One of the biggest draws to BlizzCon 2011 isn’t the keynote, the costume party, or the live performance by the Foo Fighters. BlizzCon is host to the Global Battle.net Invitational, one of the most exciting StarCraft II and World of Warcraft Arena tournaments being held within the Blizzard universe.
You can watch these tournaments as they happen live by visiting the official BlizzCon Tournament page and clicking the respective Live Stream button for either StarCraft II or World of Warcraft. Live coverage is available for free in standard definition and in high definition by purchasing a BlizzCon 2011 Virtual Ticket. Current and updated bracket standings will also be available through the BlizzCon site.
Between October 21st and 22nd, sixteen of the world’s best StarCraft II players compete head-to-head in a 16-player double-elimination tournament. Competitors are invited based on their performance in previous tournaments held around the globe.
Prizes are as follows:
$50,000 – First Place
$25,000 – Second Place
$10,000 – Third Place
The tournament is arranged as a double elimination, which means that a player can lose once and still make a comeback and win first place.
This year, the pool of contestants is rich with Zerg and light on Protoss. Out of sixteen players, only two of them are running Protoss as their race of choice. Five are running Terran, and nine are playing Zerg.
North America is represented by Terran player Kyeonghyun “SeleCT” Ryoo and Zerg Shawn “Sheth” Simon. Sheth frequently hosts a live stream during ladder matches and has held several streaming marathons in the name of charity. SeleCT, having just won the North American Battle.net Invitational, brings years of RTS experience, and a history of top-caliber play dating back before StarCraft II’s release.
Latin America, Europe, Russia, Korea, Taiwan, SEA/ANZ, and China are each represented by a pair of top players from their region.
World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft Arena competition is frequently fierce and often unpredictable. This year, the 3v3 competition is broken up into two separate phases including Round Robin and a single elimination Championship Bracket. A time-stacking difficulty and time limit have been added this year, as well. Each match is given a hard 20-minute time limit after which players will be banished and incapacitated so referees can determine the outcome of the match. During the last five minutes of the limit, an increasing healing debuff is implemented that will make it far more difficult for players to survive.
Prizes are as follows:
$75,000 – First Place
$30,000 – Second Place
$15,000 – Third Place
North America is being represented by Team EG and Skill Capped, both very skilled teams that took first and second place at the 2011 North American Battle.net Invitational. Skill Capped took second prize at last year’s BlizzCon.
Europe, Korea, Taiwan, and China are also represented, each by two teams that placed in the top two places at their respective regional Battle.net Invitational tournaments.
The Global Battle.net Invitational is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the Blizzard universe, bringing players from all over the globe to compete head-to-head for the title of Champion. If you’ve ever been interested in seeing professional gamers go at it for big prizes, this is one tournament you don’t want to miss.