Blizzard raises the World Championship prize pool to $1 Million, adds a circuit of majors
A lot of what was announced today is not exactly unexpected. Ten days ago, a report on GosuGamers spoke of the big changes likely coming to HWC 2016, with Blizzard said to be taking a page off of Valve’s book and breaking up their championship campaign into multiple seasons. Where in Dota 2 this was designed to aid tournament oversaturation and mad roster shuffles, in Hearthstone it could be the fix to scattered storyline and lack of coherence within the year-long run.
Of course, there’s more to that than just the official confirmation. The prize money for the World Championship has been quadrupled to $1,000,000, with an extra $100,000 for each of the nine Season Championships in Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Points decay has been introduced to ensure only the consistently active players make it to worlds. The ratio of points from ranked play and Hearthstone major championships has also been rebalanced to be more equal.
The “Yeart-at-a-Glance” graph above gives a more clear view of how HWC 2016 will be carried out. The season will start as early as this year, where DreamHack Winter 2015 will give out the first HWC points. The Winter Championship will be held in March 2016, followed by the Spring one in June and the Summer one in August (the last season will also be the shortest, lasting only two months). Each season is also said to possibly have different rules, adding to overall tournament diversity.
Want to hear our thoughts on the revised HWC 2016? Listen to our The Innervated podcast where we touched on the subject at the time of our initial reporting.