The Hearthstone Summer Championship is in the books. Four Hearthstone players have punched their ticket to January's HCT World Championship, but one player took home the lion's share of a $250,000 prize pool. That player was Korea's Kim "Surrender" Jungsoo, beating Jon "Orange" Westberg 3-2 in the finals.
The final match came down to a Highlander Priest mirror, though both competitors built their Priests slightly differently. Orange took a major risk in the final match, playing Spirit Lash and Circle of Healing in order to force Surrender to overdraw, in hopes of having him burn his Raza the Chained or Prophet Velen via too many Northshire Cleric card draws. But despite Raza being at the very bottom of Surrender's deck, he had gathered more than enough resources to see his victory through to the end.
"When I found out [Raza was at the bottom of my deck], I thought my chances of winning were very slim," Surrender said in the post-game press conference. "It's beause Orange had five cards and with five cards in a Priest deck, you can do a single kill."
The four players heading to the HCT World Championship from this weekend are Surrender, Orange, Ryan "Purple" Murphy-Root, Jason Zhou. They will join Aleksey "ShtanUdachi" Barsukov, Frank "Fr0zen" Zhang, Samuel Tsao, Julian "DocPwn" Bachand, Frederik "Hoej" Nielsen, Aleksandr "Kolento" Malsh, Anthony "Ant" Trevino, and Eugene "Neirea" Shumilin in Amsterdam. The field of 16 will be rounded out by the top point-earners in the Hearthstone standings from each region. The HCT World Championship is set to run on the weekend of January 18-21 from the Beurs van Berlage Conference Centre.
The most stunning development of the weekend came in the quarterfinals, with Orange defeating defending Hearthstone World Champion Pavel Beltukov in a thrilling five-match series. The matchup came down to an Evolve Shaman mirror, with Orange able to populate his board enough for a series-cliching Bloodlust turn. Pavel's last gasp involved a Thrall, Deathseer play with a top-deck Saronite Chain Gang, but the evolution came up empty.
Pavel currently stands to miss the World Championship. He came into the weekend in 32nd place on the European Standings, making it unlikely that he will be defending his 2016 title.
This weekend painted a clearer picture of the Hearthstone meta going forward. Come back to Shacknews later in the week for a full breakdown of the winners and losers of the HCT Summer Championship.