The Hearthstone 2019 World Championship will begin on April 24 and run through April 27. With the close of Season Three’s Championship and HCT Points, the final 16 competitors are locked in. You may have seen their names before, but we will go over a brief summary of their Hearthstone year.
HCT Summer Top Four
The four players to make it out of the HCT Summer Championship were Raphael “BunnyHoppor” Peltzer, Kacper “A83650” Kwiecińsk, Torben “Viper” Wahl, and David “killinallday” Acosta.
Bunnyhoppor is a German player representing Samsung Morning Stars. He was the victor of HCT Summer and the recent runner up of HCT Winter. The doctor is a favorite to make a run at the World title given what he’s been able to accomplish.
A83650 is a Polish veteran representing Illuminar Gaming. He went pretty quietly in the HCT scene after his second place finish at HCT Summer, but he was the winner of Season 16 and 17 ESL Polish Championship.
Viper is a German player who has been dedicated to competitive Hearthstone for all of the year. He finished top four in HCT Summer, then went on to make top eight in HCT Winter. He attended a whopping seven tour stops during 2018 and added a couple more top eight finishes.
Killinallday, representing Endemic Esports, was an inspiration in 2018. After numerous ninth place finishes, he finally had his breakthrough performance at HCT Summer. He came very close to making it to the HCT Winter Championship but finished 6th in the Americas playoffs.
HCT Fall Top Four
The four World Champs qualifiers from the HCT Fall Championship were Mihai “languagehacker” Dragalin, Brian “bloodyface” Eason, Wu “BloodTrail” Zong-Chang, and David “Justsaiyan” Shan.
Languagehacker was the victor of the HCT Fall Championship. The Canadian made it out to several Tour Stops throughout 2018. He made a single top eight finish, but he has been waiting quietly for the World Championship.
Bloodyface is now a team mate of Languagehacker on Lazarus Esports, who finished runner-up at HCT Fall. The American made a second top four appearance at the HCT Winter Championship, proving his consistency.
Justsaiyan was the most dominant Hearthstone player of the Fall season. The Tempo Storm representative had a massive four top four finishes in HCT Tour Stops, including a victory in HCT Montreal. Justsaiyan is the likely favorite from the Americas region to be crowned World Champion.
BloodTrail is easily Taiwan’s player of the year for 2018. After a very rough performance in the HCT Summer Championship, he came right back in the Fall Championship to clinch a berth to Worlds. He was also the victor of the All-Star Invitational against last year’s World Champion Chen “tom60229” Wei Lin.
HCT Winter Top Four
Still pretty fresh in everyone’s mind, the four participants coming out of the HCT Winter Championship are Luo “Roger” Shengyuan, Guan “SNJing” Zhendong, Mark “Ike” Eichner, and Xu “LFYueying” Kai.
Roger is the second Taiwanese player to make his way to the World Championship. He had a bounce back year, winning the HCT Winter Championship after a disqualification from the Hearthstone Global Games. The veteran streamer proved he can still play with the best.
Jing is one of three Chinese players to make World Championship qualification. A fresh face to the international scene, he was able to beat fellow Worlds competitor Viper on his run. We’ll see if he can make a repeat performance come April.
Ike is the Americas region underdog hero. Dealing with constant physical ailments, the young gun didn’t let that stop him from making it to the World Championship. The Shaman expert also had a top eight appearance at HCT Montreal in 2018.
Yueying is the other Chinese competitor to qualify via the HCT Winter Championship. Thanks to bloodyface and bunnyhoppor being previously qualified, he fully capitalized on the tiebreaker opportunity to make it to the World Championship. He was swept by Bloodyface and will look to redeem himself at Worlds.
HCT Points Top Four
The four region points leaders were the last four qualfiiers. Those four names are Tyler “Tyler” Hoang Nguyen, Muzahidul “Muzzy” Islam, Casper “Hunterace” Notto, and Wu “XiaoT” Juwei.
Tyler from Vietnam had an incredible 2018 in Hearthstone. He made it to both the Fall and Winter Championships but fell just shy of qualifying through either tournament. Fortunately, he was able to fall back on his point total and has had plenty of preparation against top level talent.
Muzzy is the ladder specialist of the Americas region. Another Tempo Storm representative, he has made back-to-back World Championship appearances on the back of his HCT point totals. He is, in fact, the only player from last year’s World Championship to return, doing better than the defending champion tom60229. Always on the cusp of greatness, this could be Muzzy’s year.
Hunterace is who many would consider to be the MVP of Hearthstone in 2018. The Norwegian representing Nordavind attended nine Tour Stops and was champion of two of them. He also finished second twice, and had a total of seven top eight finishes. He was a monster of Tour Stops, and will have to put that experience to the test to win the World Championship.
XioaT is China’s points leader and become one of the more known Chinese players. He was present at the Summer Championship, and came second in the China vs Europe Championship. He is expected to perform the best out of his fellow countrymen, but it has been some time since he’s played in some international competition.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via their official website.