Ah, e-sports. You tempt us with your vision of the future and yet, at times, seem woefully unprepared for the present. Case(s) in point: a couple of recent mishaps that took place during some high-profile Hearthstone tournaments.
Over the weekend of Sept. 16-17, the Hearthstone Championship Tour Americas Summer Playoffs “experienced multiple DDoS attacks and equipment malfunctions that disrupted the tournament,” according to Blizzard. This led to some matches being restarted, including, as one player put it, the losing player in one match getting a perfect draw in the second.
In less nefarious but still unfortunate news, a match between two Control Warrior decks using the new Dead Man’s Hand card from Knights of the Frozen Throne dragged on for an hour, with one player accumulating over 500 armor. PCGamer talked to Blizzard about the issue, which stated that the general policy for tournaments is for games to terminate after 90 combined turns. It’s not explained if this match went that long and, if it did, why that measure wasn’t enforced.
In both cases, Blizzard naturally stated that it’s looking into ways to address these situations in the future. And hey, it’s not like real sports don’t have their own mishaps during high-profile events. Of course, the NFL isn’t struggling to establish its legitimacy, so issues like that can generally be overlooked as one-time snafus. It’s a bit more damaging to the image of Hearthstone, and of big e-sports events in general, for this sort of thing to happen on a large stage when the entire concept is still in its infancy.