After surveying Masters Qualifiers and Masters Tour competitors, Blizzard Entertainment has decided to make multiple changes to the structure of these events. The changes help to improve entry-level tournaments that are one of the first stepping stones for aspiring Hearthstone pro players. Blizzard says they interviewed the competitors in order to understand the current “pain points” of the program. One of the main “pain points” that competitors pointed out was the Specialist format. It consists of players using three variations of the same deck with only five different cards and all other cards in the deck the same. Now, Hearthstone Masters tournaments return to the Conquest format. Conquest requires that each deck is a different class and a deck is banned after it wins a game.
This aligns with the World Championships, which already use the Conquest format. This change in format also resulted in Blizzard reducing the number of Swiss rounds played from 12 to 9. Furthermore, once the tournament reaches the top eight players in Masters Tour, there will only be single-elimination matches. These changes will make each choice matter even more for competitors. But Blizzard feels that “the additional games per match adequately offset the reduction in total matches played.” Blizzard is also changing all Masters Qualifiers to single-elimination tournaments. The company hopes that doing this halves the amount of time these tournaments take. One of the biggest planned changes is the way competitors receive invites to Masters Tour events. Capacity for Masters Qualifier events has been expanded to 512. Additionally, If a player makes it to the top eight at least five times in a qualifying season they earn an invite. Only the first-place competitor in Masters Qualifiers gets an invite to a Masters Tour event. In addition to these changes, […]
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