Hearthstone's biggest esports tournament this summer has wrapped up in Shanghai China, and it was Danish player Frederik 'Hoej' Nielsen who ended up on top of the competition, taking home 60,000 USD and the title of HTC Spring champion. This also awards him a ticket straight to the World Championship finals later this year, along with all the top four players from this tournament, and Gamereactor was there to witness the whole thing.
Hoej beat Aleksandr 'Kolento' Malsh cleanly in the final 3-0, and his total win rate for the whole tournament was impressive 5-1. The semi-finals also ended up 3-0 for him against Anthony 'Ant' Trevino while Kolento defeated Yvehenni 'Neirea' Shumili 3-2.
The runners up won't be going home empty handed, however, as the prize pot was $250,000, so the loser of the final Kolento walked away with $40,000 while 3rd and 4th place finishers received $20,000 each.
The Shanghai Expo center was sold out for the tournament and the 1,500 strong crowd was excited to witness the esports action (even though all the Chinese players were eliminated in group stage). European players did incredibly well by all going through to the elimination phase and dominating top four with three positions.
The single Nordic player Hoej was especially happy with the social media support coming from his home country of Denmark and all over Scandinavia, and thanked all the fans in the press conference. This ended up empowering him to climb all the way to the final and to the championship victory. He said afterwards that he felt confident with his decks going into the final, but against Kolento he still expected a tough match.
The atmosphere at the event hall was overall fantastic. According to the Hearthstone Esports Franchise Lead Che Chou Blizzard wanted to host a full sized BlizzCon-level tournament in China, and after seeing it in action, it's easy to agree that the tournament was a success.
Below are the top eight placements in full. Did you expect Hoej to win?
Top Eight Placements:
1. Frederik "Hoej" Nielsen (Denmark)
2. Aleksandr "Kolento" Malsh (Ukraine)
3.-4. Yvehenni "Neirea" Shumili (Ukraine)
3.-4. Anthony "Ant" Trevino (United States)
5.-8. Dima "RDU" Radu (Romania)
5.-8. Shih-Ming "Kuonet" Kuo (United States)
5.-8. Paul "CitizenNappa" Yang (Australia)
5.-8. Ki Yin "Mage" So (New Zealand)