The Hearthstone Singapore Major is happening this weekend. This is a first-of-its-kind 256-player offline tournament featuring over 60 overseas players flying in from all over the Asia-Pacific region.

Today is Day 3 of the tournament. We’re now down to the final 16 players, so if you’re familiar with Hearthstone, go grab some popcorn, make yourself comfortable, and join us as we watch the best of the best in the region square off.

If you’re not an existing Hearthstone player, well, there’s no better time to start than now. A new “Standard” mode of play is launching in Hearthstone near the end of the month, alongside its latest expansion, Whispers of the Old Gods.

And all existing players who log into the game during the new expansion’s launch period will receive a Legendary card (C’Thun) and three card packs for free.

This is the first time Blizzard has given away free packs (and a Legendary card) from a new expansion. It could be the only time — so make sure to create an account before April 26, the expansion’s tentative launch date, to cash in on the giveaway.

Here’s the stream schedule:

hearthstone schedule

How to play along

For me, the biggest draw of watching Hearthstone tournaments — on top of watching the best and brightest in the community duke it out, of course — is being able to play along.

As each player on stream starts his turn, try and predict which cards he is going to put out this turn.

If things get too hectic to follow, you can also try covering up one player’s hand (the player on top) and focus on predicting card plays from the other player, like so:

hs1

If you do this, make sure to leave a little gap so you can see how many cards are remaining in the player’s hand.

Either way, by watching the stream you’ll be able to practice and improve your card-playing skills by comparing the plays you have in mind to those of the actual players on-screen. Do you tend to make the same plays as them?

If the play you have in mind is different, why do you think the guy on stream has played his cards this way? Is he trying to bait his opponent into making a mistake? Or maybe he’s playing around a potential area-of-effect removal next turn.

The commentators’ analysis helps a lot with figuring out what the players are trying to do, too.

hearthstone

In the event you think that your play is better than the guy on stream, you can also usually verify that by peeking at the other player’s cards to see if they have an answer to your move.

There are a limited number of removals and threats in each Hearthstone deck, so high-level play usually revolves around providing answers to your opponent’s moves, while holding on to your most valuable cards (removals and big threats) for as long as you can.

So I’ve found this way of watching Hearthstone tournament streams to be incredibly beneficial for improving one’s skills in the game. Maybe you will, too.

 

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