The tournaments will take place on special 'realms' that allow competitors to create customised level-70 characters with top-level equipment, placing the focus on tactics and execution rather than normal adventuring.
"We are pleased to expand World of Warcraft's tournament options for players who want to focus mainly on the competitive aspect of the game," said Mike Morhaime, chief executive and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment.
The tournaments will start in April with two rounds of online qualifiers in Europe, South Korea, North America, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.
Each qualifier round will have a per-competitor entry fee of £12 or an approximate local equivalent and will run for six weeks.
Teams will play in matches based on the existing Arena system on the tournament realm in their region. The top four teams from each round will advance to the regional finals to compete for more than $27,000 in cash prizes.
Although each match will pit three against three, teams will consist of up to six players for the online qualifiers. The additional gamers will act as bench players in case one of the starting three cannot play, or to change the makeup of the team.
Winners from each region will be invited to a global event to compete for $120,000 in cash prizes, including a $75,000 grand prize.
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