HCT World Championship 2019 Taipei Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
Let’s talk about HCT World Championship 2019 betting as it gets underway in Taipei. Hearthstone’s uneasy transition to a new competitive format meant that the annual World Championship is taking place after an unusually long gap between now and the last qualifier. It’s also made all the more complicated by the Standard rotation that took place in the meantime, forcing the competitors to adapt to a brand new metagame.
Hearthstone World Championship Tournament Info
Hearthstone’s upcoming World Championship event will mark the end of the 2018 Hearthstone Championship Tour – we know, it’s confusing –, with the sixteen-player field put together across three grueling seasonal playoffs with the top four qualifying from each alongside the top HCT point earner from each region (Europe, Americas, Asia-Pacific and China).
Despite the changes made to the Hearthstone eSport setup since then, this event will still feature the same sort of format we’ve previously seen in the circuit: four teams of four players with a GSL format from which the top two qualify to the single-elimination playoffs.
Each player brings four decks and bans one from their opponent, leading into best-of-five matches where you have to win once with each. This is the “Conquest” format which will be retired going forward in the scene, replaced by “Specialist” (essentially a one-deck sideboarding solution). The players are fighting for a $1 000 000 prize pool, $250 000 of which will go to the winner (and $150 000 to whoever finishes in second place).
Key storylines At HCT World Championship 2019 In Taipei
The end of a competitive era
It took a while, but the flawed system of Tour Stops and Conquest are finally taking their last bow on the Hearthstone stage. A competitive format that forced players to travel around the world participating in -EV LAN events for HCT points coupled with a deck-banning system that made queueing orders way too impactful, the last year of Hearthstone’s esport scene was practically riddled with complaints.
The new, partially invite-based Grandmasters system is likely going to be an improvement, and while the Specialist format will likely have its own issues to work out, any change away from Conquest is going to be an improvement. This means that this could be the last chance for quite a few players to make a mark in Hearthstone.
This is also the first big competitive event in the Year of the Dragon (not counting the online qualifiers for upcoming tournaments and the Collegiate Championship), which means the players really had to take a plunge into the unknown when submitting their decklists. Worse yet from their perspective, the event will feature the aforementioned Conquest format for what is likely the last time in the history of Hearthstone competitions, meaning most of the data collected for competitive play since the rotation was essentially useless for them.
A Chinese redemption arc?
With a few exceptions, Chinese Hearthstone pros tended to bomb on the international scene. Unfortunately, with two Chinese and a Taiwanese player stuck in the same group with one of the overall favorites in the form of Bunnyhoppor, the Eternal Empire’s wait might have to continue another year when it comes to domination.
Big names, big disruptions
One of the most important late-breaking storylines was the transfer of Tempo/Storm stalwarts Muzzy and Justsaiyan to the aggressively expanding Radiance.gg org. Supposedly, the players tried to get a massive contract bump off the back of the long gap between the end of the HCT competitive season and this event finals, buoyed on by the promising offer from their now-new side. It remains to be seen whether these negotiations have drained them in any way in the leadup to the tournament.
The value of consistency
A big story of the 2018 Hearthstone Championship Tour circuit was how multiple players managed to finish in a qualifying position more than once for the big event, essentially competing for bragging rights and to showcase their dominance over the field.
HTC World Championship 2019 Betting Odds
Hunterace – The overall top points earner and widely considered to be the best active Hearthstone player, the young Norwegian prodigy is considered to be a narrow favorite for this one.
BunnyHoppor – The German genius has dominated the HCT circuit, qualifying for extra time just for kicks. His solid plays and even more solid lineup makes him the second most likely winner in the eyes of the bookies.
Notable decks At HTC Championship in Taipei
Here are a few risky and little-known archetypes brought to the Hearthstone World Championship – if they were chosen with the correct field in mind, they could create a great edge, or doom these players’ chances entirely. It’s worth noting that none of these players are considered likely to win by the bookies.
A83650’s Overload Shaman
The Polish player brought an archetype that’s almost never seen on the ladder, a Shaman build that intends to abuse Overload and token synergies building into boards with Sea Giants and a single Bloodlust as a finisher.
Roger’s Mech Paladin and Mech Hunter
Not at all like the aggressive Mech Paladin builds that occasionally pop up in Legend, this deck uses Immortal Prelate, Da Untakah and other shenanigans to create a massive minion in the late-game that shuffles itself back into the deck, essentially counteracting fatigue as long as it’s not silenced. Roger was also the only player to bring a Mech Hunter with a similarly goofy build, clearly trying to counter Control Warriors (an archetype featured in 13 out of 16 players’ lineup in some capacity).
Killinallday’s Miracle Priest
This deck tries to draw all its cards as quickly as possible to activate Chef Nomi and play it multiple times for a killing blow. While it’s not very effective against aggro decks – notably weak to Rogue archetypes –, its finisher is fairly reliable against slower decks. That said, no one else decided to bring in along for the World Championship, and it will certainly be interesting to see how effective the lone Priest in the field will turn out to be.
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