For the first time in the history of competitive Hearthstone, a major title has been secured by the South East Asia region.
Over the weekend, the grand finals of the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) pitted Euneil “Staz” Javinaz against Jon “Orange” Westberg in a stunning series where both players traded games back and forth.
Orange, one of Europe’s bests, was picked by many at the start as a favorite to win the whole event. However, it was Staz who survived the grueling games to come out on top in a scoreline of 4-3. It’s worth mentioning that the final game lasted close to an hour, testing both players in patience and decision-making.
Incidentally, the WESG victory is also the first-ever major Hearthstone title for Staz. His road to glory over the weekend was not easy in any aspect. Besides Orange, he also bested Elliot “Fluffy” Karlsson and Raphael “BunnyHoppor” Peltzer during the bracket stage. Additionally, Staz also eliminated Sebastian “Xixo” Bentert, one of the most successful players of 2016 playing in his first tournament since joining Counter Logic Gaming.
Staz took home $150,000, one of the largest cash prizes ever awarded to a player in a Hearthstone event. For second place, Orange received $70,000 which is also an impressive haul.
In other related news, Blizzard announced over the weekend that there are significant changes in the works for the Hearthstone ranked ladder. Game director Ben Brode and game designer Dean Ayala admitted that the ranked ladder can feel like an annoying grind most of the times.
The developer is chalking ways to address the issue. In the future we could see an increase in stars for win streaks. Additionally, Arena will also see some improvements in the coming months. Blizzard intends to publish the top 100 ranking players on a regular basis.