Is Hearthstone Worth it as a Pro Scene?
Earlier this year, one of the highest earning pro player in Hearthstone retired from the game. Adrian “Lifecoach” Koy was formerly a professional poker player so it looked like a progressive and an amazing digital revolution move for him to start playing a CCG in competitive spaces. At the time of his retirement, he is one of the top ten highest earners among all Hearthstone pro players with a lifetime winnings worth $134.030.19.
Lifecoach cited Blizzard’s inability to listen to the community. Unlike CD Projekt with their Gwent, Blizzard consistently failed to address the complaints of its player base. Gwent always adapts to the competitive scene, updating and polishing its mechanics. Hearthstone is just hell-bent to its whale-hunting and monetizing. According to Lifecoach, everytime that there is a strat that changes the game in a manner that is not just pure RNG but also skill, Blizzard removes it as a viable option.
Lifecoach’s retirement is a long time ago in this fast-paced digital age. Blizzard probably has set up changes for the game to be enticing for the pro players. The truth is, yes, Blizzard is finally listening to the community. As of this writing, the developer weakened one of the most controversial cards. Blizzard has released the statement below to address the change,
“Since the release of Journey to Un’Goro, Hearthstone has enjoyed a wider variety of competitively viable classes and decks than ever before. We’ve been monitoring overall gameplay, and we’ve decided that — even though everything is varied and many decks are viable — change to The Caverns Below is still warranted. The Caverns Below is uniquely powerful versus several slower, control-oriented decks and played often enough that it’s pushing those decks out of play. This change should help expand the deck options available to players both now and after the release of the next expansion.”
This is a step in the right direction but one should ask, why just a step? Why not a leap? The game is not several months old, it is a few years old. There have been several pro tournaments to test the limits of the mechanics. The steps taken should have been drastic, not controversial. In all honesty, this particular change should not be a big news but a normal occurrence for a game that is slated to have a professional scene.
This might be just reactionary for Blizzard. The Overwatch pro scene faced controversy when it was reported that Blizzard asked exuberant amount of money for licensing a pro team. However, Blizzard is holding live Q&A developer sessions and tournaments in Twitch. The pro scene seems to be thriving even if they are losing top players. Hearthstone is still more than viable for anyone who wants to earn real money out of playing the game.
What is your opinion?
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