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HCT 2017 World Championship Finals Result

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On Sunday, we saw the semifinals and the grand final of the 2018 Hearthstone Circuit Tour. A champion was crowned between Fr0zen, JasonZhou, tom60229 and Surrender. Who was it?

Semifinals

In the first semifinal, China and North America's representatives faced off one another. JasonZhou elected to ban Fr0zen's Mage, a class that proved to be dangerous during this championship. Fr0zen's Cubelock lost two out of three games, but it paid off at the final deciding game. Jason just couldn't draw any of his Aggro Druid tools and Fr0zen protected himself behind the wall of the Voidlord. Thus, it was Fr0zen who progressed to the finals with a final score of 3-2, although we still have to commend JasonZhou for a second top 4 finish in a row.

The other semifinal was held between the two APAC contestants: Surrender versus tom60229. Surrender weirdly elected to ban tom's Priest and not his Warlock; I'm not sure if that was the right call to make, although Surrender did beat the Warlock with his Druid (but lost to it with his Rogue). However, what seemed to matter most is that the Korean player drew Patches the Pirate in both of his Rogue games - a straw of bad luck that contributed to his downfall. With only that Druid victory under Surrender's belt, tom60229 easily beat one of the most difficult opponents he could face with 3-1 and secured his spot in the final. Tom should be given extra credit for his exceptional Druid play in this match-up.

The Final

Fr0zen's line-up was more favourble, since he had specifically targeted meta decks with his slow, Control-focused decks. He quickly went ahead with a score of 2-0, securing victories with his Mage and Priest.

At that point, a small mishap took place. Perhaps seeing that Fr0zen was ahead, after having won the audience and having become the crowd favourite of the Amsterdam venue, someone jumped the gun and released the celebration confetti. The American player smirked during this, while tom60229 remained stoic. Perhaps it was this calmness that helped the Taiwanese player turn the match around. 

Fr0zen only had his Jade Druid remaining, a deck that had been commended on by the casters for including the more Midrange package of Violet Teacher and Mark of the Lotus. In the third game, Fr0zen overextended against tom60229's Priest and he resorted to topdecking during the late stages. While the American player was desperately hoping for an Ultimate Infestation that would never come, tom60229 got his machine gun going and took his first victory.

In the Druid vs Rogue game, tom's Swashburglar got an Innervate. On his next turn, Taiwan's champion elected to go for an all-in play, that resulted in a 10/10 Edwin VanCleef. It's a risk that usually pays off against Druid, since it doesn't have early hard removal. Indeed, tom60229 managed to equalise the score.

The last game was a battle between Druids. Fr0zen again overextended too early and he was left with no cards for the end. He tried to fend off the Jade onslaught with back-to-back Spreading Plagues, but it was too late. Chen "tom60229" Wei Lin would be crowned as the 2017 Hearthstone World Champion, the first champion from Asia!

Final Remarks

Tom60229 may have been an outsider here, but he won through hard work and dedication - combined with a small amount of luck, as the case usually is in Hearthstone. Some may remember his unusual for the time, yet effective Highlander Mage deck from the Summer Championship. His decks weren't particularly innovative, but his plays were solid - especially with his Druid against Surrender. He reverse-sweeped his opponent, even after that disheartening confetti incident!

Frank "Fr0zen" Zheng has also worked really hard and it was no coincidence that he got here. His decks targeted the current meta, giving him numerous favourable match-ups throughout this tournament. While it did lose the three crucial final games, I truly believe his best deck was his Midrange Jade Druid. It shows how Druid can turn back to its Midrange roots when we finally bid farewell to the Jade package. The Control Mage deck was also particularly nasty, although I do prefer Sintolol's version: it offers more outs and win conditions in the late game. And, as already stated, you should definitely watch the quarterfinal between Fr0zen and Sintolol: it was the best match of this weekend!

JasonZhou's and Surrender's participations are also admirable. This is the second year in a row that the Chinese player finishes in the Top 4 of the Hearthstone Circuit Tour. He knocked out some really tough opponents during this tournament (Kolento, Muzzy, DocPwn). Surrender, on his part, displayed tremendous talent and potential. The final result would have been completely different, if these two semifinalists had drawn better in their respective matches.

That's it for this year and we are looking forward to 2018, since the structure of HCT will change drastically! We should also expect a new patch in a month from now, which may or may not contain balance changes.

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Hi,i was waiting this topic,the final article about the championship just to say that you guys article,the first one about the event and the choose your champion option got me 5 packs,i had no clue to pick and you guys article help me by choosing surrender,rly sad he didn't won,i actually felt bad watching him,everymatch is like he's gonna cry,how old r he? but anyway he's very good and i like that he take he's time to make an move,so that's it guys,thank you so much for the packs,is 5 right,because 4 is for surrender and 1 just to participate!!

 

thanks again Icey(L)

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Not alot of packs for me from the looks of it, but i dont think i saw anyone tipping tom on hearthpwn at all in 10 pages worth of previews and pick your champion discussion.

Going to check some of these videos out, seems like interesting games which i missed on stream. I guess creeper nerf is coming in the patch?

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@Lohr

That's great! I wish I had voted for Surrender too... I went all sentimental and voted for my personal favourite player, Kolento, even though deep down I didn't expect him to win.

@Idira

Probably, TJ (one of the casters) and Ben Brode even joked about it. I haven't heard any rumours about other nerfs, but I did hear very big rumours about two cards going into the Hall of Fame: Ice Block (was kinda expected) and Wild Growth!

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Surrender is very promising, he is younger than most players in the scene, he said that he has been playing since beta, but I think he is not so experienced in tournaments. In this one, he played better than Tom in general, but Tom was just too lucky this whole weekend, especially last two games.

I think that, with some luck, Surrender can be the first guy to win this tour twice in a row or something like that. He definitely has a huge potential.

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