It was a pretty big weekend for Hearthstone. Between the Gfinity Spring Masters in London and ESL Katowice in Poland, there was a whole lot of transcendent card gaming streamed on Twitch. Did you miss it? Were you working a day job? Do you not have the patience for Control Warrior? Did the massive amount of downtime in the Gfinity stream break your spirit? Don’t worry, we were watching, and we’ve got your back. Here are four matches from those competitions that you need to see.
Lifecoach vs. Nalguidan
One of the more interesting things about pro Hearthstone is the invited/qualified formats. It basically means that some players get hand-picked to join the tournament (based on a combination of popularity and prestige), while others make their way through rigorous qualifications. It leads to matchups like this, where Lifecoach, currently the No. 3 player in the world according to GosuGamers, gets knocked off by a relative unknown: Argentinian player Nalguidan. Does it make him the better player? Of course not. This is a card game where variance is high. But it’s still pretty fun to see the underdog triumph, especially when King Krush is involved.
Firebat vs. Zozus
(Sorry, this embed was not found.)A few weeks ago, we were talking to Firebat on The Loadout: Hearthstone (the Daily Dot’s new weekly Hearthstone talk show), and the defending world champion himself seemed a little bit down on his recent performances. It’s fair, he wasn’t quite his usual winning self recently. But all those doubts were put to bed at the Gfinity Spring Masters. Firebat glided through the group phase and into the grand championship, where he put everyone on notice with a deft combination of Hunter, Freeze Mage, and Oil Rogue. His opponent, a relative unknown named Zosus, didn’t know what hit him. I highly recommend at least watching Firebat’s Rogue games if you want to know what great Hearthstone play looks like.
Orange vs. Amaz
ESL Katowice might go down as the coronation of Orange. Here you’ll see him sweep Amaz 3-0 to claim the tournament’s grand championship and remind everyone watching that he’s the hottest property in Hearthstone. If the scuttle is true, and Orange does end up signing with Team Archon, this match will be extra poetic considering that Archon is Amaz’s baby. What’s a better way of introducing yourself to the world than sweeping the chairman of the team you’re about to join?
RDU vs. Orange
However, it almost wasn’t to be, as Orange and RDU faced off in a quarterfinals match that came down to a single 50/50 Ragnaros stroke. If it hit RDU’s face, Orange had lethal. If it missed? Well, RDU had plenty on the board to punch his ticket into the next round. If you think Hearthstone is boring, watch Orange close his eyes and whisper desperate prayers as he hovers his finger over that fate-deciding “End Turn” button.