Get lost in 'Hearthstone'

Courtesy Blizzard Studios

Daija Marrow | Staff Writer

“Hearthstone” is the game to play with friends in your free time. Esports is gaining popularity in both the media and on ODU’s campus. It is competitive online gaming that is played either in teams or individually. There are a variety of games represented in the Esports community from “Street Fighter V” to “Overwatch.” It has become so revered among the public that channels such as ESPN and Disney XD have begun airing tournaments.

There is an Esports Club on campus that specializes in “League of Legends.” The group competes in tournaments that have thousands of dollars in scholarship prize money. Some of the top competitors reign from colleges around the world and have dedicated dozens of hours out of the week to adjusting their strategy and bettering their play style.

Carnegie Mellon University is currently the standing champions for the east division. Playing competitively for money is fun, but these examples are for the emotionally invested. There are many online competitive games that can be played in free time, five minutes before class starts.

“Hearthstone: World of Warcraft” is a competitive card game published by Blizzard that is fun to play in teams or alone. This is a turn based game that first revolves around the class type that is chosen. The classes range from warlock, druid, paladin, rogue, mage, warrior, hunter, shaman and priest. Each class has a different set of 30 cards and with this deck, a battle takes place against the opponent.

Players are able to create deck types over time as they play. The main purpose for deck types is to customize your way of play.

A couple examples of how players play is how priests can heal themselves and warlocks take two damage that allow them to draw a card. There are two types of playable cards: mutual cards, which apply to all classes, and then there are specific cards that are focused towards one class. The player can either have random decks or build their own deck of custom cards.

Since the game is digital only and free to play, there is a catch. Packs must be paid for. Packs provide the player with different types of cards, but the gift is random. Some of the cards can be good and on other occasions all may be bad.

“Hearthstone” has a university competition called TESPA Hearthstone Training grounds. This tournament is an annual event with a scholarship winning prize of $5,000 per player. There are 1,070 teams in North America that compete for the money. Twenty minutes before the game starts, each team puts together four decks. They then show all four decks to the opposing team and they choose which deck they wish to delete.

From there, each team has three decks to work with. One person controls the game and together, everyone decides which card to play and which strategic path would be best to take. The matches are the best three out of five until one group reigns victorious.

This game is easy to learn and borderline addicting. It is customizable in terms of play and has endless strategies. There is a plat style for all students and endless entertainment. Esports students on campus send out one simple warning for the fun soon to be faced, “Play at your own risk.”