China is big enough to get its own region in the HCT Championship Series. The rest of the world doesn’t get to see much of their players, but they are undoubtedly top flight competitors. Here is a talent overview of the four challengers from China in the HCT Summer Championship.
Gao “Leaoh” Yang
First up is Leaoh, backed by prestigious team Royal Never Give Up. He missed making the 2017 World Championship by just one game, falling short to Zheng “OmegaZero” Lin in the Gold Series 2017 Fall tournament.
However, he is back with a fire in his eyes this year. He has stated that he is not afraid of anyone in the tournament. No stranger to international competition, Leaoh played in the 2017 Gold Club World Championship. That tournament featured Leaoh playing on RNG against teams from every region. Playing well the team took 3rd place. Keep an eye on Leaoh, who could be a dark horse in this upcoming tournament.
He is the only player from China to field an Odd Paladin decklist. Only three players in total will bring Paladin to the competition. He will try to advance from Group D against David “killinallday” Acosta, Kenta “glory” Sato, and Raphael “BunnyHoppor” Peltzer.
Decks for HCT Summer: Token Druid, Odd Paladin, Shudderwock Shaman, Cube Warlock
Wu “XiaoT” Jiwei
XiaoT may be the youngest player from China in the tournament, but he is far from the least experienced. He got his own taste of international play last month at the Titanar Hearthstone Elite Invitational. XiaoT even defeated 2016 Hearthstone World Champion Pavel “Pavel” Beltukov. He finished second in the Invitational following a disappointing 3-0 loss to Jon “Orange” Westberg in the finals.
He represents a team going by the name Ice Coke. XiaoT brings a twist to his tournament lineup as the only player to bring Spiteful Druid into tournaments. This Druid deck’s game plan is to play out minions on curve to overwhelm the board, as the only spell is Ultimate Infestation. He is also only one of four players to bring Hunter. XiaoT will try to enter the quarterfinals from Group A versus Torben “Viper” Wahl, Shuhei “Tansoku” Omura, and Lucas “Rase” Guerra.
Decks for HCT Summer: Spiteful Druid, Recruit Hunter, Miracle Rogue, Even Warlock
Qu “Rugal” Yixian
Unlike the previous two, Rugal has no prior experience with international competition. This will be his first time on the big stage.
He quit his day job in order to go pro as a Hearthstone player, but is currently a free agent. Rugal definitely hopes that his performance will get him noticed by a sponsor. He hopes to not have to face Li-God, the nickname he gave Leaoh.
Rugal brings two unique decks to the tournament: Control Priest and Control Mage. Only three others brought priest, and four others mage. His intention with his lineup is to stop aggressive decks, as all four decks are control archetypes. Rugal will compete as an underdog in Group C alongside David “Dog” Caero, Marco “Turna” Castiglioni, and Jinsoo “Jinsoo” Park.
Decks for HCT Summer: Taunt Druid, Control Priest, Control Mage, Even Warlock
Li “YuYi” Daixiong
YuYi shares a lot in common with fellow Chinese competitor Rugal. He is a free agent, this is his first international experience, and he is fearful of a matchup against Leaoh. Hailing from Beijing, YuYi hopes to prove his skill in front of a world audience.
YuYi isn’t looking to catch anyone off-guard with his lineup. He has a deck lineup that is the closest to the average as you are going to get. YuYi will look to grab a victory through solid lines of play and maybe a little help from the RNG of Hearthstone. He hopes to win as a sleeper in group B versus Facundo “Nalguidan” Pruzzo, Wu “BloodTrail” Zong-Chang, and Kacper “A83650” Kwieciński.
Decks for HCT Summer: Taunt Druid, Miracle Rogue, Even Shaman, Even Warlock
Good luck to all the players from China in the HCT Summer Championship.The next article will go over the players from the Asia-Pacific region.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via their official website.