Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Hearthstone Power Rankings, hosted by Inven Global in collaboration with Blizzard Entertainment! Every three months we will deliberate over and determine the Top 10 Best Hearthstone players, as selected by a panel of competitive Hearthstone experts.
These power rankings take into account as many results as possible, so more than official Hearthstone Championship Tour results factor into our conclusions (although they obviously make up a majority of the achievements). In addition to Tour results, we also consider Ranked results and third party tournaments with a significant prize pool.
For the very first iteration of these rankings, we took into account players’ results from June to mid-September, the cut-off being made right after the Americas region had finished its Fall Playoffs. But before we dive into the list, let’s introduce the panelists whose eternal Hearthstone wisdom these power rankings are shaped by:
Neil “L0rinda” Bond
Simon “Sottle” Welch
Dan “Frodan” Chou
Alan “Alan870806” Chiang
TJ “Azumo” Sanders
Tom “Matthieist” Matthiesen
The panelists had a week to submit players they thought should be considered for the power rankings, and provide those players’ results as arguments. Afterwards, the panelists had another week to submit their personal top 10 of all the nominated players. These individual votes were converted into points, thus creating a final top 10 which all the panelists had an equal say in.
Now without further ado, let’s see who made the list!
(10) Eddie “seohyun628” Lui -- Kyoto eSports
After a breakout performance towards the end of 2017, seohyun had a bit of a slow start heading into 2018. Thankfully for him he broke that rhythm in June and soon made it to playoff stage after playoff stage. He took top 8 spots in Oakland and Seoul, and finished in the top 16 at DreamHack Montréal. To top it off, the Canadian made it to the group stages in the HCT Fall Playoffs in the Americas, showing once more that he is not to be underestimated.
(9) George “BoarControl” Webb -- Fade 2 Karma
BoarControl is a typical example of someone who was renowned within their own community, but lacked results for widespread international fame. Well, that has changed. The Brit flipped the switch this year, and has proven that the UK community is not as crazy after all for lauding him.
With two top 16’s at Tour Stops and two top 15 Legend finishes, he raked in quite a few HCT points for his team. Add to that a silver medal in the Hearthstone Nationals and a gold medal at the ninth SeatStory Cup, and you have yourself a solid Top 10 player.
(8) Dasol “Ryvius” Sim -- DDA.AC
At number eight, we find the only Asia-Pacific nominee who made the list, but what a player we have! For many viewers, Ryvius is merely someone who has been lurking beneath the surface. However, the South Korean has proven himself to be an ingenious Hearthstone player.
After a top 8 finish at HCT Tokyo, he decided it was time for an even bigger stage and went 9-1 in the Fall Playoffs with a highly unusual line-up, locking him in for the Fall Championships. On ladder Ryvius has shown his consistency as well, securing two top 25 finishes and one top 100 finish.
(7) William “Amnesiac” Barton -- Tempo Storm
When is it time to stop calling Amnesiac “young savage”? Because while the savagery has not dwindled one bit, this once-prodigy has now more than cemented his name in Hearthstone history. In the qualification period for these power rankings, Amnesiac made top 25 Legend in June and August, while in July he got ‘only’ sixtieth.
Additionally, Amnesiac achieved high finishes at Tour Stops with a top 16 and a top 12 at DreamHack Montréal and HCT Buenos Aires respectively. The highlight, however, was his first place finish at DreamHack Austin -- a tournament win he had been chasing for a long time.
(6) Chris “Fenomeno” Tsakopoulos -- Fade 2 Karma
Coming in at sixth is another player whose hard work has finally been paying off, with this year’s Master Tier System shining a spotlight on him. Fenomeno -- known as Feno to friends -- is the second Fade 2 Karma player on the list, and much like his teammate BoarControl, he has been collecting HCT points left and right. Top 12 at HCT Oakland, top 4 at DreamHack Austin and second place in Montréal… the host of the popular deck showmatches boasts consistency many can only dream of.
(5) Linh “Seiko” Nguyen -- Team Genji
Don’t be fooled by Seiko’s timid nature. While the other Hearthstone players are actively discussing strategies at events, the German notices and absorbs it all -- and it has been working out great for him. He bested all his fellow Germans in the Nationals and secured a gold medal, leaving giants like Casie, Viper and Sintolol behind him.
With two top 25 finishes on ladder, two top 16’s at HCT Tour stops, and a silver medal in Taichung, Seiko has begun his march to the top. A march in silence, perhaps, but one leaving behind a devastatingly impressive track record.
(4) Kevin “Casie” Eberlein -- compLexity Gaming
Germany has been an exceptionally good country when it comes to Hearthstone for a long time, and Casie has been part of the illustrious German line-up equally as long. First making a name for himself with his outstanding Miracle Rogue skills, he has since shown the world that he can navigate just about any deck at the highest level.
For the skeptics, we suggest you take a look at his results from June to mid-September: three top 16’s at Tour Stops, a top 8, semis in the German Nationals, and a silver medal at SeatStory Cup IX. Enough said? We thought so too.
(3) Muzahidul “Muzzy” Islam -- Tempo Storm
If you have not heard of Muzzy before, then you must have spent the last couple of years living under a rock. Two years in a row the ‘Muzzgod’ earned the most HCT points in all of the Americas region, an unparalleled result. For who think there must be a stop to this at some point, don’t hold your breath. Two top 16’s, a top 8 and a silver medal at Tour Stops the last few months show that Muzzy is not slowing down anytime soon.
His making a top 10 of current Hearthstone players is not much of a surprise anymore. By now, the topic of discussion should be whether or not his mind-blowing consistency makes Muzzy the greatest player Hearthstone has ever seen.
(2) David “justsaiyan” Shan -- Tempo Storm
The fight for the top spot in these power rankings literally could not have been closer. And though the predetermined timeframe cut-off from June to mid-September may be unfortunate for justsaiyan’s fans now, they should not worry: his results after that will be taken into account for the next list.
Nevertheless, it is quite absurd how well justsaiyan has performed lately. Even crazier is the timespan in which this all happened. Early in August, an episode of The Tour revealed how desperate justsaiyan was to finally claim a title and to step out of the shadow of his teammates following his elimination in the semi-finals of HCT Italy.
But as if foretold by prophecy, right after that episode aired, justsaiyan went off. Super Saiyan, if you will. It started with a ‘mere’ top 16 in Taichung, but went on to another semi-final in Seoul until he finally got his big victory in Montréal. Forgetting to calm down, he then went undefeated in the HCT Fall Playoffs, securing his ticket to the Championships next week.
(1) Casper “hunterace” Notto -- Nordavind
Back in March, hunterace had just begun painting his name over this HCT year. In an interview with this publication, he then said: “I expect to do well this year in Hearthstone. But it's still super early in the year to make any claims. But I feel that, if I can keep performing like I have thus far, I have a really good shot at taking it all.”
While many hoped he could live up to his own goals, few thought he would be this good. To many, hunterace is the embodiment of excellence who proves skeptics of Hearthstone as an esport wrong, all by himself. Out of hundreds and hundreds of competitors, hunterace ends among the top few time and time again. A top 8 at Montréal, a semi-final in Seoul, and two first place finishes (one at HCT Italy and one at HCT Seoul).
But even that isn’t enough for the Hearthstone wunderkind. After making it to the final stages of the HCT Fall Playoffs hunterace just barely missed out on making it to the Championships, and he was understandably devastated.
For fans, it is hard to see the Norwegian not make it to the World Championships. He leads the Last Call standings by a large margin and is cruising to a direct ticket to Hearthstone’s biggest stage. Although his rivals may hope he slips somewhere along the road, hunterace's dominance has left a permanent mark on the scene.
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Special thanks to all of our panelists for their insight and to Hearthstone esports’ PR department for helping to organize these rankings. We’ll see you all in three months for the next edition of Hearthstone Power Rankings!