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Blizzard Esports Tournament Formats
Blizzard Esports offer an exciting way for fans and players to experience our games. Select a title below to read about the official tournament structure for your favorite Blizzard game.Note: Read our European Region Tournament Eligibility article for rules specific to running an event in that region.
Heroes of the Storm
The Heroes of the Storm Global Championship (HGC) is comprised of the top 8 professional teams in each of our regions. After ten weeks of league play, the top teams face off in the Mid-Season Brawl for a chance to win $250,000. Phase 2 of the HGC involves another ten weeks of league play, culminating in the HGC finals at BlizzCon.
In the middle of each phase of league play are the invitational Clash matches. These are exhibition matches featuring the top professional teams from each region, all competing for a $100,000 prize pool.
For those players who wish to earn their place in the HGC, we have the HGC Open Division. These are teams of amateur players competing in tournaments every other week for points and cash prizes. The top two teams from the Open Division Playoffs go to The Crucible to battle against the bottom two teams from the Pro League. The winners from The Crucible are added to the HGC Pro League, while the losers join the Open Division.
HearthstoneHearthstone Championship Tour (HCT) is the largest Hearthstone tournament in the world, where 16 exceptional players from around the globe come together to duel for glory, a share of the $1 million prize pool, and the esteemed title of World Champion.
Players can secure their spot by earning points in Ranked Play and official tournaments. The highest point earners and Tavern Hero tournament winners from each region will participate in the Season Playoffs. The top four players in the playoffs will move on to the Season Championship, and a chance to win a spot in the Global Finals.
The StarCraft II World Championship Series (WCS) is divided into two divisions: the WCS Circuit and WCS Korea. Eight players from each division will compete at the WCS Global Finals.
WCS Korea is open to all players globally, and it's where the very best players compete. The three Global StarCraft II League (GSL) season champions and the top players from the WCS Korea standings will seed the Global Finals.
- GSL Season 1 Champion (1)
- GSL Season 2 Champion (1)
- GSL Season 3 Champion (1)
- WCS Korea Standings (5)
The WCS Circuit is home to players from the Europe, China, Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau, Australia/ New Zealand, and Americas regions. High performers in online cup matches and the season ladder will feed into the Challenger Finals, where the top players will earn cash prizes and a chance to qualify for one of four Dreamhack events. The champions of the Dreamhack events, along with the top players from the WCS Circuit standings, will earn a spot at the WCS Global Finals.
- WCS Austin Champion (1)
- WCS Jönköping Champion (1)
- WCS Valencia Champion (1)
- WCS Montreal Champion (1)
- WCS Circuit Standings (4)
In addition to the WCS Global Finals at the end of the year, there are two other opportunities for Korean and Circuit players to compete against each other.
As one of the largest esports events in the world, IEM Katowice is one of the largest gatherings of pro StarCraft II players of the year. WCS offers paid travel for qualifiers from both Circuit and Korean players. There's also an open bracket for players who plan their own travel arrangements. The winner of this event is guaranteed a slot in the WCS Global Finals.
GSL vs. the World
Halfway through the year, Korea hosts the GSL vs. the World all-star event. This event showcases some of the best professional players from both Korea and Circuit competing against each other.
WCS Global Finals
At the end of the year, we see the 16 best players in the world compete for a large prize pool and the title of World Champion.
Check our Overwatch League site for information on the upcoming premier season.
Overwatch Contenders is the development league for aspiring Overwatch League professionals. Overwatch Contenders runs in both North America and Europe, and is divided up into three phases.
Any team is able to sign up for Open Qualifiers, provided the players are ranked Master or above. This single elimination phase of the tournament is held online using a "Best of 3" format. The top 16 teams from each region move on to the Group Stage.
This phase of the tournament is held online, and is made up of four groups of four teams each—seeded based on the team's performance during the Open Qualifiers. The top eight teams from each region will move on to the Playoffs.
This single elimination phase of the tournament is held online using a "Best of 5" format. The teams in each region will compete for their share of a $50,000 prize pool, and the chance to be noticed by an Overwatch League organization.Note: The Contenders Rulebook is hosted on the Overwatch Contenders site.
World of Warcraft
The World of Warcraft Arena World Championship Tour involves the best arena players from around the world competing for a slot in the World Championship at BlizzCon. Leading up to BlizzCon, players will compete in Arena Cup and community tournaments to earn points.
Arena Cup Tournaments
Arena Cup Tournaments are online regional tournaments where teams compete for points and cash prizes. These events are hosted by Blizzard for our European and North American players. Interested teams can sign up for upcoming tournaments.
Arena teams can also earn points in Blizzard-sanctioned community tournaments. You can find upcoming community and Arena Cup matches on our schedule site. If you're interested in hosting a community tournament, download the application form and send it to us!
The top twelve teams from North America and Europe, as well as the top eight teams from China and Asia Pacific and the top four from Latin America will compete in their respective regional events. Unlike the previous rounds, all of the different regional championships are live LAN events, with players playing on stage instead of from home. The winning teams from these events move on to the World Championship at BlizzCon.
The twelve qualifying teams will include four teams from North America, four teams from Europe, two teams from China, one team from Latin America, and one team from Asia Pacific. These teams will compete at BlizzCon for their share of a $280,000 prize pool.