2016 Hearthstone World Champion Pavel “Pavel” Beltyukov spoke about a trip to the most recent World Championship, shared his opinion about Artifact and the esports system in Hearthstone.
Beltukov was just 18 when he became a world champion in the world’s most played collectible card game. Since then, the Russian player won several top-level events and remains one of the biggest names in the game.
Unfavorable qualification system that involves grinding the ladder and attending as much Tour Stop events as possible, kept the young Russian from attending the World Championship this year. This, among other issues, Pavel “Pavel” Beltyukov discussed in an interview.
How did you like Taipei?
It is difficult to say, I haven’t seen much of it. I arrived on the 22nd. On the 23rd I spent most of the day in my room, because many people hadn’t arrived yet, and I don’t like walking alone. On the 24th we, together with other players, sat by the pool, swam a little, went to eat and went to bed. And after that, I just did not have free time.
Did you like the stage for the event?
Yes, the scene is very beautiful. I really like the way the light equipment is set up here and the fact that the picture on the scene changes depending on the situation in the game.
Hearthstone is a lonely discipline. After winning or losing you are left alone with your emotions. How do you deal with it?
I think everyone gets upset after the defeats, but with experience, you are much calmer towards it. I usually don’t share these emotions with anyone: experience helps, but how important a particular tournament is for you is also very influential.
If this is just another tournament for you, then you don’t get very upset, and if this is the World Cup, you had to win all the qualifications, then win another tournament or in the top 4, then it’s a shame to lose.
How do you like the esports system that you just mentioned?
Everything is fair because everyone who has shown good results in a ladder and at the tour stops has a chance to get to the championship. True, tour stops aren’t for me: there are too many of them, but I do not like long flights. Plus, the prize fund for them is too small, it is unprofitable to go to every single one of them.
Do you play something other than HS?
I played Auto Chess, and I really liked it, but lately it got a little boring. Before Hearthstone, I still played a lot of Warcraft. Recently, my friends and I returned to it and played several times.
Did you try to participate in Auto Chess tournaments?
No. Those people who are streaming are mostly invited there, but I haven’t streamed lately. I was called to a couple of tournaments, but for some reason, they were canceled.
Did you play Artifact?
Yes, I initially liked the game: it’s relatively difficult there — you need to think, it’s great. But since Artifact did not grow and lost its audience, I am not playing now. Plus it has already become a bit boring to me.
The biggest problem is that some players got access to Artifact much earlier than me. Someone has been playing since January 2018, and I managed to play only at the end of the summer.
Valve is now reworking Artifact to bring back the audience. If they succeed in something, is there a chance that you will go into this discipline?
It is very unlikely that I will go to Artifact. The only chance is that I will play Artifact alongside Hearthstone. If it works out and if they invite me to tournaments, of course.
You said that you got bored of Auto Chess and Artifact. And what is so special about HS? Why isn’t it boring?
Hearthstone is now my job. Of course, it used to be more interesting to play than it is now. But when new add-ons come out, I like to play.
Name the best and the worst parts of being a professional player.
I personally like the professional community, the Hearthstone community. And I just like to meet and communicate with people. And annoying… I did not like the previous system, where I had to play a lot of ladder. And I don’t like flights, but the only problem is that there are almost no direct flights from my city to the border.
How do you see Hearthstone evolve in five years?
I did not think about that. It would be nice to introduce a tournament mode, although in fairness it should be noted that for most it will not be interesting. Only for a small part of the players. And my future in HS depends on Blizzard’s plans.
What do you find interesting besides games? Hobbies, professions …
It is difficult to say with a profession: you must first try to understand whether you like it or not. As for hobbies, I like extreme sports, if you can call them that. Ride a motorcycle at high speed or ski down the mountain. I also like to get out into nature with friends.
You made your first name into your nickname. Why?
I just didn’t want to bother with it. And I like my name. Therefore, I decided to choose such a nickname. This was specifically for Hearthstone.
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