With Hearthstone‘s breakout first year only just in the books, Blizzard has already revealed details on this year’s Hearthstone World Championships . In 2014, the tournament was the culmination of Hearthstone‘s improbable growth. The details on 2015’s event suggest there’s no signs the game is slowing, and include some important steps forward for players in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Championships will feature 16 players from around the world who qualify through a mixture of ladder performance and tournament success.
Last year’s event, held at Blizzcon in Anaheim, CALIF, saw America’s James “Firebat” Kostesich take home the $100,000 prize defeating Wang “TiddlerCelestial” Xieyu of China in the final. Though Blizzard hasn’t announced whether the event will be a part of this year’s Blizzcon, it did confirm the event would once again take place in the fall.
Last year Blizzard applied the same qualification format to Europe and the Americas, but qualification from China, Korea and Taiwan was drastically different. This year, the process will be standardized for all four regions. Qualification for the World Championships is open to virtually all Hearthstone players, and consists of a number of stages.
Much like last year, points will be awarded for ladder performance and in a number of Blizzard-sanctioned tournaments. Forty players will advance from this stage to regional qualifiers, to decide the eight players who will travel to each of the four Hearthstone Regional Championships. Four players from each those will qualify for the Hearthstone World Championships.
The Americas region will not feature players from Australia, New Zealand and Japan this year, as those players will compete in the Asia-Pacific region. That region will also include Taiwan and Korea, which were treated as separate regions in 2014.
Blizzard gave no indication whether residents of countries like Romania and Portugal would be eligible for this year’s championships. A number of European countries were excluded in 2014.