In 2017, over 1,000 teams entered the arena to compete in Tespa’s Fall Training Grounds.

To accommodate the overwhelming demand for competitive Hearthstone, we’re revamping our tournament format. Expect our spring season to host some of the fiercest competition to date!

Tournament Overview

Our classic three-player format will return—teams of three players will still work together to play one deck in typical Conquest fashion.

The first major change is that teams’ decklists are now fully open, meaning players will have access to the decklists of their challengers before each match. This change brings Tespa’s tournament circuit in line with HCT and helps prevent players from playing with cards not listed on their decklists.

Teams will play most of their matches in one of four regional groups—North, South, East, or West—based the location of their university.

This year, we’re also announcing a fifth group, the Varsity Division.

Varsity Overhaul

Students enrolled in schools with officially sanctioned varsity esports programs are invited to participate in a division designed to highlight the skill of top collegiate gamers. The Varsity Division will allow matchmaking with teams from all across North America, allowing teams to experience a different competitive experience than they would in the Open Division.

For more information on the Varsity Division, check out the varsity info page on Tespa Compete.

The Varsity Division will be a gauntlet curated for serious competition. A school’s varsity program is only allowed to field a single varsity squad—a strike force of the best Hearthstone players a school has to offer.

Varsity teams must be willing to face as many as fourteen worthy opponents during their regular season, while teams in the Open Division will only test their skills against seven. Serious teams must be ready for a serious time commitment, but with more matches comes less variance.

The top eight varsity teams will vie for four seats in the Championship Bracket. Teams in this stage that miss the mark in this stage will drop from the Varsity Bracket to their default Regional Playoff Groups where they can play for a second shot at glory. At this point, the Open and Varsity brackets intersect.

We hope that this 2018 addition encourages colleges and universities to further invest in their players. In the future, institutions that wish to field a varsity team in Tespa tournaments will be required to meet a minimum threshold of financial support for their esports players in order to maintain the school’s varsity status.

Branching Paths

Our new format is designed to accommodate over 1,000 collegiate teams, each with different competitive goals and time commitments. This new format is designed to reduce overall variance and allow teams to make more meaningful choices about how they compete.

The Varsity Division is intended to build dynasties and promote rivalries amongst schools that are serious about college esports. With only a handful teams and more initial rounds, the Varsity Division is sure to be a true test of skill.

The Open Division is largely unchanged from previous years. It will accommodate the bulk of the competition and host hundreds of teams.

All teams in the Open Division that end with a final record of 5-2 or better will advance to the first weekend of Regional Playoffs where they will play more swiss rounds against teams with similar Regular Season records. The top 8 teams from each region will move on to the second weekend of the Regional Playoffs. Here, teams will be placed into double elimination brackets, seeded by performance in previous rounds.

Three teams from each of the four main regions will advance to the Championship Bracket, alongside the four strongest varsity teams. These sixteen superstar squads will be seeded into groups where they will compete for a trip to our live finals event in California.

Tournament Broadcast

Times & Dates

Regular Season

2/19 - 4/03 (Monday & Tuesday, 5pm PDT)

Championship Bracket (Groups 1 & 2)

4/28 (9am PST)

Championship Bracket (Groups 3 & 4)

4/29 (9am PST)

Live Finals

5/19 - 5/20

For more details, read the full tournament schedule on Tespa Compete.