Heroes of the Dorm, Blizzard’s collegiate event of its popular multiplayer online battle arena Heroes of the Storm, is returning this year after its successful debut in 2015.
— Heroes of the Storm (@BlizzHeroes) January 28, 2016
The tournament gives players the chance to compete for more than $500,000 in scholarships and other prizes.
Successful first eSports event on a major U.S. TV network
In 2015, Heroes of the Dorm was the first big collegiate competition in Heroes of the Storm. The event was organized by TeSPA or The eSports Association, the largest network of student gaming groups in North America.
At that time, the game hadn’t even hit release or even public beta yet, so it was sort of the first real chance for Blizzard to see the potential for its product and whether it could compete with well-established titles like League of Legends and Dota 2.
“Last year’s Heroes of the Dorm was an amazing experience for the students playing and everyone watching, and we’re excited to again offer college athletes an epic opportunity to team up and compete for scholarships in 2016,” said CEO Mike Morhaime.
The 2015 event proved that instead of targeting professional eSports competitors, it could carve out a niche by making it a college sport.
“It’s inspiring to see players from last year’s championship team, the UC Berkeley Golden Bears, now thriving in pro eSports careers – we look forward to seeing how this year’s competitors shape the future of competitive gaming,” added Morhaime.
2016 championship starts in March
Part-time and full-time students at four-year colleges and universities in the United States and Canada are eligible to register their teams between January 25 and February 18.
Heroes of the Dorm 2016 will start with online qualifiers on February 20 and the top 64 teams will enter the finals bracket on March 19. Early rounds of the event will be broadcasted on ESPN’s digital platform ESPN3. The stream will also be available on Twitch and YouTube – bracket matches will be played only online.
The last four teams will be battling each other during a two-day live event that will be broadcasted on ESPN2 between April 9 and 10. The place of the event is not yet known, but details should be revealed soon.
Making moves in the eSports industry
With “Road to Blizzcon,” another major eSports event by Blizzard, and the recent acquisition of Major League Gaming, an eSports tournament organizer and broadcaster, the company has shown that it’s expanding its position in the competitive gaming industry. Additionally, with the newly-formed eSports division, it is well-positioned for whatever might come in 2016.