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Hearthstone esports has just announced that major changes are coming for the Masters Qualifiers and Masters Tours. These changes will affect format, the length of tournaments, the qualifier capacity, as well as ladder invitations.
First up, the Hearthstone Masters Tour Qualifiers will be using the Conquest format with best-of-three and three decks with a ban format. “We’ll also be expanding Masters Qualifiers to a maximum capacity of 512 players,” Blizzard stated in a blog post. “We are making this change so that we won’t have to turn anyone away from a Masters Qualifier that they’d like to participate in, which we have experienced in European Qualifiers specifically.”
In addition to this format change, the length of these Hearthstone tournaments will be reduced. The Masters Qualifiers will get a single-elimination process because of this. “Right now, single elimination tournaments are taking 6 hours on average, compared to 12 hours with Swiss,” the post explained.
Another change will be the path to a Hearthstone player’s qualification. Currently, players who rise to the top eight at least six times get an invitation. This number will be reduced to five times.
As for other forms of invitations, on a monthly basis Blizzard will directly invite the “Top 16 not-yet-invited ladder players from each region,” which will then make up 96 of the invites for each qualifying period.
In terms of the prize pool, Hearthstone will go back to awarding just the first-place winner of the Masters Qualifiers with an invite to its respective Masters Tour tournament. This will be in addition to the new pack prizing, which will reflect the upcoming tournament changes.
As for the Hearthstone Masters Tour and starting with Masters Tour Bucharest, the format will be best-of-five Conquest and four decks with a ban format.
The number of Swiss rounds in each Masters Tour will decrease from 12 to nine and move to a single-elimination bracket. This will apply to the top 8 players of the Masters Tour events.
While Hearthstone players and fans await these changes, they can tune in here at Daily Esports for an upcoming announcement of the next Masters Tour location, as well as check out some of our interviews with prominent Hearthstone players.
Amy Chen is an esports journalist and enthusiast who specializes in in-depth interviews and breaking news. A University of Toronto and Humber College graduate, she is passionate about building up the Canadian esports industry. Her current favorite games are Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, and she has always had a soft spot for World of Warcraft!