This one sneaked up on us, and I’ve not seen it mentioned anywhere else. But this article on the Examiner pointed me to Blizzard’s regional events page, which tells us that a big regional Warcraft III tournament will be held in a hotel in Austin, Texas later this month. That’s not why I’m posting news about it, though.

    We?ve seen thousands of matches played on both the Warcraft III Ladder and the World of Warcraft Tournament Realm, and we?re excited to watch some of the best players battle from sunrise to sunset live on the weekend of August 21-22 at the Hyatt Regency in Austin, Texas.  The top two teams/players from each game in this event will win a cash prize and be invited to compete at BlizzCon in Anaheim, California.

    Not only will we be having epic Warcraft III and World of Warcraft Arena matches on a huge screen for everyone to watch, but we will also have several computers set up for attendees to play StarCraft II and to try out demos of our latest World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm. We?ll also have an extra special treat available—a playable demo of Diablo III!

    Did we mention that admission is completely free?

    If you’re a D3 fan anywhere near Austin, you’ve got no excuse to miss this one; opportunities to play, or even just watch D3, don’t come around very often. Anyone who attends is of course, more than welcome to write up their experiences and thoughts about seeing D3; we had a lot of great forum threads from first hand accounts after Blizzcon and Gamescom and PAX, last year.

    Also note that this event is the weekend after Gamescom, in Germany. Clearly the same playable build will be at both events, and clearly late August is going to be fun for us fans, with finally some juicy new D3 info.

    Update: The Blizzard Events Page has been updated to state that this demo will not be a new one, and is in fact the same one from Blizzcon 2009, with the desert settings and the Monk’s debut. Bashiok also confirmed this. It’s unknown if Gamescom will also get last year’s demo, but it seems likely. Unfortunately.

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