The second Masters Tour of this year will begin on March, 20th. The major tournament, which has been relocated from Bali to Los Angeles and will finally be played online, is the last event before the start of the new Grandmasters season. For Gallon, the GamersOrigin representative in Hearthstone tournaments, this will be another opportunity to achieve a great performance.
Playing in an online tournament can be very different than competing in a physical event, especially when the stakes are so high. This will be an unique experience for all the competitors, who can still score points during the event to reach the Grandmasters league.
The upcoming Masters Tour will be the biggest online tournament ever in Hearthstone. While I’m saddened that we cannot play at a LAN due to fears of the coronavirus, I am happy we get a chance to compete even after seeing many other large esports events cancelled outright.
Online play brings with it multiple new challenges – for one, the size of the tournament will be incredibly large as no one needs visas, flights, etc. to enter. It won’t be surprising to see over 100 extra players compared to previous Masters Tours.
Secondly, as the tournament is based off of Pacific Time in the US, many international players will need to entirely readjust their sleep schedule to be awake and alert for their matches. Even I need to adjust by three hours as I live on the opposite side of the country!
Thirdly, it is still unclear if deck tracker will be allowed for this event, but it will quite likely be as it has been acceptable in every previous online event. Deck trackers can take the burden of a lot of important info – mulliganed cards, cards left in deck for both players, how long your opponent has been holding certain cards in their hand – all of which is normally very mentally taxing over a long tournament day. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the overall quality of gameplay go up at this event due to the benefit of deck tracker.
In terms of lineup, I feel pretty confident in two of the four decks I need before Friday, but the other two are still difficult to decide on. Decks are so strong right now that it is hard to make a cohesive targeting strategy to try and beat a specific deck, as there just aren’t four good enough picks for that to work consistently. Hopefully I can find two before Friday, but for now it’s practice practice practice #GOWIN!