Hearthstone streamers taking part in 24-hour Hunger Games-style challenge

Hearthstone ESL marathon

It’s Friday, it’s been a helluva week, and I don’t know about you but I’m probably going to unwind by drinking premium strength cider and watching people play videogames on the internet. My Twitch channel of choice for the next 24 hours is ESL Hearthstone, where as part of ASUS’s Play It Cool event, four of the most popular card-slinging streamers—Reynad, Forsen, Kungen and Savijz—are competing from ESL’s Cologne studio to see who can finish highest on the first deal of the new season.

Big deal, right? These guys often no-life it at the start of a new season. Yes, but the difference this time is they’ve been challenged to use virgin accounts. First, they’ll have to unlock the remaining basic cards, then they can opt to play the Curse of Naxxramas and Blackrock Mountain adventures to expand their collections. New packs will also be dished out every couple of hours, with the player in last place receiving extras. Beyond that, there’s also the chance to win packs based on viewer votes.

You can read the full rules here, but the upshot is that at least for a while they’re going to be facing a lot of players with much better decks than them. Intriguingly, the players have been able to ban each other from using certain classes—so it won’t be all Zoo and Face Hunter—and if the players bump into each other on ladder, then the loser of the match has to disenchant the card of the winner’s choice. Okay, so it’s not quite the Hunger Games, but it will still potentially be brutal if your Loatheb gets dusted*.

The main channel is being cast (currently) by Kripparian, Frodan and Gaara—pretty much the dream team as far as I’m concerned—but, given how long it’ll be running, I assume there will be a lot of rotation. The winner gets $5,000, while the losers get to swim in their own salt bath. Check it out if you like Hearthstone and/or watching really tired people rage against RNG bullshit.

*Scratch that, Loatheb is soulbound so can't be dusted, as one commenter pointed out. Kungen did just pull Doctor Boom though, so guess who my money's on.

Tim Clark

With over two decades covering videogames, Tim has been there from the beginning. In his case, that meant playing Elite in 'co-op' on a BBC Micro (one player uses the movement keys, the other shoots) until his parents finally caved and bought an Amstrad CPC 6128. These days, when not steering the good ship PC Gamer, Tim spends his time complaining that all Priest mains in Hearthstone are degenerates and raiding in Destiny 2. He's almost certainly doing one of these right now.