The popular virtual card game completely revamps its competitive format to streamline and simplify the model, while increasing prizes and accessibility.
Hearthstone is a massive esport with an incredibly active scene, large fan following and thriving community. However, it is also a rather complicated one. Its myriad of formats with their intricacies, different seasons and ranking systems make the pro games hard to follow even for the hardcore fans, let alone casual viewers and newcomers.
Between the Hearthstone Championship Tour, the seasonal championships, the Global Games, and the master system, it’s very easy to get lost in all those locations, events and points. So much so, that developers had to publish a pretty illustrated booklet laying it all down and explaining the differences. As for the players themselves, they really had to dedicate themselves to the game, travel the world and compete in as many events as possible to stack those points. Despite these issues, the game had an extremely successful year with high viewership and attendance figures and more than $3,000,000 in prizes.
In a press release, Blizzard announced a brand-new revamped competitive system aiming to smooth out these problems, while making it easier than ever for competitors and fans to take part, join the scene and win even bigger.
As soon as the current season is over, we’re entering a new era – a simple three-way ladder to the high echelons of play.
The first tier is simply named Online Qualifiers. As expected, these are games that every participant plays from their own home. They will be scheduled for convenient times of day, multiple times a week, so that everybody can take part if they want to. The weekly grind will award players points and push them to the top.
Qualifying card-slingers will enter the second step, the Live Tournaments. The total prize pool for these events is $250,000. There will be three of these spread around 2019 where the champions from the hundreds Online Qualifiers will test each other’s skill.
The global Hearthstone elite will engage in the big leagues named the Premier Competition. This is a series of Round-robin tournaments split across multiple regions. Everything will conclude in one massive finale at the end of the year.
There’s record-breaking $4,500,000 up for grabs prepared for the 2019 competitive season. In addition to the streamlined system and the bigger prize support, all tournaments will be broadcast in a unified and accessible manner, so fans at home can enjoy the games and never miss a moment.
The future looks very bright for the card game that took the world by storm. Stay tuned for our ongoing coverage on everything Hearthstone.