BlizzCon panels feature the latest news on Blizzard games for attendees. (Photo: Business Wire)

With the dust now settled on one of the most exciting weekends in gaming, a new crop of fantasy and real-world heroes has emerged. BlizzCon ® 2016, Blizzard Entertainment's two-day community festival taking place November 4-5 at the Anaheim Convention Center, celebrated the company's 25 th anniversary and came to a close with a bevy of new announcements for its iconic games—as well as global champions crowned across Blizzard's stable of world-class esports. A video showcasing the weekend's events can be downloaded at http://blizzard.gamespress.com/BlizzCon-2016-Recap.

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BlizzCon panels feature the latest news on Blizzard games for attendees. (Photo: Business Wire)

BlizzCon panels feature the latest news on Blizzard games for attendees. (Photo: Business Wire)

After months of intense competition leading up to the show, BlizzCon hosted the world championships for each of Blizzard's global esports programs, with a combined prize pool of $2,750,000 up for grabs. These tournaments represent the pinnacle of competitive play in Blizzard's games, and the company again congratulates the champions who battled their way to victory:

StarCraft ® II World Championship Series Global Finals

Winner: ByuN

In the 2016 WCS Global Finals for StarCraft II, Byun followed up his impressive Global StarCraft II League championship as a team-less free agent with an unforgettable WCS Global Championship run. With the most diverse cast of players in the tournament's history competing at this year's finals, every match was a must-watch.

Hearthstone ® World Championship

Winner: Pavel

For the first time in the history of the Hearthstone World Championship, two players from Europe squared off against one another in the Grand Finals at BlizzCon. In a tense series, Russia's Pavel defeated his Ukrainian opponent DrHippi 4-2 to claim the title of 2016 Hearthstone World Champion.

Heroes of the Storm ® Fall Championship

Winning team: Ballistix Gaming

Ballistix Gaming from Korea took home the Fall Championship trophy after a grueling final series with Sweden's Fnatic, who had just taken down the favorites, MVP Black, in the semifinals. Incredibly, Ballistix dropped only two battlegrounds over the course of the event.

World of Warcraft ® Arena World Championship

Winning team: Splyce

In perhaps the most epic World of Warcraft Arena Grand Finals match to ever take place on the BlizzCon stage, the defending champions, Splyce, bested Method NA in a nerve-wrecking 7-game series, becoming the first team ever to win back-to-back titles.

Overwatch ® World Cup

Winning country: South Korea

With dominant performance after dominant performance, South Korea became the first winners of the Overwatch World Cup in front of a packed BlizzCon arena. Besting tournament heavyweights USA, Sweden, and Russia en route to the final, South Korea didn't drop a single game.

Blizzard also used the occasion to reveal its plans for the Overwatch League , a world-class sports ecosystem for professional Overwatch competition that's launching in 2017. The Overwatch League will bring together some of the best elements of esports and traditional sports to create an experience that's accessible and sustainable for players, teams, and fans.

Looking beyond esports, the company also detailed several major game updates for players in packed developer panels across both days of the show, including:
  • Mean Streets of Gadgetzan™—a new Hearthstone expansion, coming in early December, which will expose players to the darker side of Azeroth's famous port town, with new game mechanics and 132 new cards
  • "The Tomb of Sargeras"—the next major content update (patch 7.2) coming to World of Warcraft, which will feature a new raid zone and a new dungeon, introduce player-vs.-player Brawls, bring flying to the Broken Isles, and more
  • "The Darkening of Tristram"—a special 20 th anniversary update for Diablo ® III that will recreate the experience of Blizzard's first Diablo game when it's released in January
  • The Necromancer—a brand-new Diablo III hero, coming to the game next year, who commands the dead on the battlefields of Sanctuary
  • Varian and Ragnaros—two heroes who will bring new and vastly different styles of play to the Nexus in Blizzard's fast-paced team brawler Heroes of the Storm later this year
  • Blackheart's Revenge—a uniquely asymmetrical attack/defend battleground, featuring everyone's favorite ghost pirate, coming to Heroes of the Storm's chaotic Heroes Brawl mode
  • Alexei Stukov—a new (infested) co-op commander who will bring a blend of Zerg and Terran might to bear in StarCraft II's popular Co-op Missions
  • Sombra—a stealthy hacker who's joining the roster of Overwatch, Blizzard's smash-hit shooter released earlier this year

For more information about all of the esports action and news shared at BlizzCon 2016, visit www.blizzcon.com.

ABOUT BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT, INC.

Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft ®, Hearthstone ® , Overwatch ® , the Warcraft ®, StarCraft ®, and Diablo ® franchises, and the multifranchise Heroes of the Storm ® , Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. ( www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry's most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment's track record includes twenty-one #1 games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company's online-gaming service, Battle.net ®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements:

Information in this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment's expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements about Hearthstone, Diablo III, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft II, and the Overwatch League, including with respect to their content, components, start date, or structure, are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Blizzard Entertainment's actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include unanticipated product delays and other factors identified in the risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Blizzard Entertainment nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Blizzard Entertainment or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.

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