The second Hearthstone Masters tournament occurred on this past Saturday. As the meta hasn’t really shifted since the last tournament, we got to see what players bring when they are comfortable within a meta. This is what we saw at in the January 2019 Hearthstone Masters tournament.
Linh “Seiko” Nguyen won this month after a spectacular battle with Joffrey “Swidz” Cunat. This is a huge confidence boost for Seiko going into the European Winter Playoffs this coming week.
Who’s In and Who’s Out
One more player than last month was able to participate this time around. Last month, David “Justsaiyan” Shan, Jerome “Monsanto” Faucher, and Wu “Bloodtrail” Zong-Chang sat out the action. This month, only Tyler “Tyler” Hoang Nguyen and BloodTrail were the only ones to not play.
Monsanto and JustSaiyan didn’t make too much of their appearances as both players didn’t finish through the Swiss rounds. As for last month’s top four, not a single name would appear in this month’s top four. This shows how competitive it is at this Master level.
With BloodTrail being the only name not to participate after two months, some may ponder his decision to not compete for an additional few thousand dollars. He has been playing really well as of late and this was the last competitive tournament for a while with Winter Playoffs coming up.
Once again, it was up to the players this month to provide streams from their own perspectives for audiences to watch. George “BoarControl” Webb casted the top four alongside Muzahidul “Muzzy” Islam while Christos “Fenomeno” Tsakopoulos streamed his own perspective of his semifinal match.
For the second month in a row, only a single player finished through the group stage at 4-0. This month it was Fenomeno, who only failed to make top four last month due to a tiebreaker.
This month the player to get snubbed by a tiebreaker was BoarControl, which left Jaromír “Jarla” Vyskočil, Linh “Seiko” Nguyen, and Joffrey “Swidz” Cunat all at 3-1 to advance.
Besides BoarControl, none of last month’s top four finished through the Swiss rounds. Kevin “Casie” Eberlein finished 0-2, while Casper “Hunterace” Notto and Elias “Bozzzton” Sibelius finished 1-2.
Casie didn’t bring any of the same archetypes to this month as he did last month. He changed out his Quest Rogue for an Even Paladin and brought Evenlock, Control Priest, and Spell Hunter to round out his lineup.
Hunterace didn’t change any of his decks out this month, only making a few tech changes. He won last month and figured he could continue that, but after winning 3:0 in his first match he couldn’t close out another set.
The semifinal games would be Fenomeno versus Seiko and Jarla versus Swidz. One game was very lopsided while the other one went down to a final game five.
In game one, Feno’s Odd Rogue would lose to Seiko’s OTK Paladin after getting Seiko all the way down to three health. In game two, Feno would switch over to his Odd Paladin which ended up losing to Seiko’s Togwaggle Druid bye way of Spreading Plague. The set then came to a close when Seiko swept Feno using Spell Hunter against Odd Rogue.
The set between Jarla and Swidz was much closer. In game one, Swidz’ Clone Priest beat Jarla’s Even Shaman. In game two Jarla came right back with his Even Shaman getting the surprise lethal through a wall of Witchwood Grizzlies. Game three saw Swidz overpower Jarla with his Deathrattle Hunter over the Even Paladin. Game four saw Jarla win the Even Paladin mirror. Then in the final game five, Swidz’ Even Paladin ran away with the board against Midrange Hunter.
The final would be Swidz versus Seiko. Game one saw Swidz Clone Priest take on the Togwaggle Druid of Seiko. Seiko was able to survive until he could use the combo, and Swidz had nothing left in hand or deck resulting in a Seiko victory.
In game two, Swidz’ Clone Priest went up against OTK Paladin. Once again, Seiko was able to handle the game, and collect all of the horsemen for victory, even though he didn’t need it. Game three was Swidz trying one last time with the Clone Priest against Seiko on match point with Midrange Hunter. After a very long game, Swidz built a board that could not be cleared for victory.
Still looking for a reverse sweep in game four, Swidz went into the Hunter with his Even Warlock. Seiko failed to draw his Zul’Jin in time when Swidz got his Bloodreaver Guldan out and that was game. Forcing a game five, it came down to Seiko’s Hunter against Even Paladin, where he easily took control of the game and board for a Master Cup victory.