The game won’t even be out of closed beta until early next week, but Blizzard is already ponying up big money for the inaugural Heroes of the Storm World Championships. Teams will compete for a share of a whopping $1.2 million prize pool, with the finals being held at this year’s BlizzCon. Not bad for a first-time event, considering Starcraft II has been around since 2010 and it’s prize pool sits at $1.6m.
$500,000 of the Heroes money will be handed out at BlizzCon, which takes place on November 6th and 7th in Anaheim, with the winning team taking $200,000. The rest will be awarded through regional qualifiers. A total of eight teams from five different regions will compete on the BlizzCon stage: one from Korea, one from Taiwan, two from Europe, two from China, and two from the Americas region—which includes North and South America, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Blizzard has created the handy image below to make the qualification path marginally clearer.
It’s interesting to note that Korea and China will see the top teams from their respective professional leagues advance, while the other regions will pit teams against each other in open qualifying tournaments. Once at BlizzCon, the remaining eight teams will be split into two groups of four, before the top two in each group advance to a bracket.
This year’s BlizzCon will also host the Starcraft 2, World of Warcraft, and Hearthstone World Championships. Heroes of the Storm goes into open beta on May 19th, before officially launching on June 2nd. I went to the Heroes of the Dorm collegiate tournament last month and thought it held up very well as a live esports experience.