Last weekend, over 100 of the most dedicated Hearthstone players participated in an online event on the Road to BlizzCon. Competitors from all over the United States, and Canada went head-to-head on the Internet, to decide who moved on to the North American Qualifier. The Last Call Qualifier was cast by Dan “Frodan” Chou, Brian Kibler, and last year’s World Champion James “Firebat” Kostesich; it was held on Saturday, September 5th. The EU version featured players from all over Europe, and was held on the 9th. The Last Call Qualifier for EU was cast by Dima “Rdu” Radu, and Thijs “ThijsNL” Molendijk.
The format this time around was Single Elimination for the brackets, and Conquest, Best of 5 for the individual matches. The top 23 in the Hearthstone World Championship points standings got a bye to the NA Qualifier, along with the Fireside Champion, and the remaining players in the top 40 moved on alongside them. The players that received a bye due to HWC standings, and the Fireside Champion is marked in red. You can view Blizzard’s official blog posting for the full results for NA here, and for the EU here. The brackets can be found on the ESL site, here.
Lots of big names appeared on the roster, notables such as: StrifeCro, Reynad, Trump, and of course Firebat. In a sad turn of events, newcomer to the scene, Stancifka will not be attending due to a mix up on Blizzard’s part in ending the final Ranked season before the event. You can read his story on his Reddit post here. A few teams even had multiple players that have stayed together, such as Amaz, and Zalae of Team Archon, as well as Reynad, and Hyped from Tempo Storm. There were some very exciting match ups in this event, such as Reynad v. Rage, The most interesting match up in the Tournament was easily Reynad v Rage, when both players picked Mage. Reynad was playing a Freeze mage, and Rage was using a variation on a deck created by Day 9, Giants Mage. It was a prime example of what the game can be like with less board stat randomness, such as Unstable Portal. Reynad ended up advancing, when he cleverly outplayed Rage with a calculated fatigue win.
On the EU side, pro players such as Kolento, Lifecoach, Xixo, and RDU gained a pass via HWC points. The top 40 coming out of the EU Last Call Qualifiers will move on to the European Qualifier, and from there to the EU Championship at Prague, Czech Republic on the 3rd, and 4th of October. After that, the winners of the EU and NA Championships will head to BlizzCon, and the World Championships at The Folsom Street Foundry, in San Francisco.
As we move on to the Regional Qualifier Tournaments, one thing is for certain, there will be plenty of exciting match ups. Be sure to watch all the exciting moments on Twitch at the NA, and EU VoDs, and don’t forget to tune in to the PlayHearthstone Twitch channel on September 12th thru the 20th for the NA Qualifier Tournament.