Along with the Hearthstone news today, Blizzard Entertainment announced they have entered a three-year esports deal with DreamHack and the ESL. The short version of the deal is that they will be presenting Warcraft III: Reforged and StarCraft II tournaments moving forward as part of their major events. This means that they will take over the SC2 World Championship Series and start the new ESL Pro Tour StarCraft II, as well as launching a new competitive platform with ESL Pro Tour Warcraft III: Reforged. Blizzard will provide a respective prize pool of over $1.8m over $200k for the first season, which will kick off sometime this Spring. Here's some quotes from all parties involved in today's announcement.
"We feel extremely honored to establish a new home for RTS esports fans and be responsible for two of the most prestigious esports titles of all time," said Sebastian Weishaar, CPO at ESL. "ESL and DreamHack are deeply rooted within Blizzard esports games and have built ecosystems around them for years now. Tying both StarCraft II and Warcraft III into the ESL Pro Tour narrative is our contribution to these passionate communities and will provide both titles with a promising platform to continue writing esports history."
"We are both proud and humbled by the fact that Blizzard has chosen DreamHack and ESL to take the lead for competitive StarCraft II and Warcraft III moving forward," said DreamHack co-CEO, Marcus Lindmark. "This strengthens our joint position as the top tournament organizers in the market with a unique combination of reach and knowledge, and an extensive and successful history. It also provides us with an incredible opportunity to cater to the historical Starcraft II and Warcraft III esports communities, who have played a very important role in the development of modern day esports."
"We are so proud that StarCraft II and Warcraft III are home to two of the most passionate, storied and devoted communities in esports history," said J. Allen Brack, President of Blizzard Entertainment. "Both ESL and DreamHack have been long-standing partners for our esports, and we want to give our players, talent, content creators and fans the stability inherent in a long-term relationship, keeping these communities thriving for years to come."
"This deal is a great step forward for StarCraft II esports and creates an exciting new esports scene around Warcraft III: Reforged," said Pete Vlastelica, President and CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports. "We're deeply committed to bringing the best in competitive entertainment to fans and players around the world, and we're thrilled to expand our collaboration with ESL and DreamHack in support of that effort."