Greetings, friends! I have stumbled across yet another tournament for you all to put on your calendars. Starting March 16th and reoccurring every Sunday thereafter, OnGameNet Global (OGN), based out of Korea, will be broadcasting their Hearthstone Invitational. From the announcement of this serialization of the games, it’s safe to say that the taping of this tournament is probably happening as you’re reading this or at some time in the very near future. Rather than broadcasting the games live, as the Seatstory Cup #1 will be, OGN will take the same route that the folks over at ESGN have been employing with their Fight Night series. This usually allows for some nice post-production and interspersing of b-roll footage, so I’ll be curious to see what comes of OGN’s decision to proceed this way.
I’m sure, though, what you really want to know are the details of the tournament, so here they are from the mouth’s (fingers?) of the hosts themselves:
Introducing Hearthstone Invitational and the eight participating players.
Jin-ho ‘YellOw’ Hong, who is emerging as a fan favorite on various TV shows, confirmed his participation along with former StarCraft® pro-gamers Guillaume ‘Grrrr…’ Patry and Tae-min ‘GoRush’ Park. Rumay ‘Hafu’ Wang, who has been called the ‘Druid Queen’ for her Druid play on Hearthstone will also join the tournament along with BlizzCon® 2013 Hearthstone Inkeeper’s Invitational champion Dan ‘Artosis’ Stemkoski, and the one of the first-ever Hearthstone pro-gamers, Jeffrey ‘Trump’ Shih.
The tournament will be held in a team battle format in the Round of 8. The two players that pick the highest ranked cards will be named the leader of each team and will take turns picking their own team members. The Round of 8 will consist of three separate sets: 1 vs 1, 2 vs 2, and winner-take-all format. The semifinals and finals will each be held as a best of 7. The players will compete for a total prize pool of $23,000 USD, with $10,000 USD going to the winner, and $5,000 USD to the runner up.
OGN will broadcast the program globally through various online platforms including Twitch, Daily Motion, and Keahoarl. The English-language casters will be Han-kyu ‘Chobra’ Cho and Erik ‘DoA’ Lonnquist. At home, the broadcast contents be available online on Naver and AfreecaTV, and the casters will include Jae-kyung Um, Tae-hyung Kim, and Jung-min Kim.
Hearthstone Invitational, with the support and anticipation from fans, will first air at 12 p.m. on Mar. 16 and will be broadcasted on Sundays afterward.
The format itself seems a little confusing as it’s unclear how the choosing of teams and the different sets will interact. Perhaps there will be a tally of scores from each set to see which team was most successful? The prize money here is once again quite significant for what we’ve been seeing in the competitive scene, so it will be interesting to see whether that first place purse will go to the winning team or overall winning player. There is also still a question of where the other $8,000 will go and who the other two participants will be.
Lastly, of note is the fact that very well-known Starcraft personalities will be mixing it up with very well-known Hearthstone personalities here, which harkens back to the mysterious nature of the Crossover-style tournament being hosted by TakeTV. This is not as surprising in this case though, since, similar to TakeTV, OGN is mostly known for their contributions to the Starcraft II e-Sports scene in providing/producing high level tournaments; albeit all out of Korea, where Starcraft is still wildly popular and incredibly competitive.
I will definitely be tuning in, if not just to sate my curiosity on all of the questions noted above. How about yourselves?