Blizzard has a reputation in the eSports community. It's fathered four of the biggest eSport games in StarCraft, Hearthstone, Overwatch, and Heroes of the Storm, and the company is always looking to innovate in the field and in their games to help them continue to push the boundary of what can be considered an eSport or not.
But while most of the games they've ever made is on that list, there's on noticeable and significant game absent: World of Warcraft. While World of Warcraft has a lot of competitive PvP, it's never really been a monster hit for eSports. And there's a number of good reasons for that... but that doesn't mean Blizzard is going to stop trying turning it into one, and recently they announced a new intuitive that would put a very unique spin on the world of eSports: competitive PvE.
That's not something you see everyday.
Called "The Mythic Dungeon Invitational", this gauntlet will take the best 32 teams in the world and pit them against each other in a race to beat the MMO's ultra-hard Mythic Keystone dungeons with speed and finesse. Getting the most points will mean you not only get to brag that you're the best dungoneer in World of Warcraft, it'll also net you and your companions a swell 100k in prize money.
So here's how you compete: starting from July 25th to August 8th, you and your crew have to complete a number of Mythic Keystone dungeons and show off your score using this form. If you have one of the top 8 scores in your region, you;ll be invited to the big showdown where they'll undergo a series of elimination rounds before two teams stand per region.
You can see all the details here. I'll admit, I'm intrigued: I don't think I've ever seen a PvE mode being used as an eSport before, but, World of Warcraft is famously "hard to watch": part of the reason it's never taken off as an eSport is because it can be nearly impossible to keep up with the action, and sometimes it's just plain boring to watch. Blizzard must be mighty confident it has some way to fix that, if it's running this event, but is that confidence well-founded...?
We'll have to see, won't we?