Hearthstone Esports Superstars

It’s been a good 1+ month since my last event, and I’ve had a chance to relax and recover for a while, so for the past few days, I decided to attend the Hearthstone Esports Superstars event at Esports Arena in Santa Ana, CA.

There were a handful of Tempo Storm Hearthstone players in attendance, so I did some photography work while I was there. You can click here if you want to check out the full photo album on Flickr; I’ve also included some highlights below.

Stage - Competition area and gameplay screen

Caster desk

reynad's first match

reynad on stage




Guys look, I wrote a thing

If you haven’t heard yet, a new Hearthstone expansion is coming out that revolves around the Lich King. Tempo Storm partnered up with Blizzard to do a website takeover, and we rebranded to The Frozen Pwn. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you may have noticed that we held a special Fireside Gathering named the “Frostside Gathering,” and the festivities are still continuing.

Blizzard allows community members (esports teams, streamers, broadcast personalities, etc.) to reveal new cards, and Tempo Storm as an esports franchise was able to claim one for our own (rather than specifically having some of our players do it). Most card reveals end up just being very simple and straightforward – people either write an article or make a YouTube video sharing the card. We decided to do things a bit differently.

For our card – Thrall, Deathseer – we decided to integrate it straight into the Hearthstone Standard Meta Snapshot. It was protected under a non-disclosure agreement, so after being told what was going on, from that point, this was mostly a solo mission.


Here’s a small excerpt:

The Lich King was dissatisfied with all the decks with sub-100% win rates, so he decided to construct his own. After using his great, brilliant mind to craft a fully legal Standard deck (and I promise that the Lich King is definitely, absolutely not standing behind my shoulder right now forcing me to write this), he’s gone undefeated until #1 Legend, which is why we are featuring this deck at Tier S.

At the moment, there are no decks that stand a chance against Freeze Evolve Shaman. The popular aggro decks are unable to push for damage, as they are constantly frozen. Before long, the Shaman develops enough minions and tokens to evolve into an unstoppable board, retaliating with enough face damage for OTKs.

The control decks are unable to outlast the Shaman’s endless stream of evolved resources. Responding with minions results in getting frozen, while trying to use area-of-effect board clears in response to the Shaman’s army results in being Counterspelled.

It is clear that the reason for this deck’s strength is its hybridization with Mage, as well as the extremely powerful new Shaman hero, Thrall, Deathseer. Essentially giving you unlimited evolutions, opponents are put into a kill-now-or-never-kill situation – attempting to kill the Shaman’s minions over multiple turns is impossible, as Transmute Spirit is able to effectively heal a minion back to full health.

We can only hope that deck hybridization becomes a thing for lists not only created by the Lich King, so competitive decks can be created again by commoners. Otherwise, this deck is going to remain dominant for ages to come.

Basically, we tweaked our deck building system so I could create a deck with the new card. I also made it a hybrid deck of both Shaman and Mage cards, just in case people actually thought we weren’t joking (even though the 100% win rates and the all-caps archetype explanation sort of gives it away).




Frostside Gathering

Mango the Yorkshire Terrier went on an adventure yesterday to the Tempo Storm Hearthstone Frostside Gathering, a rebranded Fireside Gathering in San Diego, CA in celebration of the new, upcoming Hearthstone expansion involving the Lich King.

Because I am part of Tempo Storm, we got there a little earlier than everyone else so we could get settled and help set up when needed. reynad, the founder and CEO of Tempo Storm, and his girlfriend Michaela were there as well; Michaela wanted to put sunglasses on Mango.

Tempo Storm Hearthstone Frostside Gathering

Frodan, one of the co-founders of Tempo Storm and currently a Hearthstone caster and broadcast personality, dressed up as Gul’dan. Here he is calmly petting Mango as he gazes off into the distance, plotting his next world takeover and domination.

Tempo Storm Hearthstone Frostside Gathering

Jessica Nigri, world-famous cosplayer and personality, was also at the event. She absolutely adored Mango and held him for about half an hour or so.

Jessica Nigri and Mango the Yorkshire Terrier

FakeNerdBoy, Jessica Nigri’s boyfriend and a broadcaster, also held Mango for a little while.

FakeNerdBoy and Mango the Yorkshire Terrier

The event itself wasn’t really that great for me, seeing as I don’t really like parties, but Ed is still over in California visiting from Illinois, and he seemed to enjoy it. I don’t drink alcohol, but Ed does, so he got some free drinks and roamed around enjoying the event. We stayed for around six hours; this photo of Ed is from shortly before we were about to leave:

Tempo Storm Hearthstone Frostside Gathering

I was the one who ended up driving from Riverside County to San Diego. It’s right around a hundred miles in each direction, and I thought the drive there would be awful (because I hate driving), but it actually wasn’t that bad. What was bad, however, was trying to find parking in San Diego.

After proceeding to fail at finding an open spot for a good 20 minutes or so, we finally made our way into a parking garage and found a spot. On our way out, I discovered that parking cost … US$60.00. I guess owning a multi-floor parking structure in San Diego is good business.




HCT Americas Spring Playoffs

Today, I went to this thing: https://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/fireside-gatherings/33412

HCT Americas 2017 Spring Playoffs at Buffalo Wild Wings

A whole lot of people were complaining on social media about how this Hearthstone event was taking place at a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, and how distracting it would be … but it actually ended up just fine. I got to meet up with some of my buddies from Tempo Storm, and even got to enjoy a nice … wait, what even is this?

HCT Americas 2017 Spring Playoffs at Buffalo Wild Wings

If you guessed “mold,” you would be correct. This was my first time trying blue cheese, and I was a little bit confused when I received my burger and it smelled distinctly moldy. The only reason I ordered it is because I had never had it before, and I like trying new items on the menu … but I didn’t exactly look it up first to see what I would be getting.

In other news, one of my co-workers with whom I met up at the event has nearly THIRTY THREE THOUSAND unread emails. It was so mind-boggling to me, as I always use my inbox as a to-do list and archive emails after I’m done addressing them, that I snapped a photo of her Mail app.

HCT Americas 2017 Spring Playoffs at Buffalo Wild Wings

And finally, remember how, back during our Fireside Festival, I saw Hyped, a professional Overwatch player for Immortals, and proceeded to take a photograph together with him so I could tweet at Baemax (his girlfriend) and say “hey look who I found”?

Well, I got to do it again today, except in reverse.

HCT Americas 2017 Spring Playoffs at Buffalo Wild Wings




Tempo Storm Fireside Festival

Tempo Storm hosted a Fireside Festival in Rancho Cucamonga, CA earlier today.

The Fireside Festival was essentially a regular Hearthstone Fireside Gathering, but a lot larger than usual with way more events and notable attendees. Because we were the organization hosting the event, I set myself up in the corner to ensure that there were no problems and the event would run smoothly. I was in the back with Rentaro and RagingCherry, who was running the tournament part of the Festival.

Tempo Storm Fireside Festival

Usually, I post photos of the stuff around me, but I decided to actually post photos of myself today for a change.

First up is a photo with Hyped. He’s a professional Overwatch player for Immortals now, but he used to be a professional Hearthstone player for Tempo Storm, and was one of the people who ran the classic Tempo Storm Hearthstone Meta Snapshot. I’m friends with his girlfriend, so I tweeted this photo at her and said “hey look who I found.”

Tempo Storm Fireside Festival

Part of the activities that were offered were designing your own card and putting your face in the space where the card art would be. I made myself an 8/8 for 8 mana that has a Battlecry of bringing your opponent down to 1 HP, then losing the game anyway. I thought it would fit me well because I tend to play aggro decks a lot, and my opponents tend to be really good at making a comeback after they’re down to single-digit health.

Tempo Storm Fireside Festival

There were also dry-erase boards in the shape of emotes, so I made one that said “Lost board control on turn 2? I concede to you.” I tend to get really frustrated at cards like Knife Juggler and other RNG-based cards that just completely destroy your early board (so much so that they basically just win the entire early game if their Knife Juggler hits, or they get smashed the entire game if their Knife Juggler misses). So, this is actually pretty accurate.

Tempo Storm Fireside Festival

And finally, one of my friends convinced me to write “♥ I love reynad ♥” and hold the sign up while standing next to him. He was in a meeting with someone in this photo, but the person with whom he was talking actually noticed me and alerted reynad to my presence, thinking I was an actual fan who wanted his attention, rather than an employee at Tempo Storm just joking around … lol

Tempo Storm Fireside Festival




I’ve taken another project under my wing – the Hearthstone Meta Snapshot

After a substantial amount of community backlash from Tempo Storm’s Hearthstone Meta Snapshot re­peat­ed­ly being late and being riddled with basic typos, the Tempo Storm administration decided that it would be best for me to take over directing the project moving forward.

This is actually a much larger project than I originally thought it would, and it took a massive amount of time for me to finish polishing up and releasing the first Hearthstone Meta Snapshot under my guidance.

For those who aren’t aware of how the Meta Snapshot works already, we have nine experts, one for each class, who create decks and write descriptions about all their decks. Then, collaboratively, the experts de­ter­mine which decks are strongest, and rank them in order, relative to the current meta.

After they finish all this, my busy work comes into play, where I compile all the data provided to me by the experts, design and combine it in an appealing and attractive manner, fix any errors I find, and publish it as a full, cohesive piece.

In between snapshots, I would be submitting suggestions to the web developers for new features for the snapshot that would improve the overall quality of the project (or, just implementing them myself if I’m able to) (although I haven’t quite had the time to do this yet, seeing as I took over this project three days ago).

You can find the full Hearthstone Meta Snapshot at the link below, and you can see a few previews as well:


As I asked in the “Thoughts & Observations” section, I’m open to feedback and suggestions on how to refine and improve the Hearthstone Meta Snapshot. I’ll be reading all the comments on this snapshot (and replying to ones with questions), and I always read all comments posted on my website, so feel free to leave me your thoughts either directly on the snapshot or in this blog post.




Rewards from seasons 22 and 23 of Hearthstone ranked play

As I’ve stated multiple times before, I’ve sort of lost my passion for Hearthstone (not that it was much of a burning passion to begin with anyway), and I often find it more frustrating than fun. So, I haven’t really been grinding much on the ranked ladder, and haven’t really climbed that high.

Regardless, I’m somewhat satisfied with my golden Floating Watcher. I main Warlock, so I’m trying to get all the Warlock cards and complete my class collection. Even though it’s only a golden common card, it’s still one step closer to my goal.




Hearthstone ranked play rewards, and opening legendary cards

Yesterday I went through some of my Hearthstone achievements, and I’m back today with some more.

These are my loot chests from ranked play during November 2015, December 2015, and January 2016.

They’re not that great, and are progressively getting worse, because I’m not really spending as much time playing Hearthstone as I used to. Before, I tried to get to Rank 5 before the end of the season so I can get maximal chest rewards, but now, I’m just getting over Rank 20 so I can get a chest at all, and not really trying to get any higher than that.

Hearthstone Ranked Play Season 20 (November 2015) Rewards

Hearthstone Ranked Play Season 21 (December 2015) Rewards

Hearthstone Ranked Play Season 22 (January 2016) Rewards

Although I’m not playing anywhere near as much Hearthstone as I used to play, I still sign in once in a while to do a daily quest here and there, and finish the week’s Tavern Brawl. I use all my spare gold to buy packs, and I occasionally get lucky and open a legendary card.

This is the first time I opened two legendary cards in a single pack – I got Lord Jaraxxus (which is un­for­tunate, because I already crafted Golden Lord Jaraxxus a long time ago) and Lorewalker Cho (which is also unfortunate because what even is this card).

Opening two legendary cards (Lord Jaraxxus and Lorewalker Cho) in one pack

In a different pack, I opened my second golden legendary card, Baron Geddon. My first golden legendary card was Iron Juggernaut; I think it’s already been over a year since I opened that.

Opening Golden Baron Geddon in Hearthstone

Baron Geddon doesn’t really fit in any of the decks I play, but I’m probably just going to keep it, in case it becomes useful later on.

Although I already have a Golden Lord Jaraxxus, I’m definitely going to keep regular Lord Jaraxxus because Warlock is my favorite class, and I want to try and at least get a complete collection of Warlock cards.

And as I said earlier, I’m pretty sure I’m never going to use Lorewalker Cho, so I’m probably going to dis­en­chant it.