HCT Winter Championship 2019 Betting Predictions
Some of the world’s best Hearthstone players are once again taking the trip to Burbank to face off in a high-stakes encounter at the Hearthstone Winter Championship. It’s going to be the last tournament of its kind in more way than one.
Both the curtain-drawing playoff event ramping up to the finals and one of the few events left on the calendar that still feature the old Conquest tournament format and none of the innovations of the 2019 circuit that’s set to take off in March.
Nevertheless, there’s still all to play for with $250 000 on the line and four spots up for grabs in the biggest tournament of the year for the sixteen competitors who have already proven themselves to be excellent Hearthstone players in more ways than one over the course of their career.
Hearthstone Competitive Scene Revamped – The End Of An Era
With the recently announced massive revamp of the Hearthstone competitive scene ranging from a new format to the complete abolishment of Tour Stops and playoffs, this particular tournament already feels like a relic of a bygone era before it even had a chance to begin.
A feeling further boosted by the impending Standard rotation which will pulverize the existing metagame. If anything, it makes it even more interesting as this will inevitably make this the last chance of glory for some of the participants.
Beyond this, another fascinating aspect of the 2019 HCT Hearthstone Winter Championship is how three of the competitors have already qualified for the finals but nevertheless managed to make a return, creating an odd and unusual incentive for them.
Make no mistake, $50 000 for the eventual winner is not nothing – but the motivation for Bunnyhoppor, Viper and Bloodyface are likely going to be very different than of those who are still trying to punch their ticket for the biggest event of the game.
Betting markets nevertheless consider them to be the most likely ones to win outright – this could be an easily attainable edge if you find someone else from the field who’s shaping up to deliver a career highlight performance.
Player Storylines – Behind The HCT Scenes
That’s not to say they’re the only ones with interesting storylines on offer:
- APAC’s Roger brings controversy wherever he goes due to his involvement with the Taiwanese team that was disqualified from Hearthstone Global Games for cheating and likely won’t receive a positive reception at this LAN.
- Tansoku is looking for redemption after his embarrassing showing at the Summer Championship.
- Similarly, Tyler is also making a return, the only player to do so from the Fall event.
- The Czech Republic’s Faelia has been very impressive at Tour Stops but seems to struggle when it comes to going all the way; this could be his last chance to break this negative streak.
- Meanwhile, Mark “Ike” Eichner has become a meme before a single game was played and likely morphed into a fan favorite in the process – increased attention to which he seems to be responding well, so far.
About China – Hearthstone Is Underachieved Internationally
Historically, they’ve grossly underachieved on the international stage – currently, only a single player has made it to the 2019 finals from the region, and, objectively speaking, the fact that the region fields two completely unknown players in the form of LFYueying and SNJing doesn’t necessarily bode well. The latter seems to have settled for a lineup which should do well against his group stage opposition.
HCT Winter Championship 2019 Odds
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Notable Deck Choices For HCT Winter Championship 2019
It’s a similar lineup spread which gives Bunnyhoppor a massive edge in Group D as his aggressive decks (Even Paladin, Aggro Odd Mage, Myracle Rogue and Midrange Hunter), specifically because they will likely butcher the Quest Rogue archetype bought by every single one of his group stage opponents.
He’s a proven winner too, outright winning the Summer Championship with high chances to win here too.
His fellow German counterpart, Viper, is rapidly becoming more and more notable for bringing unique lineups to these prestigious events, and even though he opted against his now-trademark Peanut Shaman, the inclusion of Murloc Paladin (alongside Malygos Rogue, Midrange Hunter and Aggro Odd Mage) is an extremely interesting choice.
His entire lineup was tailored towards tricking his opponents who likely expected him to bring his usual ultra-control decks; instead, he’s trying to catch them unawares with something more aggressive.
On the other end of the spectrum, Definition’s Hakkar Druid (truly the gem alongside the Odd Warrior-Even Warlock-Wall Priest triplet forming his lineup) is one of the decks that stand out.
The class itself is already an unexpected sign after the crippling nerfs it’s received recently (though oddly enough, it’s still the sixth-most popular one ahead of Mage, Warrior and the literally non-existent Shaman) – this sort of an archetype has definitely come out of left field though.
Fulfilling a similar anti-control role as the old Togwaggle Druid, it similarly nukes slow.
Another interesting choice is n0blord’s APM Priest (flanked by the less oddball decks of Odd Warrior, Midrange Hunter and Quest Rogue), another combo deck that can technically kill from hand with any board state once a slew of cards is assembled as long as the player is fast enough to execute the finishing move.
Decks Can Be Overrated On Ladder
Neither of these previously mentioned decks are often seen or considered effective on ladder, but they’re a reasonable gamble in a tournament field that they will be good punishes for a control-heavy lineup.
They seem a bit too cute-y for this particular set of opposition and could prove to be a massive deficiency against any sort of aggression.
Of course, the unprecedented double wave of nerfs since the release of the latest set, Rastakhan’s Rumble will add a lot of uncertainty to the action.7
All in all, this should be the most interesting playoff event out of the three for the Hearthstone year because of the myriad of storylines and the chaotic tournament metagame, making it a tournament well-worth following.
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