Gamers and fans have raised concerns about the prize pools for the Arena World Championship (AWC) and Mythic Dungeon International (MDI) Grand Finals.
These eSport series revolve around the popular massive multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft (WoW).
WoW developer Blizzard Entertainment oversees the eSports, including the prize pool associated with the Grand Finals.
On March 19, Blizzard announced to the public that it was going to crowdfund the prize pools.
For every purchase of a Transmorpher Beacon or Lions Pride and Horde’s Might Fireworks a fan makes, Blizzard would allocate 25% of the money to the AWC and MDI prize pools.
The controversy comes with the wording of the blog post and the nature of the crowdfunding campaign.
The post said, “…25% of the proceeds will contribute toward the year’s finals LAN event prize pool for the Arena World Championship (AWC) and the Mythic Dungeon International (MDI) with a guaranteed minimum prize pool of $500,000 USD ($250,000 USD for each event.)”
This reason this statement is so controversial is because it’s ambiguous. Gamers and fans all around are confused if Blizzard meant that Blizzard would automatically donate $500,000, or Blizzard would make sure the bare minimum was $500,00 regardless of item sales.
The prize pools for the MDI and AWC Grand Finals are $330,000 apiece, bringing the total to $660,000.
WoW players have viewed Blizzard as backing out of their promise of putting in $500,000 on top of money made from the item sales.
Kevin “Snutz” Nguyen, a player competing in the AWC Grand Finals for the team Cloud 9, has expressed his frustrations with Blizzard. He tweeted this out:
The way Snutz is looking at it, the crowdfunding barely increased the prize pool, even though Wow players came together and spent 2.6 million dollars to support the eSports and its competitors.
As the MDI is already taking place today, it is unclear if Blizzard will make a statement on this confusion, and if they will do anything to correct the ambiguity.
What are the MDI and AWC Grand Finals?
Pro World of Warcraft players from around the world have been competing in these two series for months.
The conclusion of both these series will happen this weekend during the Grand Finals at Blizzcon.
Up first, the Mythic Dungeon International Grand Finals will determine the championship team. Six teams compete in PvE style play as they get through mythic dungeons as quickly as possible.
Tomorrow, the final act of this season’s Arena World Championship will determine which team is the world champion. Eight teams are competing in PvP style play, battling it out in 3v3 arenas.