Hearthstone Masters Tour LA Is Now Online Only

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No live matches this time. Blizzard

Hearthstone announced that the Masters Tour Los Angeles tournament is now going to be entirely online. With players coming from more than 40 different countries, the decision was made after updates to concerns over the coronavirus. Hearthstone went on to say that the safety and well-being of everyone takes to priority over having a live event.

Back in January of this year, Hearthstone announced that it increasing the number of Masters Tours from three to six. The first was in Arlington, Texas, with Zakarya “xBlyzes” Hail winning the Tour. You can read more about that here.

The second was scheduled to be held in Bali, Indonesia from March 20 to March 22. However, with the recent reports of the spread of the coronavirus, it was relocated to Los Angeles. Read more about that here.

In a post, Hearthstone said given that making adjustments to travel plans is difficult, and they are going to provide as much as "$1,500 in reimbursement for non-refundable travel arrangements to all qualified competitors who have already booked their travel to Los Angeles." All invited players are going to receive an email no later than Thursday, March 12, with details on how to get the travel reimbursement.

The Masters Tour is a tournament that includes at least 300 players coming from 40 different countries fighting it out onsite over three days. Many of these players travel to the tournament without the support of teams or organizations, and thus shoulder their own costs. Some players even need to take time off from their day jobs. For this, Hearthstone added that they "deeply apologize for any inconvenience this decision may cause—we love this community, and moving to an online format for Masters Tour Los Angeles is for the health and safety of our players with so many of them traveling from so many different countries."

The next Masters Tour is in Jönköping, Sweden, and is scheduled for June 12 to June 14. With the current situation, Hearthstone advised qualified players to book flexible travel plans while also getting travel insurance as they "continue to monitor the evolving coronavirus situation and will provide updates on future events at a later date."

For now, Hearthstone fans can still enjoy the competition with matches to be broadcast live on the Hearthstone Esports YouTube Channel. Matches start on March 20 at 12:00 p.m. EDT. Talent at the tournament includes the likes of Dan “Frodan” Chou, TJ “Azumo” Sanders, Simon “Sottle” Welch, and Erik “DoA” Lonnquist, who will all be covering the event.

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