Hearthstone's Winter Championship lineup is now complete
With all of the regional preliminary tournaments concluded, we now know the 16 players who will travel to the Bahamas for the Hearthstone Championship Tour Winter Championship.
The Championship will take place at the end of next month, with $250,000 and a spot in the next Hearthstone World Championship on the line.
The Asia Pacific region was the last to decide its four representatives. Japan's "b787" won the APAC regional prelims, after a memorable round of eight clash with countryman Lojom—who had brought a very unorthodox lineup to the event, including Midrange Paladin.
Two experienced players also made it through to represent the region: OGN Masters veteran Woong-Sub "Palmblad" Kwak of Korea, and Hong Kong's Chun Pong "Yulsic" Ng who competed in the 2016 Hearthstone World Championship. "SamuelTsao" of Chinese Tapei claimed the final spot.
Frank "Fr0zen" Zhang of Luminosity Gaming leads the Americas lineup, looking to take his first major victory after being touted as a top prospect for a year. 2014 World Championship quarterfinalist Jeffrey "Tarei" Liu will also return to the international stage, after coming within one game of the 2016 World Championship.
Newcomers "DocPwn" and "DrJikininiki" will compete in the Bahamas, looking for an upset.
On paper, Europe's lineup could well be the strongest. 2016 world champion Pavel Beltukov secured an immediate return to international competition by winning the European playoffs, with fellow Russian Aleksey "ShtanUdachi" Barsukov also making the trip. Former World Championship competitors James "Greensheep" Luo and Eugene "Neirea" Shumilin will also represent Europe.
China's representatives will be 2014 Gold Series champion and 2016 CN vs EU winner Zhang "lovelychook" Bohan, 2016 World Championship competitor "OmegaZero", and newcomers "Xhope" and "Lvge".