European Championship participants
The practice time has come to an end, and the players are ready to go to Prague. On 3–4 October O2 arena stadium will be crowded with Hearthstone fans, excited to keep up with all game events and watch the live matches of their favorite players. 8 gamers, determined throughout a tough qualifying stage, will encounter each other in intense matches.
Three best will advance to BlizzCon 2015, scheduled for the beginning of November. The winners from different regions will finally meet each other at The World Championship. Undoubtedly, this tournament is a dream of every Hearthstone player, so all of them will try really hard to get this spot. Let’s look through the list of players that will compete over the title of the European champion.
Sebastian «Ostkaka» Engwall
|Team: Natus Vincere|
|GosuGamers rankings: 16th place (7th in Europe)|
|Total money won: $ 5 900|
This young talented Swedish player needs no introduction for our website readers. He has been showing excellent results lately, with recent victories at both qualifying stage of the world cup and Starladder Last Chance tournament.
Ostkaka started performing at the professional level not that long ago. His first appearance was made at Seat Story Cup III qualifiers, where he managed to win without a single loss. The number of people who believed that this young player will be able to show decent plays was very little, but Ostkaka proved that you should never underestimate newcomers. This guy breezed past two group stages and continued his win-streak in playoffs. Up till the grand-final match, nobody could stop Sebastian, and only Orange has managed to do that. Ostkaka ended up one victory away from the title of champion, having been defeated with a 4:5 score. Anyway, he achieved his most important goal, when he evoked the interest of community.
Sebastian literally broke into the Hearthstone stars list, so we're extremely excited to see what he has prepared to show at the European championship! Don't forget to support him!
|Team: Natus Vincere|
|GosuGamers rankings: 8th place (4th in Europe)|
|Total money won: $ 19 750|
Frederik’s story is quite similar to the one before. In the middle of March, Hoej took part in Viagame House Cup # 2 qualifiers, won against all opponents and secured the place at the main stage of the tournament. He was seeded into the group A along with such experienced players as Savjz and Kolento. His debut match ended with an upsetting 0:3 loss against Kolento. Fortunately, Frederik was given a chance to meet him again shortly. Kolento has lost to Savjz in winners final and encountered Hoej in a decider match. In a tough game, Frederik has managed to win with a 2:3 score and advanced to playoffs. Many Hearthstone viewers didn’t take this result seriously, considering it to be a pure luck, and so expected Hoej to be eliminated in the first playoff match against reigning world champion Firebat. However, Frederik surprised everybody by winning against Firebat with a 3:1 score first, and then eliminated ThijsNL (4:1). Lastly, he clinched a convincing victory over Roger (4:2) in the grand-final.
After that, nobody doubted Hoej’s talent, and the doors to all tournaments opened for him. At each of them, Frederik showed decent results: he took 5th place at Viagame House Cup # 3, finished one step away from grand-final of ASUS ROG Summer 2015 (3rd–4th olace), and won the gold medal at Gfinity 2015 —Summer Masters II.
Now, he is facing the most serious challenge in his career. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that he will pass it successfully!
Thijs «ThijsNL» Molendijk
|GosuGamers rankings: 1th place|
|Total money won: $ 19 650|
Thijs is one of the best-known Hearthstone players. He started his professional career at the beginning of 2014, when the game only began to build its audience. ThijsNL gained his popularity after the win-streak at ZOTAC Cup. Even though the prize-pool of this tournament was quite modest, the list of participants included numerous strong opponents. Each competition gathered over 300 players, so it could be compared to the survival challenge.
The popularity of a discipline started to grow rapidly, and the first championships with decent prize-pools eventually started to emerge. While choosing the candidates for direct invitations, tournament organizers never forgot about ThijsNL.
Throughout his career, ThijsNL has taken part in many big events. And even though his last LAN-tournament win dates back to 2014 (DreamHack Masters Bucharest 2014), his performance is quite consistent and in almost all cases, he manages to advance out of the group. This aspect may terrify some of the fans of our team, considering that ThijsNL’s moving on to the playoffs would mean the elimination of the Na`Vi player.
Michael «Maverick» Looze
|GosuGamers rankings: 15th place (6th in Europe)|
|Total money won: $ 6 103|
Michael is quite a rare guest at the tournaments. He certainly feels a lot more comfortable playing on the Ranked Play ladder, where he always takes high places. It doesn’t affect his championship performances in any negative way though. On the contrary, Maverick always shows solid plays.
His first big tournament was GamersOrigin Cup 2, hosted by the French GamersOrigin studio. It included mostly French players, along with their competitors from other parts of Europe. Maverick who managed to beat all of them on his way to desired first place has also been there.
The SeatStory Cup III came next, bringing some joy to all fans of the player. First, he went through two group stages, and then won Lifecoach in a quarterfinal. In semifinal match against the future champion of the tournament Orange, his win-streak unfortunately was stopped by a 2:4 defeat.
Despite not that impressive overall number of tournaments, Maverick cannot be underestimated, especially considering his recent 2:3 win over Kolento.
Adrian «Lifecoach» Koy
|GosuGamers rankings: 7th place (3rd in Europe)|
|Total money won: $ 37 000|
Lifecoach is a former professional poker player fascinated by Hearthstone. His name can be found on the list of participating players at almost all big tournaments.
Lifecoach’s style of playing is drastically different from anybody else's. No matter how good or bad the situation on the desk is, Adrian thoroughly thinks all moves ahead, even if the one he chooses at the end is the most obvious one. His matches usually last for hours, which at times can be tiring for his opponents.
He is undoubtedly a very skilled player. He often wins in unfavorable situations by making smart decisions. Lifecoach has earned the most money out of all European players. His achievements include 1st place at на Viagame House Cup # 3, 4th place at Vulcun Deckmasters and 2nd place at Kinguin Pro League 2015 Season 1.
Eugene «Neirea» Shumilin
|GosuGamers rankings: 39th place (15th in Europe)|
|Total money won: $ 4 050|
This is the only Ukrainian player at the European Championship. He started his professional Hearthstone career at the end of 2014 when he joined his present team Liquid. Eugene is considered to be a Ranked ladder player. Throughout his career, he managed to take 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 7th positions there, and secured 17th place in June rankings.
It is peculiar that Neirea rarely played at LAN-tournaments. The only exception is DreamHack Hearthstone Championship, held in November 2014, where Eugene placed 5th-8th, losing to Kolento with a 1:3 score. We truly hope that Neirea will manage to show his fullest potential and win the place at BlizzCon 2015.
Pavel «Pavel» Beltyukov
|Team: Team Empire|
|GosuGamers rankings: 21th place (10th in Europe)|
|Total money won: $ 3 000|
Like many other European championship participants, most wins of Pavel were taken in ranked games. He started performing at tournaments not long ago. At the end of August, he went to America to participate inSummer Circuit Finals after successful performance at its qualifiers. He managed to advance out of the group from the second place, winning against Hoej in a decider match. But the first playoff round turned out to be the last for him: he lost against Kolento with a 2:4 score and was eliminated from the tournament, placing 3rd-4th.
After returning back home, Pavel took part in European Championship qualifiers and WSVG 2015, and won in both cases. His playing style is completely opposite to the one that Lifecoach has. This young Russian player doesn’t like to wait, and so never spends much time on overthinking. He rarely considers his moves for longer than 10 seconds.
Thus, the clash between Lifecoach and Pavel will sure be interesting to watch, and it even seems funny that they ended up in the same group.
Gerardo «Gera89» Di Pietro
|GosuGamers rankings: no|
The next player is considered to be a “dark horse” of the European Championship. Community doesn’t know much about him, and the reason for this is quite simple: he never took part in any championships, and the only Hearthstone achievement that he has is the fact that he reached legend-rank 21 times (in all seasons). Anyway, Gerardo is not new to card games, so his experience can help him develop and play decently. Apart from that, he proved himself good in Magic the Gathering game, where he participated in many tournaments and even took first places.
We are extremely excited to see how well he will play. Maybe, this championship will be a starting point to his road of success.
This concludes our quick review of all participants. We hope that all new Hearthstone fans will find something interesting and useful in this article. The first matches will kick off on 3 October. We will gather the most interesting information in our coverage, so don't forget to check it out.
Watch Hearthstone and cheer for Natus Vincere!