After keeping the information under wraps since the event was announced, Blizzard Entertainment made public on Wednesday that the Heroes of the Dorm live final will take place during the weekend of May 12 at the Blizzard Arena in California.
Adam Rosen, the President and co-founder of Tespa, the collegiate esports company that has partnered with Blizzard since the inception of Heroes of the Dorm four years ago, has high expectations for the event as a whole.
“What we’re hoping to do this year with Heroes of the Dorm is to continue the legacy that we’ve built over the last three years"
In addition to the live final, Blizzard announced that fans will get a chance to take home a $10,000 prize for filling out the best bracket in the Heroes of the Dorm Bracket Challenge. If an individual were to correctly predict all 63 matches in their bracket, resulting in a perfect one, they will receive $1 million.
All information regarding the stats from the Heroes of the Dorm event itself can be found at heroesofthedorm.com/stats as Blizzard suggests using that information to make your selections.
Outside of the top prize, an effort was made to provide rewards for those who performed well in the challenge itself or just participated. A special Heroes of the Dorm in-game mount customized to match the colors of the 2018 National Champions will be awarded to the Top 500 best performing brackets once the challenge concludes. Finally, in conjunction with Blizzard’s partnership with Tespa, all participants of the Bracket Challenge will receive a Heroes of the Storm in-game spray.
When the tournament began this year, more than 300 schools across North America had participating teams associated with them, a drastic change from where the event started four years ago.
“None of the Universities really knew what was happening, there were a lot of questions,” said Rosen. “There were concerns that, potentially, gaming could take away from student’s academic performance. It’s not the case at all.”
As the field has been narrowed down to the final 64 teams, bracket play will begin on March 28 with matches being broadcast live on Twitch.
- A New Arena
Having the newly-built Blizzard Arena be the location of the Heroes of the Dorm live finals will add a level of excitement for both fans and players, according to Rosen, as prior locations include Seattle and Vegas.
“Typically when we go to a venue what we have to do is bring everything in ourselves. We’re setting up the stage, seats, production area, fan experiences, concessions for gear and merch. By being at Blizzard Arena we have this amazing infrastructure that’s already established."
Having a permanent home for the event itself helps provide a central location that fans can associate the event with in the future. The Overwatch League has made the Blizzard Arena home since its creation back in October of 2017.
As far as the future of the Heroes of the Dorm event, Rosen sees hurdles that still need to be overcome for the event to grow further.
“The biggest roadblock is around education. Historically there has been a negative stigma around gaming. There’s this idea you’re a gamer, you’re playing in your parent’s basement, you’re not socializing, you’re not going to classes but what we’ve found is very much the opposite. Gaming is a very positive force in the lives of college students.”
Those looking to attend the event in-person can purchase tickets at heroesofthedorm.com/event
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