Gwent Masters announced as the card game targets esports

23 August 2017

Image: CD Projekt RED

CD Projekt RED looks forward to a professional esports scene for its title GWENT: The Witcher Card Game with the introduction of a new competition, GWENT Masters.

The new tournament series will have a year-long run, culminating in a World Masters championship with a sizeable $250,000 (£195,000) prize pool.

GWENT Masters starts this month and runs until a ‘World Masters’ tournament in January 2019, where $250,000 will be up for grabs.

The first event of the series will kick off in Cologne this Friday, the 25th of August. As one of eight planned Open Tournaments, it will have a prize pool of $25,000 (£19,500), and it takes place just a week before the Pro Ladder season starts on the first of September. Four “Challenger” events will also be run before the World Masters, with Poland, the United States, China and Japan each playing host to a competition. Each of those weighs in with a considerable $100,000 (£78,100) prize pool, bringing the total prize money up for grabs across all thirteen tournaments to a mammoth $850,000 (£664,000).

That total could yet rise, as officially-sanctioned Gwent tournaments could also be run by third-party tournament organisers. With each having a minimum of $10,000 (£7,810) to win alongside “crown” ranking points, competition is sure to be fierce. Any further events run by community members won’t require licensing as long as they do not have prize pools over $10,000 – and these will not be able to offer official ranking points.

Who will earn the right to one of eight qualifying spots available at most official tournaments will be determined by the number of “crown” points belonging to competitors. These can be attained through both tournament placings and performing on the pro ladder – which runs separately from the normal ranked lander. Each entrant will need to bring four unique decks to live events – and GWENT differs from Hearthstone in that players are ranked standing is calculated by averaging the rating of their four best unique decks.

Esports Insider says: CD Projekt RED’s acceleration of GWENT esports is quite remarkable – this is a huge level up from the last competition held with ESL earlier this year. They seem to be going about it with confidence in their product, and will surely be drawing eyes from Blizzard with the strength of the format they are offering.