Hearthstone EU Spring Playoffs 2017 Top 8 decks, results, and analysis

Hearthstone Europe Spring Playoffs 2017 were played last weekend to determine Europe’s participants in the upcoming Spring Championships. The metagame is moving with every tournament, and that applied to this tournament as well.

In this post, I will take a look at the decks and results of the single-elimination playoffs stage (top 8), including class distribution, archetypes, archetype performance, and ban decisions.

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Hearthstone CN vs EU 2017 Top 8 decks, results, and analysis

Hearthstone China versus Europe Championship 2017 was played over the past two weeks, and what a tournament it was! Top-level players and lots of good games.

In this post, I will take a look at the decks and results of the playoffs stage (top 8), including class distribution, archetypes, archetype performance, and ban decisions.

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Broadcasting Hearthstone: Lessons from EU vs CN 2017

The annual EU vs CN invitational tournament is underway in China with a number of Europe’s and China’s best Hearthstone players competing for a huge grand prize.

Fitting the level of play, the production value of the tournament has far surpassed its Western counterparts, and features a number of spectator-friendly elements that I can only hope other broadcasters will take note of.

In this blog post, I will take a look at all the little details in the broadcasts. All images are from the official stream, and are used under fair use for discussion purposes.

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Dreamhack Austin 2017 Hearthstone Top 16 decks and analysis

The first major open Hearthstone Journey to Un’Goro tournament took place at Dreamhack Austin. With more than 200 players, including known pro players from around the world, competing over nine rounds of Swiss followed by top 16 playoffs, this tournament really put the meta to the test.

Obviously, as this tournament will be heavily analyzed, the meta in the following tournaments will probably look a lot different, but we nonetheless have a nice snapshot of things that work in a tournament environment right now.

Dreamhack published the decklists of the top 16 players – here they are, if you are looking for the lists themselves – so it is possible to get started with analysis straight away.

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A deeper look at the Hearthstone Americas Winter Playoffs 2017 tiebreakers

The Swiss portion of Hearthstone Championship Tour (HCT) 2017 Americas Winter Playoffs was played yesterday, and the drama in the Hearthstone community over the Swiss format continues. Let’s take a deeper look at the tiebreakers and how different formats can change the results.

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What is the most fair and exciting Swiss format for Hearthstone?

For the 2017 season, the Hearthstone Championship Tour (HCT) switched to Swiss format. While this change was requested by many players during the previous seasons, the implementation elicited a bunch of criticism. To be honest, I do not think it was as bad as the loudest critics said, but I think a proper examination into a fair and exciting Swiss tournament format for Hearthstone is warranted.

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Hearthstone 2017 HCT Europe Winter Playoffs – what progress has been made in a year?

One year ago, I examined the 2016 Hearthstone Championship Tour Europe Winter season on this blog. Back then, there were several lessons to be learned. Now with the Hearthstone 2017 HCT Europe Winter Playoffs just finished, it is a good time to take a look at what was discussed one year ago and compare it to how this tournament went.

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Does Blizzard have what it takes to make Hearthstone a good competitive card game?

Game balance and card design are obviously key parts of making a good competitive card game, but in this post I will not discuss them. Instead, I want to take a look at processes and scheduling: the hardcore operations side of the equation.

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The Hearthstone ladder is fundamentally broken – and how to fix it

HCT_2016_logoIt is not a rare sight to see competitive players complain about the ladder system in Hearthstone: it happens at the end of every season as the competition for those coveted top 100 spots is fierce, and perceived to be in in a large part a matter of luck in addition to skill.

In this post, I will examine the current ladder system, showcase why it is fundamentally broken for this particular environment, and propose an alternative model that could be used to fix it.

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On broadcasting large Hearthstone Swiss tournaments

Teams in HearthstoneDreamhack Summer 2016 Hearthstone Grand Prix, a huge 200-player open Swiss tournament, was played a week ago and broadcasted on Twitch. While the overall arrangements of the tournament were fairly good, the broadcast of the tournament was not exactly the epitome of hype and excitement. Typical breaks between matches lasted for 20-30 minutes with no content whatsoever.

Why does this happen and is there something that can be done about it to improve the broadcasts? The general consensus at the Dreamhack venue seemed to be that if the organizers had just thrown in a bunch of player interviews, everything would have been fine. I believe the situation is a bit more complicated than that though.

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