Oct 16 2016 - 6:36 am

The Hearthstone World Championship lineup is now complete

After a year of ladder, gruelling prelims and seasonal championships, the lineup for the third Hearthstone World Championship is now complete
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor, Dot Esports.

After a year of ladder, gruelling prelims and seasonal championships, the lineup for the third Hearthstone World Championship is now complete.

The last three players claimed their spots through the Last Call tournaments, where the eight best performing players over the whole year fought it out in a cut-throat single elimination one day event.

From the Americas region "bbgungun" has the distinction of claiming the very last spot, after winning that region's Last Call yesterday.

The American outlasted a talented field, including the highly-touted Luminosity Gaming pair of Frank "Fr0zen" Yhang and Muzahidul "Muzzy" Islam and Celestial's Austin "Silentstorm" Li.

Though bbgungun managed to avoid Muzzy and Fr0zen as both fell in the first round, he did have to fend off Americas Winter Championship finalist Robert "Nostam" Matson in his first round match. In the final he met SilentStorm in a rare competitive appearance from the one-time ESL Legendary Series winner, winning 4-2.

Bbgungun will join William "Amnesiac" Barton, Julien "Cydonia" Perrault and "HotMeowth" in representing the Americas region at Blizzcon, once again completing a clean sweep for North America.

In the European Last Call the three year journey of Dima "Rdu" Radu was derailed at the very last hurdle. The Romanian, who wasn't even eligible for the World Championship in 2014 due to country restrictions, lost out to wonderkid Pavel Beltukov in the final.

Pavel will be joined by a European lineup many believe will yield the potential winner: the returning Thijs Molendijk, and the Virtus Pro pair of Ole "Naiman" Batyrbekov and Artem "DrHippi" Kravets.

Korea has dominated the APAC region, with Kim Cheonsu taking the win in the Last Call. After beating a strong lineup, including Taiwan's "Shaxy", Cheonsu will join countryman Sanghyeon "DDaHyoNi" Baek of Cloud9 and Ilmook "handsomeguy" Kang as well as "Yulsic" of Hong Kong in next month's World Championship.

China did not stage a Last Call, instead awarding two places in the Summer qualifier. Chen "Breath" Yuxiang of Team Celestial, Jason Zhou, "OmegaZero" and "Hamster" will represent the region at Blizzcon.

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.