Dec 21 2015 - 6:37 pm

Korean newcomer wins Hearthstone's biggest prize ever at WCA

In the final major Hearthstone event of the year, a relative unknown defeated a former world champion to claim Hearthstone's biggest prize ever
Morning Editor
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In the final major Hearthstone event of the year, a relative unknown defeated a former world champion to claim Hearthstone's biggest prize ever.

Korean qualifier "DawN" claimed the 700,000 yuan ($109,690) first prize at the World Cyber Arena 2015, defeating 2014 world champion James "Firebat" Kostesich 4-1.

The Korean's only previous tournament placing had been in the wildcard qualifier for WCA, where he placed third.

Kostesich was the only Western player to qualify for the top 8, with Adrian "Lifecoach" Koy, Ryan "Purple" Murphy-Root and Jason "Amaz" Chan among those failing to reach the quarterfinal stage.

Similar to the other WCA events this week, the Hearthstone tournament was not without controversy. The format of the early stages was changed from best-of-five to best-of-three near the start of the tournament, a format which is widely considered to be flawed when played with conquest rules. With only an intermittent ad-hoc English stream by Dan "Frodan" Chou which was later IP blocked, coverage of the event was sparse.

Thanks to his big money victory, "DawN" has the distinction of winning the most prize money of any Hearthstone player in 2015. His victory echoes that of 2014 WCA champion Li "LiBo" Bo who claimed $97,500 for his victory and was one of the biggest winners of 2014, but has won just $800 for a top eight local event finish in 2015.

Image via COG_iakona/Twitter

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