Today May 22, 2014 Blizzard announced that the Hearthstone World Championship will offer a prize pool of $250,000. That's the same as a Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour, however there's a large difference: The Hearthstone World Championship's payouts are much more top heavy with the first place prize at $100,000. In contrast, when Patrick Chapin won Pro Tour Journey Into Nyx he only took home $40,000.
The big news is the extremely large payout for the digital game, offering another avenue for those who pursue e-sports as a living. Hearthstone is a very new game, released just this past March 2014 yet has more than 10 million registered player accounts as of May 2014. Magic: The Gathering has been out for over two decades and a little over 12 million registered players. Of course Magic is a paper game, however it does have a digital equivalent Magic Online where players can qualify for the paper-based pro tour.
While a more top heavy payout may be a great marketing move to promote the game, it isn't exactly in the player's best interests when there could be a more spread out payouts for those who've invested their time and money into the game.
The Hearthstone World Championship pays down to 16th place, however there will only be 130 competitors at the event. That means there will only 12.3% of those there will come back a winner. For comparison, a Magic: The Gathering Pro Tours pay down to 75th place and at the most recent event there were 349 players and 21% flew home with at least $1,000.
Would you rather compete in a top heavy event that pays out to fewer players or one that pays less to more? Please share your opinion with us in the comment section down below.
The Hearthstone World Championships will be take place at this year's BlizzCon from Nov. 7-8, 2014.
For more information about the game, visit http://us.battle.net/hearthstone.