History was made at BlizzCon 2019 as Xiaomeng “VKLiooon” Li became the first woman to win both a BlizzCon Championship and a Hearthstone Major.
VKLiooon won the event after qualifying through open tournaments to make it into the BlizzCon bracket. And not only did she qualify, but she challenged and beat the best players in the world to become the Hearthstone Global Champion.
After winning the Gold Open Tianjin Master Group season 1 playoffs, the 23-year-old earned a chance to travel to BlizzCon to compete in the Global Championship. She was required to compete in a qualifier to make it in because the Chinese Hearthstone Circuit does not function on the same Grandmaster system that most other regions do.
After her qualifying win, she had a positive message to share with the viewers.
“Being qualified for the Hearthstone Global Finals is by far the highest finish I’ve achieved in my Hearthstone career,” VKLiooon said to Blizzard. “This is my first time to be able to get global attention as a representative of China. This is the best way to strike back at those people who doubted me only because I am a girl. It proves that girls can be strong pro players, just as guys do.”
Today, however, she appeared on the biggest stage and managed to climb the ladder all the way to the top. In the grand finals against Brian “bloodyface” Eason, VKLiooon broke away early and ended her impressive tournament run with a 3-0 victory over the American contender.
VKLiooon is now the best Hearthstone player in the world, and following her Major win, she had a message for all of the girls watching her win, saying that if they wanted to compete in esports that they should “just forget [their] gender and go for it.”
She walked off the BlizzCon stage today with the Hearthstone Global Championship trophy, $200,000, and the respect of everyone watching.