NetEase announce 2019 esports plan with Blizzard, including $720k for Warcraft III

Blizzard and Chinese tech company NetEase, have revealed their 2019 esports plans for Blizzard’s Chinese esports scene. The plans include Hearthstone, StarCraft 2, Warcraft 3 and Heroes of the Storm.

Warcraft 3 will see the largest injection of prize pool with ¥5M RMB (£670,000), on the line across a series of different events. NetEase will continue its Gold series for Warcraft 3 alongside the introduction of newer series and tournaments. The move comes after Blizzard announced a highly anticipated remaster of Warcraft 3 at BlizzCon titled Warcraft 3: Reforged.  This news will be a big boost for Chinese Warcraft 3, whilst also providing fans outside of the region hope that WC3 esports has a future.

An example of the updated W3 Cinematics

Warcraft 3 released back in July 2002 and is one of Blizzards most beloved and recognised series, with a devoted following to this day. The games remake, Warcraft 3: Reforged is set to release in 2019, including all expansions for the game. Warcraft 3 also spawned two massively successful games in its franchise. World of Warcraft was one of gamings first mainstream breakthrough titles when it released in 2004 and the game continues to be relevant today, with the games esports scene growing in 2018.

In 2014, Blizzard released Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, while the game is now referred to as simply Hearthstone, the game is closer than ever to WoW and the Warcraft universe as more expansions are released. NetEase will continue their tradition of giving away a car at their Hearthstone esports events, this years’ prize is a McLaren that’s up for grabs. In 2018 Dutch Hearthstone Thijs “Thijs” Molendijk, who won an Aston Martin.

Esports Insider says: Warcraft 3: Reforged got a lot of hype during BlizzCon, unlike NetEase and Blizzards’ other major announcement. Seeing such a large prize pool for a Warcraft 3 event is great to see, especially as we’ve recently passed 16 years since the games original release. Reforged might spin up even more interest, and who knows, maybe in 2022 we will finally see a Warcraft 4.

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