After an unusually long Hearthstone esports season - shaped that way because of Blizzard's desire to line up the competitive year with set rotation - we are at the brink of its closure. Just a few days from now, the world will have its fifth Hearthstone World Champion.
But that's not the only marble being played for. Hearthstone Grandmasters, the esports' brand new league structure, still has two open spots left. Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific each have sixteen slots to fill in this highest tier of competition. For Europe and the Americas, fifteen of those spots have been filled. A few weeks ago Inven Global reported leaks of those full rosters - leaks which were confirmed a short while later through Blizzard's own posts.
Across all regions, the invited players earned their spot based on the following criteria:
- 8 players are invited because they earned the most HCT points in 2018;
- 5 players are invited because of they are among the highest-earning players in Hearthstone's history;
- 2 players are invited based on the contribution they've made to the Hearthstone esports scene over the years;
- 1 player earns an invite to Grandmasters by having the best performance of their respective region at the upcoming World Championships.
Winning another player their ticket
Especially that last criterium is interesting for the regions Europe and the Americas. Some of the attendees at the World Championships already have been invited to Grandmasters, because they've done so well in the past.
Five players, underlined in the Grandmasters rosters below, are in the running for the title of Hearthstone World Champion this year. If any of them have their respective regions' deepest run in said Championship next week, the Grandmasters invite earned through that accomplishment overrides the manual invite they have received.
Should that happen, the category these players have been invited in shifts one. Let's look at an example: Should Bunnyhoppor, a player invited based on his earned prize money, make the deepest run, the next in line would be Frederik "Hoej" Nielsen, as confirmed by a Blizzard Tournament Operator.
EU's and AM's nearly completed Grandmasters roster for Season 1
Exception to the rule is the Asia Pacific region, which knows its full roster already. It has three contestants qualified for the World Championships: BloodTrail, Roger and Tyler. With BloodTrail already invited based on his accumulated HCT points, and with Roger banned retroactively because he broke the rules, Tyler is automatically the 16th player.
APAC's full Grandmasters roster for Season 1
While five of the ten World Championship competitors from Europe and the Americas have a position of luxury when it comes to the Grandmasters invites, four of them have their fate in their own hand. For A83650, Viper, killinallday, Ike and languagehacker there are still two spots of glory on the line - both the Grandmasters spot and the World Championship title.
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