As the esports scene begins to wind down for Christmas and the welcoming of 2019, some tragic news came out this week surrounding Heroes of the Storm. Not all is lost for fans of professional gaming since Intel and ESL announced a $100 million extension to the esports partnership.
Esports of the Storm
Heroes of the Storm has had a rough ride. The game, which was once regarded as a fresh take on the MOBA genre has been allowed to slowly leak players to other games. To make matters worse, Activision Blizzard is not actively supporting the game, aside from regular patches (bug fixes, rebalancing, and new heroes) and the cancellation of the esports scene is but another nail in the coffin.
As reported by Engadget, the Blizzard MOBA received its last major update in 2017 with the release of 2.0. This release contained numerous improvements, but it's not something Blizzard has taken forward to the same degree as Overwatch.
Blizzard did note the company plans to continue supporting HotS, but if it doesn't believe there's enough demand for esports, I doubt it has serious plans for the game as a whole. We — of course — wish all players the best in finding a new path.
ESL and Intel announced the investment of more than $100 million in esports to extend the existing partnership into 2021. The extra funding will enable growth in new regions, further driving support for supported games in numerous markets through live events.
As one of the oldest esports partnerships, it's clear to see why the extension was announced — the partnership brings in serious numbers and revenue. Just as one game seemingly has its esports foundations bulldozed, Intel and ESL move forward in planning for the years to come.
Upcoming live events
- Fortnite DreamHack Sevilla 2018 - December 14 - 16, watch on Twitch.