From Friday, December 28 through Sunday, December 30, the 2018 Hearthstone All-Star Invitational will be played out. We are here to give you an inside track on the favorites to win in our 2018 Hearthstone All-Star talent overview.
Despite being just an all-star event, this tournament has a very large prize pool compared to the normal tour. Expect the players to be as competitive as possible for the first place prize of $20,000.
There are three players representing the European region in this tournament. Those guys are Thijs “Thijs” Molendijk, Casper “Hunterace” Notto and Frederik “Hoej” Høj Nielsen.
Thijs is having a career year for himself. Most notable is his victory in the China vs. Europe Championship.
He won a grand prize of $200,000, the largest prize in his Hearthstone career. Always known for his streaming career, he is also one of the best players in this tournament.
Hunterace has had a tremendous 2018. He has come out on top in so many tour stop appearances. Many put him at number one in the world in the current rankings, and his multiple tour stop victories and top eight appearances are there to prove it. He is coming off of a victory in the Masters Invitational and looks to win here.
Hoej is possibly the weakest of the European group but that by no means makes him weak. He has also made multiple top eight appearances in tour stops this year. It has actually been a couple of months since he has played in a competitive Hearthstone tournament, so it will be interesting to see what he brings to the table.
Representing the Asian region are the players Kim “Surrender” Jung-soo, Samuel “Sequinox” Chan and Wu “XiaoT” Juwei.
Surrender was in the top four at last year’s World Championship, but hasn’t made too many competitive appearances in the Tour this year. He was recently signed on by SKT T1 along with Hoej, but his last tournament appearance was in September. He is definitely an upper echelon player and hopes to regain footing in the competitive scene.
Sequinox is one of Singapore’s best players. A player who has not gotten a lot of opportunities in a competitive environment, he has made the best of what chances he has gotten. Yet to establish himself as a household name, he hopes to do that with a good placement in the All-Star event.
XiaoT is one of China’s best, if not the best right now. He represented China in the Summer Championship, and finished in the top eight. The only one to beat him in the China vs. Europe Championship was Thijs. He looks to beat Thijs in this event and prove he can compete on the world stage.
The US will have two representatives in the form of Muzahidul “Muzzy” Islam and Frank “Fr0zen” Zhang.
Muzzy has made quite a few top eight appearances this year, and at one point his team Tempo Storm was number one in the world. Although he doesn’t have any big wins this year, he is a constant top finisher on ladder. Definitely one of America’s best and one of the 17 Hearthstone Masters.
Fr0zen is last year’s runner-up at the World Championship. He has had a relatively quiet year, only attending a handful of Tour Stops. He doesn’t have a lot of great finishes, so where he stands competitively is in question. To do so well in the World Championship means something, so we’ll see what he does in the All-Star event.
Taiwan and Hong Kong
Chen “tom60229” Wei Lin, “Virtual”, Wu “BloodTrail” Zong-Chang and Lo “kin0531” Tsz Kin are Taiwan and Hong Kong’s top defenders.
Tom60229 is the current defending World Champion. He lacks any major finishes for 2018, and his year was made even worse by being apart of the team that was disqualified for cheating in the Global Games. He’ll hope to keep his name respected with some strong play in the All-Star event.
Virtual is an up and coming free agent from Taiwan. He is being invited back after winning the event last year. He had a great run, beating Hakjun “Kranich” Baek in the final, and will look to repeat his performance.
Kin0531 is Hong Kong’s sole representative, but a rising star. He’s had a couple of strong showings in Tour Stops this year, but his real achievement is winning the Asian Games. Outside of BloodTrail, he is probably the best bet from the Taiwan and Hong Kong side to win the tournament.
BloodTrail has had quite a year for himself. He has appeared in two Seasonal Championships. He struggled heavily in the Summer Championship, but came back and qualified for the World Championship with a top four placing in the Fall Championship. BloodTrail is probably the favorite from the Taiwanese side.
Tsao “SamuelTsao” Tsu Lin is a great talent, but was overshadowed in the World Championship by his fellow Taiwanese player tom60229 who won it all. He came second at HCT Seoul this year, losing only to Hunterace. He could use this All-Star event to put his name in the spotlight.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via their official website.