Mar 21 2016 - 2:43 pm

Naiman, once banned for a year from Hearthstone, qualifies for the World Championships

After returning from a year long competitive ban, Ole "Naiman" Batyrbekov beat out seven other players this weekend to secure his spot in the 2016 Hearthstone World Championship
Morning Editor
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After returning from a year long competitive ban, Ole "Naiman" Batyrbekov beat out seven other players this weekend to secure his spot in the 2016 Hearthstone World Championship.

Naiman, who was banned from the 2015 campaign for terms of service violations in ladder games, won the $25,000 prize prize at the European Winter Championship Sunday.

By virtue of the championship victory, Naiman also joins William "Amnesiac" Barton in qualifying for November's Hearthstone World Championship. Naiman, Amnesiac and 14 others will compete for a $1 million prizepool at the event.

Naiman was undefeated throughout the tournament, topping his group with wins over Nicslay and DrHippi, before defeating BunnyHopper in the semifinals. Despite being 2-1 down in the final—a rematch with DrHippi—Name came back and closed out the match 3-2.

Naiman used a somewhat unorthodox lineup throughout the tournament. In addition to the always-strong Freeze Mage, Naiman also used his specialist class Hunter, a class many believe to be one of the weakest right now. Though he surprised no one in his choice of Paladin, he rejected the popular Secret Paladin in favor of a more old-school Midrange build. And though he did bring Warrior as his fourth class, it was banned in every match.

The Winter Championship for the Asia Pacific region takes place next weekend, with the regional champion from China set to be decided on April 20.

Image via Blizzard

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