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Blizzard promises improvements to Hearthstone pro scene after Championship Tour debacle

The HCT Americas playoffs took place last weekend, and went far from smoothly.

The Hearthstone Championship Tour America Summer Playoffs took place over last weekend, and it didn’t go especially smoothly. The event was beset with disconnects, forced restarts, and as this Reddit thread makes clear, at least one match where a player who was in a dominant position ending up losing after being forced to start over. And it’s hardly like there hasn’t been prior warning about the quality of venues picked for these playoffs, as you may recall from the previous brouhaha about Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants being used.

The redditors are clearly (and loudly) unhappy with the situation, but they’re not the only ones speaking up about it: Many pros involved in the weekend-long event took to social media to voice their displeasure as well.

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Kostas Sakellaridis @tholwmenosHS

I didnt watch prelims to shitpost, but Blizz guys say they fix things next year. It’s last chance or game over for competitive HS.

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Kostas Sakellaridis @tholwmenosHS

Tons of problems we players didnt deserve in 2017. I like HS and hope for the best. Its up to them not to kill the game.

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Zalae @ZalaeHS

i was just informed not to watch the stream because we’re taking up too much bandwidth. SICK VENUE.

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TicTac_HS @TicTac_HS

Having venues with perfect internet/computer is impossible but I genuinely believe that having a replay option for a game like hs isn’t hard

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Responding to the criticism, Blizzard posted a message on Battle.netacknowledging that the current situation is untenable.

“Over the course of the event, playoff venues experienced multiple DDoS attacks and equipment malfunctions that disrupted the tournament. As a result, affected players were unfortunately required to restart games due to disconnections. This also caused extended wait times between games,” Blizzard community manager Aratil wrote. “While we made efforts to address the issues as they were occurring, we want to be clear that the resulting experience this past weekend was not acceptable, and we sincerely apologize to the competitors who were adversely affected.”

“We are currently discussing several improvements that we would like to implement as early as the start of the next Hearthstone Championship Tour season. We are also going to reevaluate equipment requirements and venue capabilities to make sure we deliver a better competitive experience for our players, as well as design additional fallbacks in case of disconnects.”

I readily admit that I don’t actually know anything about it, but I do have to wonder just how difficult it would be, as TicTac suggested, to incorporate turn-by-turn saves of the game state so they can be resumed from where they left off, under exactly the same conditions, if a disconnect occurs. Of course, you could also argue that Blizzard shouldn’t have to do deal with this kind of nonsense at all: Why do people feel the need to mess things up for others by DDoSing game tournaments? Such is the way of the world, I suppose. TicTac had some succinct thoughts on that as well:

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TicTac_HS @TicTac_HS

Just saw the Dc, had exactly the same at 2-2 last prelims and lost the regame. Fix your fucking game blizzard please

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I’ve reached out to Blizzard for more information about its plans to address these issues and will update when I receive a reply.

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