The Hearthstone Global Games are back.
Last year’s debut edition was a big success, scratching the itch Hearthstone fans had for team-based competition after the collapse of other endeavors like the Archon Team League Championships.
Teams compete for their country in HGG, rather than for an esports organization. National pride and prize money is on the line, with fans voting for which players they want to represent their nation.
Just like pretty much every Blizzard-sanctioned Hearthstone event, the tournament will stream on the official Hearthstone Twitch channel. Games will be on the channel every week with casters Simon “Sottle” Welch, Alex “Raven” Baugley, Neil “Lorinda” Bond, Dan Falcone, Dan Gaskin, and Darroch Brown.
Just like the 2017 edition, 48 teams will compete in the tournament representing their countries. Each team has four players—the top HC points earner, and three from the next nine HC point earners voted for players from that country.
Teams with their eyes on the title include defending champions the Czech Republic, the United States, China, Korea, and the Netherlands.
Last year, the teams competed in two group stages before a single elimination bracket. That’s all gone this year.
Instead, all the countries are in one Swiss bracket. They will play six rounds, matched against teams with the same record after a first set of random pairings. The top sixteen will then advance to a double elimination group bracket.
From there the top eight will travel to BlizzCon in November for a final single elimination battle until one team is left standing.
The tournament begins on July 17 for three weeks, before a two-week break to accommodate the release of The Boomsday Project, Hearthstone‘s newest expansion. It will then continue for another three weeks until the Swiss stage finishes on Sept. 7.
After a short break, the group stage starts on Sept. 18 and runs until Sept. 27. The finals take place at Blizzcon on Nov. 2 & 3.
You can find the full schedule, standings, and results here.