Blizzard to hold Overwatch student animation festival with over $29,000 prize pool

The contest will feature monthly winners followed by a grand final showdown with roughly $7,000 (€6,000) on the line.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard will host an Overwatch student animation festival in Europe with a prize pool of over $29,000 (€25,000), the company announced today.

The festival will see students from across Europe create animation videos of Overwatch characters based on various monthly themes. The videos will be published on a section of the Overwatch website and the public will be able to vote for their favorite animation. An official jury will select a new winning animation each month.

“Animation is a huge part of the Overwatch universe, and a big area of interest for Overwatch community,” Blizzard said in a press release. “We believe [animation] is one of the most beautiful and inspiring forms or art and storytelling that enables various talents and passions. At Blizzard, we would love to support aspiring talent – this is why we are announcing the Overwatch Student Animation Festival that will take place through 2020 and early 2021.“

Each month will feature a new dedicated animation theme. October’s theme will be vacation and will include animations dedicated to Overwatch characters kicking back, relaxing, and taking a break from saving the world. The November theme will be cooking, with animators focused on animating one or more Overwatch characters showing off their skills in the culinary arts. Finally, December’s theme will be “day-to-day” life, which would include anything from family time to what various heroes might do in their free time.

Animations that receive the highest audience vote will win the Audience Choice Award. But the real prizes and prestige are in impressing the professional jury, which is made up of industry experts in animation and film production. The jury panel will include French film director Christian Volckman, lead animator at Blizzard Ryan Denniston, and cinematic director at Blizzard Benjamin Dai, among others.

On top of monthly prizes, the festival will culminate in a grand final competition offering the winning student or group a roughly $7,000 (€6,000) cash prize and free Overwatch game licenses. Students who are interested in participating in this event can submit their videos through the official animation festival portal.