Hearthstone Masters Ironforge crowns Xiaobai Champion

Hearthstone Masters Ironforge Champion
Xiaobai is the first Hearthstone Masters of 2021. Image via Blizzard Entertainment

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The Hearthstone Masters Ironforge is over. The first big event for Heartstone is out of the way, with Huang “KZGXiaobai” Dehui winning the event. The Ironforge champion took out Michaël “Maverick” Looze in a 3-0 sweep, which surprised everyone after Looze’s strong path to the finals. With his victory, Xiaobai outplayed 389 other players worldwide to earn the first Masters Tour trophy and $25,000 in cash prizing.

The Ironforge Masters kicked off on Friday, March 12, with over 200 players battling throughout the world. Throughout the weekend, players were knocked out every round leading up to an eventual top eight-fight. The top eight players got the honourary points prize, which helped quality professionals to future events. Players such as Grandmaster Wesley “lambyseries” Seek amongst the contenders for the trophy.

After going 8-1 in Swiss Rounds, Xiaobai secured his spot in the Top 8 of Hearthstone Masters Ironforge by defeating lambyseries, 3-2, in their match. The now champion than pushed forward into the final day with a 3-2 quarterfinal win over Kenta “Okasinnsuke” Sekiguchi, and Marco “Turna” Castiglioni 3-1, in the semifinal.

To take the event by storm, he used a mix of strong decks. The likes of Zoo Warlock, Whirlkick Rogue, and Libram Paladin decks came forth in the final, taking down Maverick when it mattered the most.

An event ending in such a dominant fashion is a surprise. The top contenders know their top decking potential, their deck’s depth, and pocket cards that can counter big plays. However, there seemed to be no luck for Maverick, who lost at the final hurdle after a strong showing.

The next Hearthstone Masters event is the Hearthstone Masters Orgimmar. The event aims to follow the European CEST timezone, with the many Europeans making high on the ladder playing on home turf. It will be interesting to see if players like Maverick can bounce back.  The Orgrimmar Masters kicks off on April 30.