Hearthstone pro Amnesiac explains why he’s retiring after five years - Dexerto
Hearthstone

Hearthstone pro Amnesiac explains why he’s retiring after five years

Published: 30/Dec/2019 22:47

by Bill Cooney

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Hearthstone pro William “Amnesiac” Barton has announced that he’s retiring from professional play, and stepping away from the game for awhile.

Amnesiac was one of the youngest Hearthstone players to compete at the highest levels of the game, but now it seems he’s ready to move on to other things.

The news came just before the new year on December 30, 2019 in a Tweet from the now-former pro with a TwitLonger explaining his reasons.

“It’s really hard to walk away from what has been the most important thing in my life for the past five years,” he wrote. “Esports has, without exaggeration, given me once in a lifetime opportunities and experiences.”

He said he intended to make a “clean break” with Hearthstone, and move on from the game completely.

“Over the past year I’ve lost the fire I once had for competing in Hearthstone. Still, it was a hell of a run,” he explained. “Rather than dwindling into nothingness, I want to move on, on my own terms, which means a clean break.”

“I will not be participating in the next season of Grandmasters, and you will not see me playing or streaming Hearthstone going forward,” Amnesiac revealed. “It’s scary to shelf such a significant part of my life indefinitely. But it’s also exciting.”

Blizzard Entertainment/Carlton Beener ESLAmnesiac and Dan “Frodan” Chou on the Hearthstone desk.

Amnesiac also parted ways with his esports org Tempo Storm at the beginning of December but announced he was still looking for a team as a free agent.

“For so many years, competing in Hearthstone has given me purpose,” he wrapped up. “I can’t wait to find the next thing in my life that gives me that same purpose.”

Whether that purpose is another esport or something else entirely remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt Amnesiac made his mark on Hearthstone during his time as a pro.

Valorant

Valorant First Strike Global Finals: North American predictions

Published: 28/Nov/2020 16:34

by Andrew Amos

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Hundreds of Valorant teams have been whittled down to eight. However, only one can claim the title of the North American First Strike champions. Who’s set to take the crown? We’ve broken down the best teams ahead of the Global Finals.

Valorant First Strike was Riot’s indication that they’re ready to take the reigns on the hit FPS title’s esports scene. With the dust settling, and a hopeful future set for 2021 in the Valorant Champions Tour, First Strike is the best indication we will get ahead of the circuit next year.

Ahead of the North American leg of the Global Finals, we’ve broken down each and every team and where they sit in our predictions, so you know who to keep an eye on when games kick off on December 3.

First Strike NA predictions

8. FaZe Clan

FaZe Clan were just a couple of rounds away from missing out on First Strike entirely to a Gen.G still looking to find their former glory in the earlier days of Valorant. However, the hybrid CS:GO-Overwatch roster still has plenty to prove at First Strike.

Between the likes of Corey and babybay, there’s a lot of fire power on the FaZe Clan squad. However, their struggles on Future Earth have been with the strat book. If they can overcome that hurdle, there’s a chance FaZe can break into the top four. However, with their first battle up against Sentinels, it’s likely their run will be dashed out quickly.

7. Renegades

Renegades are arguably the surprise package of First Strike. They made it in during the first NSG qualifier, besting Cloud9 in a series many were expecting to be a wash. Making it in the first time around has obviously put all eyes on them.

Despite being the most inexperienced roster at First Strike NA, they’ve shown some hope and promise. However, one has to wonder if their performance was just a flash in the pan. There’s still a lot of legwork Renegades have to put in to be in top four contention, but they’ve done themselves a favor by claiming big scalps along the way.

6. T1

T1, on paper, has always been an incredible Valorant squad. We haven’t really seen that come to fruition yet though. They’ve tumbled out of every tournament they’ve played in earlier than expected, and haven’t really made a splash since the NSG Showdown way back in June.

While Brax has long been considered the star of this roster, Skadoodle has recently looked on fire with the role swap onto Jett. That, combined with the addition of Spyder, who is slowly working his way to the top, makes this T1 roster one to be feared. If they fall out early in First Strike though, questions will have to be raised about why this team has constantly disappointed.

5. Immortals

Immortals are a huge surprise package in North American Valorant. They’re one of the most exciting teams to watch, and they’ve got an incredible story line to go with it. Shanks was a huge performer for them in the UMG qualifiers for First Strike, but he won’t be returning if ShoT_Up is fit and able.

Immortals seem switched on in all departments, but especially with their strats. A huge hats-off has to be given to jcStani, who has been a rock for this team on the Omen. This is also a team that has fed talent to many of the other top teams in NA when you look at Asuna, Dicey, KOLER, and Bjor. Now, it’s time for them to get a result to potentially cement themselves in the top four.

4. 100 Thieves

100 Thieves have looked nothing short of incredible with Asuna and dicey in their ranks. We just spoke about their prowess under Immortals, and they’ve really proven it under the prestigious organization. After a rough start in Valorant, 100 Thieves have really carved out a space for themselves.

It feels like Hiko has finally been able to open up his wings, with Steel fine-tuning the calls to give him and Captain America nitr0 the chance to bring their signature CS:GO fire power to Valorant. On a good day, 100 Thieves can be the number one team in NA – we saw them beat Sentinels in the NSG qualifer – but they need some more time until they’re consistently at the top.

3. Team SoloMid

TSM is more than just the Wardell show now. Sure, the Jett-Operator specialist is still an absolute fragger, but now Wardell can have an off day and it’ll be fine because the likes of Subroza and Hazed will pick up the slack.

One has to remember that TSM is the most decorated team in NA Valorant. Plus, they’re the longest standing core in the scene, having not made a change in over six months. While they’ve been up and down in recent times, their UMG qualifier win is a sure indication that TSM has what it takes to reclaim the number one spot.

2. Team Envy

Envy have impressed far beyond many expected heading into First Strike. The pickups of Food and Crashies from T1 have been worth their weight in gold, elevating an already good lineup into a true title contender. However, it’s been Kaboose that has really risen to the occasion recently, with the flexible duelist topping the ACS charts for his team in the First Strike qualifiers.

The pieces have really started to click on this roster at the perfect time. One only needs to look at their dominant 3-0 sweep of 100 Thieves to claim the #1 seed. It feels like Envy are a real contender to Sentinels’ crown

1. Sentinels

And now we’re here, at number one. It’s been pretty much undisputed for months now, but Sentinels are by in large the number one team in North American Valorant. Much like TSM, their mantra has been sticking together through thick and thin, and it has netted results. Their 83% win rate across 52 maps speaks volumes to their dominance.

Everything in the Sentinels roster just fits perfectly. Sinatraa is well on his way on becoming a two-game MVP with his incredible Valorant skills. Former Complexity CS:GO star SicK has also been a standout performer, and the team as a whole has the flexibility to dive into a deep strat book to surprise enemies. They’ve done the hard yards to get here, now it’s just a matter of going through the motions and claiming the title.

Sentinels to dominate First Strike NA

Sentinels are the best squad in North America heading into the First Strike Global Finals, but there’s always the chance of an upset. The gap is certainly closing between them and the likes of Envy, TSM, and 100 Thieves, and First Strike could be the breaking point.