The new Hearthstone Championship Tour is heading to the tropics.

Blizzard has announced the location for the first Hearthstone Championship Tour major event, the Winter Championship. The top four players from each region’s Winter Playoffs will qualify for a spot in the Winter Championship meaning the field will consist of four from China, four from the Americas, China, and Asia-Pacific. These sixteen players will duke it out in the group stage with the top two from each group advancing to the single-elimination bracket.

It's the first time a major Hearthstone event has been held in a special location like this and it's largely due to the changes Blizzard has made to the circuit in the off-season. Previously each region had it's own seasonal championship with the winner advancing to BlizzCon. Now all regions will come together at once to see which four players will book their ticket to the World Championships next year.

We spoke with Drew Symonds, Associate PR Manager for Blizzard Esports and he clarified exactly how this will work. "At the Winter Championship four players from each of the four major regions will be represented. In the Round of Sixteen, the sixteen players will be divided into four groups," he explains, "each of which will have representation from each region. The top four finishers in the Winter Championship will qualify for the 2017 Hearthstone World Championship. It is possible that all four of these qualified players could come from a single region."

We at Hearthhead are tremendously excited for the change. It will certainly help ignite regional rivalries now that it's possible for regional power to come into play.

Symonds said Blizzard had "no information to share" regarding the impending Standard rotation and whether or not the tournament would take place before or after The Grand Tournament, Blackrock Mountain, and League of Explorers rotate out

------

Originally posted by Blizzard.

2017 HCT Winter Championship Location Announced!

2017 HCT Winter Championship Location Announced!

Save the date for the 2017 Hearthstone Championship Tour's Winter Championship Event!

What better way to spend your time at the Winter Championship than to stroll on a sandy beach, bask in the warm island sun, and dip your toes in crystal clear waters between exciting Hearthstone matches?

50MeliaNassauBeach-Pool.jpg

To cap off the 2017 Winter Season, the Hearthstone Championship Tour will be heading to the Bahamas! The Winter Championship is a live event open to the public and we'd love for you to join us. Check out additional details below.

Where

The Winter Championship will be held at the Melia Nassau Beach All-Inclusive. We will have more details regarding booking options as we get closer to the event.

03MeliaNassauBeach-FrontFacade.jpg

When

The Winter Championship is a four-day event taking place from Thursday, March 23, 2017 to Sunday March 26, 2017. Group stage games will be played on the first two days, after which the competition will switch to a bracket format to determine which four players qualify for the World Championship.

Qualification and Format

The top four players from each region’s Winter Playoffs will qualify for a spot in the Winter Championship. These sixteen players will duke it out in the group stage and determine which two from each group will advance to the single-elimination bracket. The tournament format will be best-of-seven Conquest with one ban. For full tournament details, please refer to the Official Rules.

Prize Pool

The overall prize pool for the event will be $250,000 USD.

51MeliaNassauBeach-PoolNight.jpg

Enjoy some Hearthstone fun in the sun with us in the Bahamas! We’ll have more details available about the event soon. Let us know what you think about our first tour stop on Twitter and Facebook using #HCT.