Hearthstone Grandmasters announces a remixed format and other improvements for Season 2

Written by Contributor

August 2, 2019

The Hearthstone Esports team today announced changes for Grandmasters Season 2. For starters, Specialist will be replaced with a best-of-three Conquest featuring a Shield Phase.

How it Works

  • The two battling players bring four decks, each from a unique class.
  • The match starts with a Shield Phase where both players will choose one of their own decks to “protect”, meaning it cannot be banned by their opponent.
  • Each player will then ban one of their opponents’ decks (excluding the shielded deck), removing it from the pool.
  • Each player then selects which of their three remaining decks they would like to play first, then begin their first game of the match.
  • After the first game has concluded, the winning deck is removed from the pool before both players pick which of their remaining decks they would like to play next.
  • If after the second game one player is 2-0, the match is over.
  • If the score is 1-1, then the winning deck from the second game is removed from the pool and both players will choose a final deck to decide the series. Players may opt to re-play a deck that they lost with in a prior round.


Quality of Life Changes

To create a unique schedule for Season 2 while ensuring the most competitive matches, each region’s two divisions are being restructured, with the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th place finishers from Season 1 swapping divisions. Additionally, the following quality of life changes are being implemented:

  • In addition to the first through third-place finishers, the fourth-place player from each division will now also qualify for end-of-season playoffs.
  • The semifinals for both Grandmasters playoffs and Masters Tour events will now be a best-of-five match.
  • Deck submission times across all three regions are now standardized.
  • Match schedule changed to 16 matches each day (instead of 15 Friday, 15 Saturday, 18 Sunday).


More information about these changes can be found on the official Rules & Policies page and official blogpost.

For Masters Qualifiers and Masters Tour

While the current changes are focused on Grandmasters, a survey was distributed to all players who have participated in a Masters Qualifier to help the Esports team gather feedback related to that program including the tournament format, schedule, event types, and the frequency of events. The team will be using those responses to inform changes to the Masters Qualifiers and the Masters Tour after Season 2 of Grandmasters begins.


Regarding Mobility

Players have shared a desire for increased mobility into Hearthstone Grandmasters. With Grandmasters, the Hearthstone Esports team strives to ensure that players and organizations could commit to the program knowing exactly what their chances of relegation were. There was no relegation for Season 1, and a maximum relegation of two players in Season 2. Relegation expansion for Grandmasters 2020 will be considered to further increase the maximum number of relegation/promotion spots per season.

Details on possible changes to promotion and relegation, Hearthstone Qualifiers and the Masters Tour, tournament structure in 2020, and more will be revealed in the coming weeks. Keep up with all of the latest Hearthstone Esports news and content, including Hearthstone Grandmasters and the Hearthstone Masters Tour Seoul, on the Hearthstone Esports website, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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