DreamHack Summer was Hearthstone‘s first major—one of the first times that the world’s best players had come together offline to compete for a cash prize. This year, for its second Hearthstone event, the Swedish festival is doing away with invites and opening up its tournament to anyone.
Last June, Dima “Rdu” Radu became one of the top players in Hearthstone with victory at DreamHack Summer. His final match against Jason “Amaz” Chan also generated the game’s first big tournament controversy, as chat messages Radu received during the match appeared to reveal cards that were in his opponent’s hand. It was one of the most memorable moments of Hearthstone‘s first year.
Having opted for a 75/25 percent split for invites and open qualifiers for their 2014 tournament, this year DreamHack is going dramatically in the other direction. The tournament will be completely open for 128 players, using a Swiss format instead of a round robin group stage.
While there will be no invites for the tournament, a DreamHack spokesperson told the Daily Dot that spaces could be “reserved” for players travelling internationally.
The 128 players will play out seven rounds over two days, with the top eight players advancing to playoffs on the final day. This year’s prize pool will also increase from $25,000 in 2014 to $40,000, making it the second largest outside China.