The Hearthstone Esports announcement is here. The end of Grandmasters, new Battlegrounds events, and an extended World Championship. Everything you need to know, as always, in EsportsGG!

Finally, we get to know the plans for Hearthstone Esports in 2022. The much-awaited announcement brings huge changes, including the sunset of the Grandmasters system, new ways to get to the World Championship, and a competitive system for Battlegrounds. There is a lot to unable, so join Esports.gg in this journey.

Hearthstone Esports in 2022

Focusing in long-long term sustainability of the Hearthstone esports scene, the changes for 2022 aim to include and support a larger part of the competitive community. The inclusion of Battlegrounds as an Esport, the end of Grandmasters, and an expanded World Championship are the most important changes. All of this will happen with a total Prize pool of $3.000.000 for 2022. Let’s go over the changes.

Hearthstone Esports Total Prizing for 2022
Hearthstone Esports Total Prizing for 2022

Hearthstone Grandmasters coming to an end

One of the biggest changes going forward in Hearthstone Esports is the sunsetting of the Grandmasters system. Blizzard implemented the Grandmasters in 2019, after the conclusion of the HCT system. According to the announcement, 2022 will be the last year for Hearthstone Grandmasters.

Despite the many format changes, the Grandmaster system seems not to align with Hearthstone Esport’s team goals for the future. With the intention of creating a wider competitive ecosystem, 2022 will be a transition year in which Grandmaster will only have 4 weeks of competition per season.

“We had a lot of fun over the years with Grandmasters. (…) In many ways is sad to see it go, but at the same time, I’m really excited about what I think our new system has in store. More opportunities for more players to be able to participate and feel rewarded meaningfully for their participation in Hearthstone Esports.”

Abar, Hearthstone Esports Product Manager to Esports.GG

The first GM season in 2022 will start in February and will include all 48 Grandmasters divided into three regions as we are used to, but competing in a four-week season. The season champion for each region will get a spot in the 2022 World Championship, and with only the top 4 players advancing to Season 2.

Grandmasters: Last Call, the end of GM in Hearthtone Esports
Grandmasters: Last Call, the end of GM in Hearthtone Esports

The last GM season, Grandmasters: Last Call, will feature 16 players with no regional divisions. Twelve of them will come from the previous GM season, joined by the four players with most Masters Tour Points from the last six Masters Tour events. This last season will also be 4-week long, awarding one World Championship spot for the winner.

World Championship, Masters Tours, and the new Seasonal Championships

As a part of the rework of the Hearthstone Esports scene, in 2022, the World Championship will now have 16 players, with the same $500,000 prize pool. What’s the big deal about this? Those eight extra spots will be for the best players across the Masters Tours through the new Seasonal Championship events.

2022 Hearthstone Esports World Championship
2022 Hearthstone World Championship

What are the Seasonal Championships? They will be 16 player events in which the winners of the three Masters Torus for each season will clash against the top 13 players with the most match wins across the three events. The top 4 from each Seasonal Championship will qualify to the World Championship, resembling the old HCT system. One final note on Seasonal Championships: The Hearthstone Esports team hopes them to be in-person events if conditions are appropriate.

Masters Tours in 2022 will have a bigger relevance in terms of competitive status. In 2022, they will be part of the Road to the Hearthstone Esports World Championship. There will still be six $250.000 events thought 2022. After Grandmasters’ season 1, the Top 4 point earners will promote to Grandmasters: Last Call.

The new Hearthstone Esports year will also feature changes in the invite system for Masters Tours. The Hearthstone Esports team decided to grant more weight on Ladder cutting down the amount of Masters Tour Qualifiers from 120 to 60. On top of that, third-party events are getting a slight boost.

Masters Tour Qualification for 2022 Season 1
Masters Tour Qualification for 2022 Season 1
 Masters Tour Qualification for 2021 Season 2
Masters Tour Qualification for 2021 Season 2

Sadly, Masters Tours will remain online-only tournaments. Despite how much the community misses LAN events, online events proved to partially compensate for some regional disparities in the Hearthstone Esports ecosystem.

Battlegrounds enter Hearthstone Esports with Lobby Legends

Hearthstone Esports is introducing a competitive circuit for Battlegrounds named Lobby Legends. These events will be completely separated from the constructed ecosystem and will have a total prize pool of $500.000.

Battlegrounds will be part of Hearthstone Esports in 2022
Battlegrounds will be part of Hearthstone Esports in 2022

The Hearthstone Esports announcement didn’t go into much specifics about this topic. However, we already know that they will feature the top Ladder players from the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europa, and China. It also seems to be an individual competition, contrary to most of what we’ve seen before in official Battleground events.

Want to know more about Hearthstone Esports?

We invite you to check our specific articles on Hearthstone Esports changes for next year. Whether you are interested in why Grandmasters is coming to an end, how will the new Masters Tour and Seasonal Championship ecosystem work, or you are eager to learn about Battlegrounds becoming a Hearthstone esports, we’ve got you covered!

Also, don’t miss our exclusive interview with Abar with his insights about the upcoming Hearthstone Esports changes. As always, stay tuned to Esports.gg for more Hearthstone news and updates. See you next time, in the tavern.

Manuel

Manuel "Rane" Delgado

Writer of the Month: August | Twitter: @RaneTDF

Manuel “Rane” Delgado is an experienced Hearthstone caster, content creator, and tournament organizer from Argentina. He started his career on Esports casting his own tournaments, now he currently covers Hearthstone Grandmasters’ Americas region for LATAM, among other content creation. Besides esports, he works in a construction company, which made him kind of a "handyman" when fixing everyday house problems.