One early Saturday morning in May, scores of young people were gathering near the entrance into the bar in Vilnius, which was about to become one of the official international venues for the upcoming Hearthstone Championship Tour playoffs. Lithuanian Hearthstone player Džiugas “S8ris” Martinkėnas just got the news that he will face the current world champion from Russia “ShtanUdachi” and you could certainly feel the tension in the air.
After more than an hour, 20 thousand Hearthstone fans from all over the world have witnessed an intense duel and a victorious smile from the Lithuanian player who has finished the fight 3:2.
That day „S8ris“ went on to win 2 more tough match-ups against Europe’s famous streamers and professional players but needed one more win to advance to the next stage. That performance has earned him an invitation to join the Biggest Lithuanian eSports organization “Gameplay DNA” and Vilnius, the Capital of Lithuania has reinforced its name as the Capital for all virtual trading card game players.
This year Vilnius still has 2 of the official events upcoming. On the 2nd and 3rd of September, another HCT playoffs will take their place with the Lithuanian capital confirmed as an official venue once more. It is going to be the only venue in the Baltics, so the organizers are expecting players coming from Latvia and Estonia as well to come and fight for their chance to win 100.000 Euros.
August will also have some events for the Hearthstone fans to watch out for – on 20th of August online qualification for the KSU Hearthstone Cup will be held with the finals taking place during the biggest gaming culture convention in the Baltic states called GameOn.
The partners of the competition and the event organizers are more than happy for this partnership and hope that eSports continue to grow as an industry in Lithuania.
“Video games and eSports culture in our country is still regarded as addiction and a lot of people look at it stereotypically, but it is an intellectual sport that requires not as much physical prowess but more skill and intellectual capabilities. This year in one of the United Kingdom universities have started study programs in the field of eSports, so we value our students incentives to create and organize tournaments while, at the same time, creating a community where professional players can exchange information, unite and socialize. This is a great way to break those stereotypes.”, said Kazimieras Simonavičius university chancellor Darius Verbyla.
“We are more than happy to have such a partner by our side as Kazimiero Simonaviciaus university. At the moment our country produces a lot of raw eSports talent, but we are struggling to get them to full potential. Lack of infrastructure means there are not enough professional casters, not to mention the lack of managers and coaches. The attention we get from the university is a really great thing that can help a lot”, added the GameOn coordinator this year Ridas Bušmanas.
KSU Hearthstone cup will have three stages with the online qualifiers starting as soon as August 19th. Players will also be able to grind their way into the final stage of the tournament during the Come & Play session on the first day at GameOn on 16th of September. The top 16 players will battle it out on the next day and will share more than 800 euros prize pool.