The 2019 Hearthstone World Championship is now less than two weeks away.. Last time, we took a look at Group A and the favorite Bunnyhoppor. This time we’ll be doing the Hearthstone 2019 World Championship Group B Preview. This group has three Western players in it, and a Chinese player as the underdog against them all.
Mihai “languagehacker” Dragalin
Languagehacker is the only player from this group to win a Seasonal Championship. Despite that, he still might not be the favorite to win the group. He had very few tournament appearances over the last year, and other than his victory, only had a single top eight performance.
All of the competitors in the World Championship that languagehacker played against in tournament within the last year are all in other groups. There isn’t major history between languagehacker and the others in Group B. He’s never played against Xu “LFYueying” Kai, the only Chinese representative in his group, who could be an upset pick.
If languagehacker makes it out of the group, he has a pretty good track record against most of the field. He’s taken wins off of Wu “BloodTrail” Zong-Chang, David “justsaiyan” Shan, and Mark “Ike” Eichner in 2018 tournaments.
David “killinallday” Acosta
Killinallday might be a surprise favorite to win Group B. He was consistently good throughout multiple tournaments in 2018. He also had his fair share of struggles in tournament, but this group doesn’t have the strongest opponents.
Killinallday also didn’t play against his group mates in tournament during 2018. He has certainly played languagehacker and Muzzy on the ladder, but that kind of play usually doesn’t translate to too much in tournament. Those experiences can still be useful to pick up on play style however. Outside of the group, the one player he had trouble with in the Summer Championship was Kacper “A83650” Kwieciński, where he was swept 3-0.
Killinallday was hyped up a lot in 2018, with many members of the Hearthstone community claiming it was his year for success. We’re in 2019 now, and we’ll have to see if he can translate his success into the new year. He hasn’t had any main stage performances recently, and his qualification happened in Season One, so it has been a while.
Muzahidul “Muzzy” Islam
Despite always coming up just short of greatness, Muzzy has to be the favorite to win Group B. He is one of the best and longest tenured players on the pro scene. He is the only player to make a return from last year’s World Championship, and might finally be poised to win the title.
The career ladder grinder has always found his way into major tournaments without having to travel out to on-site tournaments. Muzzy still plays in plenty of international tournaments, and had a lot of top eight finishes in 2018. He’s actually played in more tour stops in 2018 than any of the other World Champs competitors, and has played plenty of sets against most of them.
He hasn’t played anyone within his group too much, and struggled against a lot of those outside of Group B. He looks to win revenge matches against all of those he previously lost to. Muzzy is a studious player, and will likely right any mistakes from past performances, he is still slightly prone to mistakes in clutch situations however. Muzzy is within the top five players expected to win this year’s World Championship.
Xu “LFYueying” Kai
Yueying is quite fresh on the international scene, having punched his ticket to Worlds in the most recent Winter Championship. He is one of three Chinese players in the tournament, and probably has the best shot to make it out of his group of the three.
Yueying had a pretty strong showing in the Winter Championship, taking a set off of Torben “Viper” Wahl. He got swept by Brian “Bloodyface” Eason in the quarterfinal, but it really wasn’t any fault of his own. Bad match ups paired with bad draws left him with no where to go.
He had to qualify on a tiebreaker technicality, so he must make the most of his opportunity at Worlds. It’s a completely new meta, so the players will have had time to optimize their lineups come April 24. Group B will be looked at as the weakest group of the four. Though, any one of the players could certainly be a World Champion.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via their official website.