How to get to Blizzard's Championship
So you are a bit confused by all the tournaments going on and how to make sense of all the rules and points around Blizzard's Hearthstone Championship Tour. Don't worry, everybody is at least a little bit. Unless you've been in the scene for a long time and have actually made it to the Championships, then you probably don't have all the information as Blizzard hides all the info away in a PDF linked on a page 3 deep on their website! Here's some actual helpful information laid out in a way us humans think.
Lets start at the beginning - Ranked Play
You can earn a few points by just by playing the game. In normal ranked play hitting Legend gets you 1 point for each month you hit Legend. As you rank higher you get more points.
- Legend 1: 12 Points
- Legend 2 - 10: 10 Points
- Legend 11 - 25: 8 Points
- Legend 26 - 50: 6 Points
- Legend 51 - 100: 4 Points
- Legend 101 - 200: 2 Points
- Legend: 1 Point
Since these are monthly points you rack up, hitting Legend 50 and above can earn you more points than you can get in Hearthstone Cup Tournaments.
Hearthstone Cup Tournaments
This you probably know about since you're on this page. These are the tournaments you see on Battlefy, Strivewire and a multitude of other tournament websites. When you see HCT Points as a prize, they're probably talking about Cups. Just like Ranked Play, you can only get points from your highest point win in a month. Even if you take 1st place in 10 tournaments you only get points for 1. These tournaments are usually open to the public, free to join and have anywhere from 64 to 256 players in them and 64 is the minimum require for the tournament to qualify for HCT Points. They also have to be Best of 5 matches. These tournaments come in a variety of formats such as Conquest, Last Hero Standing and many others. You can read about that in the article Tournament Formats by CVH. Blizzard is currently running their championships as a conquest format with a ban.
- 1st Place: 5 Points
- 2nd Place: 3 Points
- 3rd and 4th Place: 2 Points
- 5th through 8th Place: 1 Point
Hearthstone Major Tournaments
These are large events or conventions such as PAX that host a Hearthstone tournament. If it is a Blizzard approved tournament then you can expect HCT points to come along with it. It would be expected that you are attending the event in person and have admission. Just like the cups they could be in a variety of formats.
- 1st Place: 15 Points
- 2nd Place: 12 Points
- 3rd and 4th Place: 8 Points
- 5th through 8th Place: 4 Points
- 9th through 16th Place: 2 Points
Tavern Hero Tournaments at Fireside Gathering locations
These are Fireside Gathering in person events that Blizzard has designated and the winners get something better than points. The top 8 of the Tavern Hero Tournaments are able to enter their next Regional Season Playoff Tournament, regardless of current points! The top 8 are are seeded in along with the top 64 players based on rank (number of points) in the region to make up the Hearthstone Season Championship Playoff Tournament.
Hearthstone Season Championship Playoff Tournaments (Winter, Spring, Summer)
This is where the getting gets good. The Season Championship Playoff give points and cash prizes listed as $25,000 at the time of this posting! These are run by Blizzard themselves and are organized by each of the 4 regions. The top 4 from each region will be invited to the Season Championship Tournament which is what you get all the emails about choosing a player to represent you at the championships and who you think is going to win.
Hearthstone Season Championship Tournaments (Winter, Spring, Summer)
This is where the big money comes from and includes travel and lodging to the event. With only 16 players, in a Conquest with 1 ban best of 7 tournament format and a lot of money on the line, this is what you're looking to make it to. This tournament gives you entrance to the World Championship if you're in the top 4, prize money no matter what you place with $7,500 for 16th place and $60,000 for 1st place and HCT Points to apply to the next seasons ranking.
What to do now?
If you're just getting started, focus on making a lot of open tournaments to get experience in how they flow, what kind of decks people bring to them and what you need to beat those decks. Tournament play is a lot different than Ranked Play and if you want to get to a seasonal playoff then you should be able to place well in both play styles. After that, follow along with the season rankings and get as many points as you can each month. This is a condensed version of the rules that you can find at PlayHearthstone.com under the eSports section. You can also find your rank by going to the Standings section also under eSports.