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Hearthstone’s upcoming Masters Tour changes mean bedroom players can hit the big time

Ladder up.

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About James Law

James can usually be found wearing dungarees.

Hearthstone’s Masters Tour Qualifiers are coming into some big changes after the organisers surveyed players on their grievances with the current system. The result is a raft of changes that’ll hopefully improve the health of the competitive scene.

We’ve got an overview of the changes below, but there’s a full blog post on Hearthstone’s site if you want it straight from the horse’s mouth. The most striking of the changes is that players will be invited directly from the competitive ladder, meaning anyone can showcase their talent by playing particularly skilfully.

Here are the big points:

  • Masters Tour Qualifiers will now use the Conquest best of 3 format. More information on the Conquest format can be found here.
  • Now, 512 players will be able to compete in Masters Qualifiers.
  • Specialist format appears to be scrapped for the foreseeable future in order to ensure a wider variety of decks and matchups are seen. More information on this format can be found here.
  • The top 16 not-yet-invited players on the competitive ladder from each region will be invited each month.
  • Swiss Brackets will no longer be used in qualifiers, as the requirement for players to be defeated multiple times makes the tournament last far longer. Single elimination will be used from now on to replace it.
  • Masters Tour events will be changed from 12 Swiss rounds to 9, and the top 8 will be single-elimination (sudden death), in order to smooth out the tournament process.

Below is the full breakdown of where qualifiers come from.

Generally, players seem glad to see the back of the Specialist format, and it’s exciting that general competitive play on ladder is rewarded. Starting October 1st, your ladder performance could lead to battling with the best of them!

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