Yesterday, Blizzard announced the 2016 Hearthstone Championship Tour, the grueling series of tournaments each player must participate in to claim the title of World Champion. The prize pool for the World Championship has been upped to $1 million USD, and also boasts a $100,000 pool for each of the Season Championships. There will be a reworked points system, as well as different rule sets for each Season Championship. This year, there looks to be a focus on inviting more players than ever before, and with the new rules regarding the removal of instant byes in the major tournaments, everyone will be on an even playing field. The full blog post is available here.
Blizzard has taken feedback from the previous year of tournaments, and released a tantalizing list of upcoming changes to the way they handle things on the Road to BlizzCon. Here’s an excerpt from the blog post that goes into detail on some of the changes, so that everyone knows what to look forward to!
- More local champions. Four tournaments (three Season Championships and one Last Call Invitational per region) across the year will help determine the Hearthstone World Championship invitees.
- No instant byes in Hearthstone Majors. Invited players may have their spots reserved, but they will start in the same round as all open players to ensure a more even playing field.
- More money! We’ve increased the prize pool of the Hearthstone World Championship to a cool $1 million, with a $100,000 prize pool for the each of the nine Season Championships in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
- More onsite events. With multiple Fireside Gatherings serving as the setting for the Season Preliminaries that lead into the Season Championships, there are more opportunities for you to attend a local event to either compete or cheer on your favorite players.
- Points matter more than ever. With the points decaying after each Championship Season, and the Last Call Invitational qualification relying on total accumulated points, collecting points will give you more opportunities to join the competition at any time.
- Point distribution has been rebalanced. The top placing players in a given event will receive fewer points, and the lower placing players will receive more points. For Ranked Play, this also includes providing points to every player that achieves the Legend Rank in an eligible season.
- More flexible match and tournament formats. We will take the opportunity with this year’s new structure to iterate and improve on the match format from each Championship Season to the next, and encourage other event organizers to be creative with their match and tournament formats as long as they encourage fair competition.
The first tournament that will reward HWC (Hearthstone World Championship) points will be DreamHack Winter 2015. The massive event will take place from November 26th through the 29th. The Ranked Ladder will begin rewarding HWC points in December, and remember, everyone that reaches the Legend rank will receive points, provided they play in an eligible season. Don’t forget to check out Blizzard’s Upcoming Events blog to find out which tournaments will reward HWC points. Hearthstonely would like to wish all the competitors for this year the best of luck on the ladder, and in tournaments!