Competitive Hearthstone player moves to Gwent, cites imbalance for the switch

More CCG competitors are on the way for Blizzard

Former professional poker player Adrian “Lifecoach” Koy has retired from Hearthstone after a very successful run (roughly $134k in winnings). While that may not be big news for a lot of you out there, the implications might not bode well for the future of the game, at least on the competitive side. Following his exit, many players are already chiming in that they aren’t happy either.

The core reason he’s leaving the game is because of balance, and Blizzard’s philosophy on the pro scene. Koy says he’s “fed up” with how Blizzard is handling the situation, specifically how it nerfs new combos, allowing only a few viable decks, and doesn’t listen to its pro playerbase. This is in stark contrast to Blizzard’s other recent competitive games like Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch, which famously take suggestions from eSports players and implement them.

To break the situation down further, Koy wants there to be more viable combo decks (that require meticulous planning), and even less random elements (RNG) than the ones that are already inherent to a collectible card game. In the meantime he’s moving to Gwent, which he states is already moving in a positive direction as a result of direct input from fans.

While this could be a flash in the pan for Hearthstone given how big Blizzard is, I have noticed how uncharacteristically stalwart they are compared to other teams within the same organization. I adore the casual scene (specifically the wonderful adventure expansions), but I can see where the pro players are coming from. It’s a bold move Cotton, let’s see if it pays off.

Thanks Jeff!

Chris Carter
Reviews Director, Co-EIC - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff!