The heat was turned way up in the recent Summer Playoffs, with top players from all four competitive regions jostling for a shot at Los Angeles and the Hearthstone Championship Tour (HCT) Summer Championship. With fall approaching and the days cooling down, let’s take a look at the 16 players who have qualified for the final seasonal Championship of 2017.
Did you know Trunks is a full-time engineer working in IT? Trunks came to prominence as a dark horse in 2017’s Super Premier Spring tournament, claiming a spot in the top four after destroying his group stage with a 6-1 score. He went on to compete at invitationals and in the HCT Spring Championship earlier this year. Trunks’ calm and poised demeanor has won him a lot of fans, and the Chinese audience is happy that he won Super Premier Summer and is headed to the HCT Summer Championship.
- Top 4, 2017 Super Premier Spring
- Top 8, CN vs. EU Championship 2017
- Top 12, 2017 Hearthstone Spring Championship
BaiZe is named after an auspicious (and mythical) Chinese creature said to symbolize wisdom and good fortune. BaiZe has played in multiple major Chinese events and been called on as a caster on occasion, but her first international, competitive showing was at the recent Hearthstone Wild Open, where she made it to the quarterfinals. BaiZe is the first woman to have qualified for any Hearthstone global championship.
- Top 8, Hearthstone Wild Open 2017
Have you noticed JasonZhou is always smiling? Don’t let that smile fool you. He’s one of China’s top players, having won the 2017 Super Premier Spring and 2016 Super Premier Summer tournaments. He also made it to the top four at the 2016 Hearthstone World Championship, and recently competed at the 2017 Spring Championship.
- Top 16, 2017 Hearthstone Spring Championship
- 1st place, 2017 Super Premier Spring
- Top 4, 2016 Hearthstone World Championship
- 1st place, 2016 Super Premier Summer
- Hearthstone Global Games, Team China
OmegaZero represented China in last year’s Hearthstone World Championship at BlizzCon, and continued his string of solid performances by qualifying to the 2017 Winter Championship soon after. While he didn’t find success at the Super Premier Spring, he has come back with a vengeance, clinching third place at the Super Premier Summer. OmegaZero has very high expectations for himself, and he’s aiming for greater achievements on the international stage.
- Top 4, 2017 Super Premier Summer
- Top 8, CN vs EU Championship 2017
- Top 16, Hearthstone World Championship
- 1st place, 2016 Super Premier Fall
- 1st place, 2016 Gold Final
- Hearthstone Global Games, Team China
Pavel is the reigning Hearthstone World Champion and he’s looking to repeat. His quiet, unassuming demeanor belies the skill brought to the table by this card-slinging beast. Pavel started dominating the European ladder way back in 2015, quickly qualifying for multiple events. Was his 10-0 victory in the European Playoffs but a precursor to what he’s bringing to the Summer Championship?
- Top 4, CN vs EU Championship 2017
- Top 16, 2017 Hearthstone Winter Championship
- 2016 Hearthstone World Champion
- Hearthstone Global Games, Team Russia
The first time OldBoy played Hearthstone, he took three tries to finish the tutorial—but there was no looking back from there. He started watching streams, tried his hand in small tournaments, eventually progressing to competing in larger pro events like the WESG Ukrainian qualifier. This law senior dreamed of being a pro football player when he was a child, and unlike many of our other competitors, has never played any other collectible card game. Can OldBoy take the next step in his professional career?
We've all heard of Orange—his achievements in competitive Hearthstone have rung in our ears for years—but did you know that this summer was the first time he qualified for Playoffs via the point system? Orange has been making 2017 his year, starting with a WESG second place finish and now qualifying for the Summer Championship thanks to his recent win at DreamHack Summer. The pro player, representing Alliance, started Hearthstone when he received beta access.
- Top 8, CN vs EU Championship 2017
- 1st place, DreamHack Summer 2017
- 2nd place, WESG 2016
- 1st place, SeatStory Cup VI
- Hearthstone Global Games, Team Sweden
Amyks has always loved card games. He used to play physical card games, but wanted to switch over to a digital one because it was financially easier to handle, and easier to play in his free time. Amyks has been playing Hearthstone for a couple of years now, and just started streaming this January—building a small community in his home country of Poland. It was his dedicated viewers who motivated Amyks to compete in the Summer season. In turn, his own dedication to the game has finally paid off.
Breakout competitor uya took player after player to school during the Asia-Pacific Summer Playoffs, sweeping the Swiss rounds 7-0 with his unique Paladin deck. It was pretty fitting, seeing as how uya is actually a high school teacher. Encouraged by his brother, he started playing Hearthstone when it was localized in Japanese and became interested in competing when he watched the Japan Spring Championship last year. Today, uya spends his commuting time on the train keeping his skills sharp by playing Hearthstone.
Surrender has been playing Hearthstone for a while now, but this is the first time he has qualified to play at a seasonal championship. Surrender is a Planet Odd player, alongside heavyweights Xixo and Hoej. Through Hearthstone, he has received many opportunities and experiences that would otherwise not have been available to him. He’s travelled overseas 10 times for tournaments; he’s experienced different cultures; he’s been able to buy his mother a car with the prize money he has won, and he’s only 20!
- 1st place, 2017 HCT Summer Asia-Pacific Playoffs
- Top 8, 2016 OGN Hearthstone Seoul Cup World Invitational
Hearthstone launched just as he started his military service, but that didn’t stop tom60229. He has gone on to be one of Taiwan’s strongest Hearthstone players, winning multiple regional tournaments. Now, tom60229 wants to be the Hearthstone World Champion, and as the top point earner in Asia-Pacific, it’s within his reach.
- 2nd place, 2017 TW HK & MO Elite Tournament – Season 1
- 1st place, 2016 Hearthstone Malaysia Major
- Top 16, 2014 Hearthstone World Championship
- Hearthstone Global Games, Team Taiwan
This excitable player came out of nowhere to make a scene in the Summer Playoffs for Asia-Pacific. While he’s been playing since Hearthstone was in beta, cocosasa’s only major achievement since then has been largely local: getting third place in the 2015 Inven Tournament. A virtual unknown, he won over audiences with his hilarious, non-stop soliloquy on stream, and wide repertoire of facial expressions. Today, this skilled competitor cocosasa feels that he’s gained both experience and knowledge from his time playing Hearthstone.
Despite his decorated competitive career, Purple doesn’t even think of himself as a gamer. He played StarCraft: Brood War as a teenager and then took a 10 year video game hiatus before he took up Hearthstone. Purple’s biggest motivation to play Hearthstone is actually his Twitch community, though he says it’s his girlfriend who is his biggest fan. The couple first met at BlizzCon in 2015—the same BlizzCon he first qualified to play at—and she now helps him prepare for tournaments.
- 1st place, 2017 HCT Summer Americas Playoffs
- Top 8, DreamHack Tours 2017
- 1st place, DreamHack Winter 2015
- 1st place, 2015 Americas’ Championship
Empanizado is known to the Mexican Hearthstone scene as a community hero, having cemented his reputation through an amazing performance with Mexico’s Global Games team. After his Global Games success, he fought his way up to the top four at the Copa America Summer Finals, inadvertently becoming one of 2017’s breakout players. Empanizado is currently a college student who used to play competitive chess and his handle is a reference to one of his favorite foods-empanadas!
- Top 4, Copa America Summer 2017
- Hearthstone Global Games, Team Mexico
Nalguidan has been one of the top players from Latin America ever since he qualified for IEM Katowice back in 2015. A pillar of his local community, he recently represented home country Argentina in the Hearthstone Global Games, leading the squad all the way up to the round of 16. Competitive by nature, he used to play basketball before turning to esports. Nalguidan is currently one of the biggest Hearthstone streamers in the Spanish-speaking Americas region.
- Top 8, Copa America Spring 2017
- Hearthstone Global Games, Team Argentina
YAYtears used to run track and cross country, and clocked some very impressive times while he did! Nowadays, he’s working on a college degree while playing Hearthstone. Hearthstone is a big part of YAYtears’ life right now—he just hit rank 1 legend last month —and he counts his experiences of meeting new people, playing with them, and watching matches together as some of the most fun moments in his life thus far. He hopes to qualify for the HCT World Championship and showcase how he performs in high-pressure situations.
The HCT Summer Championship will take place Oct. 13 to 15 at the Blizzard Arena Los Angeles. If you aren’t planning on attending in person, you can tune in to the live stream on twitch.tv/PlayHearthstone, which will kick off at 8:30 a.m. PDT daily.
For now, tell us who you are rooting for going into the Hearthstone Summer Championship. Who will you choose as your champion? Let us know who you’re supporting with #HCT, here on our forums and over on Facebook and Twitter.