After the recent changes to the Hearthstone’s Competitive system, in order to go pro, you want to take part in Masters Qualifiers and win one of them – this way you will be invited to the main event. While it sounds simple in theory, the system was far from perfect. Between only one spot per qualifier (so even if you consistently finished in top 4, for example, you could still not qualify if you didn’t win), length of each qualifier (Control Warrior mirrors can last forever) and number of them – it was really difficult on the players who wanted to get through.
Luckily, there are some changes coming. There should be less qualifiers, but each of them is going to award two slots. There are also plan to limit the number of players in each qualifier in order to keep them shorter. On top of that, the most consistent players will get rewarded – everyone who got Top 8 six times without actually qualifying also gets a free pass.
There are also plans to revisit the current Specialist format, but no changes will be made until after the first major offline tournament.
Read more below!
When we introduced Hearthstone Masters we made it clear we intended to make changes to the program over time. Now, with our first full Masters Qualifiers season in the books, and our first Hearthstone Masters Tour event on the horizon (June 14–16), we have enough data and feedback to begin doing so.
Tighten It Up
Beginning June 7 we will reduce the number of Masters Qualifiers overall. To balance this, each Masters Qualifier will award two invites to its respective Masters Tour event beginning on June 7. We are also considering reducing the maximum number of players per tournament in the future.
We have heard your feedback that Masters Qualifiers are taking too long, and a common suggestion to combat this is to change the format to single-elimination. In light of that, we will introduce single-elimination tournaments as well, replacing some of the scheduled Swiss events.
The first week after these changes are implemented, we will hold three Swiss Masters Qualifiers on Friday, with three Swiss and three single-elimination Masters Qualifiers on Saturday and Sunday. We will monitor this mix of tournaments and may consider moving solely to single-elimination in the future.
Additionally, to better reward consistent high-placement finishes, players who make the Top 8 of a Masters Qualifier six times within the same qualifying season will earn an invite to that Masters Tour event. We are applying this retroactively as well, meaning that the following players now are qualified to Masters Tour Las Vegas (congrats!):
Regarding the Specialist format, we are keeping record of your major concerns but can’t appropriately gauge the format’s success until we’re on the other side of the Grandmasters launch and our first major offline event. Rest assured, we will be revisiting the Specialist format after Masters Tour Las Vegas has concluded.
In collaboration with Battlefy, we will send a survey to all players who have participated in a Masters Qualifier to help us gather the feedback required to make decisions regarding the Specialist format, Swiss vs. single-elimination tournaments, and how invites are distributed. Please keep an eye out for this survey in the coming weeks. Tell us what you like and don’t like about Specialist and Masters Qualifiers and we will take it into account, along with the data we have, and adjust accordingly.
Thank you for continuing to be an active voice in Hearthstone esports. Hopefully these changes will help cut down on idle time between games and the overall time commitment required for a Masters Qualifier.