It is safe to say that all Hearthstone fans can’t wait for the new season to start. Blizzard already made a lot of changes for the upcoming season and throughout this post I’m going to walk you through new rules implemented to raise the excitement and competitiveness of the Hearthstone events.
HS Championship Tour 2017
The Blizzard entertainment introduced this year the HCT (Hearthstone Championship Tour) whose primary goal was to establish a system that would gather the most dedicated players from different parts of the world. The system is also created with the purpose to allow those players to compete at the highest level all year round.
Their official release featured the new Standard format that was designed to keep Hearthstone exciting and easily accessible for many years to come. The Standard allows the players to go head-to-head using the latest Hearthstone cards. In order to use this play mode, you need to use a deck built primarily from a pool of cards released in the previous and current year as well as Basic and Classic card sets. The new Standard debuted with the inaugural Year of the Kraken which will end with the release of the first new Expansion of 2017.
Key changes you can expect this year include:
- Global Season Championships – Blizzard combined the regional Season Championships into global Season Championships. Each of these events will be held at a select host region. Championships will be organized in the venues that fans can attend and support their favorite players
- Season Playoffs – instead of Season Preliminaries, there’ll be regional Season Playoffs. Four regions: Americas, Europe, South Pacific, and China will have four representatives in the Season Championships. Playoffs will be more competitive to qualify for and a bigger prize pool is yet another change. Furthermore, Season Playoffs will still include Tavern Heroes and use Swiss Tournament format
- Championships Synced with Standard – Blizzard announced they’ll make sure the HCT tournaments will align with the Standard Year. As a result, they hope to eliminate significant inconsistencies in some tournaments. Let’s take this year as an example, the summer preliminaries took place the same month as the One Night in Karazhan adventure. In turn, card pool was different each week as new cards were implemented
- Points and cups – number of points from Ranked Play and tournaments will be evenly distributed starting with the November ranked play the season, the Blizzard also plans to include more players. This decision aims to prevent this year’s issue wherein many of the Hearthstone pros found themselves far behind in points that they were simply giving up by late summer
- Prize pool – total HCT prize pool will be more than $2 million divided onto $1 million for World Championship, quarter of a million for each Season Championship, about $20,000 for each Season Playoffs
The Blizzard Entertainment plans to give fans more global clashes, thus increasing the excitement and competitiveness of the events. The plan to align HCT tournaments with the Standard Year also means that each of the global Season Championships will take place during its own content cycle which is why the next World Championship will be held at the end the upcoming Standard year in early 2018. That’s why HCT final won’t happen during the BlizzCon.
Besides major changes of events and formats, Blizzard Entertainment also introduced the following modifications:
- Global games – a weekly league featuring teams of players representing individual countries
- Inn-vitationals – the primary idea of this competition is to create a fun, looser type of tournament for people to watch, with popular streamers, tournament winners and celebrities
Blizzard put a lot of effort into changes for the upcoming Hearthstone season. We’re going to witness different schedule of competitions as well as formats, but there’ll also be more players and more exciting games. Blizzard hopes to improve competitiveness, excitement, and engagement of both players and fans with these changes as well as to eliminate some flaws that existed before.
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About the Author: Amna El Tawil is a news reporter and a technology blogger. For the past five years, she has worked for major publications and TV networks in the Middle East, covering one of region’s hotspots. When Amna is not chasing after the truth amidst gas canisters, she can be found cheering her favorite football team on, or unwinding with some online gaming.