As well as the prize money, every HCS tournament over the next year from Majors to online Free For All (FFA) tournaments will offer its top teams HCS Points. Here’s a rundown on what they’re good for and how to earn them yourselves.
How to earn points
Every official HCS tournament offers HCS Points. The amount of points depends on what tier the tournament is and which region it is in.
For instance, in the prior open cups the winning North American teams earned 12,000 points split between the four players, hence 3,000 each. Meanwhile, the upcoming Raleigh Major offers 25,000 points total to the victors and the Major’s FFA tournament gives its victor 15,000 points.
As well as the winners, the top 32 teams in the cups and at the Major all earn points also, but fewer as you go down the positioning. This means to earn points you simply need to compete. Even if you’re not reaching top-level finishes, you still may be able to earn points throughout the year.
While it hasn’t been expanded upon as of yet, as well as HCS tournaments, points will also be up for grabs in Grassroots partnered tournaments. More details will come out on HCS points for grassroots tournaments as the events are announced.
Two things to keep in mind is in order to collect the points your Microsoft account must be in “good standing” (not suspended or banned) and must be linked to an Esports Engine account.
Secondly, at the beginning of Split 1 on January 1st and Split 2 on May 28th, the points you’ve earned so far are cut by 90% in order to even the playing field for the next six months of play. This effectively means winning an open cup now will not help you qualify for a tournament in a year's time.
What are they used for?
The points are used for two things; qualification and seeding.
While this isn’t normally the case, the upcoming Kick-Off Major in Raleigh has invited the top four NA teams, top two EU teams and top MX team by HCS Points to the Pool Play portion of the Major. These teams will have their expenses paid for and are guaranteed a spot in the Champions Bracket.
As well as this, the top two teams from each region by HCS Points that are competing in the Raleigh open bracket will also get their travel coverage paid for.
This adds up to seven teams qualifying based on their HCS Points, and a further eight being flown out based on their open cup performance.
The primary use for the HCS Points throughout next year is for seeding. This means those teams with the most points will be put in a bracket nearer to those with less experience rather than other professional teams.
As well as making the tournament itself much fairer and leaving the big-name matchups closer to the end of the bracket, this also encourages the big teams to compete in open cups in order to get better seedings at events. This helps the whole scene by bringing the skill level of these tournaments up.
The HCS Rankings
The full leaderboard of all players ordered by their HCS Points can be found on the Esports Engine website. So far this only includes the opening two open qualifiers and the Raleigh Kick-Off Major qualifiers, however, as the year goes on all the HCS tournament results will be factored in.
The leaderboard lists players rather than teams as this effectively allows players to carry over their results to a new team and allows individuals to earn points away from their lineup in FFA tournaments.
Also introduced are HCS Ranks which gives an official designation to the top players depending on how many HCS Points they have:
- Pro - Top 50 NA players, top 25 EU players, and top 20 MX and ANZ players
- Semi-Pro - NA players 51-100th, EU players 21-75th, and MX and ANZ players 21-50th
- Amateur Elite - NA players 101-200th, EU players 76-200th, and MX and ANZ players 51-100th
- Amateur - Any player with over 100 HCS Points no matter the region.
As HCS Points will continue to be earned and tracked throughout the next year, ForerunnerGG will be sure to keep you up to date on how the leaderboard develops.