With this year’s Hearthstone Championship Tour coming to an end, Blizzard has released a few little teasers for what may be in store for Hearthstone and eSports next year, and it looks like it’s going to be big.
Introduced earlier this year, the Hearthstone Championship Tour brought together some of the most dedicated Hearthstone players to compete at the highest level throughout the year. In addition, Standard also launched with the Year of the Kraken, which is set to conclude with the launch of the first new Expansion of 2017.
But what’s in store for 2017? Well Blizzard has released a few teasers of what they hope to bring to Hearthstone players next year including Global Season Championships, Season Playoffs, and more.
“We’d like to see more global clashes throughout the year, so we have combined the regional Season Championships into global Season Championships,” Blizzard announced regarding Global Season Championships. “Each of these global Season Championships next year will take place at a select host region, and will be held in venues that you can attend in-person to cheer on your favourite competitors!”
Blizzard also hope to have Championships synced with Standard, keeping the HCT tournaments in line with their Standard Year and its content releases. “What this means for next year is that each of the global Season Championships will take place during its own content cycle. This also means that the next World Championship will take place at the end the upcoming Standard year in early 2018,” Blizzard said.
Regional Season Playoffs will also be a new addition, replacing regional Season preliminaries, with each of the four regions sending four representatives to the Season Championships each season. “Each Season Playoffs will use the Swiss Tournament format and continue to include local Tavern Heroes, but they’ll be more competitive to qualify for, and include deeper prizing to reward more participants.”
Finally, players can expect to see a bit of a change to the points earned from tournaments and Ranked Play to be distributed evenly and include more players. Improvements are also coming to the Cup system too, Blizzard announced, though details haven’t been released just yet. Hearthstone Competitive Points from Ranked Play begins with the November Standard Ranked Play Season next month.
As for prizes, Blizzard has revealed that the total Hearthstone Championship Tour prize pool will be over $2 million. The World Championship will have a $1 million prize pool, and each Season Championship will have a $250,000 prize pool. Finally each Season Playoffs will have “at least” $20,000 in prizes.
Now may very well be a good time to jump into Hearthstone.