It looks like ESPN 2 will have more room for bowling.
Blizzard announced today that its third Heroes of the Dorm event — a tournament of its Heroes of the Storm multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) featuring teams from different colleges — is coming back. This time, however, it will broadcast on Facebook Live. ESPN 2 aired the previous two events. Heroes of the Storm launched for PC in 2015, and Blizzard has worked hard to help bolster its popularity among competitive gamers with events like Heroes of the Dorm.
The first Heroes of the Dorm earned a 0.1 Nielsen rating. In 2015, ESPN told GamesBeat that “the event met our strategic objectives to experiment with new formats and programming and engage new fans.” While other esports have since made it to cable, notably Counter-Strike: Global Offensive via Eleague, Blizzard is taking Heroes of the Dorm back to online streaming, a world more familiar with fans of competitive gaming.
“We were very happy with the quality and reception of Heroes of the Dorm when we partnered with ESPN,” Adam Rosen, college esports lead at Blizzard, told GamesBeat. “They are a great partner and helped put on a terrific show the last couple of years. With Heroes of the Dorm 2017, social media users around the world will be able to watch live streamed collegiate esports matches exclusively on Facebook, beginning with the regular season and continuing all the way through the National Championship. We’re excited to bring a new level of engagement to Heroes of the Dorm — through Facebook, people around the globe will be able to interact with each other in the moment, easily keep on top of the action on the go, and share their passion with friends.
This year’s tournament will give out more than $500,000 in scholarships and prizes. The season starts on February 15 and ends with the National Championship on April 8. If you’re a college gamer looking to get into the tournament, you can sign up here.
“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,” said Mike Morhaime, chief executive officer and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, in a press release sent to GamesBeat. “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.”