Yesterday, fans of the most popular MMORPG game in the world finally learned the fate of their World of Warcraft esports scene in 2021. After 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic, Blizzard decided to lay out a plan for remote World of Warcraft competitions both for PvP and PvE players. And we have some huge and important changes coming up next year…

In case you’re not very much into World of Warcraft esports and joined the game’s community recently, you should know that Blizzard supports 2 big competitions – Arena World Championship (which is going into its 14th year) – PvP competition for the best World of Warcraft arena teams from across the globe, and Mythic Dungeon International – a PvE competition where teams compete against other teams in order to be the fastest through the dungeon. 

There’s also an unofficial third discipline known as the World First race where guilds across the globe race to be the first to complete the latest raid. As a matter of fact, this week’s race to World First Castle Nathria commences, so we hope to see a truly spectacular event bringing record viewership to WoW’s Twitch section. However, raiding esports are not regular and are not supported by Blizzard. 

Arena World Championship 2021

Blizzard plans to split the 2021 Arena World Championship into two seasons and give the best PvP players more than 900 000 dollars in prize money (the amount might be higher since World of Warcraft players can purchase some cosmetic in-game items and further increase the prize pool.

The first season will consist of 4 cups organized in each region where the best 4 teams from Europe and North America will qualify to the finals, however, the second will be organized a bit differently. Instead of another series of open cups, the top 6 teams from each region will automatically advance to the season’s circuit while the remaining spots will be up for grabs in the open relegation cup that will pit the bottom two teams from EU and NA against the upcoming challengers looking to secure a spot in the next AWC season.

According to Blizzard, these AWC organization changes should bring stability to the World of Warcraft esports scene and form a league-based structure for the future of Shadowlands. We can only hope that this works as intended and one of the oldest esports disciplines will see a resurgence in the coming seasons.

Mythic Dungeon International 2021

Following the footsteps of BFA’s Mythic Dungeon International, Blizzard hopes to continue this new PvE esports into the Shadowlands. Some players even said that there’s a noticeable design pattern in certain Shadowlands dungeons that were created with MDI in mind…

The new Mythic Dungeon International will consist of two standalone seasons and two Global Finals for a chance to snag a portion of 750 000 dollars of prize money. As the name of the competition suggests, MDI cups will be global and will pit teams from Europe, NA, and other WoW regions in the same cups. The only separate cups will be designated for China since they’re running a different kind of WoW version. However, Global Finals will be a culmination of all the cups organized throughout the year, with 6 teams qualifying from global cups and 2 teams advancing from China.

If you have your Mythic dungeon team, you can test your skills in the open qualifiers by clicking this link. The first season will begin on January 14th and will feature a new season affix called Prideful. While the Prideful affix is active, players will overflow with pride as they defeat non-boss enemies, eventually forming a Manifestation of Pride. Upon defeating this Manifestation, players will become greatly empowered, opening new strategies that will help their party defeat the challenges ahead.

In addition to all of the official competitions and seasonal World of Warcraft esports content, Blizzard made a promise to organize plenty of one-off esports events and support the scene in many different ways. Only time will tell if this new approach will work out, however, for long time World of Warcraft fans, it’s nice to see some changes coming not just to the game itself, but to the game’s community management as well.