The Europe vs China Rivalry
A well-known rivalry in Hearthstone, and to be honest in real life as well, is that of West vs East. But in our card game, it is more specifically a rivalry between Europe and China. There have already been two events in the name of that rivalry and a third one is coming up in a few days, so let’s have a look at the past.
Just over a month after the game was released, in the spring of 2014, 2P.com and 17173.com organized Hearth2P EU vs CN Masters, a tournament that marked the first face-off between the two contenders. There were qualifiers on both the EU and CN servers to determine the top 4 who would represent their region as a team in the Grand Finals, and the winning team would take home 50,000 CNY (~$8,000 USD).
The qualifiers concluded and the team representing Europe consisted of Janne "Savjz" Mikkonen, Adrian "Lifecoach" Koy, Aris "Beherit" Roussos, and Dima "Rdu" Radu. Savjz was then playing for Team Curse and he was the one to win the European Qualifier. Lifecoach was teamless at that moment and finished as a runner-up in the qualifier. Beherit and Rdu were teamless as well. Other notable names that did not make the team were Mirrari, Ignite, Kaldi, Cipher, and Gnimsh.
China’s qualifiers finished with Gu "XiaoGz" Zhi earning the first spot, and then Eason, 花笑笑, and Island to fill the team.
The tournament was casted by Kripp and ChanmanV. It featured a Bo5 all-kill format, and as soon as it kicked off Europe demonstrated its superiority, as they crushed the Chinese team in a devastating 4-0 sweep (3-0, 3-1, 3-1, 3-1). Each European player earned $2,000 and each Chinese player earned $800.
The second edition of the tournament came back almost a year later and was organised by NetEase, once again with separate qualifiers for Europe and China. The difference this time was that the main event would be a LAN at the NetEase studios in Hangzhou, China and that, in order to motivate the Chinese players, if one of them won the tournament, he would be awarded a Ferrari California. The prize pool was also increased to 52,000 EUR (~$58,950 USD).
This time, each team had 8 players on their roster and the European team consisted of StanCifka, EntryFee, Skylink, ThijsNL, Hawkeye, Chimmy, Screenager, and Max, who unfortunately could not make it to the event due to visa issues and was replaced by Kolento. The Chinese team featured MagicWind, GreenMemory, SleepyShaman, xyuan, TiddlerCelestial, IceFox, ailv, and lovelychook. A Conquest Bo5 format was used.
The Chinese showed a huge amount of improvement from the year before, as they managed to reach the semifinals with two of their players - TiddlerCelestial and SleepyShaman, who would face Hawkeye and Kolento accordingly. Kolento won with a very close 3-2 and Hawkeye earned his win a bit easier with a 3-1 scoreline. And that was it, the Chinese had lost hope, as we had an all-European final. The finals were very intense and Kolento managed to slip away with a close 3-2 score once again. It is funny how fate works, as Kolento was just a stand-in for Max, and who knows what would have happened if Max played it after all.
Kolento walked away with a respectable prize of €20,000, Hawkeye with €10,000, SleepyShaman and TiddlerCelestial with €5,000 each and MagicWind, lovelychook, EntryFee and StanCifka with another €3,000 each.
So with the score already being 2-0 in Europe’s favour, a third installment of the series will take place in a couple of days, with the same format (Bo5 Conquest), a lowered prize pool of 44,000 EUR, and once again a Ferrari California as motivation for a Chinese player to win the tournament. The tournament is organized once again by NetEase and it will take place at Yuanshen Sports Centre Stadium, Shanghai, China.
The European team
SuperJJ, Orange, Kolento, Ostkaka, Lifecoach, ThijsNL, Naiman, and StanCifka.
The Chinese team
Breath, NightWalk, XingSu, LoveCX, Lovelychook, SleepyShaman, Pegy, and ZhangBo.
The majority of the Hearthstone community believes that this will be another easy win for Europe, as the European team is stacked with world-class names that are hardly likely to give a win away. However, China wants to have its revenge and take their first tour off Europe along with a Ferrari to drive back home, and will do their best to achieve it. We will just have to wait and see what happens, because in Hearthstone surprises always happen!