzCon takes, and hope you’ll join us when the qualifiers begin in June!

Righteous Defiance: A Poll

Join the Resistance! All across Azeroth and Draenor, factions fight to establish dominance, to conquer, and to protect homelands. Some factions are interesting simply because they exist to resist.

Most motivated fighters reach a time in their lives when all they want to do is join a resistance group and make a difference in the struggle against the arbitrarily-defined bad guys. Which of the resistance factions below would you join?

Issue with Incorrect Citadel Reinforcement Timers, May 31 2016

Hello Players

At present, some citadels have incorrect vulnerability timers active, and as such, can be attacked outside of their regular vulnerability windows. This issue will be resolved during the next downtime (11:00UTC 2016-06-01).

Until that time, owners of Citadels that are attacked and enter reinforced due to this issue may file a support ticket asking for the reinforcement to be reversed. Please note that this will only be offered for shield reinforcement timers. Armor and Hull reinforcement timers will not be reversed as they would have been initiated before this issue occurred. Owners of Citadels in shield vulnerable may also request for them to be set to invulnerable.

When filing a support ticket for this issue, please file it with the following:
Subject: Incorrect Citadel Reinforcement Timer
Category: Gameplay Support -> Stuck -> Stuck Characters
Body: Please include the name and location of the Citadel.

118.5 Release To be Deployed Tomorrow – 2016-05-31 – During Extended Downtime

We are happy to announce that the May release, 118.5, will be deployed tomorrow, 2016-05-31, during an extended downtime.

Downtime will begin at the usual time of 11:00 UTC, and will run for a total of 30 minutes, through until 11:30 UTC, when we expect Tranquility to be online and accepting connections.

118.5 brings a number of fixes after the deployment of EVE Online: Citadel, as well as new Multi-Use Analyzers, Upwell Consortium executive clothing rewards for those who took part in the event surrounding the construction of the first Astrahus class citadel, and Matigu "Seabeast" SKINs, which will initially form part of our promotional offers, before being released to the New Eden Store at a later date.

The Force Auxiliary skillpoint reimbursement will also occur during this extended downtime, as announced here.

You can check out more information about 118.5 and view the full patch notes via EVE Updates.

Community Spotlight: Jesse Cox

After he recently visited Blizzard to interview World of Warcraft Assistant Game Director Ion Hazzikostas, we were thrilled to spend a little time talking to community leader and all-around beloved personality Jesse Cox.

Before he had a big audience, Jesse stepped into the spotlight at BlizzCon 2011, and he was armed with a picture of the tail of a snake in Gundrak.

That moment opened a door of sorts, and Jesse has grown his influence in the World of Warcraft community ever since. His main focus these days is his Youtube channel.

Q: What’s on your Youtube channel?

A: “It’s your standard let's play stuff, except instead of scare-cam videos, it's all about a grown man looking for every single bit of loot and story he can squeeze out of today’s games.”

About four years ago, in what would become the stuff of new media legend, Jesse hooked up with Eric “Wowcrendor” Hrab and began producing podcasts and videos under the moniker “Cox N Crendor”. In less than four years, the Cox n’ Crendor Youtube channel has accumulated over 26 million views.

Q: How would you describe Crendor?

"Crendor is one of the funniest people I know. He's like the love child of Eeyore and a unicorn: monotone, disinterested, and somehow magical.” – Jesse Cox

There are hundreds of hours of Cox N Crendor productions to consume, but if you’ve never checked out any of them, we suggest you start with Nerdlords of Draenor. That one was a lot of fun.

Q: How did you get here from there?

A: “I'm just blessed to have a job that involves playing video games, and grateful for a fanbase that is cool with the fact that even though I play all sorts of things, it usually comes down to what I enjoy. One minute I'm doing FPS, then stealth, then action, then RPGs. And of course, recently I've been enthralled with Overwatch.”

Q: What’s coming up for you?

A: “I've been a Blizzard fan for going on 20 years, and I'm that guy who buys every game from every franchise Blizzard has. I still jump around between them all every time something new happens, like a new season of Diablo, or the Nova Ops missions. And of course this means I'll be headed back into Azeroth for Legion.”

Q: What’s your message to the World of Warcraft community?

A: “Play how you want. Do what you want. It's Blizzard's game, but it's your world.

For years, people would flip because I didn't use the right addon, or the right build, or the right cast order. I would try my hardest to be the healer or damage-dealer they wanted. I've since learned that I really have more fun not caring.

Look, elitist jerks or whoever clearly know what they are talking about, and I'm not saying they're wrong, but sometimes being highest on the meters isn't the most important thing.

Although, I know a certain guild leader of mine who would disagree.”

Check out Jesse on his website, Twitter, and Youtube for more!

Pre-order the Warcraft Movie Soundtrack Today

The Warcraft movie soundtrack is now available for pre-order. Take this legendary score by Grammy-nominated composer Ramin Djawadi with you wherever you go.

Don’t want to wait? You can stream the entire Warcraft soundtrack on Soundcloud now, before it’s released!

Pre-order on iTunes (digital) – Available June 3

You can learn more about the Warcraftsoundtrack by liking Backlot Music’s Facebook page, and you can follow composer Ramin Djawadi on Twitter.

Find out more about the film by visiting the Warcraft movie site, and join the conversation on Twitter with #WarcraftMovie.