The Hearthstone competitive scene in China is about to change in a major way if rumors are true. According to key sources who spoke with Inven Global, they have confirmed that Blizzard and NetEase are going to introduce a Hearthstone Team League. A former manager of a Chinese Hearthstone team, Sinn Tann, took to Twitter stating he had also heard these rumors. Work is well under way, and multiple leaks have flowed out such as by Japanese site BeerBrick. Hearthstone fans in China should take this all with a grain of salt however until an official announcement is made.
The Chinese distributor of Hearthstone, NetEase, will be the one to introduce the Team League, and it will operate in much the same manner as the Overwatch League. Interested teams can buy into the league in order to participate. The cost of this would likely be about 2 million yuan. Other things to ponder include whether or not this will operate alongside the already existing competitive system there. It’s also worth mentioning only a few weeks ago multiple Chinese teams came forward saying they wanted to participate should such a thing occur: Lucky Future, LP, Jingdong, RNG, WE, Bilibili, Titanar, and Suning.
Other possible details
Twice a week the teams will compete against each other; these matches will play out in an entirely new format. Players will compete with one deck and play a match of a best-of-three battle. Should they wish, they can swap out different variations of their deck between matches, which could either work in their favor or not. If they do that, however, the variation can’t differ from their original list by more than six cards. The news is expected to officially come on Friday, and apparently Blizzard and NetEase have invited multiple potential big-budget teams to a private two-day event. This format could also potentially be the standard adopted by other regions too.
What do Hearthstone fans and players think of this news? If this does indeed come to pass, it could largely up the Hearthstone scene in China. Stay tuned for an update as we get more official word on this new development.