With the Hearthstone Championship Tour making a long-overdue Tour Stop in Australia for the first time this weekend, ahead of all the action we thought we’d bring you up to speed with all the local and international players. All taking part in HCT Sydney from February 24-25. So, grab a beverage, sit back, and get ready to learn in the Ways of the Card.
A phrase we just made up.
Okay, so the open online qualifiers for HCT Sydney took place from January 13 through to February 4. Intense and competitive rounds of Hearthstone that saw a large field of great players from across Asia, including Australia and New Zealand.
From there the top 16 players were then chosen, with Blizzard flying them all down, to take place in the finals in Sydney. Where they’ll compete over the weekend for a share of the $15,000 USD prize pool. And of course, points that will count towards qualifying for the World Championships.
The format for the tournament, a best-of-five with each player bringing four decks in Conquest. Once a player chalks up a win with a deck, it can't be used again. Which means players will need to get a win with each of their three decks to, err, win.
Eamonn Kashyap (Ender)
Hailing from Melbourne, Eammon began his Hearthstone career and love for the game during the first Season. Before that he grew up playing DOTA 2. That being said, he didn’t attempt to enter the competitive side of Hearthstone until 2016. But since that time, with multiple top eight finishes, and part of the 2017 Hearthstone Global Games team, he has found his calling. Eammon also suffers from arthritis, which has led him to requiring a wheelchair.
Brent Tonisson (Hearthstoner)
Funny name sure, but a talent to be reckoned with. Currently studying for something called the HSC in Sydney (it’s been a while since my school days), the bright 17-year old is also the highest ranked NSW Pokemon TCG player. Where he has reached the top 64 or better at every International Championship. So odds are he’ll bring some of that skill this weekend.
Jack Gifford (Jakattack)
Jack is the lone player coming all the way from Greymouth, New Zealand. No stranger to esports or Hearthstone he’s been card battling in the world of Azeroth since 2013. But, this is his first competitive tournament for Hearthstone. Oh, and you know how we said he’s no stranger to esports? Well, Jack has also played League of Legends professionally for a few years. The move to Hearthstone he cites as a way “to stay competitive in even with work”.
Jowen Chee (Akumaker)
Jowen is a card person through and through. After winning the first YuGiOh tournament he entered, the desire and fire for more was lit. From there he moved onto Magic The Gathering, where he found success last year coming in second at the Tapei Major. A driven and dedicated Hearthstone player, Jowen is definitely one to watch.
Stefan Stubbs (ProfessorOak)
The final ANZ player in our round-up, Stefan also hails from Melbourne. Perhaps the rumours are true and there’s just something about our drinking water. Ahem. Stefan discovered Hearthstone way back in 2014 and has been hooked since. During the qualifiers he went 9 wins to 1 loss and prior to that came in third during Season 1 of the ANZ HCT.
No doubt the local pool of players represents serious talent, but there are also a number of international players making an appearance this weekend. Including Edwin Hilary Cook (HotMEOWTH) from the US, who finished first overall in the qualifying round. A staple at many competitive events he’ll be joined by a stable of great international players.
Newcomer Tatsuya Yoneda (Hikage7) from Japan, Po-hui Chuang (GhostASA) from Taiwan, Dustin Mangulabnan – (WaningMoon) from the Phillipines, Kenta Sekiguchi (Okasinnsuke) and Kenta Sato (Glory) also from Japan, Khai Kiat Chew (Khaius) from Singapore, Werit Popan (Disdai) and Puttiwat Tuntiseranee (Odyssey) from Thailand, HyunMin Kim (AngryCarp) from Korea, and Tsz Kin Lo (Kin0531) from Hong Kong.
Be sure to tune in here
or head to http://twitch.tv/PlayHearthstone
at for all the action - with broadcast talent (pictured above) Jacinta Dee (JiaDee), Thomas Sanders (TJ), Dan Chou (Frodan), and Simon Welch (Sottle) reporting on all the action.
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