Following six weeks of intense play, Tempo Storm’s History of Hearthstone finally came to an end. It showcased a rather rare Wild format, in which only basic/classic cards were available the first week. However, in each following week, expansions were added, giving players an increasingly larger pool of cards to choose from.
Wild expert Dane took full advantage of this, building a successful lineup of Malygos Druid, N’Zoth Reno Hunter, N’Zoth Reno Warlock, and a Dead Man’s Hand Warrior. Despite losing round one to Eugune “Neirea” Shumilin, he fought his way back up the loser’s bracket, beating out Jon “Orange” Westberg and Paul “Zalae” Nemeth before matching up against Neirea once again in the finals. This time however, it was Dane who came out on top, beating Neirea 3-1 for his first-ever tournament win.
Dane’s win was great, but what makes this tournament so special and important to Hearthstone’s future?
Well for starters, it really highlighted how key Wild is to Hearthstone’s continued success. Of course, Standard is always going to be — well — the standard format. There’s a lot of reason to it, especially in terms of promoting accessibility. Not just that, it creates a volatile that can result in changes every year.
But History of Hearthstone demonstrated that Wild simply offers so much entertainment value. In Wild tournaments, decks that have never been seen before are on full display. Whether it’s something ridiculous like Reno N’Zoth Hunter or Druid Togwaggle combos, Wild tournaments offer content that is almost always new and exciting.
This contrasts heavily with Standard, in which the meta is very predictable. There’ll be the occasional unusual pick, but other than that, it’s nowhere near as far-reaching and creative as Wild. Shifts in Standard do occur, but they’re limited to a macro level, with players trying to counter top decks over a longer period of time.
Wild has been present in recent years, with Blizzard launching the Wild Open, but other than that, Wild has been pretty much absent. History of Hearthstone changed that, reminding players of everything Wild has to offer. Moreover, alternative format tournaments like this tournament have always had strong viewership, demonstrating that branching out into different things really does appeal to viewers.
To Tempo Storm, great work. But now it’s up to other organizers to follow in their footsteps and realize that same format events one after another are not going to impress viewers.