The HCT Winter Championship will be upon us soon. China is a region that has struggled the most in international play in the last couple years. That trend has continued until now, and this tournament will decide the last four qualifiers into the World Championship. We will be breaking down the competitors from the region in the 2019 HCT Winter Championship China analysis.
Zhe “GoeLionKing” Wang
GoeLionKing is one of two returning Chinese players from the Fall Championship. He struggled last time and definitely hopes to put forward a better performance on the big stage.
Last year at the China versus Europe Championship, he struggled to do anything in the group stages and found himself eliminated after two games. He was able to force a game five against a World Championship qualified player, but he still needs to finish off his sets if he wants to make it there himself.
In the Fall Championship, his performance also showed much of the same. There he wasn’t able to win more than one game in a set and he found himself eliminated in the group stages after two sets. He has proven his consistency in China, but he has yet to overcome the international play slump.
Zhao “Caimiao” Haixiao
Caimiao is probably the most promising prospect from China when it comes to qualifying for the World Championship. He has been able to put up a couple wins in international play.
In the China versus Europe Championship last year, he also struggled heavily, however. Caimiao failed to advance from his group after going 0-2 but he was able to force game fives in both sets.
He did pretty well in his last time out at the HCT Fall Championship. He dropped his first set but was able to come back and win two in a row to advance from the group stages into the top eight. Though once there, he had an unfortunate set against Brian “bloodyface” Eason, who will also be returning in the Winter Championship.
He was able to go up 2-0 on bloodyface, but then was reverse swept. Bloodyface went on to qualify for the World Championship, and Caimiao may have to face off against him once more. Caimiao has one more shot this year, and we will see if he can close out a set in a clutch situation.
LFYueying and SNJing
Little is known about Xu “LFYueying” Kai and Guan “SNJing” Zhendong in the international scene. Both of these players have somewhat of an element of surprise and might be able to make a World Championship run if they prove they are worthy opponents.
LFYueying has been a strong player within the Chinese competitive scene. He won Gold Series Suzhou last year. Being able to win a Gold Series tournament alone is a huge accomplishment due to the sheer number of entrants at most of these tournaments. LFYueying has been playing for some time and we will see if he can make the transition into international play.
SNJing is new to competitive Hearthstone overall. His rise to the top in the Chinese scene was quite quick however as he won Gold Series Xi’an last year. Not much will be known about these players from the rest of those in the tournament. Maybe their play styles can throw off players and push them through to the top four.
This will be China’s last opportunity to send more than just one player to the World Championship. Watch Winter Championship action unfold live starting February 28 on the PlayHearthstone twitch channel.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via their official website.