Hearthstone World Championship

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HearthstoneChampion logo.png

The Hearthstone World Championship is the official Hearthstone world championship and the finale for the Hearthstone Championship Tour. Each year, the Championship gathers the best 16 players in the world, 4 from each region, to compete against each other. The competitors are selected using a number of criteria, including in-game performance in Ranked Play and participation in selected tournament events. A substantial cash prize pool is divided between the top 16 players, and the winner of the Hearthstone World Championship is crowned as the Hearthstone World Champion.

Matches are streamed live on the official Hearthstone Twitch channel.

2019 new redesign of Hearthstone Esports[edit | edit source]

2018 Hearthstone World Championship[edit | edit source]

Main article: 2018 Hearthstone World Championship

Winner: Hunterace (Norway)

The 2018/2019 Hearthstone World Championship was the fifth and final year of the Hearthstone World Championship. This Championship took place in April 2019, instead of during Blizzcon in the fall.

  • Date: April 24 - April 28, 2019
  • Location: Taipei, Taiwan
  • Prize Pool: $1,000,000

2017 Hearthstone World Championship[edit | edit source]

Main article: 2017 Hearthstone World Championship

Winner: Tom60229 (Taiwan)

The 2017 Hearthstone World Championship was the fourth year of the Hearthstone World Championship. Breaking from the tradition of previous years, the 2017 Hearthstone World Championship took place in January 2018, instead of during Blizzcon in the fall.

  • Date: January 18 - January 21, 2018
  • Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Prize Pool: $1,000,000

2016 Hearthstone World Championship[edit | edit source]

Main article: 2016 Hearthstone World Championship
The old logo before Mammoth year and name change.

Winner: Pavel (Russia)

The 2016 Hearthstone World Championship saw 16 exceptional players, four apiece from Europe, China, Asia-Pacific, and the Americas, come together to duel for their share of a $1,000,000 prize pool and the title of Hearthstone World Champion. Four groups of four players (one from each region) competed against each other in a double-elimination tournament format until only eight players remained, at which point the competition shifted to a single-elimination bracket. All matches were played in a Conquest format with a ban.[1]

  • Date: October 26 - November 5, 2016
  • Location: Anaheim, CA
  • Prize Pool: $1,000,000

2015 Hearthstone World Championship[edit | edit source]

Main article: 2015 Hearthstone World Championship

Winner: Ostkaka (Sweden)

The 2015 Hearthstone World Championship was the second year of the Hearthstone World Championship. It took place at the end of fall 2015, at BlizzCon 2015. It was the first Hearthstone World Championship to begin using the Conquest tournament format.

  • Date: October 28 - November 7, 2015
  • Location: Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA
  • Prize Pool: $250,000[2]

On November 7, 2015, Ostkaka defeated Hotform to become the 2015 Hearthstone World Champion, claiming $100,000 in prize money.

2014 Hearthstone World Championship[edit | edit source]

The Hearthstone World Championship trophy.
Main article: 2014 Hearthstone World Championship

Winner: Firebat (USA)

The 2014 Hearthstone World Championship was the first year of the Hearthstone World Championship. The Championship featured $250,000 USD in total prize money.[3] It was played in a best-of-five "Last Hero Standing" tournament format with 3 classes allowed per player for each match.

Following the regional playoffs in which players were selected, the Hearthstone World Championship began on November 2-3, and concluded at BlizzCon 2014 on November 7-8. Matches were streamed live on the official Hearthstone Twitch channel.

On November 8th, 2014, Firebat became the first Hearthstone World Champion, defeating Tiddler Celestial in the finals to claim $100,000 in prize money.

Top 16[edit | edit source]

Americas Europe Korea/Taiwan China
Group A Firebat Kolento RenieHouR RunAndGun
Group B StrifeCro Greensheep Tom60229 Lu Xiaobu
Group C DTwo Kaor Kranich Tiddler Celestial
Group D Tarei NumberGuy FrozenIce Qiruo

Finals[edit | edit source]

The final moment of the Championship.

The quarter finals saw Kolento, the widely-held favourite to win the Championship, knocked out in a tight set by Kranich. StrifeCro, another strong contender, was also eliminated by the lesser-known DTwo. The other series saw Kaor narrowly defeated by the nascent Firebat, and Tarei knocked out by the feted Tiddler Celestial.

Firebat narrowly survived some stiff competition from DTwo in the semi-finals to make it the final series, with some memorable plays including some extreme double-Gadgetzan Auctioneer Miracle Rogue card-drawing action. Tiddler Celestial made a clean sweep against Kranich to join Firebat.

The finals saw Firebat and Tiddler Celestial opening with a druid mirror, which Firebat was able to win. Tiddler Celestial's attempts to counter Firebat's druid deck with both priest and Handlock ultimately proved in vain, and Firebat stomped to victory in a straight-through 3-0 series.

Placings and prizes[edit | edit source]

2014 Hearthstone World Champion Firebat holding his trophy.
The tournament ends.
Place Name Country Prize
Gold.png 1st Firebat USA $100,000
Silver.png 2nd Tiddler Celestial China $50,000
Bronze.png 3rd Kranich Korea $15,000
DTwo USA $15,000
5th-8th Tarei USA $7,500
Kolento Ukraine $7,500
Kaor Italy $7,500
StrifeCro USA $7,500
6th-16th NumberGuy Denmark $5,000
FrozenIce Taiwan $5,000
Qiruo China $5,000
RunAndGun China $5,000
Greensheep UK $5,000
Tom60229 Taiwan $5,000
Lu Xiaobu China $5,000
RenieHouR Korea $5,000

Changes to the Championship[edit | edit source]

2015[edit | edit source]

  • Eligibility for Regional Qualifiers is now through a new qualification points system.
  • Australia and New Zealand will now be included in the new Asia-Pacific region, rather than the Americas region. This does not affect live play, in which players from Australia and New Zealand are still by default assigned to the Americas region.
  • Additional sub-regions now have a set number of players to qualify for their Regional Championships: The Americas region is split between US/Canada (6) and Latin America (2); and the new Asia-Pacific region is split between Korea (2), Taiwan (2), Japan (1), Southeast Asia (1), and Australia/New Zealand (2).
  • Participation in a Regional Championship, Regional Qualifier, or Fireside Gathering is now dependent on proof of residency or citizenship within the given eligible region.

2016[edit | edit source]

Based on feedback from last year’s tournaments, the following changes were implemented for 2016:[4]

  • More local champions. Four tournaments (three Season Championships and one Last Call Invitational per region) across the year will help determine the Hearthstone World Championship invitees.
  • No instant byes in Hearthstone Majors. Invited players may have their spots reserved, but they will start in the same round as all open players to ensure a more even playing field.
  • More money! We’ve increased the prize pool of the Hearthstone World Championship to a cool $1 million, with a $100,000 prize pool for the each of the nine Season Championships in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
  • More onsite events. With multiple Fireside Gatherings serving as the setting for the Season Preliminaries that lead into the Season Championships, there are more opportunities for you to attend a local event to either compete or cheer on your favorite players.
  • Points matter more than ever. With the points decaying after each Championship Season, and the Last Call Invitational qualification relying on total accumulated points, collecting points will give you more opportunities to join the competition at any time.
  • Point distribution has been rebalanced. The top placing players in a given event will receive fewer points, and the lower placing players will receive more points. For Ranked Play, this also includes providing points to every player that achieves the Legend Rank in an eligible season.
  • More flexible match and tournament formats. We will take the opportunity with this year’s new structure to iterate and improve on the match format from each Championship Season to the next, and encourage other event organizers to be creative with their match and tournament formats as long as they encourage fair competition.

2017[edit | edit source]

Much was learned throughout the 2016 Hearthstone World Championship Tour. Taking into account feedback from players and fans, the following changes were made to the 2017 Hearthstone World Championship Tour:[5]

  • Season Championships are no longer regional and are now condensed from nine Championships into three global Season Championships, seeing players battling against each other across different regions in each Season Championship. These three Season Championships are titled the Winter, Spring, and Summer Championships, named similarly to those of the previous year. Each Season Championship will take place at a select host region, and will be held in public spectator venues.
  • "Season Preliminaries" from the previous year have been retitled as "Season Playoffs" and remain region-based. Each of the 4 regions (Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and China) will send 4 representatives to the Season Championships each season. Each Season Playoff will use the Swiss Tournament format and continue to include local Tavern Heroes, but will be more competitive to qualify for and will include deeper prizing to reward more participants.
  • HCT tournaments are now synced with the Standard year and each global Season Championship will take place during its own content cycle and expansion release. The World Championship will take place at the end of each Standard year.
  • The amount of points earned from tournaments and Ranked Play mode have been adjusted to be more evenly distributed to include more players. Changes to the Cup system were also made. Cup events on the Hearthstone Championship Tour are the most numerous and offer the greatest number of chances for the greatest number of players to join the HCT tournament system. Points can only be earned from one Cup event per month and a player's best Cup result for the month will be the only result used to grant Hearthstone Competitive points.[6] HC points from Ranked Play began with the November 2016 Standard Ranked Play season.
  • The total HCT prize pool will be over $2 million USD. The World Championship will continue to have a $1 million USD prize pool, each Season Championship will have a prize pool of a quarter million USD, and each Season Playoff will have at least $20,000 USD in prizing.
  • Asia-Pacific Playoffs now have the same structure as the Europe and Americas Playoffs and include a Tavern Hero Tournament.[7]

Viewer numbers[edit | edit source]

While the 2014 Regional Qualifiers saw a maximum of around concurrent 90,000 viewers, the Round of 16 games at Burbank Studio hit a new high point for World Championship (and possibly any Hearthstone tournament) so far, with more than 132,000 concurrent viewers watching the games on November 4th, 2014.[8]

The Championship's final series peaked at more than 135,000 viewers.[9] However, given that it took place at precisely the same time as similar tournaments for both StarCraft II and World of Warcraft, it is possible the figure could have been far higher.

With the ongoing growth of the game and its playerbase, viewer numbers for the 2015 Championship are expected to exceed those of the previous year.

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]