The HGG circuit pits the world’s best and brightest against one another in a unique group-based format to determine the best card-slingers of the globe: teams of four players compete with a special ruleset, and the initial 48 countries are now down to sixteen in a bid to determine those most worthy of a BlizzCon appearance early in November. Brazil are leading the pack but they are by no means the runaway favorites. China had a blistering 4-0 start while Ukraine and the Netherlands are living up to their star-studded rosters - all worth consideration if you'd like to bet on Hearthstone Global Games.
The Hearthstone Global Games is a nation-specific team-based competition featuring four players from each country. The captain is the player with the most HCT points and the rest are voted in by the community from an additional list of prominent card-slingers. Its unique format revolves around a nine-deck system, one for each class, which is then whittled down as both sides secretly ban one of the opponent’s classes. These bans get revealed once they’re locked in, after which the teams are asked to pick two of their own classes to play. This process is repeated until there are only five decks left, setting up the five rounds. This system makes bans and queue orders especially important when it comes to improving your chances of victory.
Even though each deck is piloted by an individual player, the team is in constant communication throughout the match, making this a team effort instead of a series of 1v1 matches.
The first round of this year’s Hearthstone Global Games featured 48 teams that were competing in a Swiss bracket throughout most of the summer. A sixteen-team cutoff set up the second round with four double-elimination groups of four teams. The top two from each will go on to the LAN final at BlizzCon starting November 2nd.
Brazil are the clear frontrunners so fa: they are the only team without a single defeat in the Swiss bracket. Their lineup is completely different from last years’ but they’ve already equaled their performance by making it to this stage – and they were rewarded for their sterling performance by facing three teams with a 4-2 record in their group in the form of Portugal, Chile and Spain. They’ve already defeated the latter in a close series in the fourth round of Swiss.
While the United Kingdom definitely has some eye-catching players in the form of BoarControl, GreenSheep and J4CKIECHAN, their progress to the second round with such a good record was a bit of a surprise. Their only defeat came against Finland in the first round and they haven’t looked back since – they will have to make it past the slightly underperforming Dutch lineup and Hong Kong alongside Bulgaria who they’ve only edged past on tiebreakers.
The other two teams with a 5-1 score are Singapore and Ukraine, both worthy contenders. The former only lost to Brazil and Ukraine’s team features high-profile powerhouses in the form of Kolento and Neirea. You might also want to keep an eye out for Team USA, having battled back from an 0-2 start to barely squeeze into this stage. Last year’s semi-finalists feature two of the most in-form players (Muzzy and JustSaiyan) alongside Fr0zen and TerrenceM, two excellent players of their own: they may very well equal their showing from last year.
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