The richest tournament in the history of competitive Hearthstone was played over the weekend in China, and it was one of two visiting American players who walked away with the grand prize.
The World Esport Championships took place in Hangzhou, China, with the finals played in Yellow Dragon Stadium. While the prize pool was larger than at any other Hearthstone event in the game’s relatively brief history, only eight qualified players were allowed to compete for it at the final.
Two players were brought in from North America, two from Europe, two from Korea and two locally from within China. And it would ultimately be an American who took home the $32,500 share of a total prize pool worth more than $60,000.
Andrew “TidesofTime” Biessener was crowned champion after winning a tight best-of-five series in the grand final over Korean player Jung Soo “Surrender” Kim by a margin of three games to two.
This was the second time Biessener beat Jung in the fifth game during the event. The two also met in the first round, with the result being just the same. Jung’s run through the lower bracket after losing that opening match was impressive, but he wasn’t able to take advantage of the opportunity for a rematch.
The rest of Biessener’s tournament wasn’t nearly so close. His semifinal and winner’s final matches were both sweeps in his favor, one of which came over Dima “Rdu” Radu, winner of the Hearthstone tournament held at DreamHack in June.
Those sweeps were powered by Biessener’s “Warlock Zoo” deck, and it was another Warlock deck that would ultimately win him the tournament.
After going up two games to none on Jung, and threatening to become champion on the back of nine consecutive wins, Biessener slipped up and was forced to a fifth and final game. It was then that Biessener’s “Handlock” Warlock deck took center stage and powered him to closing the series and the biggest win yet in Hearthstone.
Biessener is a former professional Dota 2 player who most notably played for Dignitas. After his win in Hangzhou, he’s likely feeling good about his decision to move to Blizzard’s popular digital card game.
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