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Competitive Hearthstone fans can look forward to more tournaments and bigger cash payouts in 2018.
Blizzard announced a set of sweeping changes to the way the HCT Tour will be organized in 2018. The new "Masters System" promises to make it easier than ever for professional Hearthstone players to win prizes and make it out to international events.
Announced today on the official Hearthstone blog, the Hearthstone Masters System promises to make sweeping changes and improvements to Hearthstone's competitive tournament infrastructure:
The marquee change to the HCT circuit will be the addition of "Masters Tiers". The rolling total of a player's HCT points for the previous three seasons will determine a player's Masters Tier, and each tier will reward players with increasing benefits. A 3-Star Master, the highest tier, is able to receive a $2500 appearance bonus for attending up to three HCT events per season, which can add up to a $22,500 per year in appearance fees alone! All three tiers will also offer free invitations to monthly online tournaments with cash prizes, as well as "end-of-year commemorative swag", which I can only assume is sweet, exclusive card backs.
Blizzard will also be changing the way that qualification works for HCT Playoff events. Players will automatically qualify for the HCT Playoffs by achieving a single-season HCT Point total. The point total for season one of 2018 is 45 points, but Blizzard noted that this may change based upon the season and region of competition. As part of these changes, HCT Points will now be rewarded for the top three ladder finishes a player posts in each season instead of being handed out each month.
Players will also be able to qualify for a season's playoffs through the brand new Hearthstone Challengers program, which appears to be a re-branding of the previous Tavern Hero system. Eight players will be able to qualify for the playoffs through the Hearthstone Challengers program each season, but the specific nature of these new qualifying tournaments has yet to be announced.
In addition to a promising an increased number of HCT tour stops, Blizzard will be giving out additional cash rewards to the top ten Hearthstone teams each season. Each team can lock-in three players per season, and the top ten HCT-point-earning teams on the season will take home a hefty prize. With the prizes for first and second place separated by $3000 per player, this should add a fresh and exciting element of team-focused drama to Hearthstone tournaments in 2018.
Though the long-term effects of today's announcement remain to be seen, Blizzard's message of increased commitment to competitive Hearthstone promises to be a massive step forward for the community. A notable increase to the number of competitive events and the size of cash payouts sends a tremendous vote of confidence to members of the competitive Hearthstone scene, and sets 2018 up to be the biggest year in Hearthstone history.
Europeans can venture into Facebook Messenger, where they can participate in a giveaway to win a trip to the HCT World Championship finals!
An adventure into catacombs full of Kobolds (guess why) awaits those brave enough to make a Facebook account and use Messenger to chat with a friendly, yet slightly talkative bot. After you complete this adventure, your email address will be included in a raffle for a trip to Amsterdam to attend the HCT World Championship.
The winners will have their expenses covered for their airplane or train tickets, their accomodation and their entrance ticket for the HCT finals for the six days they will be there. There will be three winners and they can choose a person to accompany them. Make sure to read the rules before participating.
Riddle me this... where can you go on an adventure, explore forgotten catacombs, encounter a variety of characters, solve riddles, AND have a chance to win a trip to Amsterdam for the HCT World Championship? On Facebook Messenger, of course!
Join us from December 5-17 for a single-player pick-your-path-style Hearthstone adventure on Facebook Messenger. Complete your journey and you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win a trip to Amsterdam for you and a friend to witness the HCT World Championship in person. So, what are you waiting for? Get started now!
Official rules are available here.
BEGIN YOUR ADVENTURE
It was noticed that the Hunter Death Knight's Hero Power doesn't include any Beasts from Kobolds & Catacombs. The Hearthstone team is going to amend that in the near future.
The Build-A-Beast Hero Power doesn't include any Beasts from the new K&C expansion and subsequently wouldn't include any new Beasts from future expansions. Mike Donais explained that this was done because of issues with translating the Custom Zombeast cards in all of the languages that Hearthstone is available. Obviously, this caused an outrage during the past weekend.
Thankfully, Team 6 listened to the community's concerns and they agreed to expand the pool of Beasts, from which you can craft your custom Zombeast. This is going to happen for Kobolds & Catacombs at some point in the future - perhaps after the Christmas vacations. There will also be support for Beasts from future expansions, but some of them may be excluded for balance reasons (like King of Beasts).
Many players have noticed that Deathstalker Rexxar’s Hero Power does not include any of the new Beasts that were added with the Kobolds & Catacombs expansion.
Since then, some players have provided constructive feedback regarding the state of Deathstalker Rexxar, and we agreed that a change to the Hero Power was warranted.
As such, we will be updating Deathstalker Rexxar’s Hero Power to include new Beasts going forward. Please be patient, as this is a fairly complicated endeavor and we may need to start with a smaller change before a more permanent solution is implemented. We don’t have a date for this change to share with you today, but we will provide more information once we have it.
Please also note that as new Beasts are released, we may need to mark some of them as exempt for various reasons, much like how King of Beasts is currently excluded from the pool of Beasts that Deathstalker Rexxar’s Hero Power can pull from.
Thank you for providing constructive feedback. We see your love and passion for Hearthstone and believe that the best way to make Hearthstone better is to do so together.
See you all in the Tavern! (source)