Credit: Blizzard Entertainment

With battle-rousing songs and planned combat strategies, there comes a time when the video game geek has to come out of the solitary video game world and enter a larger world. But the gamer is not leaving the house just yet — there is a world of video game players that are competing against each other, and the wish to explore that realm is strong.

Blizzard Entertainment is holding another World of Warcraft tournament this year, including in North America. The players who are qualified to enter the North American contest have to be legal residents of one of the following countries: the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Mexico, Chile or Argentina. Since the North American World of Warcraft tournament is part of the World of Warcraft World Championship, the contest has tournaments that are specific to both Europe and Asia.

Oddly enough, however, if the participants are residents of certain states or regions in the eligible countries, including the Maryland, Arizona and Connecticut states of the United States, then they cannot participate in the North American competition. No explanations were given in the listed rules.

Who Competes?

World of Warcraft outsiders are more familiar with the sports term MVP (Most Valuable Player) than PvP (Player versus Player), and that is the first sign that separates the fans from the rest. That means players have to fight against each other and see who comes out the strongest in that battle.

The World of Warcraft culture takes this PvP feature very seriously, making dedicated competitors form teams and compete against other teams. The result is that competitors are separated into three arenas: one is for two players versus two players (2v2), three players versus three players (3v3) and five players versus five players (5v5). Standings are listed on Battlenet, with wins, losses and ratings and other relevant details that are useful for the public to know. The ratings are one of the most important components that are used in determining a team’s eligibility in qualifying for the North American tournament, with the rules stating the following:

“in order to be eligible, teams need to have an individual 3v3 Arena rating of 2,500 on the live realms by August 25, 2014 at 10 a.m. PDT.”

Once the teams are selected for the first round, the battles will take place in the World of Warcraft’s virtual realm, beginning with the Nagrand Arena. Whoever wins the playoff series of matches (best out of five) will determine the next location until the top three teams remain. When the tournament reaches that point, the remaining teams will have to go to BlizzCon in November 2014 and have tons of fans and lookers on watch the finals unfold in Anaheim, Ca.

The Larger World of Video Game Tournaments

In the early 2000s, it was possible for Pokémon video game fans to play in local tournaments, including in a commercial mall. Although Pokémon video game tournaments are still going on, video game tournaments have evolved into bigger events. In July 2014, the Evolution Championship Series, also known as Evo, was held in Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, which indicates that the competitive gaming stakes are much higher than before.

Although Evo allows for newbies to test out the waters, veteran competitors develop a reputation as they make the rounds. Your reputation as a gamer becomes as permanent as your social media presence, and you have to make sure to follow the rules and regulations that are laid out.

The prizes also matter. Pokémon competitions offer scholarships for winners to use when paying for school tuition and other education-related fees. The World of Warcraft 2014 competition gives prize money to the top eight 3v3 teams, and that amount increases according to rank. Each team, however, will have to share the money amongst themselves. The top team is supposed to be awarded $120,000.