February 11, 2017
Hearthstone EU Winter Playoffs 2017 Preview
We’re back into another year of competitive Hearthstone and there is plenty to look forward to in the EU Winter Playoffs taking place this weekend. With the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan cards being put to the test by some of the best players in the world, we are about to witness some really unique decks that we’ve never seen before. Despite the casual tone of the game in general, Hearthstone is proving itself to be an eSport game to be reckoned with. With the prize pool for this year’s championship being pegged at $1 million, there is going to be some stiff competition and amazing games.
Saturday, February 11 – Winter Playoffs Day 1 – 11:30-00:00 CET
Sunday, February 12 – Winter Playoffs Day 2 – 12:30-21:45 CET
Casters: Dan “Frodan” Chou, Brian Kibler, TJ “Azumo” Sanders, Simon “Sottle” Welch, Alexander “Raven” Baguley, and Nathan “Admirable” Zamora
People have been generally shying away from tech cards on ladder in the recent past due to how ineffective they seem to have become in countering some of the top decks. But the EU Winter Playoffs decks is about to see quite a bit of teching involved. Some of the more interesting picks we are about to see this tournament include Burgly Bully and Beneath the Grounds. With Beneath the Grounds being a potent counter to highlander decks, it can serve as a powerful tech choice against things like Kazakus and Reno Jackson.
Reno Mage is the most common deck in the tournament with 19 picks and Shaman joins the party with 19 picks as well but spread across Mid-Range and Aggro archetypes. Pirate Warrior and Renolock have a significant amount of representation as well and there seems to be a good mix of aggro and control decks.
Brann Bronzebeard and Bloodmage Thalnos are present in 36 out of 80 decks and Patches the Pirate is part of 34 out of the 80 decks that are being brought to the tournament. All eyes will be on World Champion Pavel as he is going to face some really tough competition in the tournament with players like Sjow, Lifecoach and Thijs being some of the many competitors he will have to go through.
G2 eSports has been in prominence for a long time now and RDU, Lifecoach and ThijsNL have been consistently competing in major tournaments since the inception of their team. It is good to see long term continued support from teams who are willing to invest into the game and promote it as an eSport.
When it comes to standout decks we have a couple of really interesting decks in form of N’zoth Hunter and Demon Renolock. We have included the decklist for wiRer’s Demon Renolock because it’s a standout deck that he’s tried and tested on ladder and it includes some really unorthodox picks, so be sure to try them out for yourself on ladder and let us know how they work out for you.
wiRer has been one of the more prominent Control Shaman players and it’ll be interesting to see how his deck holds up against the top tier meta decks that he seeks to beat at the tournament. Hunter is slowly fading away from the competitive scene in the current meta with just one Hunter deck being brought to the tournament.