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Activision Blizzard Acquires the Business of Major League Gaming


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#1 Vanguards

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 12:22 PM

Activision Blizzard Acquires the Business of Major League Gaming

Official Blizzard Quote:

MLG' class='bbc_url' title='External link' rel='nofollow external'>http://investor.activision.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=948649']MLG to Serve as the Foundation for Activision Blizzard's Esports Broadcast Network

SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced the acquisition of the business of Major League Gaming (MLG). MLG is a leader in creating and streaming premium live gaming events, organizing professional competitions and running competitive gaming leagues. The acquisition expands Activision Blizzard's reach across the rapidly-growing esports ecosystem by adding proven live streaming capabilities and technologies to the Activision Blizzard Media Networks division, led by former ESPN CEO Steve Bornstein and MLG Co-founder Mike Sepso.

Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard, said, "Our acquisition of Major League Gaming's business furthers our plans to create the ESPN of esports. MLG's ability to create premium content and its proven broadcast technology platform - including its live streaming capabilities - strengthens our strategic position in competitive gaming. MLG has an incredibly strong and seasoned team and a thriving community. Together, we will create new ways to celebrate players and their unique skills, dedication and commitment to gaming. We are excited to add Sundance and the entire MLG esports team to our competitive gaming initiatives."

Sundance DiGiovanni, Chief Executive Officer and MLG Co-founder, said, "Our mission for over 12 years has been to promote and expand the growth of competitive gaming worldwide, and today the industry is at a key inflection point as its popularity soars and rivals that of many traditional professional sports. This acquisition and Activision Blizzard's commitment to competitive gaming will expand the opportunities for gamers to be recognized and celebrated for their competitive excellence."

Mike Sepso, Senior Vice President of Activision Blizzard Media Networks and MLG Co-founder, said, "Sundance and I founded MLG to highlight the incredible talent of competitive gamers all over the world. Activision Blizzard's esports leadership, incredible intellectual property and long history in competitive gaming create a perfect home for MLG's capabilities. The acquisition of MLG's business is an important step towards Activision Blizzard Media Networks' broader mission to bring esports into the mainstream by creating and broadcasting premium esports content, organizing global league play and expanding distribution with key gaming partners."

MLG will continue to operate MLG.tv, MLG Pro Circuit and GameBattles platforms, and will continue to work with its partners and other publishers across the industry. MLG.tv is a premium online broadcast network for professional-level esports and the MLG Pro Circuit is the longest-running esports league in North America. GameBattles is the largest online gaming tournament system across consoles, PC and mobile platforms.

With over 100 million unique viewers, the esports audience is estimated to be bigger than audiences for many professional sports leagues. Creating premium content for these audiences will provide significant opportunities in ticket sales, advertising, sponsorships, licensing and merchandising. By 2017, esports is projected to have over 300 million viewers1. For the past 12 years, MLG has helped bring esports into the mainstream with broadcasts of professional gaming competitions that rival traditional sports fan engagement.

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#2 HeyimJack

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 12:24 PM

The only way for WoW to become an eSport was to buy out the company x)

gg
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#3 Metaclassx

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 12:59 PM

The only way for WoW to become an eSport was to buy out the company x)

gg

Ya I mean they're prolly not buying their assets so they have a personalized host for their actual eSports games like HoTS/Overwatch/SC2 right?
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#4 Fedx

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 02:57 PM

Ya I mean they're prolly not buying their assets so they have a personalized host for their actual eSports games like HoTS/Overwatch/SC2 right?

u are not fnoberz rename murican

on topic: ok

Edited by Fedx, 06 January 2016 - 02:58 PM.

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#5 Nicholaes92

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 03:08 PM

I know a lot of people think making wow an esport it would make the game more fun but I think it would be the opposite. Not only do I think that wow won't be an esport, I HOPE it doesn't. I think if blizzard tries to force wow into the esport scene they will push wow pvp even further away than it already is in terms of what I think is fun wow pvp. Just make the game fun again plz. Another side note, can blizzard stop worrying south about fuckin cosmetics? Jesus h Christ.
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#6 kannetixx

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 08:48 AM

I know a lot of people think making wow an esport it would make the game more fun but I think it would be the opposite. Not only do I think that wow won't be an esport, I HOPE it doesn't. I think if blizzard tries to force wow into the esport scene they will push wow pvp even further away than it already is in terms of what I think is fun wow pvp. Just make the game fun again plz. Another side note, can blizzard stop worrying south about fuckin cosmetics? Jesus h Christ.


what you think is fun < revenue for esports.
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#7 HeyimJack

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 11:48 AM

I know a lot of people think making wow an esport it would make the game more fun but I think it would be the opposite. Not only do I think that wow won't be an esport, I HOPE it doesn't. I think if blizzard tries to force wow into the esport scene they will push wow pvp even further away than it already is in terms of what I think is fun wow pvp. Just make the game fun again plz. Another side note, can blizzard stop worrying south about fuckin cosmetics? Jesus h Christ.

Ye lol they might actually try to put some effort in to making it not shit and we don't want that
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#8 Nicholaes92

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 04:52 PM

Ye lol they might actually try to put some effort in to making it not shit and we don't want that


Yeah or they could, you know, put effort into their game anyway instead of forcing it into a genre it shouldn't be in.
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i'm not your average aj user bro you're gonna have to up you game little boy.

Also tread lightly my friend, you dont know who you are talking to ;)

who the fuck do u think you are, random fucking nobody, u dont deserve any of my time/effort retard. "tell me that a blizzcon" srsly? great fucking insult m9. dont even talk to me


#9 Nicholaes92

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 04:55 PM

what you think is fun < revenue for esports.


Uhh actually when it come to mmos it tends to be

What the community thinks is fun/revenue on shop mounts > revenue for esports


You'll figure it out someday bub
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i'm not your average aj user bro you're gonna have to up you game little boy.

Also tread lightly my friend, you dont know who you are talking to ;)

who the fuck do u think you are, random fucking nobody, u dont deserve any of my time/effort retard. "tell me that a blizzcon" srsly? great fucking insult m9. dont even talk to me


#10 Xinowl

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 09:11 PM

Ya I mean they're prolly not buying their assets so they have a personalized host for their actual eSports games like HoTS/Overwatch/SC2 right?

Sorry but normally i agree with you in just about everything. But not here.

Honestly. HoTS will never reach the heights of DotA 2 or LoL, for that they are simply too late, since it's already a market which has "settled". I doubt many will change from the DotA they know with a high skillcap, into a casual party that HoTS is. (Or even from LoL which is also somewhat newfag friendly)
The people who will "migrate" to HoTS is the ones who used to be loyal to other Blizzard titles. So they are not going to steal large player percentages from the other games.

Also SC2 seems very dead. Actually the entire RTS scene seems very dead on a wide perspective, compared to the glory days of them (early 2000's). The coverage is going down south. Even Grubby doesn't play the game anymore. A big part of this can be blamed at blizzard for not having Chat channels the first 3 years of the game like WC3 did. Not having interesting icons to achieve when you reached XXX wins, like in WC3 ladder system.
None existing daily automatic tournaments like in WC3.

Basicly they released a beta.. If anyone needs to promote their own games right now, it's surely Blizzard with the drop of customers in WoW (Even though micro transactions from people who is buying their super decks in Hearthstone might be making up for it!)


The only way for WoW to become an eSport was to buy out the company x)

gg


Unlikely to ever happen completely
Sure the game will be followed by those who play it themselves. But for an Esport to really break through, it needs to be able to attract those who is not playing the actual game themselves.

If you had to Explain the basics of DotA: Farming money, every hero has 4 more or less unique abilities each, killing opponents, pushing lanes with AI controlled monsters.
The "new" spectators will easily be able to see if ganks or stuff are forming up here, due to the freedom of seeing the full map.

CSGO: 5v5, 1 side has to plan bomb / 1 defends. BO30 rounds. Oh and they shoot eachother with guns they buy on the start of each round.
Doesn't really need explanation. You shoot people.

Can you do this with WoW? 6 Heroes in arena who has between 50 and 60 abilities each that does a variety of things.
The hero complexity is too hard to grasp from a short explanation. Why is he now a sheep? (CC) How did he break out of that? (CC BREAK) How is that guy jumping on the map? (Warrior leap) Why is he taking damage without anyone targetting him (DoTS)

In the end, no matter how you tried, the people who never played WoW themselves wouldn't have a chance at understanding what is happening.

It's not the same for mobas or FPS games. (Unless you take some more complex FPS like Natural Selection which also includes RTS. Then again, it's not an esport either :)

what you think is fun < revenue for esports.


Well we can hope that they use some brain and remove all Console games from MLG.
https://www.facebook...986613218090215

Stupid keyturner \o/.
Playing FPS games with a joystick or controller is basicly like playing Pingpong with your testicles.

And why is FIFA even a part of a competetive esport scene? The game has more retarded RNG factors than WoW does.

Edited by Xinowl, 10 January 2016 - 09:16 PM.

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#11 Hiiwa

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 12:12 AM

Sorry but normally i agree with you in just about everything. But not here.

Honestly. HoTS will never reach the heights of DotA 2 or LoL, for that they are simply too late, since it's already a market which has "settled". I doubt many will change from the DotA they know with a high skillcap, into a casual party that HoTS is. (Or even from LoL which is also somewhat newfag friendly)
The people who will "migrate" to HoTS is the ones who used to be loyal to other Blizzard titles. So they are not going to steal large player percentages from the other games.

Also SC2 seems very dead. Actually the entire RTS scene seems very dead on a wide perspective, compared to the glory days of them (early 2000's). The coverage is going down south. Even Grubby doesn't play the game anymore. A big part of this can be blamed at blizzard for not having Chat channels the first 3 years of the game like WC3 did. Not having interesting icons to achieve when you reached XXX wins, like in WC3 ladder system.
None existing daily automatic tournaments like in WC3.

Basicly they released a beta.. If anyone needs to promote their own games right now, it's surely Blizzard with the drop of customers in WoW (Even though micro transactions from people who is buying their super decks in Hearthstone might be making up for it!)




Unlikely to ever happen completely
Sure the game will be followed by those who play it themselves. But for an Esport to really break through, it needs to be able to attract those who is not playing the actual game themselves.

If you had to Explain the basics of DotA: Farming money, every hero has 4 more or less unique abilities each, killing opponents, pushing lanes with AI controlled monsters.
The "new" spectators will easily be able to see if ganks or stuff are forming up here, due to the freedom of seeing the full map.

CSGO: 5v5, 1 side has to plan bomb / 1 defends. BO30 rounds. Oh and they shoot eachother with guns they buy on the start of each round.
Doesn't really need explanation. You shoot people.

Can you do this with WoW? 6 Heroes in arena who has between 50 and 60 abilities each that does a variety of things.
The hero complexity is too hard to grasp from a short explanation. Why is he now a sheep? (CC) How did he break out of that? (CC BREAK) How is that guy jumping on the map? (Warrior leap) Why is he taking damage without anyone targetting him (DoTS)

In the end, no matter how you tried, the people who never played WoW themselves wouldn't have a chance at understanding what is happening.

It's not the same for mobas or FPS games. (Unless you take some more complex FPS like Natural Selection which also includes RTS. Then again, it's not an esport either :)



Well we can hope that they use some brain and remove all Console games from MLG.
https://www.facebook...986613218090215

Stupid keyturner \o/.
Playing FPS games with a joystick or controller is basicly like playing Pingpong with your testicles.

And why is FIFA even a part of a competetive esport scene? The game has more retarded RNG factors than WoW does.

Sry for repping twice actually i forgot my main account's pw until now so the other can be deleted idc.

Warning big text incoming:

So i just wanna say that, while I don't think WoW will be an esport anytime soon(if not ever) simply because the game is expensive, I dont think it doesnt have potential to be one. In america its still around 13/14 per month but for canadians its getting really expensive because the dollar drops. And also with the current economical situation around the world its even harder to pay so much just to play a video game. If you check the popular esports they are F2P and thats also how you attract the best gamers(koreans). Also WoW player base dropped alot so nobody will want to make an esports out of a dead game, it makes no sens. I feel WoW is nicely balanced atm(compared to alot of previous season that made it unplayable for alot of specs). They could still lower the money you have to pay(would be a good move since everyone is leaving). Now I want to adresse all these arguments I read this month about why WoW can't be an esport. People say it's because it's too hard to understand for casual fans compared to other esports. This is why I think it's false:

1)-WoW has too many spells(like you said 50-60)

counter argument: really all the spells you need to 'understand' while you watch are the cooldowns: the cc's and the offensive/defensive ones.. that makes it max 10 per player so it's not that hard to pick it up.
Also to make it easier to understand(despite the good commentators doing a good job): is simply to improve the spectator mode(or however you call the UI while you watch a stream). A good UI will be really helpful. The current GCDTV one is decent but I feel it would be perfect simply by placing trinkets next to side HP bars.

2) Other esports are simple to watch
I disagree, while I was watching CSGO for the first time I didnt like it. I only started understanding it more after playing a few games myself. As a noob, the first time all I saw is ppl shooting eachother and I couldnt even follow the minimap.

now here's a few points I want to add:

All esports are very complicated to fully understand..
unless you're good at SC2 what do you really undertsand except for the big packs of units fighting around?
What can you understand about lane swaps in LoL? What can you understand about grenades in CSGO?
you will never expect viewers to understand everything. The casual viewer doesnt need to notice in WoW that a certain player used Sac to break a Polymorph.
I also saw someone say that other esports are fast to pick-up as you don't have to level to level 100 until you can start playing and you dont need to get fully pvp-geared.. I remember the arena tournament realm was pretty good and if they really wanted to make it an esports they can simply make one.
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#12 sarma

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 12:54 AM

easier to just buy them off then fix unfixable game
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#13 Xinowl

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 08:19 AM

Sry for repping twice actually i forgot my main account's pw until now so the other can be deleted idc.

Warning big text incoming:

So i just wanna say that, while I don't think WoW will be an esport anytime soon(if not ever) simply because the game is expensive, I dont think it doesnt have potential to be one. In america its still around 13/14 per month but for canadians its getting really expensive because the dollar drops. And also with the current economical situation around the world its even harder to pay so much just to play a video game. If you check the popular esports they are F2P and thats also how you attract the best gamers(koreans). Also WoW player base dropped alot so nobody will want to make an esports out of a dead game, it makes no sens. I feel WoW is nicely balanced atm(compared to alot of previous season that made it unplayable for alot of specs). They could still lower the money you have to pay(would be a good move since everyone is leaving). Now I want to adresse all these arguments I read this month about why WoW can't be an esport. People say it's because it's too hard to understand for casual fans compared to other esports. This is why I think it's false:

1)-WoW has too many spells(like you said 50-60)

counter argument: really all the spells you need to 'understand' while you watch are the cooldowns: the cc's and the offensive/defensive ones.. that makes it max 10 per player so it's not that hard to pick it up.
Also to make it easier to understand(despite the good commentators doing a good job): is simply to improve the spectator mode(or however you call the UI while you watch a stream). A good UI will be really helpful. The current GCDTV one is decent but I feel it would be perfect simply by placing trinkets next to side HP bars.

2) Other esports are simple to watch
I disagree, while I was watching CSGO for the first time I didnt like it. I only started understanding it more after playing a few games myself. As a noob, the first time all I saw is ppl shooting eachother and I couldnt even follow the minimap.

now here's a few points I want to add:

All esports are very complicated to fully understand..
unless you're good at SC2 what do you really undertsand except for the big packs of units fighting around?
What can you understand about lane swaps in LoL? What can you understand about grenades in CSGO?
you will never expect viewers to understand everything. The casual viewer doesnt need to notice in WoW that a certain player used Sac to break a Polymorph.
I also saw someone say that other esports are fast to pick-up as you don't have to level to level 100 until you can start playing and you dont need to get fully pvp-geared.. I remember the arena tournament realm was pretty good and if they really wanted to make it an esports they can simply make one.


Well your answer here is pretty biased. And it's easy to hear you like WoW.


Your argument of "It's pretty easy to follow just 10 things on each player" is also completely invalid. Sure - it's piss easy for the likes of us. But the people watching who doesn't play the game themselves aren't going to understand whats going on except a lot of sprite effects all over the screen and some health bars going up and down.

In DotA or LoL you don't need to understand lane swaps or when they are doing it, but you will see they are doing it (unless your eyes are closed). So you will have an understanding on whats going on (also from the commentators helping out here)
That's hardly the case with WoW. "trinkets are up he is popping darksoul, everyone is fully dotted, oh there is a counter clone there, and he manages to top everyone off with tranquility"

It's all expressions that you won't understand unless you play the game currently, and even if you played previous expansions, all the complete makeovers of the classes makes it impossible to know how the classes are. And that is also a reason why WoW is not going to succeed as an esport. Because the game just changes too much.

In CSGO, the things have remained the same forever, with only minor tweaks happening in CSGO (NVM VOLVO)
In DotA there is an occasional new hero. But the fun part about watching a MOBA is you don't need to understand the complexity of every hero to be able to watch them. That's not really the case with WoW. You won't see anything except for healthbars going up and down if you have no knowledge of the game, and decides to watch a game.

Not to mention that WoW itself is pretty much dead compared to it's former glory. So where is the "esport" part going to come from if there is no backing up from people who is not actually playing the game?


Long explanation short: If the community and sponsors backing teams up with money and hosting tournaments wanted the game as an esport, it would be one.

WOTLK was pretty damn close, but it didn't kick off because Cata launched (Again, the game had a major overhaul and suddenly things were looking very different)
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#14 Xinowl

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 10:21 AM

On a side note it could be Blizzards way of "representing itself" in Esports department.

We already see MTG Group in Europe who owns VIASAT (TV) aswell as the majority of the stakes in both ESL and Dreamhack, which are 2 quite large players on the Esport department. It wouldn't really be healthy if MTG suddenly owned everything.
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#15 Rydar

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 10:39 AM

World of Warcraft gameplay at its core doesn't suit the E-sport scene

Didn't we learn this years ago?

Stop forcing it please ...
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#16 Hiiwa

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 04:29 PM

Well your answer here is pretty biased. And it's easy to hear you like WoW.


Your argument of "It's pretty easy to follow just 10 things on each player" is also completely invalid. Sure - it's piss easy for the likes of us. But the people watching who doesn't play the game themselves aren't going to understand whats going on except a lot of sprite effects all over the screen and some health bars going up and down.

In DotA or LoL you don't need to understand lane swaps or when they are doing it, but you will see they are doing it (unless your eyes are closed). So you will have an understanding on whats going on (also from the commentators helping out here)
That's hardly the case with WoW. "trinkets are up he is popping darksoul, everyone is fully dotted, oh there is a counter clone there, and he manages to top everyone off with tranquility"

It's all expressions that you won't understand unless you play the game currently, and even if you played previous expansions, all the complete makeovers of the classes makes it impossible to know how the classes are. And that is also a reason why WoW is not going to succeed as an esport. Because the game just changes too much.

In CSGO, the things have remained the same forever, with only minor tweaks happening in CSGO (NVM VOLVO)
In DotA there is an occasional new hero. But the fun part about watching a MOBA is you don't need to understand the complexity of every hero to be able to watch them. That's not really the case with WoW. You won't see anything except for healthbars going up and down if you have no knowledge of the game, and decides to watch a game.

Not to mention that WoW itself is pretty much dead compared to it's former glory. So where is the "esport" part going to come from if there is no backing up from people who is not actually playing the game?


Long explanation short: If the community and sponsors backing teams up with money and hosting tournaments wanted the game as an esport, it would be one.

WOTLK was pretty damn close, but it didn't kick off because Cata launched (Again, the game had a major overhaul and suddenly things were looking very different)


Yea sure I like WoW and making the game more competitive would be fun imo. I'm not saying it has to be as big as LoL,CSGO, Dota. but it can for sure be a tier 2-3 esport with like 3-4 decent tourneys per year. I just think what people don't realise is that previously ppl were complaining they dont understand anything in WoW tournaments cause UI was above dogshit:

Posted Image

Look at that shit, sure with no nameplates on both teams and way to see who's on what team nobody will understand shit. But even back then the competition was nice.
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#17 Nicholaes92

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 05:25 PM

Yea sure I like WoW and making the game more competitive would be fun imo. I'm not saying it has to be as big as LoL,CSGO, Dota. but it can for sure be a tier 2-3 esport with like 3-4 decent tourneys per year. I just think what people don't realise is that previously ppl were complaining they dont understand anything in WoW tournaments cause UI was above dogshit:

Posted Image

Look at that shit, sure with no nameplates on both teams and way to see who's on what team nobody will understand shit. But even back then the competition was nice.


Ya but from a business perspective it just isn't a very good idea. If you are try to host so many tournaments a year you have to put in money for casters money for prize pools and take time to host the tournaments and deal with all the potential drama that happens during tournaments (lolxoni). And all for what? 30k views? Maybe? It's just not worth for blizzard to make these tournaments that's why you are going to see people like gcd doing the only tournaments because for someone that isn't a big corporation it could give you at least some financial benefit doing it by yourself.
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i'm not your average aj user bro you're gonna have to up you game little boy.

Also tread lightly my friend, you dont know who you are talking to ;)

who the fuck do u think you are, random fucking nobody, u dont deserve any of my time/effort retard. "tell me that a blizzcon" srsly? great fucking insult m9. dont even talk to me


#18 Xinowl

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 05:35 PM

Ya but from a business perspective it just isn't a very good idea. If you are try to host so many tournaments a year you have to put in money for casters money for prize pools and take time to host the tournaments and deal with all the potential drama that happens during tournaments (lolxoni). And all for what? 30k views? Maybe? It's just not worth for blizzard to make these tournaments that's why you are going to see people like gcd doing the only tournaments because for someone that isn't a big corporation it could give you at least some financial benefit doing it by yourself.


Yeah good point. The viewers / followers have always been shit on WoW tournaments.
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#19 Hiiwa

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 05:38 PM

Ya but from a business perspective it just isn't a very good idea. If you are try to host so many tournaments a year you have to put in money for casters money for prize pools and take time to host the tournaments and deal with all the potential drama that happens during tournaments (lolxoni). And all for what? 30k views? Maybe? It's just not worth for blizzard to make these tournaments that's why you are going to see people like gcd doing the only tournaments because for someone that isn't a big corporation it could give you at least some financial benefit doing it by yourself.


Aight last time I respond on this topic(dont wanna be a whore or anything). Will just say that obviously as it is now it won't be worth making anything out of of it. But with a few better decisions by blizzard it could very well be a mini esport. If they fix all the things I talked about (cost of WoW, not even sure its a good business anymore with so many subs gone: to have it at 14$ per month)
I think it'd be fun just cause there's no mmorpgs esports and that's very unique and fun for ppl that play wow imo. But at the end, i'm fine with just watching LoL and I don't give a fuck more than anyone else about WoW. Saying that for the ppl that play this game alot hoping it can be competitive at least.
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