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Know Your Hearthstone Players #1: Kolento and Firebat

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We are now covering tournaments in the news section, and many of you will be encountering competetive play for the first time. To help you get into the tournament scene, we are going to write a series of guides about the top players. In this first installment we begin with two players who first made a huge splash in 2014 and are still going strong today; Firebat and Kolento.


 


Kolento


 

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Aleksandr "Kolento" Malsh from the Ukraine was the first player that really stood out as being better than the majority of pro players. He freqently uses classes in tournaments that other players will not touch, having a particular fondness for Priest. He also often makes plays that leave other players baffled. This led some players to believe that maybe he was having an extended good run of luck in 2014, where he earned over $31,000 in prize money. He proved those few critics wrong by earning a further $84,000 in 2015, which makes him the third biggest Hearthstone prize money winner of all-time.

He is quiet by nature, but isn't scared to say when he thinks he's right. He also has a lot of respect for the game. When he won Dreamhack Winter, it was well known he had been playing Prismata rather than practising. When asked about his preparation in interviews however, he simply stated that he was under prepared due to reasons he'd rather not mention on a Hearthstone stream!

You can see more of Cloud9 Kolento on Stream, or read his Twitter.


Firebat


 

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James "Firebat" Kostesich was already a rising star when he won the 2014 World Championship. He was seen as a surprise result by many viewers though, due to the apparent overwhelming dominance of Kolento going into the event. However, Firebat was already becoming regarded by his peers as one of the best players in all of Hearthstone.

Not only can Firebat play the game at the highest level, but where he really stands out from the crowd is in his meticulous preparation. There probably hasn't been an article about Firebat written that doesn't mention the word spreadsheet, as he is known for his incredibly in-depth research. Unlike many players, he doesn't just rely on his own judgement, but instead makes sure to check the maths behind as many of his deck choices as he can. This approach is paying dividends, as with over $217,000 in career prize money, Firebat is the top tournament money earner in the game.

Firebat is another of the nice guys on the circuit. After winning the World Championships, Firebat turned off the donations option on his stream for several months, suggesting that people donate to other streamers who might need it more! Firebat plays for Team Archon and his Twitter can be found here.

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