The developers of the eSports card discipline have upgraded the tournament system of Hearthstone.
Blizzard spent about $2,000,000 on prize pools of HCT championships in 2017.
The HS developers are going to host three seasons of Hearthstone Champions Tour in 2018:
1st season – January, February, March
2nd season – April, May, June
3rd season – August, September, October, November.
Blizzard introduced the new Masters system in Hearthstone. It allows selecting the best cyber-sportsmen, according to the stability of their results. There will be three levels of masters. Players of the highest level will have a chance to compete in all online tournaments with money prize pools and also a bonus in the sum of $2,500 and invites to the season playoff matches.
The player’s skill level depends on the number of points that he earns during three seasons.
The qualifying system has also been changed. Now, organizers will set the minimal number of points for each HCT season. It is worth to notice that players will be able to take part in the playoff tournament only in their regions. The minimal number of HCT points will amount 45 in the first season.
Cyber-sportsmen, that get to the season playoff, will earn $1,000, while they earned $100 last year.
The road to the professional stage will be open for aspiring players with a help of the new system called «Hearthstone Challengers». The best players, that have not been noticed, will be able to pass through online tournaments and city tournaments to the playoff tournaments. Also, let’s remind that the system «Tavern of Heroes» has not shown itself from a good side. The best players from their regions, that had qualified by the above-mentioned system, showed a bad performance on the professional scene. The introduction of the system «Hearthstone Challengers» has to change the situation with newcomers on the professional stage.
HCP points have been reworked too. Its number has been changed and they can be earned only in ladders or tournaments.
The developers have promised to upgrade the structure of HCT tournaments and to increase their number all over the world. Details about these changes will be published later.
Speaking about the number of online tournaments, it is worth to notice that Blizzard has decided to carry out championships, that affect the rate of professional players, less frequently. Many cyber-sportsmen have criticized the great number of such tournaments, considering that they need more time to prepare for large tournaments.
With regard to the team element, Blizzard hasn’t forgotten about it too. Now, from the second season and on, the encouragement system as a money will be established for the top 10 teams of the current HCT season. A prize will depend on the amount of earned points. The best teams of the season will receive the main money prize in the sum of $22,500.
Briefly, all Hearthstone eSports changes can be united into five statements:
- The Hearthstone Masters System has been added that encourages stable players with invites to tournaments and gives them monetary prizes for their efforts.
- Participants of the season playoff tournaments will receive a guaranteed money prize in the sum of $1,000 instead of $100 as it was before.
- The system «Heroes of Tavern» had been removed and the more completed analog called «Hearthstone Challengers» has been added that allows finding strong players that have not played on the professional stage.
- The financial support of teams has emerged. $230,000 per year will be up for grabs for the top 10 teams in the world.
- Online tournaments that had had a lot of negative reviews from professional players have been canceled. Now, qualifying points will be received at the LAN tournaments that will be run all over the world.