World of Warcraft Basics
World of Warcraft is a MMORPG played and streamed by millions of players. It started of as a typical MMORPG where players could select a hero with unique abilities from various races. MMORPGs are different to Battle Royale games like Fortnite and PUBG and is very different to FPS games like CSGO, Overwatch and Call of Duty.
In WoW, players play the same character for weeks, months and sometimes even years. They level up their chosen hero by killing mobs (in-game monsters), acquire loot such as weapons, gold, armor and develop their skills. WoW has its own economic system where players can sell found loot or purchase what they need from shops or other players.
This might not seem as a typical esports game, where players battle each other because it would be difficult to put players into the same conditions, as each player might have stronger or weaker character. However, Blizzard realised the gap in the market and introduces new game modes: Arena and Mythic Dungeon. These game modes where developed specifically for competitive play. Since the release, Arena (battlefield for players) was considered the main mode for esports and competitive tournaments. Recently, Blizzard released Mythic Dungeon (a timed run through dungeons) to spice up the game.
Since the introduction of Arena mode, it was the primary mode for the esports. Arena was traditionally played at the Arena World Championship (AWC) which also goes by many other names in different communities.
Read on to find out more about the inventory, maps, ranking and WoW game modes.
The main aspect of traditional play is a collection of gold and experience to level up characters and upgrade various skills. Players have many routes to progress, be it following a storyline and completing quests, farming mobs to get stronger or actively engage in PVP (Player vs Player) battles. As players grow in level and become stronger, they open up more possibilities and compete against each other. In the arena mode, players compete with prequiped items in teams against each other and the last one standing wins the round.
World of Warcraft Maps
Arena tournaments are played on various maps of different sizes. Each map contains obstacles that players can use to their advantage. WoW has a roster of maps, where maps occasionally rotate to keep audiences entertained as well as to provide some variety for the players of the game. Just like with other games, some pro players are better at certain maps and others are better at other maps. Before you get into World of Warcraft competitive playing, spectating or even betting, make sure you understand the teams and know each player preferences.
World of Warcraft Game Modes & Team Structure
As mentioned, WoW comes with traditional gameplay where players play solo, level up and progress through the storyline. Players can create or join other clans forming relationships and friendships.
Arena mode consists of two teams and usually lasts for 4-10 minutes. Each team usually has two players with offensive builds who primary objective is to output maximum damage to the opposing team. A third member is usually a support, and heals the other members of the group. Sometimes, three person teams will include a “tank”. Tanks usually come with a large number of health points (HP) and high defense.
Mythic Dungeon is structured in a race format, where teams compete by breezing through the challenges laid out by creators. A team that completed the round of challenges first, wins the game.
Mythic Dungeon is a type of “Challenge Mode”. Challenge mode is a timed gameplay mode that requires teams of five players to sweep through the dungeons to defeat AI powered mobs. Challenge mode is constantly developed and is widely adopted by the esports community.
To participate in these challenges, teams form into groups of five players and compete for 10-30 minutes per challenge. Challenger mode is played in PVE (Player vs Environment) format. It’s very unusual to see this format in competitive sports, making it a very unique and different experience compared to other games.
Mythic Dungeon is already a more popular gaming format compared to the arena mode in viewership and the prize pool amounts. With growing popularity, Blizzard entertainment, constantly develops and releases updated and new challenger modes to keep the players and spectators entertained.
The Future of World of Warcraft Esports
With large communities and progressive development, Blizzard is making constant updates to push Arena and Mythic Dungeon into larger scale esports programs. Considering the popularity of Mythic Dungeon, in 2018 BlizzCon hosted the world's first all-star MDI tournament consisting of four top teams from the global finals. We are likely to see more regional MDI tournaments all over the globe slowly emerge into its own World Championship.