Highlights from the HCT Fall Championship

Fans of the Hearthstone game once again got a masterclass when the final of HCT Fall Championship took place on Sunday 14 October. This epic tournament featured 16 of the best Hearthstone players from around the world who competed for a share of the incredible $250,000 prize pool.

Whilst the tournament saw plenty of exceptional performances, it was the Canadian esports star, Mihai ‘lnguagehackr’ Dragalin, who managed to win the competition and be declared the champion for the second season of the Year of the Raven.


© Blizzard Entertainment

Whilst few spectators would have expected a North American gamer to win this tournament, the result shows just how widespread the appeal of Hearthstone has become. But how did Mihai Dragalin manage to beat the formidable competition, and what does this mean for the future of Hearthstone esports tournaments?

Following lnguagehackr’s winning performance

Mihai ‘lnguagehackr’ Dragalin has been a relatively new face on the competitive gaming scene, and his winning performance will have caught many gamers by surprise. The Canadian ace has put in plenty of strong performances for the RoyalBlue esports organisation over the past couple of years, but his recent switch to Grizzlys eSports has really taken things up a level. In particular, lnguagehackr performed well at the Maplestone League tournament in April 2018, and the HCT Austin competition also saw lnguagehackr boost his gaming reputation with some seriously tactical prowess.

But it was lnguagehackr’s great gameplay at the HCT Season 2 Americas competition in September that really signalled his exceptional Hearthstone skill. Whilst he couldn’t quite get a winning result here, he managed to qualify for the Fall Championship by picking up a commendable third position, and by the time that the HCT Fall Championship took place at the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles last weekend, lnguagehackr was in rare form.  We saw gamers like bloodyface, Bloodtrail and justsaiyan put in some strong challenges, but in the end it was lnguagehackr’s consistent that gave him the championship title and $50,000 in winnings.


© Blizzard Entertainment

Lnguagehackr certainly didn’t have an easy time in making his way to the HCT Fall Championship title. RENMAN put in a very strong challenge in the quarter-finals, but lnguagehackr managed to get a decent 3-1 win, and the Canadian star was in great form in the semi-finals where he destroyed justsaiyan 3-0. The final of the HCT Fall Championship didn’t let us down as Brian ‘bloodyface’ Eason gave lnguagehackr some serious trouble with some great plays like the occasional Faceless Manipulator combo. But lnguagehackr managed to keep his cool with some consistently excellent gameplay and coasted to a relatively straightforward 3-1 triumph and his first HCT Fall Championship title.

What does this mean for the Hearthstone World Championship?

Whilst there is no denying the fact that lnguagehackr put in some great performances at the HCT Fall Championship, it remains to be seen how well he will do at the upcoming Hearthstone World Championship next year. The next Hearthstone World Championship will take place in January 2019, and whilst this tournament never lets us down in providing some phenomenal gameplay, it can be pretty tricky trying to predict who will win the competition.

This will be the fifth World Championships and it could give lnguagehackr the perfect opportunity to seal his excellent gaming reputation. Last year saw Taiwan’s Tom60229 put in an exceptional performance by beating the USA’s Fr0zen to pick up the title in Amsterdam, as well as a healthy chunk of the $1 million prize pool. This followed on from other impressive results like the Russian star, Pavel’s epic 2016 win, and Ostaka’s excellent 2015 triumph over Hotform, as well as Firebat’s legendary 2014 victory to become the first Hearthstone World Championship winner.

So does lnguagehackr have what it takes to succeed against some of the biggest Hearthstone players in the business? It’s always difficult to see just how things will pan out in these epic gaming events, but be sure to follow the action on Twitch.tv to see if lnguagehackr can seal his epic Hearthstone gaming reputation. Regardless who wins the Hearthstone World Championship in January, it’s sure to be another epic gaming event that will help Hearthstone remain as one of the world’s most popular esports.