The Game Haus

Hearthstone Battlegrounds, the next esport?

With the release of Hearthstone’s Battleground. There has been talk of it becoming a possible esport after it leaves beta and has had some balancing issues fixed. But what kind of potential does it have over everyone else? Will it be a successful esport like Hearthstone? Or will it simply be a fun game mode similar to the solo adventure and the arena.

The Good

This mode is a breath of life into Hearthstone. It is even easier to pick up than normal Hearthstone. Anyone can simply pick it up and go, even with random guessing, they’d be able to get a good amount of distance in the game. The tutorial was perfect in showing how the game works and how players will have to combine powers to really make an impact on the game.

The hero powers are all so unique that it’s hard to tell which one is truly overpowered, since most are very situational. It becomes a game of managing resources. The final part of what makes Battlegrounds so deceptively easy is that heroes with passive abilities are clearly meant to be the easy mode of the characters, since players don’t have to spend resources on their abilities. The passive heroes allow people to learn the game and figure out what works and what doesn’t work.

The Bad

The only true bad part about this is that for new players, they may need to read up on what certain cards do. Along with this is that no matter how large the minion is, the attack damage doesn’t change since it all based on rounds and stars. So, while this is a balancing thing, it is very disappointing to see a 20/50 Scavenging Hyena only give one star of extra damage.

The Ugly

Unfortunately, due to the nature of Battlegrounds, it most likely will never become an esport. Since all the minions, heroes, and the way the minions attack are all completely random, this allows for very little skill. For example, a matchup that happens with the same minions and opponents, but just a different way of attack changes the entire outcome of a round. Granted, there is logic and strategy to it, but in the end, even the most well thought out plan can go completely wrong if the creatures attack in different orders than what was planned.

There is also the possibility that the randomness of the cards won’t allow the player to make a team that works well together. One could be building a demon army and then suddenly at the end of the game, all they get are Murlocs and have to either trade in everything or stick with what they have. It’s this uncertainty and lack of control that will most likely keep battlegrounds out of the esports world.


Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

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