With just two days until the World Championship of Hearthstone, the players are all now in Taipei, adjusting for the time difference, participating in media days and finishing all of their last minute practice. Group A, Group B and Group C have all been covered. Here is the Hearthstone 2019 World Championship Group D Preview.
Torben “Viper” Wahl
Viper has to be the favorite to advance from this group based on his performance over the year. He was one of three players to participate in two Seasonal Championships in Group D. He also has a few Tour Stop performances where he reached the top 8.
Everyone in this group appeared at the recent Winter Championship, but Viper didn’t get an opportunity to play against those competitors. He did play against Wu “XiaoT” Juwei and Raphael “Bunnyhoppor” Peltzer in the Summer Championship, where he unfortunately lost to both players. He will likely have to face Bunnyhoppor again if he advances from the group.
Viper’s lineup at the World Championship consists of Midrange Hunter, Miracle Rogue, Conjurer Mage and Zoo Warlock. Midrange Hunter is a bit of a unique pick in the field, but performs well enough overall. The only thing it might struggle with is aggressive decks, since Viper only has one Vicious Scalehide for healing.
His Miracle Rogue is also interesting, as it appears to be better suited to beat aggro decks like Token Druid and Zoolock. He might struggle against control decks like Warrior, and might end up banning Warrior because his Conjurer Mage is also teched for aggressive match ups with Rabble Bouncer.
Brian “bloodyface” Eason
Bloodyface is another player in this group to have played in two Seasonal Championship games. He also participated in a couple Tour Stops but couldn’t quite break into the top eight in those performances. He has a pretty middle ground lineup and will look to win through his good play.
Bloodyface swept group mate Tyler “Tyler” Hoang Nguyen in the Winter Championship 3-0 during the group stages. Though in the top four, Bloodyface was swept by Luo “Roger” Shengyuan as a part of Roger’s incredible run. Roger proves to be a tough competitor in this group. Roger’s lineup is very anti-control, which could be an advantage for Bloodyface however.
Bloodyface will roll with Tempo Rogue, Control Warrior, Conjurer Mage and Midrange Hunter at the World Championship. His Midrange Hunter could struggle against aggressive decks, since he has zero defensive cards in his deck. He will have to win those match ups through aggressive control of the board state. His Rogue deck is very aggressive with Southsea Deckhands and Crystallizers, which helps against Roger’s lineup.
Tyler “Tyler” Hoang Nguyen
Tyler, while a great player, is likely considered the underdog of this group just due to his performances in comparison to the rest of the group. He played in both the Fall Championship and Winter Championship, but fell short of qualifying through those means. He was the leading points earner in the Asia-Pacific region, and will have to look to transition that steady build up into one last push for the Championship.
Tyler only has played against Bloodyface from this group in tournament within the last year. He was swept by him, and also struggled with Wu “BloodTrail” Zong-Chang in the Fall Championship where he was also swept. Tyler has played in a lot of close games, but he definitely wasn’t fully prepared for some of those past tournaments. He told his fans that he would take the time to practice hard for Worlds.
At Worlds Tyler will play Control Warrior, Zoo Warlock, Tempo Rogue and Control Shaman. Tyler might struggle to find wins with his Zoolock since most of the decks in his group are teched specifically to beat a deck like his, and he will have to look to win through good Arch-Villain Rafaams it seems.
His Shaman is also interesting within the group. It will be great against the aggressive decks, since it has tools to deal with just about anything, but it lacks a specific win condition. His Shaman will have a very difficult time winning against the very greedy decks that Roger will bring.
Luo “Roger” Shengyuan
Roger is probably the second favorite to advance from this group. His play in the Winter Championship was just very clean and he didn’t appear to struggle at any point. Roger had his fair share of struggles in 2018 tournaments, but really turned it around in Winter.
Roger was able to beat one of the favorites to win the Championship, Bunnyhoppor, for the Winter title. He lost to Bunnyhoppor in the group stage, but had phenomenal draws in the Grand Final to end the set very quickly.
His only setback might be his decks. Every deck in his lineup is set up in a way to beat Control Warrior. He will bring Oblivitron Hunter, Conjurer Mage, Bomb Warrior and Mech Paladin.
His Hunter plays for maximum value, with Da Undatakah and Cairne Bloodhoof. His Mage is running Hex Lord Malacrass and Barista Lynchen, as well as two Unseen Saboteurs. Roger’s Paladin is running Da Undatakah, High Priest Thekal and Nozari. He has the most unique lineup of all the players in the World Championship, but we will have to see if this plan will payoff.
Stay tuned to hear more as the World Championships take place.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via their official website.