Personal Update and Competitive Hearthstone thoughts
This will be divided into 3 different parts. Firstly, I will talk a little bit how thing have been for me lately. Secondly, I’ll give my thoughts on the current state of the game and thirdly, I’ll address the Grandmaster System and the CN Team League. I’ll mark all of them, so if you don’t care about one particular part you can just skip it.
Part 1: How I have been doing.
Over the past weeks I have not been super active on twitter, which is mostly due to me not feeling well since the week of the most recent Master’s Tour. It looked like I was getting better until week 2 of GM Round Robin when I woke Friday and had some serious medical issues. I do not want to go into detail, but I was unable to sit up straight as well as unable to look at a screen. I let HSEsports know immediately and asked if my matches for this weekend could be moved. They were unable to give me a direct answer until after my first match was over. However, I was in no condition to play. I later found out I was going to get issued match loses until I was well again. Luckily and rather unexpectedly (I thought this would drag out for weeks since I had a similar issue before) I was able to put together a game against Viper. However, as far as I know, had I not been able to play I would have just been issued match loses until I got well again. Tbh, I am still upset about this.
Personally, I think there should be a ruling for things like this where your matches should get moved or played off-stream. In a 7-game sample size this should be the optimal solution competitive integrity-wise. I am aware that this would be exploitable, even with a doctor’s note I would have been able to provide. I believe this is a more complicated issue, but maybe rescheduling provisions could be made for severe conditions.
Moving along, I had two rough series and ended up roping out a turn against Casie (misjudged secret animations as thoughtsteal changed my plan-entirely my fault though) along with some insane RNG not going my way me go into relegation matches. I realize this sounds salty but getting gromed 3 times in 2 games surely isn’t the norm. Getting 7th place with essentially a 3-3 score felt terrible.
As for now I feel incredibly relieved but am still not doing great physically and have been to the doctor again this week and will also have to again next week as we are still working on identifying the underlying issue. Thanks here to HSEsports for letting me play off camera yesterday. GM and especially the relegation matches have been inducing a lot of stress and anxiety so I’m hoping to recover more quickly now. I will be spending the next week in Germany and am looking to get back to streaming in 10 days.
Part 2: Current game state.
In case you have already read this statement from Fr0zen regarding the state of HS I share most of his thoughts. https://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sre5qq
Let me start out by saying that I am not a huge fan of this meta from a competitive standpoint. I think there is a rather large difference in how well people can play certain turns in certain decks (mostly rogue and tempo mage) as well as more grindy games with priest and rogue that are rather skill intensive. I am a huge fan of more complicated decks and longer control-oriented games where people must ration their resources or where the inclusion of certain tech cards that one can figure out through large amount of preparation. I felt this was the case in the Taunt-Boom Warrior, Quest druid meta we played a few seasons ago. My problem with the current game is that even though there is a difference in player’s abilities to play and correctly identify these turns the match is not actually decided by this but rather by who has access to those turns (for example who draws chenvalla sorc, who has the better prime).
Games can be incredibly fun and we have had a lot of good laughs during our preparation in friendly games as well as ladder matches, but this feeling quickly changes when you are trying to compete and your career can be decided by Solarian prime….
As has been mentioned by many other players before I also advocate for 1 degree of random separation:
For example, dragon’s hoard is fine, magic trick is fine, but magic trick into evocation into magic trick into evocation card draw minion generation is not fine. Besides, Solarian Prime is not an ok card from a competitive standpoint, neither is Puzzle Box.
Part 3.1: Gold Team Tournament
I enjoyed being able to play this tournament, the production is great, and I love that there is almost not brakes between games. The downside of playing on CN servers is of course a lot of lag that cost us a few games, so I am happy TL was able to secure top4. The only criticism I have is that I thought having 3 people stand by for very long times unable to spectate their teammate’s match was suboptimal.
Part 3.1: GM
Over the last two seasons I have come to dislike the current system even though I advocated for it in the first place. I now feel that was a mistake Increasing the sample size for the first part of the season does help to reward consistency, but sadly afterwards we start again from scratch and then play 7 games to see who gets playoffs and who has to go into relegation matches. I’d personally prefer to get the double round robin system back but am also open to other suggestions.
The next part I almost copy/pasted from Fr0zen as I thin he hit the nail on the head here.
For GM there's very little incentive to grind the game itself, everything is automatically qualified for and you aren't allowed to play opens. Very few tryhards on ladder since there's little reason to grind ladder which makes it a poor practice environment. Not even talking about physical rewards, even some in game reward, cardbacks or skins for top 5 or rank 1 legend would vastly improve this. Grinding for 3rd party tournaments were also some of the most fun experiences I’ve had and I wish Blizzard would incentivize more organizers to get into the space.
5. World Championship
A better Idea to implement the world championship would be something like, 16 players 8 GMs 2 from every region and 8 players with most points from every region, points can only be obtained from masters tours, open cups and ladder or an. (In practice this would probably be more of a 8-6-2 split due to the special status of the CN region) Every player is limited to playing a certain amount of open cups or you are gated to play the open cup by your rank. This way the World championship would feel more like a world championship than a GM finals.
Been having a rough time with my physical health which also affected my mental health. I’m not back to full yet, but am hoping to recover ASAP and go back to streaming. Met my goal this season to stay in GM besides all this.
Meta is fun to play, but too much RNG for competition.
The world Championship is not inclusive enough and should also include otherwise qualified players.
Also please give me more ladder incentives! 😊
Sorry for the long post, here is a potato