The 2022 Hearthstone World Championship will feature 16 players and what’s more, Grandmasters won’t be the only way in. Check the deatils in this article.

Hearthstone has announced the plans for 2022, and here we will focus on the new extended World Championship, the Masters Tours system, and the returning Seasonal Championships. With the idea of creating more rewarding opportunities for players, the Hearthstone Esports team, led by Abar, is now making big changes to the competitive ecosystem. What is the new extended Hearthstone Championship, and how does it interact with Masters Tours, Seasonal Championships, and the last seasons of Grandmasters?

New Extended Hearthstone World Championship

With the idea of democratization and creating more opportunities for players, the 2022 Hearthstone World Championship will have twice many players compared to the 2021 edition. Despite the increased amount of players, the 2022 Hearthstone World Championship will still have $500.000 in prizes confirmed.

What’s more exciting, is that Hearthstone Grandmasters will no longer be the only way into the World Championship. Those extra 8 spots will go for players from the Masters Tour system through Seasonal Championship events. This change aims to answer the community’s concerns about the closed system. Now that Grandmasters is fading out, that barrier is coming down. Esports.gg talked with Abar about the upcoming changes, and the Hearthstone Esports Lead mentioned the following:

“I think it is a direct reward for players who are just now getting interested in Hearthstone Esports or returning to Hearthstone Esports. That direct path to the World Championship throughout the Seasonal Championship events is a big carrot to dangle for players. Historically they felt like they haven’t had that direct path they had been looking for. So we are excited to offer that to players.”

Abar to Esports.gg about the Hearthstone Esports changes for 2022

What are the Hearthstone Seasonal Championships, and how do they interact with Masters Tours and Worlds?

Going from big to small, we need to talk about the new Seasonal Championships, the new path to Hearthstone’s World Championship. Until now, the only way to get into Worlds was winning a Grandmasters Season. For 2022, the Hearthstone Esport system creates an additional way to access the most precious competition. The best performing players in Masters Tour events will now compete for eight tickets to the Hearthstone World Championship.

There will be two Seasonal Championships in 2022. The first three Masters Tour events will qualify players to the Masters Summer Championship, and the last three MT events will feed players into the Masters Fall Championship. Each event will consist of 16 players, the winner of each MT joined by the Top 13 players with the most match wins across the events.

Each Seasonal Championship event will have $50.000 in prizes. Moreover, the events will qualify the Top 4 players into the Hearthstone World Championship. The eight remaining spots will be awarded to China Gold Series Representatives (4 Spots) and Grandmasters, including Last Call (4 spots). What’s more exciting is that the Seasonal Championship events will likely be in-person events if the restrictions allow it.

2022 Hearthstone World Championship invite split
2022 Hearthstone World Championship invite split

Masters Tours in 2022

The Masters Tour system will see little change in 2022. The events will still have $250.000 in prizes each and will feature 400 players from around the globe. The changes regarding the Masters Tour system rely on the Qualification system.

Abar expressed his desire to modify the entry-level competition for Hearthstone Esports. That was one of the first changes he implemented in July 2021. For 2022, the Hearthstone Esports team is doubling down on those changes. Ladder will be the prime qualification method, with Qualifier cups being cut to half. Bellow, you can find the Invite breakdown and the comparison with the 2021 system.

Masters Tours Invites for 2022
Masters Tours Invites for 2022
Masters Tour invites for 2021
Masters Tour invites for 2021

“Ladder is the most accessible path to participate in Hearthstone Esports.”

Abar to Esports.gg about the Hearthstone Esport system

A final note on Masters Tours is that they will still be online events. The community misses the huge celebration LAN Tournaments were. However, with the uncertainty that rules the world right now, the Hearthstone Esports team considers it’s not safe yet to plan high concurrence events.

What else does Hearthstone Esports have for us for 2022?

Along with the extended Hearthstone World Championship, the Seasonal Championships, and MT Qualification system changes, Blizzard is introducing more into the 2022 mix. Hearthstone is sunsetting Grandmasters in 2022 and Battlegrounds is becoming an Esports with Battleground Lobby Legends. If you want to check the details on those changes, make sure to check the articles we wrote about.

Moreover, if you want to check Abar’s insights about the changes including the extended Hearthstone World Championship, make sure you go over our exclusive interview with him. That’s all for now. 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.