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- The Hearthstone Masters Tour will double the number of events from the previous year from three to six.
- Each stop will see a prize pool of at least $250K USD which will be supplemented by crowdfunding.
- Hearthstone Esports will work in conjunction with ESL and DreamHack as vendors for the Hearthstone Masters Tour.
Blizzard’s Hearthstone Masters Tour is set to double the amount of tour stops in 2020. Last year the Masters held three events which took place in Las Vegas, Seoul, and Bucharest. Additionally, this year will see Hearthstone Esports work in conjunction with ESL and DreamHack as vendors for the Hearthstone Masters Tour.
The use of ESL and DreamHack as partners seems to be a plan developed by Blizzard to help facilitate non-franchised esports, other than World of Warcraft, as it was recently announced that StarCraft II and Warcraft III esports would also be handled by ESL and DreamHack.
All of the stops in this season’s Masters Tours will see prize pools of at least $250K with the possibility of seeing figures increase through crowdfunding (details on specifics were not disclosed at the time of writing).
And while the Masters Tour is an invite-only affair, the Grandmasters Tour consists of 48 of the world’s best players based on lifetime earnings, competitive points earned, and other criteria.
Also in 2020, the Grandmasters will be back for two more seasons, starting in April and followed by the second season in August. According to the release, each season will consist of eight weeks of play, but with a completely new structure.
Weeks one through four will see a rotating format with all 16 players in each of the three regions (Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific) competing and earning points based on placements, which will then place them into two eight-team divisions. Weeks five through seven will consist of round-robin play within the two divisions. Playoffs will start in week eight which will qualify one player from each region to the World Championship. At the end of Grandmasters Season 3, three players will be relegated and the top three prize money winners from the first three Masters Tours of 2020 will move up to Grandmasters.
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