Huang “KZGXiaobai” Dehui is the first champion of 2021 following the conclusion of Heartstone Masters Tour Ironforge.
In an incredible final match, Xiaobai dominated European competitor Michaël “Maverick” Looze in a 3-0 sweep. With his victory, Xiaobai outplayed 389 other players from across the globe to finish the weekend with the Masters Tour trophy and $25,000 in champion prizing.
Xiaobai’s Zoo Warlock, Whirlkick Rogue, and Libram Paladin decks made short work of Maverick, despite the Belgium player’s seemingly smooth fight to reach the final match. In a stunning show of mastery, Xiaobai utilized his flexible lineup to quickly secure the championship, despite predictions from both Darroch Brown and Jia Dee that the match would go the full five rounds.
After going 8-1 in the Swiss rounds, Xiaobai secured his spot in the Top 8 after defeating Hearthstone Grandmaster Wesley “lambyseries” Seek, 3-2. This momentum carried him into the final day with a 3-2 quarterfinal win over Kenta “Okasinnsuke” Sekiguchi, then going on to best Marco “Turna” Castiglioni 3-1 in the semifinal.
Masters Tour Ironforge is just the start of what is shaping up to be an incredible year for competitive Hearthstone. The first season of Grandmasters begins on April 9, and the Masters Tour returns when players head to Orgrimmar from April 30 to May 2.