The first season of the ESL Hearthstone Legendary Series was a rousing success. Its finals in Burbank last weekend saw eight of the worlds best Hearthstone players compete for the US$20,000 prize pool and a direct invite to the Legendary Series tournament in Katowice in March – find out how the tournament played out below!
Oil Rogue and Mech Mage were the name of the game for newcomer Paul “Zalae” Nemeth in group A. The former MTG player hadn’t made a lot of noise in the Hearthstone scene up until now, but he used this tournament to start making a name for himself. His 6-1 group stage performance was the best out of all eight participants. However, he wasn’t the only less known player in group A who impressed casters and viewers alike. 17-year-old Austin “SilentStorm” Li would eventually come out ahead against the well-known Janne “Savjz” Mikkonen, who stunningly missed out on the playoffs, as well as fellow new blood Max “Max” Simpson.
Group B set the stage for the classical East vs. West matchup. Taiwan was well represented in the tournament by Kwo-Ping “PingpinHo” Ho and Wei “Weifu” Fu, but the duo would not be able to make in out of the group stage. An impressive display by Johan “Darkwonyx” Hansson saw the Swede come out on top of group B, followed by Keaton “Chakki” Gil who, sealed the Taiwanese players’ fates with two impressive victories in the must-win games to close out the group stage.
Surprisingly enough, both group winners struggled in the semifinals on Sunday. After getting off to a dominating start in group A, Zalae’s run came to an abrupt halt after running into Chakki, who carried his imposing form from Saturday right over into the playoffs. Similar things happened to Darkwonyx in the second semifinal of the day. SilentStorm continued to knock proven Hearthstone players out of the tournament, adding Darkwonyx to his list and setting his sights on Chakki in the grand finals.
And the grand final series did not disappoint. With no rogue decks in play and US$8,000 on the line, SilentStorm took the game to Chakki on the back of his tried and true Demonlock deck. The American could not find any answers to the young Canadian’s play and eventually had to yield the title to SilentStorm, who burst onto the Hearthstone scene with a bang.
Congratulation to SilentStorm, the first ever ESL Hearthstone Legendary Series champion! What better way to make a name for yourself then by winning US$8,000 in the first major Hearthstone tournament of 2015?
Thanks to his tournament win, SilentStorm will be part of the Legendary Series Katowice online qualifier for the main tournament in March – get all the information about the event in Katowice right here.
We hope to see you in the Spodek arena come March 15th!