First Look At Hearthstone Masters 2021 – Six Events (First One in March), Online-Only, 400 Participants, More Opportunities to Qualify

Good news for Hearthstone esports fans – Blizzard has finally shared some information about 2021’s events! You can find more info below, but here’s a quick summary:

  • There will be six Masters Tour events in 2021, each named after a major city in Warcraft lore. They will still be happening in three different time zones across the globe (two events in Pacific, Central European and Korean time zones).
  • All events will be online-only due to ongoing pandemic.
  • The closest tournament is Masters Tour Ironforge, coming March 12-14.
  • There will be more opportunities to qualify – e.g. we will now have 120 qualifier tournaments each season and you now only need to get Top 8 four times as opposed to five to get in.
  • Each will have around 400 players, which is more than previously (last few Tours had ~300 players each).
  • Grandmasters will return with 2 seasons in 2021, more details will be released soon.
  • Blizzard has partnered with ESL for the Esports broadcasts for the next 2 years. We still don’t know what difference it will make, though.

Preparing for the next year of competitive Hearthstone, we’ve listened to player feedback from all levels of competitive Hearthstone and are thrilled to announce improvements to Hearthstone Masters as well as details for the first Masters Tour of 2021!

Masters Qualifiers

As the primary entry point into the Masters program for most of our players, we have been looking at ways to not only expand the Qualifiers system but to better reward high-level consistency.

While assessing how to best improve the Qualifiers, one piece of community feedback has consistently stood out: expanding opportunities to earn invites to each Masters Tour. We are addressing this in three ways for Hearthstone Esports in 2021.

  • First, we are returning to 120 individual Qualifier events each season.
  • Second, we are lowering the number of Top-8 finishes required to earn an invite—from five down to four. In reviewing previous Qualifier placements, we have found that players making Top 8 four times are skilled enough to get the necessary fifth Top 8 placement but were often held back due to being unable to get into another Qualifier.
  • Third, the top 32 players at each Masters Tour who do not already have an invite to the next event will receive an invite to the following Masters Tour. We have been averaging only around 16 invites each Masters Tour in rewarding players with a 7-2 or better finish, as often top players had already earned an invite through Grandmasters or from a previous Masters Tour. This small change will reward high-level players while also opening up more invites from Qualifiers that those competitors would have been competing for.

HS_MS_Invites_2021_PatchNotes_Inline_1920x1080.pngWith more overall events, more players earning invites from Top 8 placements, and more players being rewarded for high-level performances, we will expand the total pool of highly competitive Hearthstone players at each Masters Tour to 400. Qualifiers registration for the first Masters Tour of 2021 is now open!


Masters Tour

Due to the ongoing global pandemic, we will be holding all six Masters Tours of 2021 online. Each Masters Tour will feature a $250,000 (USD) prize pool divided among the top 200 players based on final standings. As players won’t be able to travel from around the globe to compete together, we are taking the locations for the 2021 Masters Tour back to Hearthstone’s roots, so hop on the Deeprun Tram to battle against 400 players in Masters Tours themed all-across Azeroth, beginning with Masters Tour Ironforge, March 12 -14!

Here are some of the ways you can snag an invite to Masters Tour Ironforge:

  • Win one of 120 online Masters Qualifiers between January 28, 2021 and February 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 8 of a Masters Qualifier for Masters Tour Ironforge four times.
  • Place Top 32 Legend on the in-game Ladder in January (see official Masters Qualifiers rules for details).
  • Be a Hearthstone Grandmaster.

While we still cannot travel around the world for the Masters Tour, to ensure the most fair schedules we are setting two events in time zones within each region to ensure no players are given any undue advantage. Here are the locations and dates for all Masters Tour events in 2021:

2021MT Dates_Static (Azeroth Map).jpeg

After listening to additional player feedback from all levels of Hearthstone Masters, the final Masters Tour change for 2021 is the new Masters Tour Points system. We are converting Grandmasters invites from total cash earnings to total points. Players now receive points based on number of wins at each Masters Tour, with additional points awarded to players within each Top 8.

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 with the current top 25 for each region on the new Road to Grandmasters page on the Hearthstone Esports website.

We are also excited to announce that we are partnering up with ESL on the operations and broadcast for Hearthstone Esports the next two years.

HS_MS_MastersPoints_System_1920x1080_shorter version.png


Hearthstone Grandmasters will return in 2021 for two more intense seasons! We are still working on finalizing improvements and will share details soon. Good luck, have fun, and we’ll see you in the Tavern!

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A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. Over that time, he has achieved many high Legend climbs and infinite Arena runs. He's the current admin of Hearthstone Top Decks.

Check out Stonekeep on Twitter!

Leave a Reply


  1. Zombie69
    January 22, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    I’m really happy about a completely overlooked fact in this article: qualifiers now award more packs than before. What used to give 3 now gives 4, what gave 2 gives 3, what gave 1 gives 2 and finishing in top 256 now gives 1 instead of zero. As a F2P player who uses Masters Qualifiers as the main source of card packs, this is very good news for me!

    • Zombie69
      January 22, 2021 at 9:02 pm

      To be clear, anything from 17th to 256th place now awards one more pack than it used to.

      • Zombie69
        January 22, 2021 at 11:54 pm

        Nevermind, looks like I was wrong. Looking back at former tournaments I participated in, it looks like that extra pack was added starting with the Arlington Masters Qualifier that began in October 2019. Nothing new on that front, sorry I got carried away!

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      January 22, 2021 at 10:45 pm

      I made the summary more from a competitive perspective, I honestly didn’t know that some people use qualifiers to farm packs 🙂 But it sounds like great news.

      • Zombie69
        January 22, 2021 at 11:34 pm

        They’re by far the most time efficient way to gain packs, even more so than 7-win Arena runs. This is especially the case if you can play at a decently high level and win some rounds. It’s hardest on the Europe server where the qualifiers are most competitive and fill up every time, and easiest on the Asia server where they’re so unpopular that just showing up and losing in the first round is often enough to win something. You can play on any and all servers and the packs won can be awarded in any server of your choice, not necessarily the one where you earned them.

  2. Pandamonium
    January 22, 2021 at 3:16 pm

    Nice. Just waiting for the release of the Ironforge masters info (no later than 4 weeks before) to see the actual payouts.

    • Pandamonium
      January 22, 2021 at 4:29 pm

      Oof the guy on discord said that top 200 only in masters tour will payout. At least it’s online, but due to the real investment of time (not to mention the agony of competition) to qualify I think all 350-400 spots should payout.

      • Stonekeep - Site Admin
        January 22, 2021 at 7:13 pm

        I SUSPECT that just like last year, we’ll have a bundle to “crowdfund” a part of the Masters Tour prizes, which might cover lower placements. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it what they did last year? Just took the crowdfunded prize money and distributed it evenly among all participants, meaning that everyone got something just for qualifying.

        • Pandamonium
          January 22, 2021 at 7:23 pm

          I hope so but somehow I missed all that. Lowest payouts were $850 last year. I remember waiting for that esports crowdfund promo info last year and it seemed like they flaked out and nothing was ever said, but I guess it’s possible somehow I missed it and that’s how the $850 happened. Once they release the tourney details in 3 weeks or less I’d imagine that the numbers are final. Others were asking about the crowdfunding on discord and no-one knew.

          • Stonekeep - Site Admin
            January 22, 2021 at 10:49 pm

            I mean, the bundle had $1.5mil cap for crowdfunding portion as far as I remember – $250k per event. So if you divided $250k between slightly over 300 participants, the $820 number would check out.

            Again, I don’t know if they will be doing it again this year, but the bundle seemed really popular, they reached the $1.5mil cap after just a couple of days and then the bundle was still sold for like 2 weeks. Of course I don’t have specific numbers, but it would be stupid to pass on that kind of free money.

            Update: I found it –

            The bundle was released on January 28 last year and it reached cap in just 2 days, lol. And to be fair, it was a pretty good deal when it comes to HS bundles.