Competitive Hearth$tone and female only tournaments

The WESG USA and Canadian qualifiers were about to begin. I already knew that there were female only tournaments for Counterstrike because I am an old Stephanie ” missharvey ” Harvey fan. But to my surprise, there was also a Hearthstone female only tournament. An even bigger surprise was that only seven Canadian women had signed up for it. Although I had only played Hearthstone in its beta, I eagerly signed up for the tournament seeing that half the contestants were likely to win a cash prize at the Canadian finals.

Womens Hearthstone WESG Qualifier A

I plugged my cards into Hearthpwn, a third-party deck building app and wished for the best. As many Hearthstone players know, no matter how smart and cunning you are, the quality of your cards play a just as important role. Would I be able to win against anyone without spending any money on cards? LOL 😭

My first match in the WESG qualifiers lasted over half an hour to my surprise. At times I thought the game would even be winnable until my opponent pulled out Healing Rain (Restores 12 health randomly divided amongst friendly characters and only costs 3 mana!!!!!!!) … TWICE! Haha this is the spiciness I expect of real Hearthstone players. After my first loss I fell into lower bracket, won a game by forfeit and then lost in a super speedy match in less than 15 minutes.

hearthstone WESG Canada qualifiers women

Overall in my short one afternoon competitive HS career, I can say that it is a thrilling esport but I am saddened that despite the game being very accessible to play casually, it demands a financial commitment unlike most FPS and MOBA titles.

What I love about competitive Overwatch is that every player, no matter their skills, are given the exact same tools and abilities to play the game. No matter how many hours you’ve played, no matter how many dollars you’ve spent on loot boxes, everyone has an equal chance.

I think it would be awesome to have a Hearthstone tournament similar to Magic the Gathering’s sealed deck format, where players purchase 6 sealed packs and create their deck on the spot. Everything lies in the hands of luck and wit. Does this format or something similar already exist in Hearthstone?

Now back to what I said about this being one of the most accessible games out there right now. Hearthstone can be played on a low end PC, tablet or mobile phone so just about anyone can start playing for free. So why is there:

1. A female only tournament in a game of the mind (and wallet huehuehue)?

2. Why have only 7 women and 1 curious noob (me) signed up to represent Canada?

I do believe that female only tournaments with the idea to promote women in esports can be beneficial by shining a spotlight on female talent to encourage young girls to start playing as well. However, I would add that female only leagues with the sole purpose of dividing by gender to have a women play with women will not advance the skillsets of these players. Example: there should never be a women only Overwatch League. Like ever.

Female only tournaments should be a celebration of women getting together to play show matches and get more women interested to join in.

So why such a small turnout for such a big country?

There didn’t seem to be any advertisement whatsoever on WESG’s part. I only came across it by looking at women’s Counterstrike brackets (only 3 teams were in the qualifier themselves). Hopefully, next year and the years to come, WESG and other companies that plan to host female only tournaments will go that extra mile and do their tournaments justice by promoting it. WESG is offering great cash prizes that any esports enthusiast would love to compete for, but unfortunately, only a handful showed up to the party.



This crazy little huge thing…

This crazy little huge thing happened to me.
I was busy at work and I took a break to check my phone and there was a message from my ex-coach saying: WAKE UP.
And there was a screenshot.

Overwatch World Cup 2018 Team Canada

I am one of the 10 candidates for Overwatch World Cup 2018 Team Canada’s committee. Little ol’ me. Who has even heard of me? And I’m there sitting at the first spot of the list of potential community leads for THE FREEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.

This is just crazy.

My first reaction was shaking. Then it was to login to my Battle.Net to see for myself. My hands were shaking and I couldn’t type my password correctly. Breathe. Get a snack. Let’s do this.

During phase 1, I made a little funny video to promote myself, and even if I gave it all my effort, I didn’t want to expect too much from it. There are other great Canadians in the Overwatch community, I didn’t want to be too disappointed but here I am: at the front of that list, that’s not in alphabetical order. That doesn’t even seem to be in any particular order. I can only come to the conclusion that Jeff Kaplan has personally chosen me to represent my great nation of maple syrup, hockey and xQc.

Now, I will give this my everything and make sure I meet Jeff in person at the World Cup, shake his hand and thank him for watching over me.

If you ever don’t believe in yourself, believe in me. Because I believe in you.


your friendly Canadian neighborhood Overwatch nerd.

edit: i lost oh dear 😅


Bucket list: ✓ Go to Blizzcon

It’s already been 3 months since Blizzcon 2017 and I’m only writing about my experience now! I had such an unforgettable experience so I still wanted to write this down for anyone who is curious about how it went or anyone going to Blizzcon this year for their first time.

I arrived a few days ahead of Blizzcon to explore LA as it was my first time on the west coast and I wanted to do as much as I could while I was there. If it’s your first time in California, you definitely have to go check out Disneyland beforehand, it’s just down the street from the Anaheim Convention Center so you can stay at the same hotel you already have booked for Blizzcon.

I went to Disneyland early Thursday morning and left around 5:00PM to walk over to the convention center to pick up my badge and do my shopping.

IDDQTPIE Blizzcon Shopping

There’s beautiful glass displays of every item on sale before you enter the shopping lineups, which is perfect to make sure you know what you are getting beforehand.
Also there is a small area where you can try on apparel to find your size.

Tip: You really need to do this on Thursday! Getting your badge is fairly fast (took me less than 30 minutes) but if you are buying anything from the store, be prepared!
There’s two ways to get your merchandise at Blizzcon. Either you wait in line with a physical paper catalog, check off everything you want to buy and at the front of the line, an employee will ring up everything for you. This is the longest way.
Or you can purchase everything you want on the Blizzcon app on your mobile phone, queue in the Blink store line and pick it up. Although this was the fastest way, it still took me around 2 hours to get my stuff because of the sheer number of people in line. It would probably have been faster in the morning.
Don’t wait until Friday to get this done, you are going to miss out on a lot of panels.

IDDQTPIE Blizzcon Lineup

Friday morning, I woke up bright and early to get a good spot in the lineup. I arrived 2 hours before the convention opened its doors and as you can see on the left photo, there’s already a big crowd. But that’s nothing! The photo on the right was taken 20 minutes later!
Tip: You are probably going to be waiting outside for quite a while, so dress in layers. I thought California would be warm in November so I only wore a sweater over a dress, big mistake. It’s cold in the morning, cold indoors and hot at night when you leave so bring a backpack to store your extra layers when needed.

Most people around me were nice and easy to start chatting up, they all love the same things you do 🙂 so that’s a start. While waiting in line, I also managed to trade some of the blind pack goodie items I didn’t want to keep myself busy. If you are less social, bring yourself a DS or something to do while you wait.

Around an hour to opening, the Blizzcon staff brought out inflatable beach balls to toss in the crowd and that really got us hyped! Only a few people got hit in the face n_n;;;

IDDQTPIE Blizzcon OVerwatch World Cup 2017

The number 1 thing I wanted to do at Blizzcon was to watch the Overwatch World Cup live, so I rushed to the Overwatch arena, where I watched the opening ceremony on a screen (as opposed to live on the main stage).

Before entering the arena, there was a World Cup jersey booth. Originally, I had picked up a Korean jersey but then I thought it would be better to cheer on my home country and I returned to exchange it for team Canada. They actually didn’t mind switching at all, because the Korean jersey was already almost sold out!

Inside the arena, the stage was so spectacular. Exactly what you’d expect from watching previous Overwatch events. I got an amazing spot in the second row on the right from the players entrance. I chatted up the girl sitting next to me to turned out to be Chipshajen’s girlfriend teehee! (that’s why you see the back of IDDQD, he popped in the row to say hi to her and I totally missed my opportunity to say hi i’m IDDQT ;___; rip my life)

IDDQTPIE Blizzcon Mangachu Alphacast Seagull xQC

But since I had a great spot, I got to meet a lot of the players when they were walking in for pre-game setup.
I had made an xQC / team Canada sign the night before (which was pretty hard to drag around all weekend) and I absolutely had to get a photo with my favorite Winston player. He loved my poster and we took a couple of selfies, but I honestly don’t remember what I said to him lol. Controversies aside, xQC was very genuinely nice and thankful to all his fans and always took the maximum amount of time between games to take photos and autographs, before the stage handler rushes him to the backstage. He even got off stage once to go shake hands with a fan in a wheelchair, He is nice deep deep down inside!
The whole Canadian team were so friendly and were more than glad to spend time with their fans. Which I can’t say for all the other countries, where some players outright refused autographs and photos.

I also got to talk with Mangachu, who is hilarious! I asked him for a selfie and he said sure, why don’t you come on stage lol. This is probably one of the most epic fan photos ever! I watched one of his streams a month later and he remembered taking that photo teehee.

I ran into Alphacast inside the arena, and obviously we spoke french together. He was the captain of team France at the World Cup 2016 and this year he is on the french committee.
I mentioned I was friends with Drift and Kensigton, two french casters who now live in Montreal and of course he knew them. All french people know each other!

Last but not least, I met Seagull. Everyone knows him as a nice guy, and this is a huge understatement. HE IS SO SO NICE!! He was in front of the Omen by HP booth, playing some games and chatting with fans. I ran up to him and he wasn’t freaked out at all, he must get this all the time. There was so much I wanted to talk to him about but in the moment, the only thing that came to mind was ‘why are you wearing so much Lucio outfits this weekend?’ to which he replied ‘my Genji clothes didn’t come in time’. Totally understandable. My only regret at Blizzcon was not asking Seagull more questions.

Tip: Do not bring your selfie stick to California at all! I had mine confiscated at Disneyland and it was thrown away. I also saw several people get theirs taken away at the convention.

IDDQTPIE Blizzcon Convention 2017 Jonny Cruz

Other than cheer at the Overwatch Arena, I did explore the other parts of the convention. There was an enormous play area where you could try out the new hero Moira and the new hybrid map Blizzardworld, both announced at Blizzcon.
I thought it was super cute that they had a real life ‘solo queue’ where players who didn’t mind playing with strangers could line up and find a game much faster. It took me about 10 minutes to get in game this way. The whole thing was run very smoothly.

I watched a few panels: The future of Overwatch, What’s in the Lootbox, Voices of Overwatch and the Overwatch League.
Tip: To get a decent seat at a panel, you might need to arrive 20-40 minutes before it starts. Since the rooms are huge, you might not even have a direct line of sight with the speakers and have to watch on a big screen.
The rooms for the panels are usually booked back to back, so you might need to sit in a World of Warcraft panel while you wait. Which means, most of the seats are already taken and as soon as the current panel ends, you hurry to find an even better spot.

Food wise, there’s a lot of places to chose from. There are little food stands inside the convention center to grab quick sandwiches, salads, fries, burgers and ice cream. Or if you are in no rush, head outside in the courtyard or at the front entrance for a variety of food trucks. Food in LA is delicious!!
Tip: Bring cash! Not everybody accepts cards and my Canadian credit card had some trouble at the convention stands.

That pretty much sums up my extraordinary weekend. If money were not object, I would definitely come back next year, but more realistically, I think I wait two or three years before returning.