The Monetary Value of Hearthstone
Hearthstone has evolved quite a lot since its release and there are only a few people who thought that it would actually expand a lot more than even the developers expected it to. Along with this, of course, comes a lot of tournaments that award real money as a prize. But how much is this money after all?
According to www.esportsearnings.com, Hearthstone tournaments have awarded $4,308,679.03 in a range of 454 tournaments up to May 16, 2016. This is a vast amount of money and actually puts Hearthstone in the top 10 games in terms of prize money awarded. This money has been shared among 847 players.
The largest prize pools in a single tournament are the BlizzCon ones, in 2014 and 2015, which awarded $250,000 each, followed by the Archon Team League Championship with $240,000 and World Cyber Arena events, which awarded $195,480.00 in 2014 and $215,946.08 in 2015.
Concerning players, the 2014 World Champion, James “Firebat” Kostesich, is on the top of the list of highest earning players with $218,428.10 out of 31 tournaments. Firebat became widely known from his win on the World Championships in 2014, which earned him $100,000 and a prestigious title. The second highest awarding tournament he competed in was the World Cyber Arena 2015, where he was a runner-up, walking away with $62,680. Among other achievements, he was also the first player to defend back-to-back championships at Gfinity Masters Spring I and II.
Following the American is Wang “TiddlerCelestial” Xieyu with $135,623.71 in career earnings. The runner-up of the World Championships in 2014, TiddlerCelestial also became known for winning DreamHack Summer 2015, which was his first win in a tournament, and even before the Worlds 2014, from being the runner-up in World Cyber Arena 2014, earning $48,750
Aleksandr “Kolento” Malsh stands in the third place with $120,489.56 and is considered to be one of the best players in the world. Kolento has won plenty of tournaments, including DreamHack Hearthstone Championship in 2014, CN vs EU Season 2, which was the tournament that earned him the most money with $22,673 and Kinguin Pro League 2015 Season 1.
Finally, in the fourth place we have the 2015 World Champion Sebastian “Ostkaka” Engwall with $120,008.84, out of which the $100,000 were from the Worlds, which is also the only win Ostkaka has in a tournament up to date. Other notable tries were in Hearthstone Champions League Season 2 and SeatStory Cup III where he was the runner-up earning $3,500 and $4,000 respectively.
Last but not least, the team rankings are as follows. Team Archon is on top of the leaderboards with $307,679.68, followed by Cloud9 with $228,493.56, Nihilum with $205,458.79, and Natus Vincere with $145,131.80.
Although most of the high-paying tournaments are invitational (thankfully that changed with the 2016 Hearthstone Championship Tour), there are also a lot of tournaments taking place every single day but also weekly ones, which award smaller amounts of money, and most of them HCT points alongside as well, and are open to everyone. You can find those tournaments at various sites, most notably on StriveWire, but also on Gfinity, Battlefy, ZOTAC etc.
Apart from those prizes, you should not forget, that all of the professional Hearthstone players also get a monthly salary, which can vary from one team to another, but in all high-class teams, this amount is not to be underestimated, as it can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands, raising the total net worth of money that is being dealed in the franchise.
The game has over 50 million registered players, and that number is constantly raising. Blizzard might have surpassed themselves with the amount of money they are making from microtransactions, as there is a whole bunch of people that have spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the game.
Staring at those respectable amounts of money, one cannot deny that Hearthstone has made an impact in the esports scene, and it will continue to deliver high-paying tournaments as time passes, due to the fact that it only grows as a game, day by day.