While I often use the phrase “eSports” facetiously to denote unfavorable moments of RNG in Hearthstone, I haven’t really been up to snuff with being knowledgeable about competitive Hearthstone. This year, I have paid a bit more attention to Hearthstone eSports and have a better grasp on the tournament scene. The opening week for the Hearthstone World Championship (HCT) is about to wrap up tomorrow, leading up the games at BlizzCon next week. With some players officially knocked out today, I’m going to talk about the 3 remaining players I have some rooting interest for.
Amnesiac is one of the most well-known American Hearthstone players around, notable for knowing the 15-year-old kid who won the Americas Winter Championship. Now 16, Amnesiac is a heavy favorite to win it all to be the next champion. Having a significantly younger individual competing is something that is exciting in real sports, and that has carried over to eSports. I like Amnesiac primarily because he is the horse for NA in the rivalry with the EU scene. Also, I like that he is seemingly more mature than a lot of professional players, despite his age.
Pavel is a guy who’s name I have heard thrown around in various tournament games, and I am sure I have seen him competing multiple times. More recently, I saw Pavel beat RDU in the Europe Last Call decider. Going into this tournament, he was ranked as the 2nd best player in the EU by GosuGamers. My primary rooting interest for Pavel is because I selected him for the Choose Your Champion promotion. For every best-of-7 Pavel wins, I will get a TGT pack. Given his win today, I am up to 2 packs, and hoping for more, as he plays on. I also like that Pavel plays faster than most players.
I didn’t know who BBGunGun was until the NA Last Call games. He is primarily known as a coach for a group of notable Chinese descent players like Eloise, Silent Storm and Neobility. But if you are looking for the ultimate underdog player to root for in the tournament, this is the guy. I am rooting for BBGunGun mainly because he is very easy to emphasize to the normal guy. He is a PhD student, which means unlike most of the competitors in the tournament, he has real-life commitments outside of eSports. As someone with a Master’s and works full-time, he is easier to relate with. His Twitter acount has a Red Sox hat as the avatar, and he says he likes baseball. While I will never be a Red Sox fan, I will root for anyone who says they like baseball. In his player interviews, he seems very honest, and not trying to show anyone up. BBGunGun also has a disability, requiring the use of a cane, something which makes Twitch Chat refer to him as Dr. House or House. Given the acerbic nature of Twitch Chat, the fact that people are not outright making fun of a disability, rather referring to him as a beloved TV character, shows that he appeals to everyman gamer.