The shiny confetti had barely settled on the BlizzCon stage when we managed to grab the newly-crowned World Champion for a chat. Sweden’s Sebastian “Ostkaka” Engwall has long been one of the most respected players on the competitive scene, but only joined a pro team in September when he was one of the players chosen to be part of Na’Vi’s entrance into Hearthstone. How pleased they must be with that pick now.
At the time I wrote: “Ostkaka is very much seen as one to watch, and is a proficient ladder warrior”, but was “… yet to have his breakout tournament performance.” That performance certainly arrived today. Ostkaka played immaculately throughout the finals, keeping his nerve to close out an incredible series in the semi-finals after Thijs had made a comeback from 2-0 to 2-2. The final match against Canada’s hero Hotform was more of a stomp, with Ostkaka’s deck choices proving dominant and the final Rogue vs Druid match looking particularly brutal.
The 3-0 scoreline by which Ostakaka won actually mirrors last year’s result, which saw Firebat sweep Tiddler Celestial. Firebat was also a respected player who until that point hadn’t won a major, and Ostkaka can now expect a similarly explosive rise in attention and popularity among the fans who watched the World Championships in droves. (Concurrent viewers on Twitch was hovering over 150k throughout the day.) As for what he’s going to do with the $100,000 prize money, Ostkaka says he doesn’t know yet. One thing’s for sure: He won’t have to worry about saving gold for next week’s League of Explorers expansion.
We’ll have full match highlights for you tomorrow here on PC Gamer Pro, but for now enjoy the interview with Ostkaka. And hey, who says the best player doesn’t win in Hearthstone?