Folks are angry at Blizzard this week over a series of bad decisions for it’s most recent professional Heathstone tournament. The Hearthstone Championship Tour America Summer Playoffs took place over last weekend, and it didn’t go well.
Complaints centered on technical issues involving saturated bandwidth at venues (Whose idea was it to use Buffalo Wild Wings as a host?) all the way to game disconnects forcing restarts that caused players to lose matches they could have won. Reaction on social media from viewers and participating players has been soundly negative. Players want Blizzard to fix the issues the game is having, and they’re saying so loudly.
Responding to the criticism, Blizzard posted a message on Battle.net 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.”
For what it’s worth, a system of inter-turn saves for pro games could fix the disconnects issue. Venue choices being poor is another problem entirely.
But Hearthstone isn’t the only game that has received attention, either good or bad, this week.
Blizzard has been working hard to pull in support and teams for its Overwatch League. This week they expanded the roster by adding three new teams: one from Philly and two from Texas. They’ll bring the final total to 12, where it will stay for its “inaugural season.” The new teams are:
Comcast Spectacor (Philadelphia), leader in sports and entertainment and owner of the Philadelphia Flyers
Team Envy (Dallas), veteran esports organization with experience across multiple genres
OpTic Gaming (Houston), established esports organization known for its passionate global fan base
They’ll join venture capitalists from all over the world, including reps and owners of Cloud9, the LA Rams, New England Patriots, New York Mets, Immortals, Misfits Gaming, NRG Esports, Netease, and Kabam, which gets the foot in the door for pro Overwatch on three continents.
Blizzard has further announced that the season is “just a few short months away” — in fact, preseason play will begin on December 6th, with the season beginning January 10th and concluding with playoffs in July of 2018. This year, at least, all pre- and regular-season games will be held at Blizzard’s shiny new e-sports arena in LA.
Blizzard is pumping millions into it’s Overwatch league, lets hope that they can do the same for Hearthstone and put some of the issues the game is facing to rest.