Esports have been collecting a sizeable following from all over the globe in recent years. Hearthstone — a fantasy card game of tight matchups has become a mainstay in competitive esports, despite tough competition from other major titles.
Without a doubt, Blizzard’s fantasy card game is one of the most stable franchises in all of esports. With professional players being able to make a comfortable living through high stakes tournaments and Twitch streaming.
But, how did we get here? Read on to discover how Hearthstone has proven itself to be a staple in esports, right now and undoubtedly in the years to come.
The element of unpredictability is a big plus for spectators
When it comes to matchups, anything can happen — wild unpredictably makes for incredible spectacle from a spectators point of view. More than any old card game, Hearthstone reinvents the format in spectacular fashion. Boasting a perfect blend of intriguing tactical gameplay and mercurial chain reactions to create an added edge of excitement.
The mana system does a great job of pacing games, allowing competitors to lay down cards like chess pieces and heighten tension right up until the deciding few turns.
Almost all matches end in a crescendo of card mechanics where the best gameplan pays off. In this sense, Hearthstone delivers everything a great spectator sport needs: Entertainment, nail-biting ferocity and ultimate closure.
The gameplay also facilitates the needs of betting fans, thereby drawing in a brand new demographic to the game.
As with any sport, there are tonnes of elements you can wager on. But instead of goals or assists, matchup winners and the number of turns. If Hearthstone sounds like a game you want to watch then the head over to Twitch where it regularly tops the esports category.
Or if the betting side of the game appeals to your inner risk-taker then many online casinos offer odds on professional tournaments. In which case do your due diligence and research the best offers on comparison sites like OnlineCasinos.co.uk.
Hearthstone is not a sport to be taken lightly, to really understand what’s going on you need to learn about the players and be selective with who you throw your support behind.
Watching the best play helps viewers master the game
Once you have the hang of things, Hearthstone is equally fun to play yourself. And in contrast to other spectator sports like Formula 1 or Golf, the game isn’t expensive to get started in.
However, the skill level needed to be competitive may take you by surprise. After your first few matches, you’ll soon realise Blizzard’s card game is more complicated than Gwent or Rummy. Many of the rules change in tandem with the community; from an ever alternating meta to general courteous behaviour, picking up everything there is to know all by yourself is nigh on impossible.
Therefore a portion of Hearthstone’s popularity in esports can be credited to intrigued players wanting to learn more about the game.
Seeing how a professional Hearthstone player handles the tough matchups you struggle with, alongside witnessing well-judged trades and changes, will prove beneficial to a viewer’s own play. Perhaps comparable to the way footballers may study tapes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo — watching the best players Hearthstone has to offer is about education just as much as entertainment.
The World Championships are a spectacle not to be missed
Attending tournaments is a ritual for the Hearthstone community. More than a time killer to watch on your phone, Hearthstone proves to make for spectacular live events for both land-based and online viewing.
To build interest throughout the season tournaments are held regularly, as new expansions are released each quarter. These showcase new cards, mechanics and gage who the top competitors are. But no occasion matches the scale of Hearthstone’s equivalent SuperBowl — The World Championship.
Brandishing bigtime sponsors like Red Bull, players take to the keyboard in front of thousands of spectators; all for a chance to win an ultimate prize pool that regularly hits $1 million. The entire spectacle highlights how esports is growing and earning a reputation for high-quality competition.
If you want to end up on the grand stage one day then there are a tonne of open tournaments where the talent of grassroots players can be spotted.
Recommended reading: Esports Set To Eclipse $1bn In Total Revenue By 2020
Hearthstone – alongside games like League of Legends and Overwatch – is pioneering esports into a realm known to few gamers of the past.
As viewership figures skyrocket and sponsorship deals come knocking, gaming is beginning to feel like the real deal.