Blizzard have shared their plans on updating the competitive Hearthstone scene in the coming year. The developers mentioned that previously the system was too complicated for viewers and decided to simplify it. From now on, the competitive system will consists of three tears, including Qualifiers, Live Global Tournaments and Premier Play. In addition to this, the official events will no longer use the Conquest format.
So how will the competitive Hearthstone scene look in 2019? First of all, HCT World Championship 2018 will be held the coming spring and will feature a $1,000,000 prize pool. After its completion, the new three-tiered system will come in place. The qualifiers will be held by a third-party platform partner throughout the year and will open to anyone. They will take place primarily in online and will not be region-locked. By winning a qualifier, a player will advance to the next level of competition. As for Live Global Tournaments, Blizzard want to held three of these events in 2019, with each of them featuring best players competing for a $250,000 prize pool. Premier Play will be a seasonal round-robin online competitions split into regional divisions. It will begin right after the completion of HCT World Championship and culminate with a finale at year’s end. Players competing in Premier Play will receive performance-based bonuses and automatic invites to Live Global Tournaments.
Last but not least, the new Hearthstone season will not use the Conquest mode as the developers want the scene to be “sustainable, entertaining, and accessible for all”. The new format, that will be used in all official competitions, will be revealed in the coming months and is expected to better reflect the in-game experience.