We’re back from BlizzCon! A massive weekend full of amazing esports and awesome announcements played host to a special treat for Hearthstone-lovers in the Hearthstone Inn-vitational (HSI). This one-of-a-kind event pitted a mix of seasoned professional players and larger-than-life personalities against each other in teams of three across a selection of competitive formats and challenges.
Whether you were with us for all of it or are hearing about it for the first time today, these were the moments that made HSI so special:
#5—Legends Tell of a Vast, Underground World
A surprise to not only attendees in the audience, but also to the players themselves, the final challenge posed to the four teams of players in the Inn-vitational was a first pass at the all-new Dungeon Run feature from the upcoming expansion, Kobolds & Catacombs. Teams saw only a fraction of the terrors that await them in the depths of the catacombs—but it was a blast!
#4—We’re Going to be Rich, Rich, Rich
The Grimestreet Grifters had an unbelievable second game in their best-of-11 grand finals against the Chillblade Crusaders. Armed with their first Reno Jackson, they traded a Crystalline Oracle in for a second Reno, arming them to sustain against the relentless onslaught of their opponents’ Midrange Paladin a little longer. Under further siege, the Grifters were able to play Convert on the Reno Jackson that the Crusaders had just played, giving them a third copy of Reno to stabilize with—which, unfortunately, didn’t pan out, as the Crusaders’ continued pressure ended game 2 in their favor.
#3—“Let’s listen in…”
One of the coolest highlights of HSI was the ability for the casters to take a momentary back seat throughout the tournament and let the crowd listen to the players discuss their next moves. Tons of tiny decision-making details got additional attention as the audio cut to an on-stage team’s internal communications, and we could hear the pros debating how to proceed in real time. (The biggest laugh in the room was definitely when TJ Sanders threw to the Grifters' audio—with only Hakjun ‘Kranich’ Baek left on stage, so it was silent.)
As a unique new addition alongside Standard and Wild, HSI featured a third rule set for players to navigate: Excavated Treasures. In Excavated Treasures, teams had to finish a partially-constructed deck for each class that had 10-15 preselected cards in it—but they could only add one copy of any card to their finished deck (cards from Wild sets were legal in Excavated Treasures). Seeing the teams tackle this cool challenge was incredible.
#1—Kranich <Final Boss>
In the grand final, Kranich ended up standing alone as the only remaining player from the Grimestreet Grifters after the first five games of the best-of-11 series. His team had gone down 1-4 in the match, leaving teammates Andrey ‘Reynad’ Yanyuk and Pathra Cadness to watch as Kranich would attempt to stand tall against the Chillblade Crusaders.
In an amazing twist, Kranich won four straight games, making David ‘Dog’ Caero the only remaining Chillblade Crusader. Dog took the next game, forcing a game 11, but Kranich would ultimately close it out—finishing with a 5-1 personal record after his teammates had been eliminated, and clinching the Inn-vitational trophy for himself and his team.
BlizzCon was an incredible experience, and we're glad so many of you were able to join us live either in person or on the Virtual Ticket. What did you think of the first glimpse we got of Dungeon Runs? Did you catch Kranich’s epic comeback live? Let us know what stood out to you in the comments.