Last year, in a Hearthstone eSports league run by NetEase called NEL, top Chinese and European players went up against each other. What’s so special about this? If a Chinese player won, he’d be taking him his own Ferrari. Yes, that’s right, his very own Ferrari.
The Ferrari was only up for grabs by the Chinese players, and the European players had to settle for a sum of $58,950 if they won. And that is exactly what happened when Aleksandr ‘Kolento’ Malsh defeated Apostolos ‘Hawkeye’ Xieyu in the finals, hence we did not get a chance to watch a Hearthstone player take him a Ferrari from an eSports tournament.
Now, the prize is up for grabs once again in a Chinese Hearthstone circuit this May, 2016. The cash prize pool, – if there is any – has not been revealed yet.
The stakes are high and the Chinese will not like losing this again. Last year, players criticized their countrymen for the lack of professionalism shown in the tournaments and claims were made by Xieyu ‘TiddlerCelestial’ Wang that it’s quite likely that they will not be able to win again if they face against Europe. They also have disappointing results in HWC 2015 and WCA 2015, and are in dire need to step up their game.
It is quite likely that ESL will manage European players by running some online qualifiers just like last year. For the Chinese, it’s already been decided that the top eight from the Super Spring League (a league similar to the HCT tournaments in other regions) will be given a spot in the circuit. This circuit will consist of more than 400 LAN events, and will be one of the many international challenge events.
It’s still hard to say whether the Chinese can step up their game this year and show some promising results, but with a Ferrari on the line, no one knows what can happen.