Last year, for the debut edition of the Hearthstone Global Games, Germany were a team that looked great on paper.
But it all fell apart at the first hurdle. Two of the players had a public spat that led to them being kicked off the team, and two others were burnt out on the game and stopped playing soon after the tournament.
This year, a new and re-focused squad are looking to restore a bit of national pride, and show why Germany has long been regarded as a hot bed of Hearthstone talent. They’re focused, have championship pedigree—and most importantly, they like each other this time.
In 2017 they had one of the most decorated players in the game’s history, Adrian “Lifecoach” Koy, alongside Daniel “C4mlann” Märkisch who had had a strong finish to 2016. Unfortunately, Lifecoach was on his way out of Hearthstone, and C4mlann has also faded. The other two members of the team—Thomas “Sintolol” Zimmer and Mats “P4wnyhof” Karthage—got into a public spat. Blizzard got involved and kicked the pair off the team, replacing them with Jan “SuperJJ” Janssen, another player about to leave the game, and Torbin “Viper” Wahl.
Admittedly, Germany had a tough group. The two top finishers, Ukraine and the Czech Republic, ended up in the final. But Germany finished bottom of the group with a 1-4 record, only managing one win against Croatia. They were one of the biggest casualties of the first round.
For the sophomore Global Games, the team are looking to change that. Sintolol and Viper are back, this time joined by two new faces—Linh “Seiko” Nguyen and Raphael “Bunnyhoppor” Peltzer. And they’re motivated to do better this time around.
Certainly the team composition bodes well. All four know each other well, with Seiko and Viper both playing on Team Genji. They have pedigree, too—Sintolol reached the quarterfinals of the 2017 World Championship, while Bunnyhoppor and Viper have already secured a spot in the 2018 edition. Seiko is the country’s top HC points earner, and won the German Hearthstone Nationals.
“This year we are just four friends actually playing and there’s not anything bad going on between us,” Viper told Dot Esports. “I’m sure we will put way more time into it, we will practice together and we will do our best. We’re looking forward to not disappointing again.”
Summer HCT champion Bunnyhoppor is especially motivated—not just because he’s playing with his friends, but because he missed out on being voted in last time. He put his chances this time at just “30 percent,” and only because of the platform afforded to him by the Summer Championship. With streamers like Tugay “MrYagut” Evsat and Kevin “Casie” Eberlein on the ballot he didn’t think he would stand a chance.
Missing out last time, Bunnyhoppor could only watch from the sidelines as the German team crashed and burned. He was somewhat scathing of the performance, pointing out this year that the German team has “four people that actually play Hearthstone.“
“I expect us to do much much better,” he told Dot Esports. “even though it’s impossible to do worse than that I think. Honestly it was very disappointing for all the other Germans on the ballot to see Germany go down that way. Being on the ballot but then not being on the team, not being able to do anything about it and see the misery unfold in front of you, but there’s nothing you can do.”
Germany open their Global Games campaign against the Netherlands on July 18 at 10am CT.