Blizzard Entertainment, the parent company of popular eSports titles like Overwatch, Hearthstone, and World of Warcraft, has announced the opening of its first eSports stadium. On April 8th the Blizzard eStadium, built in Taipei, will celebrate its grand opening with an inaugural Overwatch tournament.
The first event hosted at the new eStadium will be the opening rounds of the Overwatch Pacific Championship, a league featuring teams from Taiwan, Japan, Australia and Thailand competing over 11 weeks to earn a spot in the Overwatch World Cup. With only three teams advancing to the playoffs, Blizzard is expecting some fierce competition and gaming to go along with their opening night festivities.
While the main purpose of the stadium will be to host the Asia-Pacifc legs of the Overwatch World Cup, Blizzard will also use the stadium during major Hearthstone, StarCraft, and even Heroes of the Storm events.
Asia continues to be one of the strongest regions to support Blizzard Entertainment titles. With the announcement of StarCraft Remastered and the recent expansion of Overwatch in PC bangs in South Korea, an eSports stadium in Taipei made logical sense.
“Asia is the founding land of competitive gaming. The development of gaming in Asia usually serves as the marker for how their company predicts the development of gaming will go globally,” Blizzard co-founder and CEO Michael Morhaime
Blizzard eStadium will also feature a snack bar and gift shop, including merchandise from all of Blizzard Entertainment’s games. While seating capacity will only hold a maximum of 500 people, the stadium’s main screen comes in at a pretty astonishing 6.144 x 3.456 meters with two 1.096 x 1.536 meter side screens.
This will be Blizzard Entertainment’s first solely operated eSports stadium, but a successful venue here will most certainly open up avenues for expansion into other regions.