16 of the world's meanest, toughest digital card-slingers will soon do battle for their share of the million-dollar prize pool at the 2016 Hearthstone World Championships at BlizzCon. The winner will walk away with a cool $250,000, but those of us who aren't on the big stage have a chance to come home with some free stuff too, by way of Blizzard's new "Choose Your Champion" event.
The Hearthstone World Championship finalists have been divided into four groups of four players each, which will be winnowed to two players from each group during the BlizzCon opening week group stage. Those still standing will then move to the single-elimination bracket at BlizzCon proper. For them, it's win or die; for you, it's simpler. Just pick one of them, and then hope he makes it all the way to the top.
You'll get a free card pack from The Grand Tournament just for signing up, so even if you have no idea who to support you can just click at random and get some stuff. But for each best-of-seven round your chosen champ wins, you'll get another card pack. Choose well and you could end up with six free card packs in total.
You have from now until 11:59 pm PDT on October 25 to pick your pony, after which the selection process will be closed for BlizzCon opening week. A second selection period will run from the end of opening week until 11:59 pm PDT on November 3, but you won't be able to score as many card packs if you wait until then to make your choice. On the other hand, there may be some strategic value in holding off: You can't change your choice once it's made, so sacrificing a couple of potential packs for the chance to see how the competitors perform might not be a bad idea.
Decisions, decisions. Make yours at Battle.net.