Hearthstone crowns first female Grand Champion at BlizzCon 2019 - Dexerto
Hearthstone

Hearthstone crowns first female Grand Champion at BlizzCon 2019

Published: 3/Nov/2019 0:26 Updated: 3/Nov/2019 0:36

by Bill Cooney

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Chinese professional Hearthstone player Xiaomeng “VKLiooon” Li was crowned the Hearthstone Global Finals champion at BlizzCon 2019, becoming the first woman to win a major BlizzCon championship.

BlizzCon 2019 was the site of this year’s Global Finals, where the best Hearthstone players in the world gathered to compete to crown the game’s top player.

Rising to the top was none other than VKLiooon, who became the first female winner of a major BlizzCon championship in history.

How did VKLiooon do it?

Hailing from the Chinese circuit, which doesn’t operate on the Grandmaster system, VKLiooon had to qualify for BlizzCon by playing in open tournaments.

It was a long road for the Hearthstone pro, and VKLiooon couldn’t help but get emotional as she stood on stage as the undisputed Hearthstone master of 2019.

Thanks to esports insider Rod ‘Slasher‘ Breslau for the below clip:

The champ had some wise words to share with aspiring female esports pros after her win.

“I want to say for all the girls out there who have a dream for esports competition, for glory,” VKLiooon said. “If you want to do it and you believe in yourself, you should just forget your gender and go for it.”

“This is the best way to strike back at those people who doubted me only because I am a girl,” she continued. “It proves that girls can be strong pro players, just as guys do.”

BlizzCon 2019 comes to an end

Blizzcon 2019 might not have had the same huge announcements for Hearthstone as it did for Overwatch or World of Warcraft, but VKLiooon’s championship run will definitely live on in years to come.

What makes this even better though, is the story VKLiooon shared about her Hearthstone esports experience.

Two years ago, the pro said she was in line for a Hearthstone major tournament when someone told her this event wasn’t for her because she’s a girl.

Now VKLiooon is officially the best Hearthstone player in the world – and that salty dude is probably stuck in ladder play somewhere. 

Business

Sources: Activision Blizzard collegiate partner Tespa closing down

Published: 9/Dec/2020 9:37 Updated: 9/Dec/2020 9:41

by Adam Fitch

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North American collegiate esports organization Tespa is coming to a close and will make way for new university programs from game developer Activision Blizzard, according to sources.

Headquartered in Blizzard’s offices in Irvine, California, the company confirmed to members that the “Tespa name and brand will not continue to exist come 2021” according to documents obtained by Dexerto.

Since their national expansion in 2013, the organization has existed as an “event support network” for colleges who have gaming and esports initiatives. In 2014, they partnered with Blizzard to host collegiate events for Hearthstone, League of Legends, StarCraft II, Heroes of the Storm, and Overwatch.

Following the closure of Tespa, the developer will continue to host competitive programs for students across North America. At the time of writing, there are programs for Overwatch, Hearthstone, and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.

Tespa University
Tespa
Tespa are well-known for hosting Heroes of the Dorm, a tournament that provided fully-paid tuition for the winning team.

The decision was at least partially made due to the restrictions surrounding hosting events in 2020 due to the global health situation. Tespa will “indefinitely” cancel their Chapter Program, a network of officially-recognized gaming clubs for students across Canada and the United States.

“With the rapid amount of change that has been in effect this year, we’ve taken time to reflect and plan for how we want our collegiate programs to grow in the future,” a document reads.

“The Tespa name and brand has been with us since the beginning, and although we are moving on from this brand, we’re excited for the opportunity to integrate more with our game franchises.”

Further solidifying the end for the company, there are plans to close the Tespa Community Discord — a hub for those who take part in the program.

To commemorate the closure, the company will share highlights and milestones from the community on their Twitter from December 9 to the end of the month.