Hearthstone, or as it was originally called Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is the collectible card video game that was developed and released by Blizzard Entertainment back in 2014. Despite being in the market for only little more than two years, Hearthstone has become one of the most popular eSports competition in the world. The original name of the game indicates the origins of this game that can be traced back to the famous World of Warcraft; Hearthstone is using many elements from that game such as characters, relics, and many other elements. By using the already existing base of fans of the Warcraft games, Hearthstone managed to gain huge popularity in a very short period.
The game is played between two players playing against each other: they use the constructed decks containing thirty cards together with the heroes and the unique power that they have selected. The main objective of the game is to reduce the health of the opponent to zero. By winning a match a player can win different in-game prizes such as new cards, gold, and other types of rewards. Blizzard Entertainment is not known for this kind of games, and the creation of Hearthstone card game was an experimental project of some game developers from the company who had a passion for card games. There is no need to say that their experiment was much more than just successful.
The reception by the fans and by the critics has been very good, and in the two short years that it has been present in the video gaming community, Hearthstone has managed to attract more than 50 million active players from all over the world. Just as we mentioned, a big part of this game is based on the World of Warcraft game and the cards themselves as also based in the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game that came out sometime around 2008.
History of the Game
In March 2014, Blizzard Entertainment released Hearthstone and after a very short period it became one of the competitions that were featured at the eSports tournaments all over the world. Soon after that, Blizzard Entertainment announced that they would be launching several Hearthstone tournaments to be held all over the world and that will have a very respectable prize pool. Besides those tournaments, Blizzard Entertainment has also announced that they will be organising the Hearthstone World Championship featuring the prize pool of up to 1 million dollars. During its brief history, Hearthstone has quickly become one of the most popular eSports competitions. It is popular to the people who watch these events through some of the Internet streaming service providers such as Twitch.
The Hearthstone World Championship is the biggest Hearthstone tournament in the world, organised every single year. The selection of players who compete at this tournament is conducted on the basis of their in-game performances in the Ranked Play as well as the participation in the earlier selected events. The format of this competition features 16 players, with four players coming from each region. These regions select four players to represent them through the Regional Qualifiers and Championships that are played before the Hearthstone World Championship. The first Hearthstone World Championship was held at the BlizzCon 2014; the final match at this tournament featured Firebat playing against Tiddler Celestial in what would become a Hearthstone classic. In that match, Firebat managed to win, and he became the first Hearthstone World Championship.
The 2015 Hearthstone World Championship was held once against during the BlizzCon 2015, and the final match of that tournament saw Ostkaka going against Hotform in a fight for the title. In the end, Ostkaka managed to defeat Hotform, and he went home with $100,000 for the first place at this tournament. The third and the last Hearthstone World Championship was once again held at the BlizzCon, and the final match of that tournament became one of the most popular Hearthstone matches ever. In that match, Russian Hearthstone player Pavel faced Dr.Hippi, and in the end, Pavel managed to win thanks to the Babbling Book card which turned to be one of the most useful for Pavel in that match.
Greatest Hearthstone Players
Even though it is hard to talk about the greatest players ever that played Hearthstone because Hearthstone has been present for only little more than three years, we can talk about the players that have made the biggest impact so far on the game of Hearthstone and who are currently the most popular in this community.
One of those players, without any doubt, is Pavel ‘Pavel’ Beltiukov who is the current Hearthstone World Champion and whose characteristic style of play that often causes him to fall behind in the match before pulling off miracle turnarounds has caused him to become extremely popular among the fans. It will be interesting to see if he will be able to defend the title of the world champion but there is yet another Russian contender who might take the title away from him, and that player is Aleksey ‘ShtanUdachi’ Barsukov who won the title at the 2017 Hearthstone Winter Championship and with that win has secured his place at the Hearthstone World Championship.
Talking about the best Hearthstone players is not complete without James ‘Firebat’ Kostesich who became the first Hearthstone World Champion. Over his career, he managed to win the titles at the Gfinity Masters, and he also reached the finals of the World Cyber Arena, PGL Tavern Tales events as well as Gamegune. Even though Firebat is currently focused on some other projects such as streaming and content creation, he still proves to be a very dangerous player when he decides to compete.
Another player, Thijs Molendijk, can also be considered to be some of the best that we have seen so far competing at Hearthstone events. Thijs and only one other player, Hakjun ‘Kranich’ Baek are the only two players that were able to secure their places at two different Hearthstone World Championship. His first title came at the LAN DreamHack Masters Bucharest 2014, and since then he won many different tournaments such as Archon Team League Championships, The Curse Trials, Esports Superstars 2016 and many tournaments organised by Blizzard Entertainment.
As it was mentioned before, Hearthstone is a relatively young game, and it still has room for growth and improvement. Different expansion packs have made this game even more interesting and more popular. Currently, Hearthstone is one of the most popular Sports competitions in the entire world with dozens of millions of active players who are waiting for their opportunity to shine on the big stage. The future looks bright for Blizzard Entertainment, and their Hearthstone video card game and the near future will see Hearthstone becoming even more popular than it already is.