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Posts with tag hafu

Hearthstone Innkeeper's Invitational first rounds online

The Hearthstone Innkeeper's Invitational was a rousing success at BlizzCon 2013, and now you can view the first-round videos online. Hearthstone's official Youtube channel has just posted videos of all four of the first rounds of the Innkeeper's Invitational -- the semi-finals and finals are of course still available on BlizzCon's official website, or over at Twitch, for those interested in seeing the tournament from beginning to end.

The first four matches feature Day[9] vs. Reckful, Hafu vs. Kripparrian, Trump vs. Husky, and Noxious vs. Artosis. Hearthstone may not be out just yet, but even in beta, the game has managed to capture the attention and devotion of those in the beta. With open beta not too far away, hopefully the enthusiasm for this entertaining little card game will continue -- and hopefully we'll see a second Innkeeper's Invitational at the next BlizzCon. For coverage of all of the first-round games, visit Hearthstone's official Youtube channel -- and if you'd like more information on the players involved, you can check out the cards each player was packing for the tournament on Hearthstone's official blog.

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon, Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone highlights Innkeeper's Invitational players

Hearthstone highlights Innkeeper's Invitational players
The Innkeeper's Invitational will be BlizzCon's inagural Hearthstone tournament, featuring eight Hearthstone players hand-picked by Blizzard. For those who may not be familiar with the competitors, Blizzard is releasing a set of small interviews to be published in two parts profiling each of the players taking a shot at the tournament title. The first four can be found here and are, as the header image implies, Noxious, Hafu, Husky, and Reckful.

I really enjoyed reading these quick get-to-know-you style Q&As. Each player is given the same set of questions to answer and their responses are pretty interesting, especially their individual takes on who their most feared opponents are. In fact -- interestingly enough -- the most commonly mentioned "most feared an hated" were the four players who will be featured in the second interview: Trump, Kripparian, Day[9], and Artosis. No love/hate for each other, guys?

Check out the interviews for more information from each of these competitors, including their own personal favorite Arena picks as well as why their personal tournament shield logos are what they are. The answers are not entirely what you might expect!

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon, Hearthstone Insider

Arena players say they can't compete with Death Knights

A Korean Arena team named Kill e A has dropped out of the upcoming Extreme Masters tournament and claimed that they just can't compete with Death Knights in the Arenas. "Due to recent balance changes resulting from the 3.0.9 patch, we believe that it is no longer possible for the Mage and Rogue character classes to remain competitive in a high-level PvP setting," says the statement posted on the ESL's site. They go on to say that "our testing has shown that it is now impossible for other classes to compete effectively with the Death Knight." Since they don't have a DK player and their team's strategy is based around using a Mage and Rogue, they're out, and another team from SK Gaming is in. The SK Gaming team will be running with a DK, and they say they're certain they won't be the only ones.

And Kill e A isn't the only team dealing with the power of the Death Knight. Gotfrag has an interview up with Rumay "Hafu" Wang of Fnatic/Orz, winners of two big tournaments last year. She too says Death Knights are a force to be reckoned with, though the recent changes might bring them down a notch. Plague Strike, as even the NPC Death Knights say, is a Lifebloom-killer, and Hafu says that as a Resto Druid in the Arenas, she can't match them.

Blizzard will definitely be watching during the upcoming Arena tournament -- if Death Knights are as overpowered as these players claim they are, we might see some PvP-based nerfs in their future.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Classes, Death Knight, Arena

Fnatic Orz just about the best team in the world


Familiar faces from the former Duelists Going For Gladiator -- Celex, Emolol, and Ely with a sub, Kesher -- who now compete under the new banner of Gravitas Gaming, faced off against the defending champions Fnatic Orz trio of Glick, Rhaegyn, and Hafu in the Finals of MLG-Dallas earlier today. Gravitas Gaming came into the Finals with a 3-1 lead carried over from their earlier matchup during the elimination rounds, needing only three wins to dethrone the MLG-Orlando Champs.

Fnatic played their strongest comp of Warlock (Glick), Warrior (Rhaegyn), and Druid (Hafu) while Gravitas Gaming countered with a Warrior (Kesher), Mage (Celex), and Priest (Ely) instead of their usual RMP. Some viewers wrote Fnatic Orz off considering their uphill climb to win five games against Gravitas' three, but the defending Champions showed exactly what they were made of by winning three straight matches after falling behind 5-2, evening out the competition at 5-5. The Grand Finals all rested on a single, do-or-die match -- played in Nagrand Arena -- a nailbiter that exemplified the best of professional Arena play. In what was one of the best comebacks I've seen in an Arena tournament, Fnatic Orz pulled off four straight wins to win back-to-back MLG Championships and cement their place in pro circuit history.

It was the second time the two teams met in the Grand Finals, with Gravitas still under the Frag Dominant banner. The games were broadcast streaming through GotFrag TV, with excellent, spot-on commentating and incredible camera work that made it relatively easy to follow the extremely fast-paced matches, although the last match's stream was plagued with hiccups. The winners walked away with $12,000 and three HP Blackbird 002, while the runners-up won $6,000. Pro circuit mainstays Team Pandemic took third place with $3,000 after losing to Fnatic Orz in the Semi-Finals.

Fnatic Orz' storied rise from being dropped by MoB Gaming, winning MLG-Orlando without a sponsor, and being picked up by Fnatic and winning a spot at the World Championships at BlizzCon just before this fantastic win today makes them one of the most exciting and favored teams to watch in the pro Arena tournament scene. It will be a treat to see them compete against the world's best at the World Championships next weekend... except that you'll need a DirectTV subscription for that.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Arena

BlizzCon 08 tournament brackets revealed

The other day, Blizzard posted the brackets for the upcoming Starcraft, Warcraft III, and World of Warcraft Arena tournaments at BlizzCon.

I don't follow every little motion in the WoW Arena community, but there is one team that jumped out at me immediately: Orz. They've won a few tournaments already, and in a way they're the 'face' of the Arena, if that makes any sense. As Zach Yonzon mentioned awhile back in one of his columns, every sport, no matter how big or small, has its stars. Even eSports. Here in the states, Orz is one of those star teams. Rhaegyn, Glick and Hafu are definitely the players to watch in this tournament. It looks like they've picked up a new sponsor since I last saw them in action, so I'd like to extend a belated congratulations to them on that.

Of course, this tournament also includes the Korean team Council of Mages, which won the tournament at WWI08. Pretty much every team on the bracket has done some great work in the Arena already, and the tourney should be really exciting no matter who walks away with the win and the grand prize of $25,000 per player.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, BlizzCon

The Art of War(craft): How WoW as an eSport can actually work


If you're even moderately interested in Arenas, I hope you caught the live stream of MLG Orlando yesterday, hosted by GotFrag TV. The stream quality was much better than the one from the Worldwide Invitational, and it was truly entertaining, um... television. A lot of video entertainment is available through the web these days, and GotFrag TV has been providing topnotch coverage of the Major League Gaming World of Warcraft Arena tournament series. As a student of Arenas, I've found the coverage to be extremely fun and educational. This is competition at its highest level, where players actually get paid, or win money, for playing. And just like any sport, there are a few special elements that make it interesting to watch.

The stars

Every sport has its stars. You have athletes like Tiger Woods being the face of golf, or Kobe Bryant being the guy you either love or hate in basketball (for the record, I've been a Kobe fan since he got drafted by the Hornets in 1996), or even Maria Sharapova for tennis, who doesn't even necessarily have to win in order to be fun to watch (I mean, look at Anna Kournikova). Tournaments, when they're in a televised LAN format -- as opposed to online, such as the Blizzard-sponsored 2008 World of Warcraft Arena Tournament -- means that audiences will actually get a glimpse of the players behind the characters. Just like sports stars, these players need to have some special quality that holds the interest of fans. Let's go through a few examples.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Arena

MLG Orlando coverage continues with an epic showdown

If you haven't been following GotFrag's coverage of the MLG 3v3 Tourney going down in Orlando this weekend, you really are missing out. Coverage kicks in again this morning at 9am Eastern, 6am Pacific. After the warmups, I believe the opening matchup will be Evil Geniuses (formerly Frag Dominant) up against Orz, formerly sponsored by MoB Gaming.

Let me give you a little background on this matchup. Evil Geniuses came into the last tournament as Frag Dominant. While they were never a complete unknown, most of them had never experienced the LAN tournament setting before. They managed to wow us and their competition by proving themselves capable of running multiple compositions between the three of them, and running them very well. In the end, they came out as the victors after a long series against Nihilum.

Orz was formerly sponsored by MoB Gaming, and one of their members is the fan favorite Hafu. Last month, they were slammed with a pretty major upset. They didn't do very well at all, and it actually led to their team losing sponsorship. MoB Gaming replaced them for this month's tourney. Now in Orlando, Orz has made a fantastic comeback, beating out both the SK Gaming team and the team MoB replaced them with. I bet MoB isn't feeling so hot right now.

First thing this morning, these two will be going head to head (I think). Even if you're not a PvP fan, you have to admit that's a pretty cool showdown, no?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Arena

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