Casper “Hunterace” Notto stood in front of the sold out Blizzard Arena in Taipei City as he lifted the 2019 Hearthstone World Championship trophy. The young Norwegian player thus put a deserve championship-winning end to an extraordinary year in Hearthstone, which saw him rise to the level of being considered one of the game’s best, even before his run in Taipei.
The grand final came down to a face-off against Germany’s Torben “Viper” Wahl, semifinalist from the HCT Summer championship. Both Hunterace and Viper qualified from the lower bracket in their group stages and clawed their way to the finals stage, guaranteeing a third global titles for Europe in five years of World Championship events.
The only thing crazier than Hunterace’s own ascend from nothing to world champion is how he got to do it. Tied 2-2, the two players entered a control vs. aggro match-up, with Hunterace piloting Shudderwock Shaman and Viper playing Zoo. After putting some moderate pressure during the early/mid-game, Viper landed a Turn 7 Arch-Villain Rafaam, a card he had kept in his opening hand, knowing how key it is against slow decks.
From there on, the match came down to some of the craziest RNG swings seen in a match of this caliber. Hunterace kept its cool and navigated the game through double Azalina’s, Archmage Vargoth-ed Lightning Storms. Kalecgos shenanigans and Houndmaster Shaw pressure to outlast the German and win the title after a series no Hearthstone fan will soon forget.
Hunterace’s victory banks him $250,000 and set up a storyline brimming with potential ahead of the new HCT season,
with potential ahead of the new HCT season.
Full rebroadcast of the HCT World Championship playoffs can be seen here.
Photo by: Blizzard | Helena Kristiansson