World of Warcraft Was 2 Esports in 1 at BlizzCon
World of Warcraft was featured in two separate, very different esports competitions during Blizzard's annual BlizzCon event. The game's diversity makes it unique in the esports space. Where most esports titles compete in a singular mode, WoW is divided between its Arena and Mythic Dungeon competitive communities.
An epic title with a massive following, World of Warcraft can easily accommodate competitions in its player-vs-player mode Arena without overshadowing its new Mythic Dungeon races. For its publisher, promoting the two tournaments is more complicated than actually creating them.
World of Warcraft is not inherently focused on competitions. While games like Blizzard's Overwatch were built for competitive glory, competition is secondary in WoW. According to Jeremy McIntyre, global manager for WoW, the two separate competitions spawned naturally out of the game due to the diversity of playing styles WoW fosters.
For hardcore fans of the game, the two tournaments resulted naturally. For everyone else, the appearance of a divide within the game can be confusing. McIntyre describes WoW as being very unique in the industry.
Though Wow has never reached the top tier of esports by measures such as Twitch viewership, it actually pre-dates the entire esports industry as a popular game. The first WoW Arena matches were held more than a decade ago at BlizzCon 2007.
Since that first event, the matches have never been about appealing to a mass audience. Even now, at the 2018 BlizzCon, the WoW matches were more of a celebration for the game's already active community and fans.