The fifth season of China versus Europe, presented by Gold Series, has been taking place over the weekend. The CN vs EU Championship 2018 Group Stage was on Saturday and Sunday, with the winner of the tournament to be decided on Tuesday. Each year a fancy sports car has been offered up to whoever wins the tournament, and this year it is an Aston Martin DB11.
Typically the competition is very back and forth between the regions, but this year the Europeans have an early lead. All of the players to go 2-0 in groups are Europeans, and the rest have only lost to other EU players.
The players who started off 2-0 were Thijs “Thijs” Molendijk, Aleksandr “Kolento” Malsh, Jon “Orange” Westberg and Frederik “Furyhunter” Møller. Orange and Kolento played in the tournament last year, while Thijs played back in 2016. This is Furyhunter’s first time here, but he is making his case for getting invited again next year.
The competition is extremely fierce. Furyhunter had the best game score record after two matches at 6-2, while all the others were 6-4 or worse. Based on what has been occurring, everyone must expect a five game set of tough Hearthstone in each match.
Kolento, who is also through to the top 8, has a reputation in China for being a tough opponent. Despite not being very consistent this year, he performs pretty well in China. He finished second in 2016 and took first in 2015. So far this year, he took down one of China’s Fall Champs players in “Trunks” and World Champ qualifier Raphael “Bunnyhoppor” Peltzer in Group B.
Hope for China
In the group stages, things went pretty poorly for the Chinese side. Both Trunks and Caimiao, China’s qualifiers for the HCT Fall Championship, were knocked out of groups 0-2. The pressure was on the rest of the remaining players to beat out some of the best European talent.
Wu “XiaoT” Juwei was the first to break through for the Chinese players. He knocked Casper “Hunterace” Notto out of Group A, arguably the most solid player in Hearthstone right now. XiaoT is definitely one of the Chinese players to watch, having participated at the HCT Summer Championship earlier this year.
The second hope for China is “XHope”. The long time Hearthstone veteran was able to triumph over Dima “Rdu” Radu in an extremely close 3-2 set. He makes up one of only two Chinese representatives in the top 8 at this China hosted tournament.
The action will continue, with the winner being decided on Tuesday, October 2. For those of us in the Americas, the days kick off early in the a.m. on ThijsHS’s twitch channel. The stream is broadcast with English commentators, including some professional players.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via ThijsHS’s twitch channel.