A couple of weeks ago, Blizzard shared some of their plans regarding the next season of Hearthstone esports set to kick off in full swing sometime after the World Championships have ended at the end of April. Of the three tiers contained in the new 'Masters system', the two lowest tiers - Masters Qualifiers and Masters Tours - were elaborated on.
The highest tier available, Hearthstone Grandmasters, remained shrouded in mystery.
Today, Inven Global acquired information about this highest tier of Hearthstone competition. Specifically: the format of Hearthstone Grandmasters, part of its prizes and a large part of the players participating in it.
Format and prize money
A specific starting date is unknown, but Hearthstone Grandmasters is set to start soon after the Hearthstone World Championships have concluded. Its format is as follows:
- Hearthstone Grandmasters will consist of two seasons per year, with each season lasting eight weeks;
- Each region will have sixteen players competing in Hearthstone Grandmasters. Those players are then split across two groups of eight;
- Participants play twice a week. They face off against each other following a double round-robin system, with players competing against others in their group two times in total over the course of a season;
- Matches are played during the weekend, from Friday until Sunday, with the broadcast of one region stopping right before the next region starts its broadcast;
- After the two seasons have ended, the two players who performed worst in season 2 in their respective region will be demoted and no longer play in Hearthstone Grandmasters;
- Hearthstone Grandmasters conclude with global finals. The specifics of this event are unknown, but the best players per region per season qualify. It is unsure if this means that the top players per group per season face off to determine who will be sent to the global finals;
- As expected, the Specialist format will be used, with matches being a Best of Three.
Each player participating in the Hearthstone Grandmasters will earn $1,000 per week as an appearance fee. For each match won, another $500 is given to the participating players. The prize pool of the global finals is said to be $500,000. It's highly likely there'll be more rewards per seasonal performance.
The invited players
Not all participants are known yet, partially because even Blizzard isn't sure yet about the four final names: the player with the best run at the upcoming HCT World Championships will be invited to their region's Hearthstone Grandmasters division.
Inven Global has acquired the names of all fifteen European participants, and of thirteen of the Americas region's participants.
Blizzard is expected to share these details sometime next week.
Storyteller by heart. If something is competitive, I am interested in it.