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Blizzard Arena Opens in Los Angeles

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The Overwatch Contender Playoffs and the HCT Summer Championship finals will be hosted there.

Blizzard will get its very own esports arena in Burbank Studios, Los Angeles. Blizzard Arena is set to officially open on October 7, 2017.

Τhe opening of Blizzard Arena will kick off with the Overwatch Contender Season One Playoffs on October 7-8. A week after that, the Hearthstone Summer Championship finals will also be held there. This came as a bit of a surprise to the community, since they were waiting for a European venue for the last Championship before Blizzcon (the previous venues were the Bahamas and Shanghai).

Here's the official announcement from the Blizzard Press Center:

Blizzard LogoBlizzard Entertainment

World-class esports have a new home in the entertainment capital of the world. Blizzard Entertainment today unveiled Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, a cutting-edge live-event destination for pro players, esports fans, and everyone else who loves premier competition. Situated in the legendary Burbank Studios, once home to groundbreaking television shows, the studio at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles has been custom-tailored to support an exciting live-event experience for local attendees and broadcast audiences around the world. When the Arena opens for business on October 7, top competitors from across Blizzard esports will be the newest stars to shine on one of the most celebrated stages in television history.

“We’re at a tipping point for esports and we look forward to helping usher in a new era of competition-based entertainment,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “As we open the doors of Blizzard Arena Los Angeles and welcome fans from around the world, we’re honored to bring the best in Blizzard esports to the same stage that some of the biggest names in entertainment have called home.”

With multiple sound stages, control rooms, and practice facilities, Blizzard Arena Los Angeles was built to support a full slate of competitive events year-round. In addition, the Burbank, California arena will house a Blizzard retail store that rotates stock for event attendees based on the competitions taking place at the time.

Blizzard Arena Los Angeles will open its doors to the public for the first time on the weekend of October 7–8 with the Overwatch Contenders Season One Playoffs taking center stage. The culmination of a summer of formidable European and North American competition, the Overwatch Contenders Playoffs will crown the top Contenders teams in each region.

Beginning October 13, the Hearthstone® Championship Tour’s Summer Championship will bring top-notch Hearthstone pros to the Arena for a full weekend of competition, with $250,000 on the line. The global tournament will conclude the third act of the HCT and set the table for the Hearthstone World Championship, taking place in early 2018.

The early battles of both the Heroes of the Storm® Global Championship (HGC) Finals and World of Warcraft® Arena Championship will be held at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles in late October, with top Heroes of the Storm and WoW® Arena players looking to fight their way onto the championship stages at BlizzCon®, Blizzard’s annual community celebration in Anaheim, California, taking place November 3–4.

Then, later this year, some of the top Overwatch® players in the world will take their first steps toward stardom at the Arena when the Overwatch League opens a new era in professional esports. With the players leading the way, the city-based franchises of the Overwatch League have their sights set on establishing a new standard for esports excellence.

Tickets are available now for the Overwatch Contenders Playoffs and the HCT Summer Championship. (source)

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They really aren't holding back on pushing funding to ensure that their games survive in an esports environment. Good on them, but it really does show how much they are willing to spend to prop things up against other games that have matured far further.

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