In preparation of the next year of competitive Hearthstone, Blizzard Entertainment has made improvements to Hearthstone Masters and released details for the first Masters Tour of 2021.
The developer shared its changes for the upcoming competitive year in a blog post yesterday.
To expand the program for more players, in 2021 players will be able to qualify for the Masters program through three ways:
- Each season will have a 120 individual qualifier event;
- The top-eight finish requirement has been lowered from five to four due to players being skilled enough with four finishes;
- The top-32 players at each Masters Tour who don’t have an invite to the next event will receive an invite. Around 16 invites were given during each Masters Tour previously to those who had a 7-2 or better finish.
With more overall events, additional invites from top eight placements, and more players being rewarded for high-level performances, the Masters Tour pool will be expanded to 400 players. Players can now register for it here.
Due to the ongoing global pandemic, all six Master Tours of 2021 will be held in an online format. Each Tour will have a $250,000 prize pool, divided among the top 200 players based on final standings. With players unable to travel around the globe, Blizzard will hold themed-events across Azeroth. The first stop will be Ironforge during the weekend from March 12 to March 14.
To qualify, players can go through one or multiple ways:
- Win one of 120 online Masters Qualifiers between Jan. 28, 2021 and Feb. 28, 2021 on Battlefy.;
- Finished with at least a 7-2 record at Masters Tour Online: Montreal or Masters Tour Online: Madrid;
- Place within the top eight of a Masters Qualifier for Masters Tour Ironforge four times;
- Place top 32 Legend on the in-game Ladder in January;
- Be a Hearthstone Grandmaster.
To ensure the most fair schedules, Blizzard is setting two events in time zones within each region to ensure no players are given any undue advantage.
Additionally, there will be a new Masters Tour Points system. The Grandmaster invites from total cash earnings will be converted to total points. Players will earn points for wins at each Masters Tour, with additional points awarded to players within each top eight.
Invites to Grandmasters 2021 Season 2 will be based on the top points-earners from each region for Masters Tour Asia-Pacific, Montreal, Madrid, Ironforge, Ogrimmar, and Dalaran. You can follow along for each region on the new Road to Grandmasters page on the Hearthstone Esports website.