The epic finals of the world's biggest collegiate Hearthstone tournament takes the stage at PAX South 2016!

Since its inception in 2014, Blizzard’s online card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has become a quintessential college pastime. Last Fall, we invited college students from across North America to compete in the Collegiate Hearthstone Championship, our first Tespa collegiate league featuring an exciting new 3v3 tournament format.


In the weeks following the announcement, over 3,000 players from 410 different schools teamed up with their fellow students, roommates, and friends to battle against neighboring colleges from around their region for a spot in the regional playoffs. After four epic regional finals, the victorious teams from Ohio State University, Université Laval, UC Santa Barbara, and the University of Texas, Arlington emerged from the fray with a ticket to the live finals on the Twitch stage at PAX South 2016.


Originally known as Penny Arcade Expo, PAX South is the newest addition to a legendary series of massive-scale gaming festivals held in Seattle, Boston, Melbourne, and this year, San Antonio.


Surrounded by 500,000 square feet of gaming exhibits, panels, and PAX attendees, the Twitch booth towered above the entrance to the main convention floor - a fitting stage for the monstrous matches soon to follow.


Representing the North and South regions, respectively, the Ohio State University and UT Arlington teams took the stage for the first semifinals match.

Though UT Arlington managed to tie up the series 1-1 early on with a strong Druid vs. Druid outplay, Ohio State University’s mastery of all three of their selected decks gave them the momentum to defeat Ohio 3-1 and advance to the grand finals.


Representing the East Coast, Canada’s Université Laval stepped to the plate for their semifinals match against the West Coast’s UC Santa Barbara, boasting the highest win percentage of the four finalist teams.

The East and West champions played an incredibly close set, bringing the semifinals to the very last game. Ultimately, UC Santa Barbara’s impeccable Warlock play was able to strangle out the Université Laval in the control game to take the final match, ending the series 3-2 and advancing UC Santa Barbara to the grand finals against Ohio State University.


As the PAX South crowd gathered around the Twitch stage, the two finalist teams huddled in preparation for the final match: a best-of-five championship round for fame and fortune.

As Ohio State University’s mage hurled the final fireblast to UC Santa Barbara’s face to end the series with a narrow 3-2 victory, the players breathed a collective sigh of relief as their raised their arms in victory. “Well played!”

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The trio of Ohio State University Freshman had begun their Collegiate Hearthstone Championship story as the underdogs, boasting the lowest win percentage of all four teams, but emerged from the competition with a hefty $12,000 in scholarship money and the well-earned collective title of “Best Collegiate Hearthstone Players” in North America.

Watch the official replays, browse our favorite news articles, and learn more about next year’s competition and more Tespa collegiate tournaments below.