When we learned last month that Jason “Amaz” Chen was , the Hearthstone organisation he founded, it seemed to also spell the end for the Archon Team League. Which was a pity, because the was superb, pulling in viewing figures to rival the BlizzCon finals thanks to a star-studded lineup of teams and a whopping $250k prize pool. But with Amaz now playing under the banner—where he’s since been joined by William “Amnesiac” Barton, PC Gamer’s pick for this year’s World Championship—it seemed likely we wouldn’t get another ATLC.
But hark, what light through Kickstarter’s window breaks? It’s ATLC 2—now rebranded as the Amaz Team League Championships, and looking for a cool $206,322 to fund another tournament. At this point, you may be forgiven for doing the thinking emoji face. As far as I’m aware, this is the first attempt at crowdfunding a Hearthstone tournament. And as popular as the original ATLC was, given how many events Hearthstone fans can already enjoy for free, I’m sceptical of this gaining traction. At time of writing just over $2k had been pledged, though it is of course early days.
If it doesn’t happen that will be a shame, because the format looks fun. More details can be found over at , but as expected it’s another invitational, taking place over the course of three months, with eight teams of three competing weekly to qualify for the finals. Of the $200k being asked for, $100k will go into the prize pool. It’s unclear how the rest of the cash will be spent, though presumably running costs account for a fair bit of it. There are 10 possible tiers of backer, with rewards ranging from ATLC2 phone wallpapers in the $10 tier up to flights to the finals for those able to pony up close to $10k, where you’ll participate in a special backers tournament.
Looking at the Kickstarter, there’s some suggestion that Jeoparino—which is a Hearthstone-themed trivia quiz—might be unlocked if pledges pass the $250k mark, but as the Kickstarter notes, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It's unclear whether the tournament could still go ahead if it doesn't reach its goal, though the Kickstarter does mention that the addition of sponsors could increase the prize pool.
What seems clear is that ATLC 2 is going to depend on how much Hearthstone fans still buy into Amaz’s personal brand, and whether there’s sufficient faith in his ability to deliver something worth throwing real money down for. What say you, internet?