Know Esports first before knowing Hearthstone Esports?
In the last few years, esports has been at a steady incline. More and more people are investing in these teams, with bigger sponsors getting involved. In June of this year, the industry was worth over $612 million worldwide, according to SuperData Research. You can read their full report here. Of that total revenue, $257 million was made in the United States, which accounts for just over 42% of that total number. The same report also includes some projected numbers for 2016, showing an estimated increase to $659 million next year, with North America accounting for almost 48% of the market share at $382 million.
As the worldwide industry is expected to be worth more than double what it is now by 2019. In these next two years, the industry will have made a total of $1.48 billion from sponsorships, advertising, ticket sales, and other items. SuperData research also accounts for live streaming as a major factor in revenue which is just further evidence that advertisers are pouring money into teams and tournaments for their own gain.
How is Hearthstone Esports Growing?
As the industry grows, so does Hearthstone Esports presence. The game is growing with it and is getting more funding than ever before. Sites like HearthHead, GosuGamers, AzubuTV all report multiple millions of views each month from tournaments being hosted by third-party organizations as well as Blizzard. Players have the chance to win numerous prizes each and every month, and the scene only looks to grow in the next few years.
Few Details Related to Hearthstone Esports Tournaments:-
Blizzard has been hosting their own Hearthstone Esports Championship Tour since late last year. The tour is made up of a series of tournaments that culminate in one final tournament at Blizzcon. There have been three official tournaments, with two more on the way before the end of the year. In addition to this tour, Blizzard also hosts Grand Prix events which can be seen on the official Hearthstone website. These events are similar to HCT in that they bring players from all over the world together, but it is an open tournament and does not require qualification. Blizzard also hosts some smaller tournaments, which can be found on their sites, such as The Innfinity Crisis and Tavern Takeover (each of these currently only support NA players).
ClearLeague is a site that hosts its own tournaments for Hearthstone Esports, but the difference is that the entry fees go towards paying out prize pools. ClearLeague has their own Grand Prix coming up, which will be worth $50k in prizing, and will have qualifiers held from October 1st to November 5th. Each tournament is a best of five Conquest series where players ban one class before playing. You can sign up for their tournaments on their event hub, which they update every day.
Now that we know how much money is actually being pushed into the scene, what does this mean for us as players? Well, it means we can become pros! But really… With more and more big sponsors coming in, the prize pools are only going to get larger. Not only that, but with more viewership comes more potential for viewers, which Blizzard has already begun to take advantage of. They’re holding tournaments on their official site where anyone can play and enter. Many people still think Hearthstone is a casual game and cannot be played at a competitive level, but with more funding like this, that stigma will begin to subside. Now then, what does this mean for the average player?
Other Interesting Details Regarding Hearthstone Esports:-
It means you can enjoy HearthStone as either a casual game or as an Hearthstone esports. Many people who play Hearthstone are fans of esports already, and there’s no doubt in my mind that Blizzard is aware of the number of people who watch tournaments. With Hearthstone esports growing, you can be sure that new features will only improve the game. The more money they make off this game, the more likely they are to invest into it for even better gameplay and new game modes.
This means that while many people still think Hearthstone is casual and cannot be played competitively or as Hearthstone Esports, the stigma will begin to diminish as new features are added. With more funding, we can expect higher prize pools and new game modes down the road. The new movie about Magic: The Gathering’s professional scene might even spark some interest in those who don’t usually play esports (I know it managed to get me interested in the game). It’s nice that Hearthstone’s presence is growing along with esports, and it will be interesting to watch how things progress over time.