Voting for the Hearthstone Global Games teams is over, and the players to represent each of the 48 countries taking part have been locked in.
Each country has four players—one anchor, the country’s leading HC points earner, and three players voted in by the community. There were eight players all vying for votes, and things got tight for some names you might have expected to make the cut.
So now that the teams are set, who are the quartets to watch out for?
Last year, it took a lot of teams a couple of weeks to get the communication down. For that reason, the Philippines and the Netherlands have an inherent advantage. Of all the teams in the tournament, they are the only two to select the same four players to represent them for a second year.
For the Netherlands, that includes the return of Tyler Hoang Nguyen as anchor. He’s joined by streaming star and former European champion Thijs Molendijk, Louis “Mitsuhide” Bremers, and “Theo”. The quartet suffered just one loss in eight matches in the two group stages last year, but dropped out to eventual finalists Ukraine in the quarterfinals.
The Philippines had a rougher time of it. They squeaked into the second group stage with the joint worst record in the competition, 2-3. Losses to the Netherlands, South Korea, and Argentina put them out at that second hurdle. Chalk Zaldivar, Cara “CaraCute” Vergel De Dios, Euneil “Staz” Javiñas, and Dustin “WaningMoon” Mangulabnan will be hoping for better results this time.
Another team with communication experience on their side is Denmark. Frederik “Hoej” Nielsen and Simon “Crane” Raunholst are returning from 2017, with Frederik “Twink” Johansen replacing Hoej as anchor. The final player is one that Hoej knows perhaps better than any other—his brother Nikolaj.
From the winning Czech Republic side, only Mikuláš “Pokrovac” Dio returns. He does have recent DreamHack semifinalist Oldřich “Faeli” Mahdal alongside him, but the team is missing the experience of Stanislav Cifka.
One side that massively underperformed last year was Germany. Initially pegged as top contenders, the team of Adrian “Lifecoach” Koy, “C4mlann”, Torben “Viper” Wahl, and Jan “SuperJJ” Janssen went 1-4 in the first group stage and bombed out. Viper is back for another go, joined by Raphael “BunnyHoppor” Peltzer, anchor Linh “Seiko” Nguyen, and Thomas “Sintolol” Zimmer. Sintolol was originally part of the 2017 team, but was kicked out for a public spat with fellow team member and controversial streamer Mats “P4wnyhof” Karthage.
The team from the United States is also brand new, but brings a wealth of experience. David “JustSaiyan” Shan is in as anchor, joined by Muzahidul “Muzzy” Islam, Terrence Miller, and Frank “Fr0zen” Zhang.