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Why Opens Matter

In every tournament thread in the history of Hearthstone, a few common questions seem to always pop up:

  • Why do we see the same players in tournaments over and over again?
  • How do you make it in the Hearthstone scene?
  • Why aren’t there more open tournaments?

For some of these reasons our tournament circuit will be featuring a heavily open process with a total of SIXTEEN open tournaments, each giving a spot in one of our main tournaments and also coveted GEICO points. With great opportunities like this, it obviously begs the question: even if you do win one of our open tournaments, what opportunities will be opened up for you? To answer that question, we’ll take a look at the greats today who’ve “made it” from open tournaments.


Though a player who’s often on invite lists these days, Thijs was actually the original open master. Thijs’s story actually begins with the often ignored $100 Zotac cups. After winning 6 open Zotac cups in a row, Thijs was picked up by a small team called Phoenix (which later would be picked up by MYM). With his success in the Zotacs, he also caught the eye of Ihearthu, the organizers of the IhearthU KotH who invited him against his first opponent, Twisted. In the King of the Hill, Thijs won his first match and then went on to win 9 more matches in a row defeating a host of players like StrifeCro, Spo, Gnimsh, Alesh, Hosty, Hyped, Chacruna, and Kaldi before eventually falling to Savjz. During his run, he popularized Ramp Druid with Wild Growths, making an even bigger name for himself. The rest is history as they say it. Thijs goes on to join one of the big Hearthstone teams in Nilhium and wins a huge tournament in Dreamhack Bucharest 2014.





Most people who follow the Hearthstone scene know of Rdu’s famous(infamous?) Dreamhack Viagame Championship win over Amaz. However, did you know that Rdu was actually seeded into the round of 16 at Dreamhack based on his previous open tournament performances? Previous to his Dreamhack win, Rdu actually qualified for CN vs EU #1 via an open bracket and also placed 3rd/4th at DreamHack Bucharest 2014, again from an open bracket. From these performances, the Dreamhack organizers determined Rdu was worthy of his ro16 seed, which helped him greatly on his way to his first tournament win. From then on, he was picked up by MYM and then Nilihium and went on to become one of the most successful players of 2014.





The king of open tournaments himself is Xixo. Before he was invited to tournament, he had to qualify to everything, which is exactly what it seems like he did. The huge list of tournaments he’s qualified for includes VGVN #1, VGVN #2, SeatstoryCup #2, and Pinnacle #1. For his success, both Xixo and Ostkaka were invited to live in the ROOT Gaming House in order to pursue their dreams of becoming the best Hearthstone players they could be. From then on Xixo was invited to Team Archon and he now holds a very respectable Twitch following as well as frequent invites to tournaments.





As the hottest player from Spring 2015, Orange just seemed to be qualifying for everything ranging from the Numericable M-House Cup 5 to ESL Katowice to Viagame Housecup 2. With this amazing streak of tournament qualifications and even a tournament victory in ESL Katowice, Orange was immediately recruited to Team Archon, a trend we’ll likely see often as we go through all the big open tournament winners.





Finally, the biggest “Open Winner” of all time might be World Champion Firebat. By qualifying directly to NA Regionals for the World Championships via his consistent ladder ranking. From then on, it was a simple few matches away from becoming World Champion. Firebat is now one of the most known Hearthstone players in the world and enjoys constant invites to every tournament.


firebat opens matter


The Others

Not to sell others short, but there have been plenty of other great open players that are making names for themselves including Zalae, Silentstorm, Hoej, Faramir, Ostkaka, and Stancifka. There has also been a positive trend recently of more and more tournaments including open qualifiers. This is to say that the door to professional Hearthstone is more open than it’s ever been.

You too can be one of the greats of Hearthstone by participating in some of our open tournaments. With sixteen qualifiers and the new GEICO points system there are plenty of opportunities to qualify. If you have the determination you have a great chance at qualifying for your first broadcasted tournament or even for your first LAN!