Hunterace wins 2019 Hearthstone World Championship

The 2019 Hearthstone Championship Tour is at an end, with Hunterace prevailing following one of the single wildest games in the game's history.

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The 2019 Hearthstone World Championship has come to a close. A new world champion was crowned in Taipei after an intense Top 8. After a full day of competition, the season came down to an all-European Grand Finals. In the end, it was Norway's Casper "Hunterace" Notto coming out on top over Germany's Torben "Viper" Wahl to become the Hearthstone World Champion.

The final game pit Hunterace's Shaman against Viper's Warlock, the latter of which intriguingly held onto Arch-Villain Rafaam. Hunterace's opening hand included double Ancestral Healing, which was largely a dead draw. He did, however, draw Hagatha's Scheme, which would prove to help with a board clear. Viper refilled his board quickly, but that opened the door for Mind Control Tech and a second Hagatha's Scheme. Arch-Villain Rafaam came down on Turn 7, but the random legendaries were not in Viper's favor, as he wound up with a 4/4 Subject 9 and an 0/4 Nat Pagle. However, the next turn saw Catrina Muerte, which presented the threat of resurrected minions. The next draw was even more improbable, as Azalina Soulthief copied Hunterace's hand.

Hunterace wasn't giving up, though, pushing through with Lightning Storm and Swampqueen Hagatha. Viper fired back with his own Lightning Storm, flanked by Archmage Vargoth. Hunterace's next play was the second Mind Control Tech, followed by Giggling Inventor. Oondasta proved another impact play for Viper, followed shortly by Houndmaster Shaw. Shudderwock set up lethal for Hunterace, but Viper fired back with Kalecgos and destroyed it with a Demonbolt off its Discover effect. But the Shudderwock did fill Hunterace's board, as Viper quickly started to run out of gas. Viper played a second Azalina Soulthief and got Hunterace's Hex spell, which was free because of Kalecgos. But again, Viper was running out of resources. Viper's second-to-last minion was Gruul, a potent threat, but one that could be dealt with. Viper's final minion was Bloodmage Thalnos, which would do him no good. Gruul hit the board, but it was too late and Hunterace finished the winner of one of the wildest single games in Hearthstone's history.

The series started with Hunterace's Rogue facing off against Viper's Warlock. Viper set the tone early with a pair of Mecharoos, quickly filling his side of the board. Hunterace looked to set up his own series of resources with EVIL Miscreant, stunningly pulling four straight Goblin Lackeys from the Rogue Combo minion. Hunterace wasn't able to keep up with Viper's board, as the German player dropped a Grim Rally to beef up his board beyond control. Facing lethal damage, Hunterace saved himself by pulling Explosive Trap from a Hench-Clan Burglar. Shockingly, this proved to be the difference, as Viper's Life Tap came up empty and he was forced to concede, putting Hunterace up 1-0.

The second game was a Conjuring Mage mirror. The race was on to see who would draw their Mountain Giant first, but both players came up empty, even with copious card draws from their Book of Specters. Stranger yet, neither player drew their critical Conjurer's Calling spell, with all four spells in the bottom half of their decks. The big difference between the two Mage decks was Viper packing in an Arcane Keysmith, which deployed a Spellbender Secret on Turn 9. Hunterace was the first to draw his Conjurer's Calling, with just ten cards left in his deck. Unfortunately, Hunterace was down to low cost minions. Viper drew his Conjurer's Calling was able to use it on the much more expensive Mountain Giant, combined with Khadgar to create a board state that Hunterace just couldn't overcome. Hunterace's Hail Mary play of using Conjurer's Calling on Viper's Khadgar in hopes of drawing a Doomsayer failed and the series was evened up at 1-1.

Game 3 saw Hunterace go back to his Conjurer's Mage, while Viper opted for his Hunter. Viper looked to get ahead by combining Vicious Scalehide with Dire Frenzy. Hunterace responded with Hench-Clan Sneak, an unorthodox addition to the Conjurer's Mage lineup. But again, Hunterace couldn't draw his Conjurer's Calling, Mountain Giant, or Khadgar to truly play to the deck's strengths. Hunterace finally drew the Conjurer's Calling on Turn 10 and though he could only use it to generate 3-Cost minions, they were high roll minions, as he drew a full-health 4/7 Injured Blademaster. Risking death, Hunterace went on the offensive with Alexstrasza, despite only having 8 health. But instead of drawing the game-winning Kill Command or Zul'jin, Viper drew Springpaw and had to concede, putting Hunterace up 2-1.

Game 4 saw Hunterace's Shaman go up against Viper's Hunter. Hunterace was able to ward off Viper's parade of beasts using Giggling Inventor, but Viper quickly broke through with Scavenging Hyena and Unleash the Hounds. Hagatha the Witch briefly stabilized, but Viper shot right back with Tundra Rhino and Dire Frenzy. Hunterace tried to defend with Rain of Toads and Feral Spirit. Zul'jin filled Viper's board and put Hunterace on the edge of defeat, tying the series at 2-2.

Hunterace and Viper at the start of the Grand Finals (Photo credit: Helena Kristiansson for Blizzard Entertainment)
Hunterace and Viper at the start of the Grand Finals (Photo credit: Helena Kristiansson for Blizzard Entertainment)

Both Hunterace and Viper previously lost on their first day, with Hunterace getting sent to the Decider match by David "JustSaiyan" Shan and Viper falling to Brian "bloodyface" Eason. Viper found his way to the Grand Finals are a pair of incredible wins over JustSaiyan and frequent training partner Raphael "Bunnyhoppor" Peltzer. Hunterace made it to the finals after victories over bloodyface and Guan "SNJing" Zhendong.

Sunday's Top 8 officially brings the Hearhtstone Championship Tour as a whole to an end. Hearthstone esports will now move forward to the new Masters and Grandmasters system. The Grandmasters season is set to begin on May 17, which will see 16 players across three regions play each week until the mid-July Season 1 playoffs. The groups were unveiled on Sunday evening, prior to the Grand Finals. Meanwhile, the Masters Tour will see a hungry field of Hearthstone competitors face off for a prize of $250,000 and counting. The Hearthstone Masters Tour will come to Las Vegas in June. For more on where Hearthstone esports goes from here, be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Blizzard's Sam Braithwaite.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 28, 2019 7:34 AM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Hunterace wins 2019 Hearthstone World Championship

    • reply
      April 28, 2019 7:34 AM

      I’m out of breath.

      RAFAAAAAAAAAM!!!

      • reply
        April 28, 2019 7:36 AM

        That last game was such a clown fiesta. Both of them were worthy champions but I’m glad hunterace ended up winning. I liked his deck lineup and thought he played great.

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          April 28, 2019 7:36 AM

          TWO AZALINAS!

          WTF???

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            April 28, 2019 7:38 AM

            He made some cool plays with those! The Shaw and Glass Knight were hilarious

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      April 28, 2019 7:49 AM

      That was the one best rafaams and it still wasn’t enough. I feel like a broken record saying random legendaries aren’t very good.

      Like I think rafaam makes more sense in a handlock style warlock so when you’re against warrior you can try to convert your hellfires into a threat.

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        April 28, 2019 7:58 AM

        That was literally the only good Rafaam of the weekend. The rest of the Rafaams played were all duds.

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      April 28, 2019 11:14 AM

      Wow, just watched the final match vod. What a crazy game!

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      April 28, 2019 1:51 PM

      Man. I don't usually get irritated with spoilers but could you not put that in the title of the article? I was going to watch the match tonight and had been avoiding reddit until then.