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By Nikola Petrov Hearthstone 13 Mar 2018 293 views

With the approaching end of Hearthstone Championship Tour 2018 Season 1 it’s time to talk about the Playoffs. Here’s all the information for deck builders with serious intentions.

HCT 2018 will use the Swiss format, which will progress into a dual-tournament top eight playoff. The two best players from each group will move on to play in the Seasonal Championship. No semi-finals and finals will be played.

Deckbuilding rules are unchanged – Standard cards only, played in best-of-five Conquest games with one ban.

Here are all the dates of the events, including deadlines for sending decklists:

Hearthstone Playoff date table

This year event organisers aim to build more competitive play conditions in every participating venue. The total number of venues in the three main regions are reduced from last year, in favour of better accessibility, stronger internet connection and better overall conditions. The practice of on-site Playoff Fireside Gatherings rewarding an exclusive card back is now canned. This is done for the same reason - people are encouraged to focus on the pro gamers, rather than chit-chat and play casual games in the hall. Though limited, there’s still a lot of venues holding events. We won’t list every single one here, but they are available on the official Blizzard website.  

Joining the competitive Hearthstone scene isn’t a complicated process. There are several ways to qualify for Seasonal Playoffs. Players can climb the Ranked ladder or compete at Tour Stops to earn Hearthstone Competitive Points. The ones who amass enough of these points will be able to qualify for the Hearthstone Masters programme and Seasonal Playoffs.

Alternatively, players can also choose to compete in Challenger Cups and at Tavern Hero Qualifiers. Challenger Cups are online cups that progress into the Challenger Finals, while Tavern Hero Qualifiers are offline events on local levels – they are hosted at approved Fireside Gatherings. Winning one of these events also leads players to the Challenger Finals. From there, the top eight of the Challenger Finals will move on to compete in the Seasonal Playoffs.