Heroes of the Storm Global Championship Circuit kicks off next year

Heroes of the Storm

Blizzard made a big move into the realm of esports today with the announcement of the Heroes of the Storm Global Championship Circuit. Unveiled at BlizzCon, the circuit will feature three Global Championship events that will be held throughout 2016, one in spring, one in summer, and the last in the fall. Regional qualifiers for each Global Championship event will operate under their own independent formats and structures, "so that each region can determine the absolute best teams that they have to offer."

The new tournament structure will be supported through open qualifiers as well as partnerships with "major tournament organizers" for sanctioned third party tournaments. As part of its efforts toward building a more sustainable esports scene, Blizzard also promised "stronger support systems" for both existing teams and high-MMR players who haven't yet transitioned into pro esports.

"By supporting third party tournaments and open qualifiers in each region, we hope to create in-region infrastructure and competitions that will offer teams from all over the world the chance to test their mettle in the Global Championship Circuit," Blizzard explained. "We’d also like to create even more epic moments throughout the year, where viewers can watch and cheer on their favorite teams as regional champions battle each other in the Nexus."

Blizzard is offering a $500,000 prize pool for the first Global Championship, with qualifying events set to begin in January. More information will be revealed over the coming weeks at HeroesoftheStorm.com/esports.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.