Tournaments

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Tournaments in Hearthstone are comprised of official Blizzard-sanctioned tournaments and unofficial non-Blizzard-sanctioned tournaments.

Official Blizzard-sanctioned Hearthstone tournaments include the Hearthstone World Championship Tour, the Hearthstone Collegiate National Championship, the Hearthstone Global Games, registered Hearthstone Majors and Cups, and registered Fireside Gatherings.

Hearthstone tournaments set rules for the type of game format, match format, and tournament format that is used in the tournament.

Match formats[edit | edit source]

Match formats are formats which determine how games are played between two players for a given head-to-head match. Hearthstone officially supports three approved match formats: Conquest, Last Hero Standing, and Modified Blind Pick.[1]

Conquest[edit | edit source]

Conquest is a match format used in tournaments. It is the match format used for the Hearthstone World Championships, with the 2015 Hearthstone World Championship being the first to use Conquest format.

  • Tournament rules define a set number of decks that each player can use for a 1v1 round.
    • Each deck must come from a different class (e.g. having two Mage decks is not allowed).
    • Depending on tournament rules, an optional ban phase may be given to players at the start of the 1v1 round, with each player being able to "ban" one of their opponent's decks, preventing it from being played for the entire round.
  • To begin playing a round, each player chooses one of their decks to battle the opponent with, with the deck choice hidden from the opponent. Games are then played out with the following rules.
    • Any deck that wins a game cannot be played again, and another deck must be chosen to play the next game.
    • Any deck that is defeated may be played again in the next game.
  • The first player to win with all of their decks wins the round.

Last Hero Standing[edit | edit source]

Last Hero Standing is a match format used in tournaments.

  • Tournament rules define a set number of decks that each player can use for a 1v1 round.
    • Each deck must come from a different class (e.g. having two Mage decks is not allowed).
    • Depending on tournament rules, an optional ban phase may be given to players at the start of the 1v1 round, with each player being able to "ban" one of their opponent's decks, preventing it from being played for the entire round.
  • To begin playing a round, each player chooses one of their decks to battle the opponent with, with the deck choice hidden from the opponent. Games are then played out with the following rules.
    • Any deck that wins a game remains to be used for the next game.
    • Any deck that is defeated is "eliminated", and one of the remaining decks is chosen to play the next game.
  • The first player to eliminate all of their opponent's decks wins the match.

Modified Blind Pick[edit | edit source]

Modified Blind Pick is a match format used in tournaments.[2]

  • Tournament rules define a set number of decks that each player can use for a 1v1 round.
  • Players battle against each other without knowing which deck their opponent is going to play next.
  • A Best-of-5 series,[3] or a similar series, determines the winner of the round.

Tournament formats[edit | edit source]

Tournament formats are formats used for determining how players advance through a tournament bracket. Common tournament formats include: Single-elimination, Double-elimination, Round-robin, and Swiss tournament formats.[2][3]

Single Elimination[edit | edit source]

Single Elimination can be the simplest and fastest tournament format to run. Competitors face off in a first round of matches and the winners of those matches move on to face the winners of other matches. Losers are eliminated from the tournament. Matches continue until only two competitors remain to face off in a final grand battle.

The downside to Single Elimination is that tournament competitors are eliminated very quickly, and players who lost early may feel less involved in the rest of the tournament proceedings. Luck can also play a role in determining unfavorable matches between players of differing skill-levels at the start of the tournament.

Double Elimination[edit | edit source]

Double Elimination tournaments are similar to Single Elimination tournaments, with the difference being that there exists a winner’s bracket and a loser's bracket. When a player loses a match from the winner’s bracket, instead of being eliminated, they are moved to the lower bracket and have another chance to stay in the tournament by facing off against another player who also lost their first match. Eventually, the last player standing in the winner’s bracket and the loser's bracket face off against each other in a grand final battle.

Round Robin[edit | edit source]

Round Robin tournaments consist of non-elimination matches, so even if a player loses a match, they can still continue to play. Each participant plays against every other participant for the same number of matches and the results of those matches are tracked by the organizer. After all the matches are played, the winner is the player with the best win vs. loss record. This format is great for a small number of players, since it allows everyone to participate.

The downside of Round Robin is that there are more numbers to keep track of for large groups of people, and it can be time-consuming. Round Robins can also be less exciting since there is no "grand final" match.

Swiss[edit | edit source]

Swiss is a non-eliminating tournament format, similar to Round Robin, featuring considerably less rounds. In a Swiss tournament, competitors are paired with opponents using a set of rules designed to ensure that each competitor plays opponents with similar running scores, but not the same opponent more than once. The winner is the competitor with the highest aggregate points earned in total in all rounds. All competitors play in each round unless there is an odd number of players, in which case 'byes' may be given to players to advance them into a round.

For a large number of entrants, the Swiss tournament format is usually preferred when a Round Robin tournament format is too time-consuming and not feasible.

Official tournaments[edit | edit source]

Hearthstone Championship Tour[edit | edit source]

Main article: Hearthstone World Championship

Blizzard-sanctioned tournaments mainly revolve around accumulating Hearthstone Championship Points for the annual Hearthstone Championship Tour, with Season Playoffs and Season Championships leading up to the main tournament event, culminating in the Hearthstone World Championship.[4] The Hearthstone World Championship is the largest Hearthstone tournament in the world, where 16 exceptional players from around the globe come together to duel for glory.

Hearthstone Collegiate National Championship[edit | edit source]

Main article: Hearthstone Collegiate National Championship

In August 2015, a new collegiate tournament was announced to be hosted,[5] and currently it is titled the Hearthstone® Collegiate National Championship.[6] It is a team event tournament where three-player teams from across the United States and Canada work together to achieve victory and win scholarship money. The top team from each of four regions will move on to compete for ultimate victory at a live finals event.

Hearthstone Global Games[edit | edit source]

Main article: Hearthstone Global Games

In October 2016, a new international tournament was announced to be hosted, titled the Hearthstone Global Games.[7] It is an official Blizzard tournament in which teams from selected nations compete against each other. Players from around the world decide who gets to be nominated onto the roster for their region's team.

Hearthstone Majors and Cups[edit | edit source]

Hearthstone Majors and Cups are, respectively, major and minor tournaments which offer Hearthstone Competitive Points as rewards to players who perform well in these tournaments, so that they may advance and compete in the Season Playoffs for the Hearthstone World Championship Tour.

"Blizzard-sanctioned events fall into two point-granting categories: online events that are submitted and approved are considered Cups; events with a larger prize pool are Majors. 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. You can earn points from only one Cup event per month and your best Cup result for the month will be the only result used to grant you HC points. Majors come with higher stakes, bigger prize pools, and can take place at some of the biggest events in esports."[4]

Tavern Hero Tournaments[edit | edit source]

Main article: Tavern Hero Tournaments

Tavern Hero Tournaments are special Blizzard-sanctioned Hearthstone tournaments at Fireside Gatherings, taking place in select locations across the Americas. Winners from Tavern Hero Tournaments are named "Tavern Heroes" and are invited to compete in the next upcoming Season Playoffs for the Hearthstone World Championship Tour.

Other tournaments[edit | edit source]

Various low-level and high-level tournaments have been organized by fans and gaming communities. Many such tournaments are sponsored by pro-gaming organizations.

Fireside Gatherings[edit | edit source]

Main article: Fireside Gathering

Fireside Gatherings are real-world gatherings of people to play Hearthstone in public gathering spots.[8] They are intended to be an opportunity for Hearthstone players to meet, mingle, and form real-life friendships, as well as enjoy playing the game face-to-face with opponents in either casual play or in tournament mode format. Fireside Gatherings are meant to take place in public hangouts such as coffee shops, book stores, game stores, dorms, college meeting rooms, recreation centers, and hotel ballrooms.[2] These events can range in sizes from 5-10 people convening in small groups, to 100+ people in large groups.[9]

International tournaments[edit | edit source]

International tournaments are usually played in a team vs. team format. Teams are usually organized into regions specific to their geographic location, regardless of whether or not the game is local or online. These regions include:

  • North America (NA), including the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the various US territories;
  • European Union (EU), including the UK, France, Germany, Spain, etc.
  • Asia-Pacific (AP), including Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, and sometimes Australia.
  • Oceania (O), including Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.
  • General (G), including countries not covered above.

Tournament leagues[edit | edit source]

NB: This section was created in 2015 and may be outdated.

Pro Circuit
Pro-Am Circuit
Amateur Circuit
All-Rank Circuit
Non-Rank Circuit

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Blizzard Entertainment. Hearthstone Championship Tour Point-Giving Event Application. Retrieved on 2017-04-18.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Blizzard Entertainment. How to host your own Fireside Gathering event. Retrieved on 2017-04-18.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Avarius (2015-11-25). Join Us for the 2016 Hearthstone® Championship Tour! - Battle.net. Retrieved on 2017-04-18.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Hearthstone Championship Tour - Battle.net. Retrieved on 2017-04-06.
  5. The TeSPA Collegiate Hearthstone Championship is Coming!. (2015-08-31). 
  6. TeSPA Compete - TeSPA Tournament Portal. (2016-12-20). Retrieved on 2017-04-06.
  7. Hearthstone 2017 Esports Preview!. (2016-10-26). 
  8. Fireside Gatherings - Battle.net. Retrieved on 2017-04-10.
  9. Zeriyah (2014-04-17). Introducing Fireside Gatherings! - Battle.net forums. Retrieved on 2017-04-18.

External links[edit | edit source]

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