Sep 8 2016 - 3:12 pm

Amaz confirms Archon shut down, sheds light on financial issues

After playing home to a world champion and some of the top players in Hearthstone, Team Archon has shut down
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor, Dot Esports.

After playing home to a world champion and some of the top players in Hearthstone, Team Archon has shut down.

After his signing with NRG eSports raised questions about the organization's future, Jason "Amaz" Chan confirmed yesterday that his Archon organization would soon be shutting its doors.

Chan, who established Archon in November 2014, also confirmed that the team's last remaining player—William "Amnesiac" Barton—was now a free agent.

Archon have quietly parted ways with all the streamers under their umbrella in recent months, with competitive players Jon "Orange" Westberg and Paul "Zalae" Nemeth also leaving.

Opening up on the reasons for the organization's closure, Chan revealed that the team's main sponsor, G2A, had reduced sponsor payments once they had succeeded in securing the significant foothold they now enjoy in the esports industry. G2A has in the past been accused of failing to honor payments to teams.

Archon was one of the most successful teams in Hearthstone in 2015. With 2014 world champion James "Firebat" Kostesich on the founding roster, the team also signed top European talents Orange and Sebastian "Xixo" Bentert. Outside of Hearthstone, the team made a couple of attempts to establish a foothold in Dota 2 with limited success.

The team also hosted the Archon Team League Championships, the largest independent tournament in Hearthstone to date—though a promised second season never materialized. 

Jan 15 2017 - 10:59 pm

Staz bests Orange in WESG Hearthstone final

It's the first major win for an SEA player.
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor, Dot Esports.
Screengrab via Starladder_HS_en/Twitch

At the first major Hearthstone event of 2017, Euneil “Staz” Javinaz bested European star Jon "Orange" Westberg to win his first title—and the first for his region.

Staz and Orange went the full seven games in the stunning final set, trading games back and forth before Staz eventually came out on top 4-3. The final game was a grinding affair, a Reno Mage mirror that played over close to an hour.

Representing the South East Asia region, Staz is the first player from that region to win a major title.

Staz reached the final after beating out a pair of Europeans—Orange's countryman Elliot "Fluffy" Karlsson and the impressive Raphael "BunnyHoppor" Peltzer—arguably having the toughest road through the bracket stage.

Orange's run was no easy feat either as he had to take out Sebastian "Xixo" Bentert, one of the most successful players of 2016 playing in his first tournament since joining Counter Logic Gaming.

The loss meant that Orange was unable to string together back to back major victories, after winning his second Seat Story Cup title in December.

For his victory Staz takes home a whopping $150,000, one of the largest prizes ever awarded in Hearthstone. For second place Orange will have to make do with $70,000.

Jan 14 2017 - 6:23 pm

Hearthstone devs detail potential ranked revamp

Ranked play could be set for some drastic changes.
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor, Dot Esports.
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Hearthstone's ranked play ladder could see some significant changes in the near future, according to the game's development team.

In a Developer Insights Q&A yesterday, game director Ben Brode and designer Dean Ayala admitted that the ladder can be feel like a grind at times, and discussed possible ways to address the problem.

Potential fixes include increasing stars for win streaks, allowing win streaks above rank five and trying to have less players at the rank 20 mark to improve the new player experience.

However the team are concerned with not increasing the number of players reaching the legend rank, so as not to devalue it. Fundamentally the ladder system will stay broadly the same, with the numbered ranks giving a clear indication of progress.

Arena will also see some improvements in the coming months, with the top 100 rankings for arena being published on a regular basis.

The current prevalence of pirate decks in the meta was also the subject of much discussion, with the pair admitting that the volume of pirate decks being played is "a little higher than we're comfortable with."

While pirate deck winrates are apparently not a cause for concern, they are being closely monitored.