A few weeks ago, popular streamer and Archon team co-owner Amaz laid out an arena challenge. He put out a challenge to all the top streamers that they manage to get 100 wins across ten runs. Obviously this means that they have to average ten wins for ten runs straight. This can be manipulated slightly by declaring a new run at the start of every run and only continuing one on which they got twelve wins, but an 88 in nine challenge is still incredibly difficult. The draft and all games must be streamed as well, in order to avoid cheating. To make the challenge more interesting, Amaz stated that any time you are offered a class that you have not yet played during that run, you must choose that class. If you are offered three you have already played, you are free to choose whichever you’d like. The rules also state that if reaching 100 has become impossible, you must stop.
Several of the top arena streamers jumped on the challenge, as well as Amaz attempting to beat his own challenge. Hafu immediately jumped on the challenge, and within the first couple weeks she managed to get a score of 86 in nine runs, the highest score until that point. Last week, Ratsmah buckled down and took on the challenge, managing to get to 92 in nine runs, meaning he only needed an 8-3 score in his last run to beat the challenge. His draft went incredibly badly, he lost every joust and coin flip, his opponents were watching his stream in order to beat him, and he got beaten down to a measly 1-3 run, ending with the highest score yet, 93 wins.
This week, Amaz decided to spice up the challenge, and he and Hafu made a $1000 bet on who could beat the challenge first. Hafu accepted and immediately buckled down, starting a strong run. She managed to get all the way to 90 in nine as of yesterday. For her final run she managed to get Paladin, a very strong arena class, and drafted a very strong deck, including two Muster for Battles. She quickly went 4-1, then stopped for the day, saying that her nerves were simply too high to continue. Today, she finished the run. It is very notable that after Ratsmah’s horrible last run, Hafu decided to put a three minute delay on her stream. This is a big deal for streamers, because it means they are unable to interact with chat, meaning their revenue is lower. They only do so when players are intentionally queuing against them in order to look at their hands for an advantage, or simply in order to mess them up, as happened to Ratsmah.
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Hafu’s Final Run
Her first game was against another Paladin, and it was incredibly close, but she managed to drop a couple of 8/8s and defeat her opponent, living with five life. Her second run was against a Rogue. She got very far behind at the start, but finally managed to come back on board, before her opponent dropped a Sea Giant into a 6/7 and played an un-comboed Edwin Van Cleef so that he could combo his top-deck Cold Blood for lethal, making her 5-2. Her next game was against a Mage, and with some Murloc Knight and Sea Giant combinations, she quickly took and held the board into her opponent conceding on turn seven with 21 health. Her next game was against another Paladin. Here there was a combination of factors, including her opponent playing Muster – Hero Power – Quartermaster for four 3/3s, and Hafu being under a lot of pressure, but some misplays were made and a very sad Flame Juggler dodged all six of her minions and hit her face, ending Hafu’s run at 6-3. This means that she is the one who has gotten the furthest, ending with a score of 96 wins.
The Challenge Remains
One of the most interesting things about this challenge is what Hafu stopped to talk about between two of her games. She has been an arena player and streamer for two years, but this challenge has forced her to become a better player through her desire to succeed. She said that she has begun watching other streamers play arena simply to get insight into their thought processes, and that she feels that she has genuinely become a much better player.
The challenge remains unbeaten, but many of the top arena players continue to go for it. Hopefully within the next few weeks we will see some incredible gameplay, and perhaps even a victorious run! Maybe Amaz or Hafu will be forced to pay out their $1000. In any case, the challenge has provided a lot of entertainment and some real skill improvement.