Esports history was made inside the halls of the Anaheim Convention Center on Saturday afternoon. Hearthstone crowned its first world champion since the inception of its Grandmasters format. But beyond that, a woman has climbed to the top of the Hearthstone mountain for the first time ever. Xiaomeng "VKLiooon" Li defeated Brian "bloodyface" Eason in a 3-0 sweep in the Grand Finals to become the first woman to ever be crowned Hearthstone World Champion.
A CLEAN SWEEP!! VKLIOOON HAS WON THE HEARTHSTONE GLOBAL FINALS!!! pic.twitter.com/3PwNX0qcBq— Hearthstone Esports (@HSesports) November 2, 2019
VKLiooon was able to pull away in the final game of the Hearthstone Grandmasters Global Finals with her Hunter deck. Siamat was ultiamtely able to seal the deal, as bloodyface could not fight back against its Windfury properties. A Kill Command spell sealed the deal and ended the series in a 3-0 sweep. The earlier games likewise favored VKLiooon, as she was able to take over with tremendous numbers on the board with both Aggro Shaman and Quest Druid.
Following her win, VKLiooon delivered an emotional post-game interview to the capacity crowd at BlizzCon. She addressed the gender-based prejudice that she had faced as she looked to join the field of competitors, relaying a story about how she had been told at a competitive tournament that she should not be competing against the men.
"This is the best way to strike back at those people who doubted me only because I am a girl," Li said via translator. "It proves that girls can be strong pro players, just as guys do."
For her victory, VKLiooon takes home $200,000. For finishing runner-up, bloodyface leaves with $100,000. The next season of Hearthstone Grandmasters is set to kick off in Spring 2020, following the start of the new Hearthstone Standard season. In the meantime, the next Hearthstone Masters tournament is set to take place this coming January in Arlington, Texas.