Blizzard Entertainment has announced that it will be expanding the Hearthstone Masters Tour for the 2020 season.
The circuit will double from three tournaments to six, with each event boasting a $250,000 (£190,700) prize pool. Crowdfunding initiatives which contribute towards prize money will also be implemented.
Tournament organisers DreamHack and ESL have been named as the operators of the Hearthstone Masters Tour events. This development comes just a day after it was announced that other Blizzard titles StarCraft II and Warcraft III would receive their own ESL Pro Tours.
The 2019 season saw events take place in Las Vegas, Seoul, and Bucharest. This year, events will be hosted in Arlington, Texas; Bali, Indonesia; Jönköping, Sweden; Montreal, Canada; an unconfirmed location in Spain; and a location in the Asia-Pacific region that has yet to be determined.
Alongside the expansion of the Masters Tour, Hearthstone Grandmasters will also be making a return for two more seasons. The first season will begin in April and the second will commence in August.
Each season consists of eight weeks: the first four weeks sees 16 players from Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific regions compete against each other, the following three weeks will consist of round-robin play with two divisions, and the final week is the playoffs. One player from each region will qualify for the World Championship at the end of the season.
Esports Insider says: With a complete calendar for the year announced, it’s looking like a busy year for Hearthstone esports. Selecting DreamHack and ESL as operators doesn’t come as a surprise considering the event organisers have just entered a three-year agreement with Blizzard to launch circuits for two of its other titles. This should be a positive development for the game’s esports ecosystem.