China’s best Hearthstone players turned back a team of the best North America had to offer—but the event did not end without controversy.
In the final game of the event series, China’s “Lvge” made a play that seemed to defy logic. He played Dirty Rat on turn two, risking pulling a hugely advantageous early Tomb Pillager or Gadgetzan Auctioneer for his opponent Keaton “Chakki” Gill.
However, according to the American players the Chinese casters and Lvge’s teammates were screaming to play the Rat when he picked the card up, and with no white noise in the player headsets Lvge could likely hear the noise and take the cue.
The play promoted a furious series of tweets from Tempo Storm founder and Team NA player Andrey “Reynad” Yanyuk—though the tweets were later deleted.
Chakki and other players have also commented on the controversy, claiming that they raised the issue of players being able to hear the casters. The other members of each team were also watching the stream of the game, meaning they could see the hands of the opposing player.
There was little that could be done to address the controversy unless the admins immediately halted the game in progress, as the game was tournament point for the Chinese side.
Despite the controversial finish, team China had run away with the tournament to get into that position. Thanks to two wins by “OmegaZero” and “Lovelychook” over the two day event, Lvge was left with only Chakki left to beat.
China had also won the first of the three showpiece events, before Canada’s Julien “Cydonia” Perrault had single-handedly won the second for team North America.