Hearthstone has taken over the world of esports and has a firm hold on the Collectible Card Game (CCG) genre. The best teams in the world regularly compete in various tournaments. Likewise, fans are eager to see how well the pros perform with each new meta or expansion.
Two Penn State teams qualified for the Hearthstone Collegiate Championship (HCC) — White and Blue. The quarterfinals saw the former, OPSU or Penn State – White, eliminated. The latter, Penn State – Blue brought the trophy home as well as $30,000 in scholarship prizes ($10,000 for each team member).
The team members, Capilano, Ninja, and Zeh steamrolled the competition on their way to the finals.
The entire Hearthstone collegiate event followed a round-robin style for the group stages. Only select teams with the best records would advance. During Phase 1 for the East, Penn State – Blue held a 7-0 record. They led the pack alongside MIT’s Next House. Phase 2 was no different with the team boasting a 5-1 record. That created a 6-way tie with George Washington University (George Washingtone), Carnegie Mellon University (CMU LPE), Lehigh University (Dinosize Ultrasaur), and another MIT team (Novice Engineers). Oh, and OPSU/Penn State – White, also had the same record for the group.
The Penn State teams were assigned to East 1 and East 2 for Phase 3. Penn State – Blue led East 1 (3-0), while OPSU/Penn State – White, were second in East 2 (2-1). Both Penn State teams would end up in the same group once again in Phase 4, with Penn State – White finishing with a 3-0 record, and Blue coming in at 2-1. Phase 5, the final part of the Group Stage would see both teams finish with a 2-1 record. Both had second-place finishes in their respective groups and were able to qualify for the single-elimination stage.
Organizers assigned seeds for the top eight Hearthstone college teams come time for the single-elimination tournament for Phase 6. OPSU faced Carnegie Mellon’s CMU LPE but were swept 0-3, ending a terrific run for Penn State – White.
Meanwhile, fellow Penn State compatriots from the Blue team managed to beat Utah Esports 3-1. The next day, the trio defeated the Stanford Cards in the semis 3-0. The Stanford Cards had a brilliant showing against the Brawling Broncos in the previous day’s match but were no match for the Blues.
The finals would pit Penn State – Blue and UCLA Blue. The latter had a similar easy road to the finals, finishing on or near the top of their group standings. When all was said and done, however, Penn State – Blue dominated in the finals. The team finished things off with a 3-0 victory in the championship match.
Celebratory cheers greeted the trio as students, alums, and faculty commended the achievement of their fellow Nittany Lions. You can check out their post-tournament interview via ESPN here. The trio’s on cloud nine after their momentous victory. They still cannot believe they ended up winning the finals, and even having a fairly easy road to get there.
Also, it seems a couple of their fellow Penn State students (from OPSU/Team White) would be graduating next year. This means some major changes in the lineup as well as adjustments. After all, it still takes time for a team to gel together. It’s still up in the air whether we’ll see both Penn State teams facing off in the finals, but suffice to say, Penn State – Blue are eager to get there next year. The players definitely want to compete more and hopefully repeat as Hearthstone’s collegiate champions next year.
I’m a contributor for various sites under the Enthusiast Gaming umbrella: Destructoid, Dailyesports.tv, and Flixist. Games. Movies. Travel. History. Warhammer. Dad jokes. All around nerdy stuff. You name it, I’ll happily chime in.
I don’t have any backed Kickstarter projects to disclose, although I used to be a CM for a local MMO — this was way back in 2006. I also used to be really good in Counter-Strike, and I mean “bunny hop to avoid AK-47 bursts and shotgun AWP you in the face” good. Then I got old.