It’s official: the third-annual Heroes of the Dorm, the Heroes of the Storm tournament will broadcast in a different way in 2017. Say goodbye ESPN; say hello Facebook Live.
The early rounds of the tournament, where players from various colleges compete to win scholarships and other prizes, were previously aired on the ESPN streaming service, ESPN 3, in addition to Twitch and YouTube. The final two rounds were then shown on ESPN 2.
A press release for the event has now been announced but doesn’t mention the move from ESPN. It could be argued that Blizzard is missing out on ESPN’s huge audience, but it could equally be countered that the core audience for this tournament are used to watching such events via Twitch, YouTube and, now, Facebook Live. Making the Heroes of the Dorm event a Facebook Live exclusive will help to unify gamers on one platform.
Blizzard has positioned the move a positive, stating that it will be a “new kind of connected esports event, offering a global real-time connected experience for viewers that supports live interaction (or smack-talking) during the heat of competition.”
Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime added, “Heroes of the Dorm has featured some of the most dramatic college esports action of the past two years, and with more prizes for more teams up for grabs this year, we’re looking forward to a whole new level of competition. We’re also excited to be working with Facebook this year to bring more live Heroes of the Dorm play to more viewers around the world than ever before.”
For those interested in entering the tournament, registration has begun on the Heroes of the Dorm website. Viewers will again be given the opportunity to win prizes by predicting the winners in the Bracket Challenge, including a $10,000 grand prize.
The first matches take place on 15th February, with the championship set to begin on 8th April.