Blizzard recently detailed the changes coming to Hearthstone esports last month - of which there are many - and when we talked to lead artist Ben Thompson in an interview recently, we had to ask about these alterations and why they were being made.
"I think that the fact that the esports team are as focused as they are on creating a new look and feel on esports, and even this new [Specialist] mode, specifically this new format, is a testament to us wanting to take esports into 2019 and forward in a way that really builds around Hearthstone. How players play Hearthstone, how they view their decks - it not only makes for interesting and compelling esports from a player perspective, but even from a viewer's perspective as well. We've had a lot of feedback that this mode often makes even for more exciting viewing, as players and even part-time players can follow along easier."
"It's interesting to talk about those nuanced changes in a specific deck, rather than having to re-discuss entire new deck types and things like that. The fact that there is that kind of focus on the nuanced details of what makes this esports format compelling for Hearthstone and that we are listing to and soliciting actual question from players, as well as what they think of this and where they would like it to go in the future - it makes for an esports scene for Hearthstone that is not only strong, but wants to become even stronger still, and that's really the goal at the end of the day."
These aren't the only changes happening in Hearthstone, as just yesterday we got word of a year-long story being told over three expansions over the course of this Year of the Dragon, so Blizzard isn't afraid to mix things up a bit.
Do you agree that these esports changes are for the better?