Hearthstone Makes Historical Debut at Asian Games
The long-running competitive video game least often recognized as an esport reached a significant milestone for the entire industry this week. Hearthstone makes its historic debut at the Olympics-affiliated Asian Games tonight.
The Asian Games Hearthstone Tournament kicks off at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time and is available via live stream on YouTube. The tournament is the first of its kind to be featured alongside Olympic events and marks the first time Hearthstone has been included in an Olympics demonstration.
Players from across the Asian continent competed in a round-robin tournament, held entirely online, to win one of eight invitations to the Asian Games. The winning players represent Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Indian, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia.
These eight players are feeling the pressure of an industry hanging on their success. Their fellow gamers and fans along with the Asian Electronic Sports Federation, media partners, and event organizers are eager to see how well Olympic-level esports can be presented to spectators in the arena and at home.
The tournament arrives just as Hearthstone’s monthly ranked play is coming to an end. The focus for the millions of Hearthstone players outside of Asia is on The Boomsday Project, Hearthstone’s latest update that went live August 21.
The update appeals to the more science-minded player who likes a bit of actual science fact woven into their fantasy. Rocket science, astronomy, biology, and meteorology are highlighted on the cards. Senior Hearthstone Designer Peter Whalen says they deployed the scientific method in designing how the new cards will interact.