Sponsored: Blizzard Entertainment Tightens Grip on the eSports Industry in 2016

by on January 16, 2017

Two decades ago Blizzard Entertainment was already a major player in the videogame industry. With the release of StarCraft in 1999, it set an important milestone and inadvertently triggered the chain reaction. The success of the game in Korea greatly exceeded expectations and StarCraft Brood War became the first game played by professional players. Other genres have generated similar traction over the years and together created the exciting and lucrative eSports industry.

As mentioned on many eSports sites at the beginning of 2017, it is only fair to say that Blizzard Entertainment is the most successful video game developer in this niche. This might sound like a bold statement given the fact that the top three best paying games are produced by Valve and Riot Games. League of Legends has the most players, while Dota 2 has the biggest prize money for tournaments. The companies that created them reap the benefits, but they can’t afford to ignore the meteoric rise of Heroes of the Storm.

Everything Blizzard Touches Turns Gold

Heroes of the Storm is still trailing League of Legends and Dota 2, but it is the more innovative game. Both these MOBA titles are actually inspired by a Warcraft 3 mode, the strategy game created by Blizzard. Millions of people play Blizzard games, watch the professionals and bet on their games at mainstream bookmakers. Even regular punters who normally wager on sports read Sports Betting Reviews to make an educated decision when placing a bet.

World of Warcraft Legion rejuvenated the franchise and brought it back into the eSports spotlight. It is the only MMORPG game played at this high competitive level and also the most lucrative subscription based video game in the world. StarCraft II Legacy of the Void has kept the bar high for the franchise and made the latest installment the most popular RTS game on the eSports list.

Meanwhile, they are contemplating new avenues and in 2016 released Overwatch. Even though it didn’t initially have a competitive mode, it won the hearts of minds of millions and is now a popular eSports title. Players love the games, characters and the eclectic mix of FPS and MOBA elements. Over the course of time, Blizzard has produced some of the most innovative games and Overwatch is only the latest. Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft is the only game of its genre to be featured among the leading eSports. Its tournaments have bigger prize pools than Halo 5 Guardians and Call of Duty Black Ops III.