When Kacper "A83650" Kwieciński tried Hearthstone on a whim he chose his handle by typing in a few random characters. As his professional career took off, the name stuck. Today, A83650 will be the first Polish player ever to compete at a Hearthstone World Championship.
“It just feels like a dream come true,” said A83650, who has been receiving encouraging messages from members of the Polish Hearthstone community ever since his plane touched down in Taipei. “The Polish community has been really supportive of me, it’s always a good feeling to know they are cheering for me.”
Right off the bat, A83650 has his work cut out for him, facing Americas point leader David "Justsaiyan" Shan. “Lineup-wise, the matchup against Justsaiyan should be the hardest one,” said A83650. “Justsaiyan just built his decks better, his decisions were smarter. I need to high-roll the series in order to win. I'm feeling much better against Hunterace and Ike.”
A83650 brewed a unique Shaman deck for the occasion. “I think it was a good meta call,” he said. “Many players brought Control Shaman, but I wasn't satisfied with Control Shaman when I tested it, so I brought this Shaman instead and I’m really happy with it.”
I present to you: Shaman from the Future. pic.twitter.com/8k0ZjDuuEH— Kacper Kwieciński (@a83650) April 17, 2019
He also carefully crafted his Warrior deck in anticipation of the playing field. “I wanted to build it that way [so] that I'm not losing every time against anti-Warrior lineups,” said A83650. “That's why I'm playing double Super Collider, that's why I'm playing Big Game Hunter and Ironbeak Owl—because it helps against Hunters, Mages, Shamans, other Warrior matchups. I know that some people are just playing pure anti-aggro Warrior, but I think it's not the correct choice.”
For A83650, Torben "Viper" Wahl, David "killinallday" Acosta, Mark "Ike" Eichner, and Mihai "languagehacker" Dragalin, a spot in Hearthstone Grandmasters is on the line as well, in addition to the World Championship trophy and a large amount of prize money. And while they aren’t competing in the tournament, Fei "ETC" Liang and Frederik "Hoej" Nielsen are also in the running for the two remaining spots in the Americas and Europe, respectively.
“It's kind of unusual,” said A83650. “Most of the Hearthstone players are telling me they are really nervous, or they feel the pressure during games, but it wasn't a problem for me at [HCT] Summer and I hope it's not going to be a problem here, even though it's more than the World Championship, it's also the Grandmasters spot.”
While he isn’t convinced he’ll be able to take down his first-round opponent, the first Polish player to set foot on stage at a Hearthstone World Championship remains hopeful.
“Everybody’s goal is to win in this tournament,” said A83650. “People are considering me unfavored going into this group, but I hope I can surprise everybody. The most important thing for me is to do well, but in terms of actually playing well [as opposed to just winning]. I want to know after the tournament that I did everything that I could.”