Hearthstone tournament changes on their way
A particular specialist card format is no longer going to be included
Blizzard Entertainment is making some changes to its Hearthstone tournaments. The popular digital card game has been a fixture in the eSports arena for years, but Blizzard decided it was time to make some changes. The “new and improved” version of Hearthstone competition will make its debut in the upcoming Grandmasters Season 2.
The biggest change relates to the deck used in the game. Previously, players were able to use three variations of the same deck, but this has been bumped up to four, with each having to be included from a different hero class.
As competition gets underway, each competitor will choose a “shield” deck, a deck that cannot be banned by opponents. Then, each competitor will be given the opportunity to ban a deck held by one of their opponents. Action will then get underway, with the winning deck removed from play at the end of the match, leading to additional competition with the next deck.
A player who wins both games will be declared the winner, but a tie after two games will lead to the winning deck from the second game being removed. The losing player can replay a deck if desired.
The reason for the changes is to make Hearthstone more interesting for both players and fans. Whether or not it achieves the goal will be seen with the upcoming Grandmasters competition. Hearthstone’s senior global franchise lead, Sam Braithwaite, explains, “We’ve gotten some criticisms that with the Specialist format we’re starting to see some really long series and some really long games. With the launch of the new expansion, Rise of Shadows, we see with the Control Warrior matchup, our internal round times significantly increased. There are specific matchups in a Swiss online tournament that will make it so that everybody else is sitting around and waiting. And that’s unfortunate.”