Today marks the release of Guild Wars 2's much-teased second Flame & Frost update, The Gathering Storm. The patch not only adds guild missions , a new PvP map and a continuation of the game's Living Story , but also brings a change to paid PvP tournaments. Specifically, it removes them, instead relying on a more robust matchmaking system that will govern the remaining free tournaments.
"One of the reasons we initially introduced Paid Tournaments was to create a place for hyper-competitive, highly skilled players to find matches with other players of comparable skill, leaving the Free Tournament system available for more casual competitive play," explains ArenaNet's Tyler Bearce. Now that the matchmaking system can accurately place players of a similar skill level, that paid tier is no longer necessary.
After the update, 1-round and 3-round free tournaments will be available, each with a separate matchmaking rank.
Bearce notes that any remaining Tournament Tickets can now be exchanged for Gold, Silver or Copper reward chests at the Ticket Merchant NPC, next to the Tournament Master in Heart of the Mists.