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New Format, Quality of Life Changes Set For Hearthstone Grandmasters Season 2

July 31, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Hearthstone Grandmasters

Hearthstone Grandmasters is getting a bit of a facelift for its second season, with a remixed format and quality of life changes. Blizzard’s Hearthstone Esports team announced on Tuesday that the second season will kick off on August 23rd and will see a new battle format, as the Specialist format will be replaced with a best-of-three Conquest that includes a Shield Phase.

The new format will see the two competitors bring four decks, each coming from a unique class. The match will kick off with a Shield Phase in which each player chooses one of the decks to protect from being banned by the opponent. Each player then bans of of the remaining opponent’s decks, followed by deck selection from the remaining three. The first game will be played, with the winning deck removed from the pool and the players picking decks for the second match. If the score is tied up after match two, the winning deck is again removed and a final deck is chosen by each player for the tie-breaker. Players may opt to re-play a deck that they lost with in a prior round.

In addition to the new format, Blizzard is restructuring the divisions in each region with the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th place finishers from Season One swapping divisions. The following quality of life changes are also 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).

The second season will also see relegation, something that was not utilized in season one. Up to two players will be subject to relegation, meaning that the lowest-performing players are in danger of being removed from the league. The announcement notes that “Relegation expansion for Grandmasters 2020 will be considered to further increase the maximum number of relegation/promotion spots per season.”

More details on possible changes to promotion and relegation, Hearthstone Qualifiers and the Masters Tour, tournament structure in 2020, and the like will be made available in coming weeks.

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eSports, Hearthstone, Jeremy Thomas