Now the 2016 Hearthstone Championship Tour is at the business end of proceedings, we thought we would give you a taster of what is in store for next year’s event – Hearthstone Championship Tour 2017!
Blizzard launched the Hearthstone Championship Tour (HCT) last year. The idea was a simple one – “to help create a system that would bring together the most dedicated Hearthstone players in the world and showcase their ability to compete at the highest levels throughout the year” according to Blizzard management.
We would like to share with you some key changes Blizzard will be making next year to the 2017 HCT event, released via battle.net:
- Global Season Championships – Blizzard like to see more global clashes throughout the year, so they have combined the regional Season Championships into 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 favorite competitors!
- Season Playoffs – The regional Season Preliminaries have been replaced with regional Season Playoffs, and each of the 4 regions (Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and China) will send 4 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.
- Championships Synced with Standard – Blizzard like to keep the tournament meta fresh and exciting, and they will work toward aligning the HCT tournaments with the Standard Year and its associated 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.
- Points and Cups – Blizzard will be adjusting the amounts of points earned from tournaments and Ranked Play to be more evenly distributed and include more players. They will also be making improvements to the Cup system. Hearthstone Competitive Points from Ranked Play begins with the November Standard Ranked Play Season next month.
- Prize Pool – The total HCT prize pool for next year will be over $2 million USD. The World Championship will have a $1 million USD prize pool, each Season Championship will have a prize pool of a quarter million USD, and each Season Playoffs will have at least $20,000 USD in prizing to reward more participants.
We’re optimistic about the changes to the HCT laid out above by Blizzard via battle.net. We hope for a more gripping player journey and spectator experience. Blizzard also have 2 new eSports programs they will be launching next year so watch this space.
Hearthstone Global Games
This is shaping up to be a bumper character building and team based initiative from Blizzard. The Hearthstone Global Games (HGG) is weekly global league that will feature teams of players from various countries. HGG teams will consist of the top Hearthstone Competitive Point earner from their country and three of their fellow ‘community-voted’ country persons.
Exhibitions will showcase a variety of playful Hearthstone formats with some of the well known Hearthstone personalities. Expect popular streamers, winners of major tournaments, and celebrities.