Hearthstone e-sports tournament has $1million prize pool
E-sports is getting a lot more attention and a lot more investment these days. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, the popular digital card game owned by Blizzard, is planning its 2016 Championship Tour and there’s a lot more money on the line now. Next year’s championship final will have a $1 million prize pool, which is four times the amount that was won in 2015.
Along with the bigger prizes, there will also be a more structured format. Players from Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Americas, will compete in a series of seasonal tournaments throughout the year, and winning will earn them a place in the final. Four players from each region will make it to the World Championship, along with four from China, though it appears that Chinese players will follow a different path to the final. Each regional championship also features a $100,000 prize pool. Things actually kick off today, with a competition at DreamHack Winter 2015 in Sweden, before wrapping up at the end of next year when the top 16 players compete for the world prize. The finals for 2015 took place earlier this month in Anaheim.
Blizzard’s parent company, Activision Blizzard, has been making strong pushes into the world of e-sports recently, and the new Hearthstone competition is an example of that. This September the company had also announced a competitive league for Call of Duty with $3 milllion in prizes while Heroes of the Storm world championships earlier this month offered $1.2 million in prize money.
The company also launched a dedicated e-sports division headed by former ESPN CEO Steve Bornstein. Bornstein felt that e-sports will rival the biggest traditional sports leagues in the future.