Amaz’s first tournament shrugs off DDoS attacks as Firebat takes the title

Now that Blizzard has finally released a spectator mode for Hearthstone, it's become a lot easier for just about anyone to organize a tournament

Now that Blizzard has finally released a spectator mode for Hearthstone, it’s become a lot easier for just about anyone to organize a tournament. Of course, it also opens up events to new problems, as the organizers of one of 2014’s last Hearthstone tournaments discovered earlier this week.

Everything looked good for The Pinnacle—organized by Jason “Amaz” Chan as the launch tournament for his new team, Archon—heading into its third day. But then players started having trouble connecting to their games.

It became clear something more than individual internet problems were to blame, especially as players kept getting disconnected at around the same time every game, around 5-10 minutes in. Chan and his team of organizers realised that this was the same timeframe as the stream delay on the games, and that attackers were striking as soon as the game started on Twitch. After around five different disconnects, they stopped the stream. Instead, they filmed the games off stream and broadcast them the next day.

“After the attacks in day three, we realized that we had to record the last few games off-stream while announcing that games will continue tomorrow,” Chan told the Daily Dot. “This was done not to fool players into thinking our tournament was live, but to ‘trick’ the DDoSers to stop their attacks by playing our games offline, and broadcasting the recording at a later time.”

The strategy seemed to work, and the broadcast was concluded a day late.

Disconnect issues can create problems when matches are already in play. James “Firebat” Kostesich was 2-1 up in a best of five quarter final against Janne “Savjz” Mikkonen when Kostesich was suddenly unable to connect. Rules around disconnects in tournaments usually stipulate that the player who is unable to connect forfeits the game, but due to the circumstances Mikkonen eventually agreed to replay the series from 0-0 instead of taking the default win.

Despite losing his lead, Kostesich came back to beat Mikkonen on his way to winning the tournament itself in a close final series with Sebastian “Xixo” Bentert.

Aside from the technical issues, the tournament was a success. Chan is one of Twitch‘s most popular Hearthstone streamers, so the event being hosted on his channel meant that around 35-45k people watched the action.

Chan told The Daily Dot he would be organizing more events this year, saying that he had been inspired to do so due to some “lackluster” tournament offerings in 2014.

“I will be organizing more tournaments in the future for sure,” Chan said. “Part of me wants to continue creating Hearthstone content for the community. Whether it’s my streaming, hosting Jeoparino, me attending tournaments or even hosting them, this is what I love to do.”

Photo via DreamHack/Flickr