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The North American 2016 Road to BlizzCon

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Official Blizzard Quote:

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 Twitch.tv/Warcraftand MLG.tv 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!
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Warcraft Movie Box Office Numbers

Outside of the US, the Warcraft Movie is performing really well. It has one of the biggest openings this year in Russia and Germany. In the US however it only had an opening projection of $25 Million, comparatively bad for its $160 Million budget.

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  • Deadline is reporting that in 19 of the 20 markets it opened in, it was the #1 movie.
    • In Germany, the movie had the biggest opening of the year so far, with 45% market share.
    • In Russia, the movie had the second biggest opening, with 65% market share.
  • Variety is reporting that the Russian opening was only behind Deadpool this year, with the seventh biggest opening day of all time in Russia.
  • In China, ticket pre-sales for the release night are already the sixth highest ranking movie of all time.
  • Unfortunately the news isn't as great in the US, with an opening projection of only $25 million.
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World of Warcraft Now Includes Warlords

Official Blizzard Quote:

Warlords of Draenor was added to World of Warcraft on Tuesday. We took a similar approach with the previous expansion prior to the launch of Warlords of Draenor, and the response was very positive. This makes it easier than ever for new players interested in the upcoming Legion expansion to get into the game, and gives returning players a chance to catch up on content prior to the new expansion’s launch.

Level 90 character boosts are no longer available (though players who purchased Warlords of Draenor prior to this change this will still be able to claim the included boost). Players who want to boost a character can either pre-purchase Legion, which includes a level 100 boost, or purchase a standalone level 100 boost.
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