Hearthstone hasn’t had the biggest of eSports scenes in the UK, but that all looks set to change.
Multiplay is hosting the Hearthstone Insomnia Truesilver Championship at i57 from March 25th to 27th, which is open to all BYOC attendees and will have up to 200 players going head to head at the Birmingham NEC.
The interesting fact around this competition is that it boasts a $30,000 prize pool for the top 16 players – much larger than the £5,000 individual pools for the likes of League of Legends, Dota 2 and CSGO. And it is also attracting players from around the world, as opposed to the League of Legends tournament which tends to pull in UK-based teams.
43 Hearthstone Championship Tour points will also be up for grabs, and the tournament will feature a Swiss-style non-elimination format as opposed to a usual round robin setup.
Players outside the top 16 will have the chance to play in the £2,000 Truesilver Redemption Cup on March 26th and 27th instead.
Multiplay is also letting players win a VIP trip to Insomnia through its ‘Mysterious Challenger’ tournament. Open to players worldwide, the winner will receive a space in its Hearthstone VIP area, with travel and accommodation paid for.
Whether this will boost the UK Hearthstone scene in particular is another matter. It’s great that a tournament like this is being hosted here, but we’ve had the likes of Worlds, LCS and DreamHack in the UK and those arguably have done little to actually promote and the local scene and its UK-based teams, players and smaller tournaments.
Let’s look at the other i57 tournaments. i57 is hosting a £3,000 Rocket League tournament, £3,000 Halo 5 competition and £1,000 Street Fighter V tournament.
Going further down the pecking order, StarCraft II, Heroes of the Storm, SMITE and Football Manager will have paltry prize pools of just £200 each. Alongside them, FIFA 16 and Super Smash Bros Wii U will have pools of £250 per day.
Regardless of where the money comes from and the popularity of the games, that seems awfully disproportionate, and also ironic considering the UK has some fantastic SMITE, HotS and FIFA players that are being cast by the wayside here.
Elsewhere, ESL is ramping up its Hearthstone support in the UK. The 2016 Spring Season ESL UK Hearthstone Premiership will have £6,400 of prize money spread out across the group and playoff tournament stages, which start this month. In comparison, the League of Legends current Premiership has £10,500 up for grabs overall.
ESL also recently announced that a Spring Season 2016 CSGO tournament will also get underway this month.
Here’s some Twitter comments on the news.
— Louise Simson (@TPO_WeeLoopy) March 8, 2016
@Dom_Sacco I believe there is a major sponsorship behind Hearthstone right? That’s why there is so much money involved with it.
— Marek Walker (@contact_zero) March 8, 2016
Earlier this year, Razer predicted that in 2016 UK-based LANs would attract more teams from around the world.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League player and WoW RPer, he has written for a range of publications including Games TM, Nintendo Official Magazine, games industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games. He currently works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association.