Hearthstone Masters Tour Arlington Preview

Hearthstone Masters Tour 2020 Arlington

The Masters Tour Arlington is the first leg of the 2020 tour. With 300 players from around the world, the tournament is the first international tournament with the new Descent of Dragons add-on. Competitors are fighting for a $ 250,000 prize pool and a better chance to advance to the elite Grandmasters League. The event will take place January 31st to February 2nd.

Players

The list of invited and qualified qualifiers can be found here.

The Prize Pool

Total $ 250,000 + crowdfunding

  • 1st $32,500
  • 2nd $22,500
  • 3rd-4th $15,000
  • 5th-8th $11,000
  • Swiss 7 wins $3500
  • Swiss 6 wins $2250
  • Swiss 5 wins $1000

Masters Tour Arlington Format

Group Stage

  • 300 players will be placed on the Swiss chart, where nine rounds will be played.
  • In the Swiss chart, the players in the standings that are closest to each other play against each other. The winner rises up in the table and the loser falls down.
  • Matches are played in the best of five matches.
  • Matches are played using Conquest rules.
  • The top eight players advance to the playoffs.

Playoffs

  • A traditional knockout chart where a loss falls out of the tournament.
  • Matches are played in the best of five matches.
  • Matches are played using Conquest rules.

Where can I watch the Masters Tour?

The English main stream of the tournament can be viewed here

Important Invited players

Xiaomeng “Liooon” Li

Liooo is leaving for the tournament as one of the favorites, as in November the young player won the Grandmasters League International Finals and was thus ranked as the best player of the year for last year. Liooon's preparation for the tournament has been hampered by the death of a close relative, but in previous tournaments, Liooon has been overwhelming, so even his pre-eminent position remains a little weaker.

Brian "bloodyface" Eason

One of the finalists for the Grandmasters Final Event is also in Arlington. bloodyface gets to play in front of the home crowd and is sure to be hungry. Time and again, an experienced US player has made his way to various tournaments

but rarely raised the trophy. Definitely one of the hottest names in the tournament.

Casper "Hunterace" Notto

Less than a year ago, he won the World Championship and was second and third in the tough European league during the 2019 Grandmasters. Hunterace is at its best when the meta is mixed up after the arrival of the new add-on, so the starting point for this tournament is great for a young Norwegian. Hunterace has grown accustomed to winning in recent years, and being out of the Grandmasters final event has certainly brought hunger this year.

Raphael "BunnyHoppor" Peltzer

Since the Grandmasters final event, there has been only one major international tournament, the Lion King Invitational 2019, which ended in a win for the German player. BunnyHoppor won its long-term rival Hunterace in the final. BunnyHoppor has been a member of the international elite since the early days of the game and has proven to be one after the other in the tournament. A player who can't ever be dropped out of a medal battle.

Eddie "Eddie" Lui

An experienced Canadian player only came to the attention of the general public last year, after three years of intense competition. Eddie finished third and fourth in the American GrandMasters. Unlike other players in the GrandMasters League, Eddie took three Masters Tour qualifiers last year and won one of them. Eddie's advantage to other GrandMasters players is that the demanding and heavy Swiss chart seems to fit him very well.

Masters Tour Arlington Results

The level of the tournament fell slightly short of expectations as several Asian players left the tournament because of the corona virus. However, many of the top players in North America and Europe were involved. As is often the case with Swiss blocks, which are rarely played by top players these days, many of the pre-favorites were left out of the playoffs. The only clear advance favorite in the playoffs was Brian "bloodyface" Eason, who finished second in the Grandmasters final event late in the semifinals. Winning Zakarya "xBlyzes" Hail is not completely unknown to Hearthstone's esports, but the Frenchman who played last year in varying degrees was certainly not one of the favorites. The other side of the French final, AyRoK, is a completely new acquaintance. It says a lot that a player does not even have his own liquipedia page and plays in an amateur organization. If a young Frenchman continues the same practice in other tournaments of the year, it is very likely that there will be recruiters in professional organizations. All in all, it was a really entertaining tournament and for the first time ever players were playing with the new add-on. Blizzard made the tournament under the exclusive agreement Hearthstone tournament broadcasting with youtube and it seemed a little viewership figures since the tournaments are used to see Twitch and Hearthstone esports-side communication is not always the most visible from there to get to. However, the broadcast was a success and will certainly regain the acclaimed audience.

1st - xBlyzes

2nd - AyRoK

3rd-4th - Alan 870806, Felkeine

5th-8th -  bloodyface, brimful, totosh, TIZS

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Cameron Carr

28 January 2020
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