Trouble at the American Hearth(stone)
The Round of 16, a dual elimination tournament that’s part of the HGG or Hearthstone Global Games, started just a week ago, and already, things are shaking up to be exciting! As in every tournament, there are some clear favourites and so far, things aren’t quite going as was expected.
This tournament is the qualifier for the Round of 8 which will be held at BlizzCon in November – the event that Hearthstone fans have been looking forward to for weeks. Well, so far, two teams of the 8 have been decided: Bulgaria and New Zealand have secured their spots already.
The coming week, four more countries are fighting it out – Portugal is competing against Spain, and Norway is competing against China. The winner of the respective matches will join Bulgaria and NZ in the finals. With only a month to go until the launch of this year’s BlizzCon, pressure is rising among the teams.
The US team, one of the favourites to win (if only because of their home advantage!) has been performing less than stellar. In fact, their participation in the final 8 is looking more than shaky at this point. In order for them to qualify for the final tournament, they will need to defeat two teams – both Chinese Taipei and Singapore. That’s a tall order, especially given that in the latest competition, the US lost to Singapore 3:2. This loss last week means that the US team may not qualify for the tournament held within their own country – though of course, it is still possible for them to make it in after all.
It would certainly be a shake-up if they did not qualify – though their fans are, of course, hoping they will and cheering them on. Speaking of cheers, the official Hearthstone Twitch channel lets fans buy Bits to Cheer for their favourite team and to show support – you can even unlock in-game and Twitch rewards, so don’t hesitate to cheer for the US…or whatever team you support.
If you are more interested in the finals than the Round of 16, they too will be available on Twitch, live-streamed from BlizzCon in Anaheim, LA. The final and main event of BlizzCon takes place after its opening week from October 25 to October 29 – On Friday, November 2nd and Saturday, November 3rd, several Blizzard game tournaments, including of course, the HGG will come to an end – it’s an exciting weekend for esports fans all around the world.
If you would like to participate at BlizzCon, it’s not too late – while physical tickets (and in all likelihood, hotel rooms) have been sold out for quite some time now, it is possible to purchase a virtual ticket to the event. It will give you some rare game rewards as well as a discount for the physical goodie bag if you want one – of course, you also get access to a whole lot of extra content!