Four main stage panels immediately following the opening ceremonies are being kept secret.
With BlizzCon 2019 less than two weeks away, Blizzard has revealed the full schedule of events that will take place over the big weekend event. Opening ceremonies will begin at 11 am PT/2 pm ET on November 1, and then an hour after that esports competitions including the Overwatch World Cup Group Stage, the Heathstone Global Finals, and the StarCraft 2 World Championship Series Quarterfinals will all get underway.
With all due respect to esports fans, what’s even more interesting are the events that are scheduled but not yet announced, those being the four “Coming Soon!” entries that will follow the opening ceremonies on the main stage. I expect we’ll see at least a couple of big announcements for new games: Diablo 4 is the obvious one (bearing in mind that nothing is guaranteed), word about the next big World of Warcraft expansion wouldn’t be surprising, and Steven predicted that StarCraft 3 is coming (although I’m not sure if he’s actually serious about that).
Whatever goes down (and my own prediction is that one of those slots will be dedicated to announcing a big push to make Battle.net a serious player in the digital storefront wars), we can be reasonably confident that after last year’s Diablo Immortal mess, Blizzard is going to go all-out to make a big impression on its core audience this year. After all, if there’s one thing we learned from Bethesda at E3 2018, it’s that a little bit of scenery and a title can go an awfully long way.
The situation surrounding former Hearthstone Grandmaster Blitzchung, and more broadly Blizzard’s relationship with China, also hangs over the event. There’s not a whole lot to be done about that now—the clash of capitalism and geopolitical stresses won’t be resolved over the course of a weekend-long convention—but Blizzard presumably hopes that knocking it out of the park will help quell the very vocal outrage that erupted over its response to Blitzchung’s statement in support of the Hong Kong protests. Outside of the convention, we expect some presence from protesters.
At a bare minimum, we can expect Blizzard to push hard to overcome the bad taste left by last year’s event. Without wanting to over-hype it, that means—unless Blizzard biffs it completely—we’ve likely got some big announcements ahead. We’ll be watching the event and reporting as it happens from Anaheim.