Just days after the release of Hearthstone‘s latest expansion, Whispers of the Old Gods, eight top players traveled to Korea to test out the brand new meta.
The OGN World Invitational might not be the highest-profile tournament thanks to its limited player pool, but eight of the best players from around the world were brought together to compete for a $20,000 prize pool.
Though cards from the new set were available, the tournament did not use the new limited ‘Standard’ format which eliminates the Curse of Naxxramas and Goblins vs Gnomes expansions. Instead the games were played using ‘Wild’ format, with all cards available.
Cong “StrifeCro” Shu ended up taking the $10,000 first place prize in the final over Japan’s “mattun” thanks to a control heavy lineup of Priest, Reno Warlock, Control Warrior, and Paladin—though he was forced to do it in five games after Mattun took an early 2-0 lead.
The tournament was StrifeCro’s first tournament title since the Pinnacle 2 event in January 2015.
Warlock, Warrior, and Paladin were the favored classes throughout the tournament, perhaps providing our first insight into the top-tier classes in the Wild meta.
Mattun had been the surprise package of the tournament, taking out 2015 World Champion Sebastian “Ostkaka” Engwall in a rare tournament appearance from the Na`Vi player. He also defeated Tempo Storm founder Andrey “Reynad” Yanyuk in the semifinals, while StrifeCro defeated Ostkaka’s team mate Kim “Surrender” Jung-soo.
Wild tournaments may be few and far between in the West, with tournaments like the ongoing MSI ELGX tournament opting for Standard and all Hearthstone Championship Tour events required to use the format. But in Asia there is no such requirement, and China’s Gold Series tournament will also use Wild.