15. April 2017
Weeks before the event, the true brain of the internet (commonly known as reddit) started showering Lifecoach and the organizers with lovely, questionable, curious and sometimes hateful attention. What could possibly go wrong when thousands of people are watching every step you make, while you are trying to organize your first major Hearthstone event on an international stage?
Do not try to answer this rhetorical question because THRONE of CARDS IV beamed us into some state of Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty. At one given time we could not say if the event is running smoothly or if we are piloting the Titanic with all its fancy interior, but a big crash ahead.
During the following meal I just felt like a toddler in the middle of a rocket science congress.
Just preparation but no smooth sailing
My day started early in Tyrol, about 400 kilometers away from the event location. A 4 hour train ride, that got turned into a 6 hour ride by a fire incident on the tracks, ought to close the gap.
As I arrived at Lifecoach’s mansion, which I already visited in November 2016, I immediately encountered some familiar faces. For a short moment I was wondering how cheerful the welcome would be because I already met some of the players at the 2017 HCT Winter Playoffs in Vienna or SeatStory Cup. I can not deny the friendliness but Hearthstone Pros apparently just cheer when they are winning. Considering all the people they meet on their travels, a healthy distance seems to be part of their survival tactics.
“I actually was thinking about just falling asleep there and maybe nobody would find me until the whole thing was over.”
During the following meal I just felt like a toddler in the middle of a rocket science congress. Although I consider myself a pretty good arena player and have sometimes finished the monthly grind in Legend (and always within the Top 5 ranks to keep up with the meta) I really could not formulate a question which would further the ongoing discussion about Un’Goro and the year of the mammoth. You just don’t start a discussion with a world class astronomer by asking if they like Jupiter’s moon Europe just to proof that you’ve heard about it once. So I stayed quiet and ate.
Soon afterwards we started to prepare the setup. Certainly a time full of surprises and clashing assumptions. How much computers do we need? Where in the house are we streaming from? Who is casting? How will the twitch overlay look like? All important questions you might assume we all agreed upon in advance.
Since we already hosted an event at Lifecoach’s mansion, we assumed that only some incremental improvements will be made to the previous setup. But all the stair climbing introduced me quite fast to a different reality.
New spot, new overlay ideas, new caster arrangement, new everything
But fortunately we brought enough equipment with us, even though a second PC would have been handy.
New spot, new overlay ideas, new caster arrangement, new everything and we were hyped enough to be optimistic about all of the last minute changes. At least until I lied down on some kind of a sun lounger. I actually was thinking about just falling asleep there and maybe nobody would find me until the whole thing was over.
But fortunately we brought enough equipment with us, even though a second PC would have been handy. Fortunately RDU showed us some kind of hack to open multiple Hearthstone clients on one PC to turn the top cards around. The last 20% are always the hardest to get. And fortunately our team knows when to stop complaining and start working.
After a lot of improvising we actually finished the first day thinking that everything will work out fine. How stupid of an assumption this turned out to be. But you all watched two days of great Hearthstone action, so how bad could it really be? You will see …
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