In order to reflect the competition that Blizzard has created, Hearthstone needs a team tournament. The Hearthstone Esports team has incentivized organizations to sign the best performing players with prizes for the teams. However, the players don’t often play against each other, and never play in a team format.
What a Team Tournament Proves
The team standings for Season 2 of the Hearthstone Championship Tour had Tempo Storm as the number one team, earning them $22,500. That’s more money than a Tour Stop victory would yield players. However, all it means is that Tempo Storm has three of the best individual talents in the world. There is nothing that shows that their team effort got them there, other than being practice partners.
Hearthstone Esports doesn’t need to abandon this side prize pool, but at least give us something of a reason to get behind the teams. If Tempo Storm faced off against Fade 2 Karma and Nordavind’s teams, then we would have something to put the points against.
A lot of teams don’t get the chance to send their players to every tournament like some of the top teams do, and it doesn’t mean they are any worse than other teams. It simply means that they cannot earn more points without more tournament participation, as ladder finishes can only get you so far.
Another dilemma teams face is that you can only have three players for the Pro Team Standings, while a lot of organizations have more than three players playing for them. This has caused them to divide up their talent into multiple teams, with one being able to earn more points than another.
How to Implement it
A team league would be a great way to get those with less chances an opportunity to get the most out of
being on a team. The Hearthstone Global Games did that with its Swiss play, but the online play was about the only good thing to come of the format.
The actual deck-choosing and banning format is atrocious, leaving too much up to chance. A team tournament could feature a much more standard Conquest tournament-style format, with members of the team still playing one game each, without the random queue order.
It could be divided by region for time zones’ sake, and have weekly or longer spanned matchups, as it can be difficult to get all members of a team to play together at one time. The important part is to make the actual team element matter, rather than individual tournament results.
Because of HGG Cheer, the Hearthstone Global Games has actually generated a nice amount of revenue. The players have had a lot of complaints on the playing format, so that can be improved, but Blizzard will still benefit from a similar format. Trinity Series is an example of a team tournament done better.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via their official website.