Hearthstone Championship Tour 2018: The Most Legendary HCT Ever?

Hearthstone Championship Tour
By | January 14th, 2018 | Categories: E-Sports, Others

Ever since we were treated with the first Hearthstone Championship Tour, all the way back in 2014, this thematic world tournament courtesy of Blizzard has been constantly increasing in popularity.

One of the reasons is Hearthstone’s steadily growing player base, which hit the 70 million player milestone in 2017. But, another viable reason is the fact that the prize pool went from $250,000 for the first installment of HCT, to $1,000,000 (yes, you read that right) at the moment.

Okay, that was enough economics for today, time to focus on this year’s championships and more precisely, all the new conditions and tweaks that Blizzard made to the structure of HCT.

What’s New with the Hearthstone Championship Tour in 2018?

When you exclude the traditional layout of three seasons, various Tour events, Challenger Cups, Playoffs, online Ranked Play and the pinnacle of this tournament, the World Championship, quite a few things have actually been changed.

Let’s kick off with an overview of the HCT seasons in 2018:

  • Season 1 – January, February, March (qualifying period only)
  • Season 2 – April, May (seasonal playoffs), June (seasonal championships), July ( four-month qualifying period)
  • Season 3 – August, September (seasonal playoffs), October (seasonal championships), November (four-month qualifying period)

Now that you’re familiar with when each season begins and ends, it’s time to start with one of the fascinating new features for this year’s edition of HCT.

1. Hearthstone Masters

This is the first brand-new thing that will get introduced for the first time. HS Masters is geared towards the most skillful players and it comes with three available tiers – each carries distinctive rewards.

You are put in a certain tier, based on the total point count that you managed to acquire over the most recent 3 seasons. And the great thing is that your rewards are going to last for 4 months!

Now, these are the 3 specific tiers, with the respective prizes:

  1. Gold, 3-star master (200 points) – you get invited to the seasonal playoffs, the monthly online tournaments with cash prizes and last but not least – $2,500 if you attend up to three events per season.
  2. Silver, 2-star master (175 points) – you receive an invite to the monthly online tournaments with cash prizes and you also get $1,000 for appearing at one event per season.
  3. Bronze, 1-star master (150 points) – this one grants you only an invitation to the monthly online tournaments with cash rewards

And each of these master ratings brings you an end-of-year commemorative swag if you care for it that is.

2. Playoffs Updates

This is arguably one of the most financially-stimulating aspects of the new features in HCT 2018. Hearthstone players rejoice, because this year, all players are promised $1,000, simply for competing!

Feel free to have a look at the prize list for the top 10 players in the playoffs:

  1. Wins an invite to the championship
  2. Wins an invite to the championship
  3. Wins an invite to the championship
  4. Wins an invite to the championship
  5. $6,000
  6. $5,500
  7. $5,000
  8. $4,500
  9. $4,250
  10. $4,000

And the rewards continue to decline only slightly all the way down to $1,000 for the 33rd spot and onwards. To put things into perspective, in 2017, the prizes went from $5,000 for the player who finished 8th, while all other players received a mere $100 (yes, including the 9th place finish).

Now, the seasonal playoffs have received an overhaul. Now, every player that meets or exceeds the seasonal point threshold is guaranteed an invite to their regional playoffs. And another great thing has been improved – the playoff locations so that the players can enjoy the best competitive experience.

3. Pro Team Standings

Yep, Blizzard will pay (literally) homage to the best teams and their respective players. Obviously, the rewards will come in the form of real dollars so that no one can complain about that.

And to be perfectly honest with you, the amounts are rather generous. Have a look yourself – the list starts with the top team (obviously) and the amount is the prize per player (every single player receives the given amount):

  1. $7,500
  2. $4,500
  3. $3,000
  4. $2,500
  5. $2,000
  6. $1,750
  7. $1,500
  8. $1,250
  9. $1,000
  10. $750

Approved organizations will select three players to represent them each season, and can select new players each season. Teams will have their logo featured on HCT Tournament broadcasts whenever their players are competing. At the end of each season, the top 10 teams worldwide will receive a cash prize based on their three team members combined point totals. Pro Team Standings will begin with Season 2.

Tips N4G

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