With the dust now settled on one of the most exciting weekends in gaming, a new crop of fantasy and real-world heroes has emerged. BlizzCon® 2016, Blizzard Entertainment’s two-day community festival taking place November 4–5 at the Anaheim Convention Center, celebrated the company’s 25th anniversary and came to a close with a bevy of new announcements for its iconic games—as well as global champions crowned across Blizzard’s stable of world-class esports.
After months of intense competition leading up to the show, BlizzCon hosted the world championships for each of Blizzard’s global esports programs, with a combined prize pool of $2,750,000 up for grabs. These tournaments represent the pinnacle of competitive play in Blizzard’s games, and the company again congratulates the champions who battled their way to victory:
StarCraft® II World Championship Series Global Finals
In the 2016 WCS Global Finals for StarCraft II, Byun followed up his impressive Global StarCraft II League championship as a team-less free agent with an unforgettable WCS Global Championship run. With the most diverse cast of players in the tournament’s history competing at this year’s finals, every match was a must-watch.
Hearthstone® World Championship
For the first time in the history of the Hearthstone World Championship, two players from Europe squared off against one another in the Grand Finals at BlizzCon. In a tense series, Russia’s Pavel defeated his Ukrainian opponent DrHippi 4–2 to claim the title of 2016 Hearthstone World Champion.
Heroes of the Storm® Fall Championship
Winning team: Ballistix Gaming
Ballistix Gaming from Korea took home the Fall Championship trophy after a grueling final series with Sweden’s Fnatic, who had just taken down the favorites, MVP Black, in the semifinals. Incredibly, Ballistix dropped only two battlegrounds over the course of the event.
World of Warcraft® Arena World Championship
Winning team: Splyce
In perhaps the most epic World of Warcraft Arena Grand Finals match to ever take place on the BlizzCon stage, the defending champions, Splyce, bested Method NA in a nerve-wrecking 7-game series, becoming the first team ever to win back-to-back titles.
Overwatch® World Cup
Winning country: South Korea
With dominant performance after dominant performance, South Korea became the first winners of the Overwatch World Cup in front of a packed BlizzCon arena. Besting tournament heavyweights USA, Sweden, and Russia en route to the final, South Korea didn’t drop a single game.
Blizzard also used the occasion to reveal its plans for the Overwatch League, a world-class sports ecosystem for professional Overwatch competition that’s launching in 2017. The Overwatch League will bring together some of the best elements of esports and traditional sports to create an experience that’s accessible and sustainable for players, teams, and fans.