Update October 27, 2016: After its announcement a couple of weeks ago, Hearthstone's heroic tavern brawl is yet to appear - and despite assurances otherwise, it may be delayed until after BlizzCon.
The closest thing Hearthstone has had to a tournament mode has been a tad delayed. Heroic tavern brawls, the semi-controversial new game mode that will allow players to wager an awful lot of gold for big rewards by playing constructed decks, might not be showing up until after BlizzCon next week.
Get training for battle with our list of the best Hearthstone decks.
Senior game designer and serial laugher Ben Brode confirmed as much on Twitter last night, saying that he "wasn't sure that was the case" in reply to a tweet claiming he'd previously promised the mode before BlizzCon.
It's a very strange delay. Blizzard aren't ones to announce features before they're available to play, or nearly there. Their policy of not showing anything off at BlizzCon before it's ready to play has lead to a lot of hype around their games, and other announcements usually only happen once they have a timeline. It's possible that the initial negative reaction from the legendarily grumpy Hearthstone community has lead to a reconsideration in terms of prize payout and buy-in.
The other theory is that Blizzard are waiting for the release of the next Hearthstone set - supposedly themed around the Goblin town of Gadgetzan if the initial teasers are to be taken at face value - before running the promotion. This has been much-requested as a possible solution to the supposed bad value of even the high-end rewards, as packs of older sets are not as useful as newer.
We'll possibly hear more about it come BlizzCon.
Original story October 17, 2016: Competitive Brawls are coming to Hearthstone, adding premium battles with higher stakes to Blizzard's free-to-play card game. It ain't cheap, but the rewards for victory should make up for the price of admission.
Heroic Brawls work a bit like Arena, though you can use constructed decks here. You choose from standard cards before things kick off, and then you're locked into your choices either until you win 12 or lose three battles.
I wouldn't sign up unless you're confident in your skills though. The entry fee will be a substantial $9.99, or 1000 Gold.
Victory can see you win up to 50 packs for a run, as well as multiple Legendaries, and the usual gold and dust. A loss without any wins will get you one pack. There are plenty of other spoils between these two extremes.
The Heroic Brawl only lasts for the duration of a regular Tavern Brawl week and when it's running there will not be a regular Tavern Brawl. You'll also be restricted by how many times you can enter, presumably so it doesn't have that gambling thing of players trying to recoup a loss by chasing their money.
Here's a video where Blizzard talk us through the mode: