After three weeks of intense card-slinging, we finally know which sixteen competitors will head to Los Angeles to battle for the title of Winter Champion. Last weekend the Asia Pacific region closed off the Winter Playoffs season - the last Playoff there’ll ever be, as Hearthstone esports is transitioning to a new system coming season.
With those final Playoffs wrapped up, this is what the player lineup for the HCT Winter Championships look like:
There's a good amount of fresh and eager players who will be taking their shot at the HCT Winter Championship crown, and try to claim one of the four coveted tickets to the World Championships by reaching the semi finals. However, there's an unusually high amount of recurring faces: seven players are making their second seasonal championship appearance this HCT year, four of which have already secured their spot at the final big stage.
The trio of Caimiao, Tansoku and LionKing is getting a second chance at a trip to the World Championsihps in Taipei, after missing out on the top four in a previous HCT Championship. For Bunnyhoppor, Viper and Bloodyface there's less on the line; they already secured a ticket by making it to a Championships' top four earlier this year. Lastly there is the case of Tyler, who did make an appearance at the HCT Fall Championships, fell short, but became his region's Last Call invitee afterwards.
With this many repeat performances, it's quite likely an already-qualified player will reach the top four at the Winter Championships as well, and find himself another World Championships ticket. In Tyler's case, the Winter Championship ticket overrides his Last Call ticket and South Korean Ryvius, who is the Last Call runner-up in Asia Pacific, will be granted a trip to Taipei.
If either Bunnyhoppor, Viper or Bloodyface makes it to the top four again, places five to eight at the Winter Championships fight for the final World Championship ticket in a new, closed group.
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