HCT Winter Playoffs in the Americas are coming

Though the year 2018 is over, the 2018 season of the Hearhtstone Championship Tour isn’t over yet – next up on the event plan are the regional Winter Playoffs. They will lead into the third seasonal championship: unsurprisingly, the Winter Championship.

From January 19th until January 21st, the Americas are going to have their regional play-offs. Europe has already had theirs a few days ago – on January 12th and 13th. The third of the four regions (the last being China) has to wait the longest – on January 26th and 27th, the Asia-Pacific region will fight it out.

The whole Tournament season uses the Swiss tournament format – Players compete in seven rounds of Swiss in order to try and make it to the dual tournament top eight spots. Then, the top four players from each of the groups will move on to play in the Seasonal Championship. Said match will therefore be played out between 16 fierce competitors.

Each match is a best-of-five with one ban using only cards in the Standard rotation – simple, clear and easy. Players had several ways of qualifying for this tournament series – from earning Hearthstone Competitive points to being one of the elite 3-start Masters Players or even winning an invite through HCT Challenges – plenty of variety and options!

Of course, it’s all about the cards and decks that players use here – the two most popular decks at the moment are the so-called Peanut Shaman (apparently because it’s NUTS) and Egg Paladin. Both were quite popular in the European play-offs – no less than six players are putting their faith into the paladin deck. Said players are Firebat, Purple, Gallon, TheChosenGuy, Guiyze and Zeh.

All in all, the Tournament prize these fellas are competing for is a prize pool of a quarter of a million dollars – the winner receives $50k of them, the second place winner $40k, and 3rd and 4th places receive $20k.

If you weren’t paying attention last week, the four players that made it through the European championship selector were Faeli from the Czech Republic, ThunderUP from Turkey and Bunnyhoppor and Viper from Germany.

bunnyhoppor-viper-hct-summer-championship
© “HCT Summer Championship” | Blizzard Entertainment

Coincidentally, it’s Viper that we have to thank for one of the decks mentioned above – he is the one who premiered the Peanut Shaman list when he qualified for the European play-offs. It’s only been a few days but his deck has proven incredibly popular since then, with plenty of casual players and fans copying it to give it a spin as well.

In the Americas, three players are also going to be using it – Flamekilla, Fled and SargentoSC will each be copying Viper’s deck in the hopes that it will work as well for them as it did for him. Good luck, fellas!

Be sure to catch the live-stream of the event if you are interested in seeing the deck in action – even if you aren’t, it’s probably worth checking out though! Naturally, you can find the stream on Twitch.