Blizzard promises improvements to Hearthstone pro scene after Championship Tour debacle

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. 

Responding to the criticism, Blizzard posted a message on acknowledging 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: 

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

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.