What is it?
The Hearthstone Championship Tour will be starting in March, in which some of the top players from each region will be facing off for a $100,000 prize pool, per region. The European preliminaries happened this week, from which eight players have advanced to the finals. Those players are:
Bracket one didn’t have too many big names, with only ShtanUdachi and Pavel participating in this group. ShtanUdachi was eliminated in the second round and Pavel in the first. The winners of bracket one were DrHippi from Ukraine and Tars from France. Tars plays for melty eSport Club, a French gaming team. DrHippi managed to go 3-1 in every round he played in, including the finals against Tars, making his overall game score 15-5, a very impressive score going into the finals. Tars lost 1-3 to DrHippi in the finals, making his overall game score 13-6, also a very good score. He lost in the last round, so he will be in the lower bracket going into the finals.
Bracket two held Kolento and Ostkaka, two of the best players in the Hearthstone scene. Kolento is a well-known player, often considered one of the most consistent and impressive players in the entire Hearthstone scene. Ostkaka is one of the few players who is on Kolento’s level, actually managing to take home the title of World Champion in 2015. Unfortunately, both players were defeated in the second round and eliminated. The winners of bracket two are Pokrovac from Czech Republic and lekariy from Russia. Pokrovac plays for team eSuba, a Czech gaming team. Pokrovac managed a very impressive 15-4 game score, even winning the final round in a 3-0 showing. Lekariy managed to pull off a 12-6 game score, even with his 0-3 in the finals. Both players had very good showings and will be moving on to the finals.
Bracket three had several big names including Gaara, Neirea, Thijs, and SuperJJ. Once again, none of these well-known players managed to advance, with Gaara being the only one to make it to the third round, of five. Thijs, who many considered the top player of 2015, was shockingly defeated in the very first round, going 1-3 in his match. The winners of bracket three were Nicslay from Germany and BunnyHoppor from Norway. Nicslay pulled off a game score of 15-7, with some close calls on his way to the top. The final round was a close 3-2, but Nicslay managed to pull through to claim first. BunnyHoppor was defeated in the final round, but he still had a game score of 14-4, only losing one game aside from the final round. BunnyHoppor in particular seems someone to watch moving forward, with his consistent level of play.
The fourth and final bracket held Hoej, Sjow, Xixo, and Rdu. Rdu and Hoej were both eliminated in the first round, while Sjow and Xixo made it to the second round before being eliminated. Xixo was eliminated by J4CKIECHAN, a well-known community favourite, although not a professional player. J4CKIECHAN was eliminated the next round. The winners of bracket four were Diggen from Norway and Kolemoen from Germany. Diggen pulled off a very impressive 15-4 game score, going 3-1 in every round except his first where he went 3-0. Kolemoen has the shakiest score seen yet, with an overall game score of 13-11, and scores of 3-2 in every round except the final, where he lost 1-3. He may have made it by the skin of his teeth, but he did manage to make it all the way to the end.
The tournament looks like it’s shaping up to be very interesting, with all of the crowd favourites knocked out. Hopefully with new talent we will be able to see some refreshing play and perhaps some new signed players and big names down the road!