Blizzard isn't buying the IPL eSports tournament
Following IGN's sale to new publisher Ziff Davis, the IGN Pro League closed its curtains last week. For attendees, players, and teams, this was mighty inconvenient timing: IPL's March 28 event was cancelled, and along with it their plans for travel and competition. IGN is still looking for a buyer, and GameSpot says a few anonymous sources had been pointing to Blizzard as a prospect, of all companies—which Blizzard is promptly denying in the same report.
"While we were fans of the IPL and disappointed to learn that it was coming to an end, we have no plans to take over operation of the IPL business or operate third-party eSports leagues," Blizzard's statement reads. "Our focus is on making great games and supporting our players. When it comes to eSports events, we generally prefer to work with experienced partners on the operations side while we focus on ensuring quality in terms of how our content is incorporated."
A Blizzard-owned IPL would indeed constitute a bizarre departure from the studio's hands-off approach to eSports. Third-party tournaments such as NASL and MLG enjoy Blizzard's support but not outright ownership. Not to mention that the presence of League of Legends and Shootmania Storm in the IPL doesn't jive with Blizzard's preference for focusing on its own game lineups in professional play.
If and when a prospective buyer steps forward, you'll know TJ will be all over it in his weekly eSports news roundup.