Many of the world’s top Hearthstone players will be competing in the 2017 Hearthstone Winter Championships this weekend in the Bahamas. Sixteen players are competing with four coming from each of the major Hearthstone regions. The event has already produced a few surprises. This has made for a surprisingly big event that could ruin the fun in the sun for some of the competitors and even some bettors at this event.
Two Regional Champs Defeated
Two regional champions have already been eliminated from competition. DrJikininki of the United States was the winner of the North American Hearthstone Winter Championship. While this player used regular plays of Dragon Priest, Miracle Rouge and Pirate Warrior, DrJikininki dropped two matches by scores of 4-3 to be eliminated from Group B.
One of those losses came to Eugene “Neirea” Shumilin of Ukraine. The 2015 Hearthstone Championship finalist qualified in fourth place in the European championship. He won his first two matches to help him qualify for the playoffs.
The second upset came when b787 from Japan lost two matches to be eliminated. The Asia-Pacific Hearthstone Winter Championship winner, b787 uses Reno Priest and many cards that are not used in competitions that often. These include the Dragon package with the Ysera and Twilight Drake added.
Russia’s Aleksey “ShtanUdachi” Barsukov won his two matches and got into the playoffs. Barsukov has the Aggro Warrior/Shaman and Reno Warlock and Mage decks. He uses the Tempo Mage often but the tournament will not use a strong setup that allows the Tempo Mage to work.
The other two groups in the event have only started competing. Russia’s Pavel “Pavel” Beltukov, the world champion in Hearthstone, won the European Winter Championship but has stuggled as the Shaman-heavy deck of LvGe from China beat him 4-3.
The other regional champion lost as well as China’s Zheng “OmegaZero” Lin, the other Tempo Mage in the event, lost to a Priest-oriented SamuelTsao from Taiwan 4-3. SamuelTsao is relatively new to the field of tournament play in the Hearthstone world.
Both of those regional champions can still contend as each of them can still get into the playoffs with two match victories. However, the double-elimination standard for match play makes it so they will have to watch out for what they are doing. This especially comes as they don’t have many choices for competing if they lose.
The players will divide a prize pool of $250,000 at this event. The winner will earn $60,000 and 20 HCT points. The second place prize is good for $40,000 and 15 HCT points. The prizes for the third and fourth position competitors are good for $20,000 and 10 points. Those who are eliminated first will still get $7,500 and 6 points, thus providing all competitors with a chance to win.
The event began on March 23 and will continue through March 26 in Nassau. It is particularly at the Melia Nassau Beach resort, a prominent all-inclusive resort. The event will continue to provide the world’s best Hearthstone players with a chance at some big payouts although there is always the potential for some added surprises.