Hearthstone has a new global champion. The championship event held at BlizzCon 2019 ended in victory for Chinese player Li “VKLiooon” Xiaomeng, making her the first woman to win in a Hearthstone championship event. Simply by playing she became the first woman to compete in such an event, so the win means she achieved the highest victory possible in her first championship.
Flanked by other players and former champions, Xiaomeng took the trophy of the first Hearthstone Grandmasters championship. She has been playing competitively in the Hearthstone community for quite a while, but her consistent placement in the 2019 season qualified her for the global finals. She took the opportunity on-stage to thank her fans, and to send a message to any females in the audience.
“Two years ago, I remember when I was competing in a huge tournament,” she said, via a translator. “I was waiting in line … and there was this guy telling me, ‘If you’re a girl you should not be waiting in line here, it’s not for you.’ And now today I am here, with all the support from the fans. So I want to say to all the girls out there who have a dream for esports, for competition, for glory: if you want to do it, and you believe in yourself, you should just forget your gender and go for it.”
Xiaomeng’s victory was rather definitive. In the finals match against Brian “Bloodyface” Eason, she went 3-0. The final round hinged on a matchup in which Xiaomeng had 23 in Hunter damage ready to finish off Eason, and his Druid timed out his turn looking for a solution. When the timer was up she took the shot for the win.
Also at BlizzCon, Blizzard announced the next expansion for Hearthstone, Descent of Dragons, to launch in December. Before that, though, the game is getting a new mode inspired by the popular auto-chess genre. The new mode, called Hearthstone Battlegrounds, will launch in closed beta on November 5, and then into open beta on November 12.