The Hearthstone Championship Tour (HCT) Summer Championship played out this past weekend at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, and fans in-studio and at home were treated to an incredible experience thanks to the talent and tenacity of some of the world’s best players.
In case you missed it—or want to relive a few of the highlight-reel moments—here are five of the plays that caught our eyes and dropped our jaws:
#5 – All Must Serve the One... True... King
Seven turns out from fatigue, and unable to establish a board presence, things were looking grim for Purple in game four of his match against tom60229. He needed a miracle—and he got it, rolling The Lich King off of a 6-cost Jade Golem with Thrall, Deathseer's Battlecry effect. On Purple's next turn, The Lich King generated an Anti-Magic Shell, which gave Purple an opening to play around tom60229's only remaining outs, and go on from there to win what had looked to be an unwinnable game.
#4 – P-P-P-Poker Face
Game three between Purple and tom60229 also had a memorable (and only-in-real-life) moment, as Purple went for an over-the-monitor read on tom60229’s poker face to try and surmise which Mage secret he had in play. Whether Purple saw it on tom's face or not, he correctly tested for the in-play Counterspell with his Swipe, protecting his Ultimate Infestation for later use.
#3 – Youuuu Dirty Rat
OldBoy snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in game five against Nalguidan. The two were locked in a tense Handlock mirror, with Nalguidan poised to finish off OldBoy and advance to playoff Sunday. Nalguidan had twice previously been punished—once in an earlier match, and once already against OldBoy—by Dirty Rat pulling out his Doomsayer. And here it happened again, as OldBoy played to his only out, successfully sniping Doomsayer, taking back the board, and eventually winning the match.
#2 – You Must Read the Name of This Card Out Loud Each Time You Play It
Surrender won all three of his games in the Group C winner’s match against OmegaZero’s Hunter deck, but it wasn’t easy. With deck lists being public knowledge, Surrender knew OmegaZero’s list by heart—and that plus the game state let him make a next-level read. One card had sat unplayed all game in OmegaZero’s hand: If it was a relevant minion or a direct-damage card, he’d had opportunities to play it already. The card had to be Unleash the Hounds. Surrender played around it by trading two minions into one of OmegaZero’s, which removed the possibility of lethal damage from Unleash the Hounds.
#1 – It's the Circle of Healing
Who would win the HCT Summer Championship trophy came down to an intense game-five mirror match between Surrender and Orange’s Highlander Priest decks. At one point, Orange spotted an opportunity to force Surrender to overdraw his hand by six cards, trading an otherwise weak combo card in Circle of Healing for a chance he could burn one of Surrender’s mandatory combo cards (ideally Raza). It was a real nail-biter for both players, and the casting desk, as each card was drawn, and lost:
Unfortunately for Orange, the six burned cards did not affect Surrender’s win condition. When it was all over, despite hitting fatigue, Surrender had become our HCT Summer champion!
Were there any other amazing plays or amusing interactions that you loved during the HCT Summer Championship? Which players were your favorites to watch? Let us know in the comments!