On BlizzCon 2019’s Hearthstone stage, eight players duked it out in day one of the Hearthstone Grandmasters Global Finals. These players traveled from Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, and China for a chance at the championship title, as well as a prize pool of $500,000. The initial matches of the day featured Group A players Francisco “PNC” Leimontas, Gao “RNGLeaoh” Yang, Kevin “Casie” Eberlein, and Kim “Surrender” Jung-soo. Group B consisted of Xiaomeng “VKLiooon” Li, Chen “tom60229” Wei Lin, Brian “bloodyface” Eason, and Chris “Fenomeno” Tsakopoulos. Here’s how it played out.
Against PNC in the first few matches, RNGLeaoh unleashed his gameplay and won two games out of three. In the tie-breaker match, PNC was unable to find a minion with Taunt using Evolve Shaman, which allowed RNGLeaoh to directly hit face with Shadowstep and Leeroy Jenkins.
— Hearthstone Esports (@HSesports) November 1, 2019
In the next matchup, Casie used his Shaman deck against Surrender’s Tempo Rogue. Although Casie appeared to have a strong board and used the Evolve in his hand, his board was fully locked with minions. Similar to RNGLeaoh, Surrender was able to use Leeroy Jenkins and go for lethal.
The next round saw Quest Shaman gameplay from Surrender and Combo Priest from Casie. Surrender won with Casie’s concede, allowing the former to proceed into the Hearthstone Winners Match against RNGLeaoh.
Group B started off with VKLiooon against tom60229. The first game saw a Shaman-versus-Shaman matchup, with VKLiooon winning the game with a board swing using Evolve and Bloodlust. In the second game, tom60229 did his best using Evolve Shaman against VKLiooon’s Combo Priest. However, he was unable to face the wrath of VKLiooon’s Pyromancer and Silence combo, which allowed for a board clear against his one-health minions. With her 2-0 win against tom60229, VKLiooon moved on to the Group B Winners Match.
Group B’s second matchup featured Fenomeno against bloodyface. While Fenomeno brought his Rogue deck on stage in the first round, bloodyface challenged him with Control Warrior.
The stakes for Fenomeno were amplified when he did not pick up any Combo activators on turn five. Unable to gain the full value for cards like Edwin VanCleef and EVIL Miscreant, the game did not look good for him.
The game looked up for Fenomeno around turn eight when he found Arcanite Reaper. At that point, however, bloodyface still had his second Brawl for AOE, as well as Harrison Jones. Despite Brawl taking out Fenomeno’s second Spirit of the Shark and leaving his board with a 1/1 minion, Fenomeno was able to win the game by finding and using Silence from the Priest class. He found Silence by playing Clever Disguise, which added two random spells from another class to his hand.
Fenomeno went on to take round two with his Combo Priest, allowing him to go into the Winners Match.
After the match, Orange commemorated Fenomeno’s gameplay on Twitter.
.@FenoHS practiced Shark Rogue vs Warrior so much leading up to his match and seeing him go up on stage and play it as well as he did makes me so freakin happy. Lets gooo.
— T1 Orange🍊 (@HS_Orange) November 1, 2019
For more BlizzCon and Hearthstone Grandmasters Global Finals coverage, stayed tuned here at Daily Esports.
Amy Chen is an esports journalist and enthusiast who specializes in in-depth interviews and breaking news. A recent University of Toronto and Humber College graduate, she is passionate about building up the Canadian esports industry. Her current favourite games are Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, and she has always had a soft spot for World of Warcraft!