The Hearthstone esports scene has grown drastically since its inception, and it is now one of the most popular eSport titles. However, with this growth come many issues that threaten to crumble its foundation. As an aspiring journalist with a passion for eSports, I am here to discuss just that: some of the issues currently plaguing Hearthstone.
While the issues are plentiful, I have chosen three things that stand out to me in particular.
Below are few things regarding Hearthstone that needs to be improved:-
The Hearthstone Championship Tour (HCT) –
As its already been announced that starting with the next HCT cycle, players must make at least 50 Blizzard-approved tournament appearances to qualify for upcoming seasons. Even it is a great step in the right direction as it addresses a problem plaguing Hearthstone esports for quite some time now: the lack of games played by top players.
However, this is not a solution to the problem at hand. Even I myself has heard many people ask, “how much does it matter if a top player plays only 20-30 games in a given season as opposed to 50 games as Blizzard now requires?
As previously stated, Hearthstone has been growing more and more with each passing day. The fact that certain players choose not to play in tournaments at all is beginning to hurt the game’s image, especially considering how difficult it can be for people new to Hearthstone or eSports as a whole to understand why top players do not make tournament appearances.
Additionally, many fans of competitive Hearthstone are growing tired of seeing the same players in HCT events over and over again. While I understand the desire to see the big names do well, players should rise through the ranks by performing well consistently rather than winning tournaments via favorable matchups or bracket luck.
The Hearthstone Majors-
The Hearthstone Majors are, at their core, a fantastic concept. They allow Hearthstone’s largest organizations to invest more time and money into the game, which in turn generates more high-stakes tournaments for viewers to enjoy. This makes the scene seem more professional as a whole, which is something I believe many people want. Yet there are many things to be improved.
First and foremost, Hearthstone esports Majors need proper prize pools. Being one of the main motivating factors for many pro players in playing in tournaments that do not offer HCT points. More money at stake, the more likely top players are to compete. If Blizzard wants to make Hearthstone’s biggest organizations invest even further into the game, they need to give them a reason to increase the value of said organizations’ investments.
Furthermore, Hearthstone Majors must adhere more strictly to the rules and regulations that govern other HCT events. This may seem like an arbitrary point of contention, but it is important nonetheless as it will make tournaments feel more official and legitimate as a whole. This is especially important because we now have a more structured HCT system, and players must make 50 approved tournaments to qualify for HCT events.
Introduce an official Hearthstone eSports team ranking
One of the biggest issues plaguing Hearthstone eSport as an esport is the proper and accurate representation of organizations’ relative strengths. A proper eSports ranking system is a must-have for any competitive scene, and Hearthstone is no exception. However, unlike some other games with established rankings systems, it has been months since we have had an official update from Blizzard on the standings of its major teams.
Therefore, it is beneficial to everybody involved if there exists a way to gauge just how strong an organization’s Hearthstone division is.
This does not exist, and I believe that such a system would be immensely beneficial. For one, it would give fans something to look forward to when organizations announce new signings instead of having to wait around and speculate as to whether or not they will be able to compete with the already-established teams. Secondly, it would also give players a goal to increase their value as Hearthstone pros. By officially placing their skill at rank #3 (or whatever number is deemed appropriate), organizations can offer them more money and incentives if they choose to sign with them. Finally, it would be a boon for tournament organizers as they could more easily decide on headlining matches and put together entertaining events as a whole.