The Hearthstone Championship Tour made its way to the Santa Ana Esports Arena in Orange County, California. 191 HCT points and a share of $15,000 is the prize pool as always. A lot of international competition is in town, especially since BlizzCon is next week, so we got to see some special matches. HCT Orange County was a great tournament to see after getting a few weeks off from any Tour Stops.
Christos “Fenomeno” Tsakopoulos wins his first Tour Stop of the year. He came so close in Montreal, losing to David “JustSaiyan” Shan in the final there. He finally breaks through and had an emotional moment on the stage following the victory.
Top 16 Stacked as Usual
A lot of the big talent made the top 16 at HCT Orange County. A few of the guys at the top 16 at HCT Singapore have made the top 16 once again. The players on the top of their game continue to travel and prove that they are the best.
At the top of the bracket was Josh “Impact” Graham, who went undefeated in the Swiss rounds, against Francisco “pnc” Leimontas. Impact breezed through pnc 3-1.
The Final Four
Impact continued his undefeated run all the way down to the top four. Fenomeno stopped him in the top four at Montreal, and Jeffrey “Tarei” Liu stopped him in the finals at Oakland. Impact was finally looking for his tour stop win but was once again stopped short, this time by Casie in a very close 3-2 set.
Casie battled it out against everyone on his path to the final. He had to play a five game set against Monsanto and Impact, and would go on to play a five game set in the final against Fenomeno.
Fenomeno was absolutely on fire throughout the top 16. He swept his opponent in every match 3-0 all the way until the final. This included victories against both of the Tempo Storm players, the best team in the world. William “Amnesiac” Barton couldn’t get anything going against him in the top 16, and Muzzy also fell without a win in the quarterfinal. He then swept “Swidz”, a player who was not expected to make it so far in the semifinal.
An Appropriately Close Final Battle
Feno and Casie were all set with very different approaches by their deck lists brought. Feno banned out of the Evenlock of Casie, and Casie banned Feno’s Odd Paladin.
Game one saw Casie’s Malygos Druid versus Cubelock. Both players took very defensive lines of play. Casie was able to snag a Anti-Magic Shell off of The Lich King, which combined with Spreading Plague, winning him the first game.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via the PlayHearthstone Twitch channel.