Hearthstone Esports has recently changed both in-game and out of the game. With these recent changes, what is the future of Hearthstone esports heading into 2018
Many factors were laid out as to what criteria should be met for HCT points so that players could show their worthiness. With the way Hearthstone is, it seems like the Hearthstone competitive scene has been lacking behind Dota 2 and even LoL to attract new talent and get people interested in the game itself through watching the tournament. However, there are things that Blizzard can do to improve the game for both players and viewers alike.
How can Hearthstone Esports be improved?
Hearthstone esports could be improved by allowing the more successful players to play in another tournament between playing in HCT. For example, if a player finished top eight at an open event, they are allowed to continue playing in that same event, but instead of it being called an HCT open, it would be called an Open Series or Open Circuit event with the points distributed accordingly. This would allow the more successful players to accumulate more points and make the HCT circuit less difficult. This also allows for viewers to watch two events in one day instead of potentially missing out on their favorite player’s games because they are playing in the HCT later that day.
How do you feel about Hearthstone Esports now? What would be your desired changes to the scene right now?
I think Hearthstone is in a great place right now. Even though it might not feel like it, I agree with the system used for HCT points distribution and would like to see them continue in that way. While there have been countless criticism of the entire esports organization itself, I don’t think we’re at a point where we need to be worrying about that and should instead focus on what is actually happening in the scene. This isn’t just for Hearthstone esports but for all esports, especially those who are less popular, such as Vainglory. With little concern about how much money is spent and energy focused on the enjoyment of the actual game, both the players and the viewers will be able to watch a better quality of gameplay.
What’s one thing you think people take for granted about Hearthstone Esports?
I think that people tend to forget what Hearthstone esports actually is; it is, first and foremost, a card game. Whether it be deck building, memorization of opponents’ decks or even just having the mental fortitude to play a best of five with 15000+ HP and thinking that you can still win. There is a lot going on behind-the-scenes that people don’t realize which is why I think people tend to focus more on what problems there are rather than the solutions. It’s easy to say that this isn’t fair or how it should be instead of wanting to help make the scene better.
Do you believe Blizzard has done a sufficient job reaching out to the professional player base?
I don’t think Blizzard has been doing a poor job at reaching out to the professional player base. There have been numerous occasions where pros have released articles about changes that they would like to see implemented, whether it be on Reddit or their own personal website. Blizzard’s game and they will do what they believe is best but I don’t think it’s a bad thing for pros to voice their opinions since there is nothing stopping them from creating their own Hearthstone esports scene, which we have seen in the past.
What do you feel Blizzard could do better with their esports division?
I think that Blizzard’s esports division does a fine job with what they have. They have made minor changes in the past to help improve their production. It is easy for people who weren’t involved in creating Hearthstone from the ground-up to be critical but I believe it is more beneficial to encourage the growth rather than complain.
What are your thoughts on tournament formats? Which ones do you prefer, and why?
I think that all the tournament formats used in the past were fine for their time but I would like to see in-game tournaments be implemented in Hearthstone esports. A lot of pros have stated that they prefer Conquest because it helped them to understand the current ladder meta and also allowed them to prepare against all of their opponents. Hearthstone esports so that players can familiarize themselves with decks and playstyles rather than trying out a deck for the first time in a tournament setting.