HS Esports: Death of a Dream

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Blizzard's plan: Hey, we'll do the same size major tourney this year, cut it down to one per continent, and hand-invite every streamer anyone here at the office has heard of before. Then we'll take away the money for 2/3 of the entire thing! That will ensure that it's established pros (who can afford to travel if they lose) versus streamers. Guess what! That means the streamers will of course be filtered out by the people who can actually play competitively and not just for an audience for entertainment, as is par for the course. Which means with a very large amount of qualifying newcomers not even attending due to the cost, Blizzard gives a free pass to past players who were lucky enough to have earnings previously and practically ensuring that the top finishers in the upcoming Masters tournament will be more consistent established players from the past! Great right? A rigged system.

The more I think about this the more I am disgusted to realize that this is probably completely by design. The idea of being able to rise up through personal merit is a sham.
I mean, we kind of knew this was the direction they were going to go for awhile. They believe having familiar faces on the streams is likely to boost viewership, and to an extent they are correct, it probably certainly plays a factor. It seems they may have overdone it just a bit though.

I will withhold judgement on that particular aspect until they announce the actual details of the Grandmaster program, but the "full details" of these lower two rungs are already announced, and I just can't fathom the reasoning for having an invite-only tournament with no prize for the bottom 2/3rds. They may get a boost in viewership for their Grandmaster system, but they are going to drop some revenue from players like me who aspire to compete and are on the tipping point of deciding whether or not to purchase cards. I have no incentive to boost my card collection when my competitive efforts could not possibly produce any return on investment.

It seems like they were trying to model the Master Tour tournament after the MTG pro tour tournaments (rebranded Mythic Championship this year), but even the MTG tournament that just happened in Ohio this past weekend had 500+ invites, and gave every single person a minimum of $500. I've just never heard of a tournament like this before that has a qualifier, requires you to travel and bring your own device, and has no prizing for over half the invitees. It sounds much more like the structure of an open invitation tournament.
02/26/2019 04:47 PMPosted by Faldez
It sounds much more like the structure of an open invitation tournament.

Yes it does! It's like they let people who don't regularly structure this kind of thing goof it up! Or they're just favoring the slim few already at the top at the expense of everyone who is aspiring.

I'm in Ohio and I didn't hear about that. At least they recognize the need to compensate all for a national event (Hearthstone events will technically be global. But yeah $0 is fine). I guess I'll just have to wait until they put a Masters tournament in Ohio X'D
Blizzard is smart, no one wants to watch poker tournaments where you have no name people who someone go on but don't say anything on vs pros who talk and have fun.

This way, they learned from poker's mistake especially since like poker luck plays a very high role in if you are going to win or luck.
02/26/2019 05:43 PMPosted by TheDarkArmy
Blizzard is smart, no one wants to watch poker tournaments where you have no name people who someone go on but don't say anything on vs pros who talk and have fun.

This way, they learned from poker's mistake especially since like poker luck plays a very high role in if you are going to win or luck.


95%+ of the HS playerbase is very much UNLIKE YOU SIR, you got some messed up way of thinking... I pity you tbh.

I'm not watching the tourney's this year, why bother. If Blizzard keeps this up, there won't be any streamed tournaments in a few years if not sooner.
Yup. Blizzard seems to always take the deal with the devil. They should realize that the only reason tournaments were popular to watch in the first place was the idea that anyone could work their way up. Now, in classic bait and switch fashion, they pull the rug out and expect the average viewer to keep watching and not notice the fact that they sabotaged the playing field and the chances of everyone who has not won already.
Blizzard needs to make more cuts to E-sports funding in order to make up for the next big bonus lined up for the parasite (CEO) at the top.
Thanks for the quality post, Faldez. Very informative! Until I read this, I was under the impression the recent changes to the program were going to make it easier for new blood to participate in these events, and it appears it is quite the opposite! How unfortunate. There goes my interest in watching anymore Blizz sponsored events.
02/26/2019 06:00 PMPosted by GeminiEclips
Blizzard needs to make more cuts to E-sports funding in order to make up for the next big bonus lined up for the parasite (CEO) at the top.


It would seem that way, except so far that's not what actually happened. In November (https://playhearthstone.com/en-us/blog/22649422/hearthstone-esports-next-big-turn) they announced that in total the 2018 prizing was $2.8 million. They also announced the total 2019 prizing would be $4 million. They also said the three Master Tours would have a $250,000 prize pool, so that part hasn't changed. This year is a $1.2 million increase of total prizing, but for some reason simultaneously a decrease to the bottom tiers.

02/26/2019 06:13 PMPosted by freckles
Thanks for the quality post, Faldez. Very informative!


Sure!
It seems the qualifiers give away quite a lot of packs. It wouldn’t surprise me if most of the prize “increase” is based on the value of those packs given away.
02/27/2019 10:51 AMPosted by VictoriousDN
It seems the qualifiers give away quite a lot of packs. It wouldn’t surprise me if most of the prize “increase” is based on the value of those packs given away.


That would be extremely sad if that were the case, considering it costs them 0$ to give out a pack. If that were the case, shouldn't they count all the other free pack promotions they do as part of their prizing as well? However, I added up all the retail values of their pack awards and it came out to $117,067.20 for the season for the qualifiers, and $3016.32 for the season for the ladder tournaments. Total that is $120,083.52, which is still $179,916.48 less than they gave out in prizing per season last year.

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