Blizzard Entertainment is working with sports cable channel ESPN for this year's Heroes of the Dorm competition, the company announced today. Beginning March 19, esports fans can watch college-aged Heroes of the Storm players from across North America compete for over $500,000 in tuition and more on various ESPN channels.
The first four rounds will air live on ESPN3; they'll also stream on YouTube and Twitch at the same time. Once the contestant pool has been whittled down to a "Heroic Four," Heroes of the Dorm will once again shift to ESPN2. Both of the final rounds will be broadcast live on the sports channel on April 9 and 10.
Last year's Heroes of the Dorm — the first of its kind — was the first college esports competition to broadcast live on ESPN2. ESPN will also cover the event on its various apps and on-demand channels.
This year's tournament will again award winning team members up to $75,000 in tuition money each. Those teams can now register to participate; the registration period ends Feb. 18. Qualifiers begin Feb. 20.
Following the success of last year's inaugural Heroes of the Dorm, Blizzard launched another major esports competition for Heroes of the Storm, called Road to Blizzcon. Both events were announced prior to the MOBA's full release in June 2015.
Blizzard has made it clear that it's angling toward making esports a priority for its franchise. The company, which merged with Activision in 2008, recently acquired Major League Gaming, in the hopes of itself becoming "the ESPN of esports."