Hearthstone Transitions to Online Tournaments in 2019, Announces $4M Prize Pool

Major changes are in the works for the 2019 season of Hearthstone. The game's esports structure is undergoing an overhaul that will see the majority of events transition to online tournaments. Hearthstone publisher Blizzard announced a $4 million prize pool for the season.

The biggest change to Hearthstone's esports structure will be the addition of a three-tiered competitive system. The first tier is designed to open Hearthstone esports to all players with open qualifier events online. The winners of each qualifier will move up to one of three invitational tournaments.

Blizzard is putting up $250,000 prize pools for each of the first tier invitationals and says this level will continue into 2020. As for the higher levels, Hearthstone is moving away from the tournament circuit system and on to the more common round-robin format with regional divisions.

The higher level of Hearthstone esports will be known as the “premiere competition.” It is not yet clear how players will move into the premiere level or if the invitational winners will graduate to this level. Blizzard said more details are on the way.

The Hearthstone Masters points are sticking around but with some major revisions. Up until now, the points players earned for competing in events accumulated to reach reward thresholds. The system allowed players to earn access to exclusive tournaments and accrue points over competitive seasons.

To soften the transition to a new competitive structure, Blizzard will extend the Masters points during a grace period through March 2019. The final Masters' rewards will be worked into the new structure.

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