DreamHack Hearthstone Grand Prix will be returning to Austin, Texas from April 28th to 30th. It will be the first of the 7 Major Hearthstone tournaments of DH this year, and it’s going to be one of the biggest events for HS esports for sure!
Outside of BlizzCon, DreamHack is the largest tournament that features a big list of international talents. There are lots of EU guys who will be playing in this competition. The notables are GreenSheep, the 2015 DH Valencia Champion. RDU, 2016 DH Summer Winner. And Orange, 2016 DH Liepzig Champion. They will be joined by Mryagut and Crane of compLexity Gaming, Deathboose, Fluffy and Bozzzton of Crowns Esports, Kycoo and Dantinio of TDG Esports and TicTac, who is a strong ladder player.
It will also feature all the top NA names like Amnesiac, the 2016 Americas HCT Winter Winner. Chakki, last year’s DreamHack Austin Champion. Cydonia, the 2016 Americas HCT Winter Leader. Alongside them will be TerrenceM, who lost to Chakki in the Grand Finals, Fr0zen, HotMEOWTH and APXVoiD to name a few.
The APAC standouts that have already confirmed for this tournament are MrLEGO, RaiNHazE and Hughesy of Scylla ESports, navioot and tomflr to name a few. Will we see another American Showdown in the Grand Finals? Will Chakki be able to defend his crown and claim another Hearthstone Championship? That remains to be seen.
With the new expansion, Journey to Un’Goro in full swing, we will be seeing a new breed of decks employed by the top players. From midrange Aggro decks to full control taunt ones. To name a few, I have seen Quest Warriors, Quest Rogues, Elemental Shamans rampaging in the ladder. We might see something cool this tournament. Someone might bring a very unique deck which will stun everyone and absolutely dominate the scene, just like Purple in DreamHack Winter with his Malygos Warlock. We might be seeing TerrenceM roll with a Quest Warrior deck since he loves his control cards so much.
It will be very hard to predict who will be advancing to the later stages of the tournament. There are a lot of confirmed players in the list which are not known well. We might be seeing some new faces mixing it up with the pros. There are a lot of lesser known players who rarely stream, but are ripping it up in the ladder. Leadpaint from the Americas come to mind. He is a very strong ladder player but has not won a single major tournament yet. DreamHack offers a stage for these types of players to break out and become known in the competitive scene.
This year’s LAN event will have a $25,000 prize pool for the main event and a bonus of $1,500 for side events.
The contest will employ a Swiss style format, where the top 16 competitors advance to a single elimination stage. Match format will be a Best Of 5, Last Hero Standing, with one ban. This means the winner of the each match will continue using the deck they won with until they win the BO5. In the three-day event, we will see the best Hearthstone players clash against each other. The first day will feature the Swiss Round matches. The second day will feature the remaining rounds, and then the round of 16. On the final day, it will feature the semi finals and the grand finals.
DreamHack is also going to feature a Hearthstone BYOC Tournament. It means you have to bring your own machine and connect it to a wired connection. Currently, they have over 200 competitor slots for HS alone, but like what happened last year, it might reach to over than 800 competition attendees. It has a separate prize pool for that. The prize pool for the BYOC LAN event is $2,000. It will be in a BO3 Conquest format.
DreamHack offers a unique experience as well. There are side events, which viewers can also participate and win prizes. They are going to have a cosplay event, live music, Stream Zone, Archery Tag, Quests and Challenges. The Stream Zone is filled with Twitch’s biggest streamers, content creators, and broadcasters. It will feature ThatsAdmirable and Noxious.
We will also be seeing two new faces casting for Hearthstone Grand Prix. Songbird, who was once a competitive ladder player and TJ, which will be his first DreamHack casting job. They will offer insights on how the tournament progresses, and also how the current meta shifts the competitive scene. Here is the chance to meet your favorites and watch them live in action. Quests and Challenges is where you win prizes. There are trivia quests, cosplay chess, scavenger hunts and more activities, both individual and group.
All in all, DreamHack Austin will be an awesome kick off for the tourney series that is going to be happening in 2017. We might be seeing a surge of new players as well in the competitive scene if some lesser known participants do well in this tournament and get invited to Esports teams or get sponsorships from Twitch or Monster Energy since Monster Energy is sponsoring the event and we all know they are a major supporter of E-Sports. This will be a good year for Hearthstone indeed! Hope to see lots of you there in the event.