Zagreb Tournament Coverage
This Monday and Tuesday there was a big Hearthstone tournament in Zagreb, Croatia and I’ve actually been lucky enough to be in the area and check it out. This was the very first tournament in Croatia where the big names were playing and also my first chance to see them in person, shake hands and take some photos with them. The pro players that were playing on this tournament were Lifecoach, RDU, Thijs and SuperJJ and their opponents were some local players exigo, kamikaza, travnoboyBB and wild. The casters were Raven, Lothar and Sottle. Despite the apparent obvious outcome between the two groups of players with an enormous difference in skill and experience, I’ve actually had a lot of fun and I want to share this event with you!
I’ve arrived at the Zagreb Arena, a place where the tournament is being help, about an hour after the doors have opened. I was pretty excited to see the games despite the security taking away my camera at the gate because it was apparently forbidden to use professional cameras without a press pass. I didn’t question them much and just went in, hoping to later get pictures from a friend who was there as well. The Arena was surprisingly not very crowded but that was probably because I came too early. One last thing to note, if you’re planning to check the tournaments there in the near future, keep in mind that food and drink is quite expensive for the local standards (about 4 euro gets you a 0,3l of anything to drink). Ok, with that huge shock out of the way, let’s dive into the tournament.
Day one was a complete disaster!
Shortly after checking out what the Arena had to offer I went to find the Hearthstone tournament because that is why I came. The first sign that something was horribly wrong was that no one who worked there didn’t know where the tournament is being held (keep in mind that I’ve already checked the entire Arena) but what is even worse is that no one who worked there didn’t even know the time schedule for the today’s events! Confused, I’ve checked their official Facebook page only to find a bunch of other confused, angry and lost people there asking for the time schedule and saying how embarrassing and unorganized it was from the organizers to host such an event with multiple tournaments and side events and not just not inform anyone who worked there on when are those tournaments and side events going to take place but not even release the time schedule for the same! Disappointed I’ve roamed around for two hours looking for any clue that might hint as to when will the Hearthstone tournament take place. Finally I went on twitter only to find Lifecoach and Thijs saying that they are excited to play on the tournament tomorrow! So why was it scheduled for today? That made no sense!
I’ve finally managed to find a single person in the entire Arena who knew something about the Hearthstone tournament that was supposed to take place today. Are you ready for this? Today were the final qualifiers between the local players taking place and I couldn’t find them because they weren’t even in the main area but in a room behind a huge door that was closed almost the entire time, had no indication on it as to what for it was and it seemed either as the exit or the place where only the employees are permitted to go to. Once you pass the door you find yourself staring at multiple hallways and the tournament is taking a place in a small quiet room at the end of one of them (and I was pretty sure that no one but the actual players were allowed to visit it). Disappointed but used to it because the previous local Hearthstone events that I’ve been to weren’t any better I went home in hopes that it will be better the following day.
Oh…and at one point after I’ve left, several hours after I’ve arrived, the organizers had published the time schedule for the entire day (but nothing for the next day). Several hours after the event had begun! Complete disaster!
Day two was amazing!
I’ve came expecting another disappointment but day two blew me away! Sure, there was still no time schedule until hours after the event had begun, but the entire organization was much better! The 8 players were playing on the huge main stage, the entire thing was broad casted live on twitch and I’ve even got to meet the pro players The casters had done an amazing job and the entire thing was a true spectacle to watch! If you haven’t yet been to such an event I highly recommend that you do so. It is a true enjoyment!
The event began with the casters announcing the pro players after which each pro player took a random piece of paper from some globe and on that piece of paper was written the name of their croatian opponent. Then, one by one, the opponents came to shake hands with the pro and were asked a couple of questions by the casters. The first three pro players that drew their opponents were Lifecoach, Thijs and SuperJJ and when asked ”Are you glad that this player is your opponent?” two local players have said that they were afraid that they might get Thijs as their opponent and the last one said that the is glad that he is facing off against Thijs who was ”the objectively best player here if you check his tournament stats.”. The first highlight came immediately after that when RDU took the stage and Raven asked him ”How does it feel to be objectively worse player than Thijs?”.
Another great highlight and my most fond memory of the entire event was the first game of the first match, Lifecoach vs exigo. Lifecoach goes first and is playing a dragon priest. He takes a long look at his hand, thinks his options when the rope comes out. After waiting until the very last second, the very end of the rope, he decides to click the ”end turn” button. A roaring applause fills the entire Arena.
The local boys were playing surprisingly well with exigo beating Lifecoach and wild beating Thijs but in the end they both lost to RDU and SuperJJ who won the entire thing. I’ve really got no complaints on the local players because they’ve played very well, they’ve kept their cool and there weren’t any huge misplays that I’ve noticed on their part. I really should give the boys some credit because if it were me on that stage I would have had quite a hard time keeping my cool (which is probably for the best because I perform best when I’m under pressure). The outcome was never in question for me because, as I’ve mentioned, there is an astronomical gap in both skill and experience between the two very different group of players but the local boys really held their own quite well and I wish them more luck in some other tournament.
In the end SuperJJ had won the entire thing! Congratulations to him!
The winning decks
I know that some of you are probably very excited to see which decks did SuperJJ use on this tournament so here they are:
Miracle rogue (this deck actually runs a golden Shaku the Collector)
Unfortunately, due to the security not permitting me to bring me camera inside and the camera on my ancient phone being a disaster, I don’t have any good pictures to share with you :/ However, here are two amazing videos from the tournament. First one is a misplay that had the entire Arena collectively facepalm (it was a great moment) and the other is a blog from Lifecoach. I’ve chosen this blog because although I don’t have photos in it you can clearly see the entire Arena, get some glimpse of the tournament and maybe get some sort of idea what was it like over there.
Probably the second highlight of the entire event. I was sitting there and watching the entire thing unfold, calculating along others to see does SuperJJ have lethal, seeing that he does and preparing the clap when suddenly the misplay happened and it was the most glorious mess that I have ever seen. SuperJJ was shocked at how he had done such a mistake and the entire Arena was stunned with disbelief. Nevertheless, he took this misplay like a true champ and won on the following turn.
Lifecoach has been doing some amazing vlogs lately and he even made one regarding the entire event. It is very well done, it shows some of the highlights, meetings with fans (even I’m in it), what the Arena looked like during the event and the closing of the entire thing. It doesn’t last long but it is a very cool video to check out
All in all the entire event was done quite well. The first day was an embarrassing disaster but the second day more than made up for it. If anything the entire event made me want to travel more often to such events so you can probably expect a lot more tournament reports from me in the future. I’m glad that I went there, that I’ve met the pros and that I’ve watched them play live. If you ever get a chance to go on such an event then do so because it is well worth it! I hope that you’ve enjoyed this very brief tournament report and I’ll see you all next week. As always if you’ve liked this article do consider following me on twitter https://twitter.com/Eternal_HS. There you can ask me all sorts of Hearthstonequestions (unrelated to this article) and I’ll gladly answer them as best as I can.