Hearthstone is a free to play online game that was developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. It was released in 2014 on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. Hearthstone is a collectible card game that also allows players to compete against one another on different devices.
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The fact that Hearthstone is played in a one-on-one format, it is a highly competitive game and so its competitive scene is quite intense; to the extent that tournaments and competitions are a frequent occurrence.
Hearthstone has been professionally played as an eSport since 2014, and was initiated in the lineup not long after its release, because of how popular the game became. Competitions are played online via Windows, MacOS, iOS, or Android.
The biggest competitive tournament is Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone World Championship, which takes place on an annual basis. Other sizeable tournaments include the Hearthstone Masters Tournament and the Hearthstone Grandmasters Tournaments (both of which occur annually, with competitions taking place quite frequently).
Hearthstone eSports does not feature any specific competitive seasons, as tournaments generally take place all year round. This is because of the fact that the game is easily accessible, since it can be played online from your phone or laptop (or any other device with the appropriate software). Tournaments take place all year round, especially the Hearthstone Masters Qualifiers. Interestingly enough, there are lulls in the frequency of tournaments, with some months having less or no tournaments compared to others; but these lulls are not prescheduled. Hence, these tournaments do not follow a specific seasonal pattern.
Hearthstone eSports has not announced any seasonal format because of the popularity of the game and how easy it is to participate in competitions. It is so easy that many gamers report playing the game on their way to school or work. This has allowed the game to rise to a popular status and embrace a permanent tournament format, as opposed to a seasonal one.
Hearthstone eSports tournaments are a platform for gamers to compete professionally for big prize pools. Tournaments are almost always available for registration, and you can even compete in the Masters Qualifiers, which are currently open for registration. Tournaments occur on a frequent basis, and this is because of the fact that Hearthstone competitions take place online and on convenient devices that you can carry anywhere (like your phone, laptop, or tablet).
The Hearthstone tournaments are very popular as they are convenient to compete in, and only require practice if anyone wants to compete. Professional Hearthstone players generally move on to competing in Grand Master tours, while players with a medium to advanced skill level compete in Master tours (both of which take place on an annual basis).
The most popular tournament, however, is the Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone World Championship, which takes place on an annual basis and has a prize pool of $1,000,000. Tournaments take place regionally and worldwide. All tournaments take place online.
Hearthstone is not a difficult game to understand. The game is basically a one-on-one digitally collectible card game, that involves players taking turns and drawing cards in order to defeat their opponent (by making their health go to 0). Each card deck has 30 cards, and players can use their crystals and hero’s powers to achieve the main objective of the game. There are nine classes of heroes to choose from, including Paladin, Warrior, Shaman, Rogue, Hunter, Druid, Warlock, Mage, and Priest. Heroes from each class have their own deck of cards and powers.
This game is unique in the fact that it makes the player feel as if they are playing a real card game, as it controls any interactions made by the opponent during a player’s turn. It also sets a time for each player’s turn for further elimination of any such problems. This is what has made Hearthstone so well received after its initial release.
A pro player can be differentiated from an average player by how well they are able to strategize and utilize their powers, cards, and crystals in order to defeat their opponents during a match. Average players will probably use their limited crystals haphazardly.
The main in-game currency is gold, and it can be used to purchase new card decks and unlock new modes within the game. It can also be used to enter the Arena or Heroic Tavern Brawl. Gold can be obtained within the game by winning games, finishing quests, and getting rewards from Ranked Play, Arena, and Heroic Tavern Brawl. When the game was initially launched, the gold cap was at 20,000, but it has now increased to 999,999.
Aside from this, the game also uses a freemium model, which means it is free to play, but requires payment using real money for some features (in this case, for the purchase of new cards).
Blizzard Entertainment has created a Meta game for Hearthstone by releasing new card packs every four months. This increases the variety within the game, and helps keep things entertaining for returning players.
Other than this strategic Meta from the developer’s side, the most effective tactics available for players to win this game would be to gain an understanding of the cards in their deck. This understanding can help them think quickly when competing against another player. Another important tactic is to use everything in one’s arsenal strategically and sparingly; one should not simply throw their crystals at the opponent in the first go, as this would be a waste of the limited amount of crystals provided.
The tactics mentioned above can be at risk if there are cards in your deck which you have never used before, or if you are using a deck that is completely new. This is because your strategy may not turn out the way you have planned. However, if you improvise, you will be able to overcome such obstacles.
Hearthstone is not a team game as it calls for solo playing only; however, many eSports tournaments have encouraged players to form teams and play according to such formats as the Gentlemen Cup. Typical teams consist of up to 6 players, and not all players play at the same time. Different players are encouraged to play in different matches, and teams generally study their opponents before assigning any one player to a match. However, when playing multiplayer game modes, a team would participate as a whole, or in parts.
In Hearthstone, players can choose from different characters, called heroes. There are nine classes of heroes, and each class entails different special powers and card decks. The hero classes include Warrior, Shaman, Mage, Rogue, Hunter, Paladin, Warlock, Priest, and Druid. Players can choose different heroes according to their own preference, but it is best to practice with heroes from each class before playing professionally. Also, due to the fact that the main objective of the game is to defeat an opponent, there is no specific hero or villain in the story, nor do players need to play defensively (they simply play in the offensive).
Hearthstone has many different game modes that can be played, including Standard and Wild (both of which are further divided into Casual and Ranked play), and specialised multiplayer game modes, including Arena, Tavern Brawls, and Battlegrounds. While Standard and Wild game modes are easy to understand, Arena involves players curating their own deck of cards by selecting them from several rounds of random choices. Tavern Brawls involve weekly challenges with unusual deck-building guidelines (that change every time). Battlegrounds was introduced very recently and is basically an auto-battler with up to 8 random players.
The top game modes for team competitive play are Arena and Tavern Brawls. The top game modes for single competitive mode are casual Standard and casual Wild modes. These modes generally remain permanent, due to being quite popular.
A new game mode that is about to be introduced is solo adventure. This is actually a game mode that will be reintroduced, and it will bring a close to Hearthstone’s Year of the Dragon.