Oct 15 2016 - 9:40 pm

Multi-format NSL Hearthstone Masters announced with an international lineup

One Chinese organisation is taking innovative Hearthstone formats to the very limit with an all-star lineup
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor, Dot Esports.

One Chinese organisation is taking innovative Hearthstone formats to the very limit with an all-star lineup.

Team Celestial, China's leading Hearthstone organisation, NeoTV, DouyuTV and Tempo Storm have partnered where the format will change every week.

Four of the five weeks will feature the Last Hero Standing format, with different sets of cards allowed every week. The fifth week will be played using Conquest. In addition to the five different formats, players will be required to bring a deck for each of Hearthstone's nine classes to every match and play a best-of-seventeen. This makes the individual matches among the longest ever seen at the professional level.

The player lineup features some of the best talents in the game. The G2 Esports trio of Dima "Rdu" Radu, Thijs Molendijk and Adrian "Lifecoach" Koy; Sebastian "Xixo" Bentert and David "Dog" Caero will be among the players recognisable to a Western audience.

China will also be well represented in the event. 2016 World Championship finalists Jason Zhou and "Breath" will take part, alongside Tempo Storm's popular personality and streamer Haiyun "Eloise" Tang.

At a time when fans are hungry for Hearthstone tournaments using new and innovative formats, this tournament may be one of the most extreme yet. With a star-studded player list, rare inter-region matchups and the potential for the game to completely change every week, this promises to be a must see. 

Jan 15 2017 - 10:59 pm

Staz bests Orange in WESG Hearthstone final

It's the first major win for an SEA player.
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor, Dot Esports.
Screengrab via Starladder_HS_en/Twitch

At the first major Hearthstone event of 2017, Euneil “Staz” Javinaz bested European star Jon "Orange" Westberg to win his first title—and the first for his region.

Staz and Orange went the full seven games in the stunning final set, trading games back and forth before Staz eventually came out on top 4-3. The final game was a grinding affair, a Reno Mage mirror that played over close to an hour.

Representing the South East Asia region, Staz is the first player from that region to win a major title.

Staz reached the final after beating out a pair of Europeans—Orange's countryman Elliot "Fluffy" Karlsson and the impressive Raphael "BunnyHoppor" Peltzer—arguably having the toughest road through the bracket stage.

Orange's run was no easy feat either as he had to take out Sebastian "Xixo" Bentert, one of the most successful players of 2016 playing in his first tournament since joining Counter Logic Gaming.

The loss meant that Orange was unable to string together back to back major victories, after winning his second Seat Story Cup title in December.

For his victory Staz takes home a whopping $150,000, one of the largest prizes ever awarded in Hearthstone. For second place Orange will have to make do with $70,000.

Jan 14 2017 - 6:23 pm

Hearthstone devs detail potential ranked revamp

Ranked play could be set for some drastic changes.
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor, Dot Esports.
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Hearthstone's ranked play ladder could see some significant changes in the near future, according to the game's development team.

In a Developer Insights Q&A yesterday, game director Ben Brode and designer Dean Ayala admitted that the ladder can be feel like a grind at times, and discussed possible ways to address the problem.

Potential fixes include increasing stars for win streaks, allowing win streaks above rank five and trying to have less players at the rank 20 mark to improve the new player experience.

However the team are concerned with not increasing the number of players reaching the legend rank, so as not to devalue it. Fundamentally the ladder system will stay broadly the same, with the numbered ranks giving a clear indication of progress.

Arena will also see some improvements in the coming months, with the top 100 rankings for arena being published on a regular basis.

The current prevalence of pirate decks in the meta was also the subject of much discussion, with the pair admitting that the volume of pirate decks being played is "a little higher than we're comfortable with."

While pirate deck winrates are apparently not a cause for concern, they are being closely monitored.