After 7 weeks of grueling card slinging, the final eight teams have emerged among over 600 teams across North America. Teams had to make it through a 6 round swiss phase with a 4-2 or higher record. They then competed in a single elimination regional bracket until 2 were left in each region. Over $50,000 in scholarship money and school pride are up for grabs in the Fall 2016 Hearthstone Training Grounds!

Teams will be playing in the regional finals this on Saturday, November 19th, starting at 12pm PST on the PlayHearthstone Channel. The champion of each region will then advance to the Live Finals at PAX South in January to crown the best collegiate team in North America.

Here is a little bit about the contenders for this year’s regional finals. Find out about each team and how they got to the finals.

Collegiate Hearthstone North

University of Waterloo (Tempo Kobolds)

Playoff Decks: Tempo Mage, Murloc Paladin, Malygos Rogue, Midrange Shaman

Q: How did your team come together?
A: Divine Intervention.

Q: What is your least favorite card?
A: Yogg-Saron. While it is responsible for some memorable moment (and our closest wins in the tournament), the RNG factor is way too high.

University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign (Waasabi)

Playoff Decks: Tempo Mage, C'thun Warrior, Malygos Druid, Midrange Shaman

Q: How did your team come together?
A: The three of us lived in the dorms together last year, so when we heard about a Hearthstone tournament, we knew who to call!

Q: What was your team's biggest challenge?
A: Just playing the game. We're all good players in our own rights, but none of us have ever hit legend (and we're constantly playing against legend card backs in this tournament). I think great teamwork and communication has helped us overcome this issue, as every player's input has been necessary to navigate each turn of the tournament.

Collegiate Hearthstone South

University of North Texas (UNT Eagles)

Playoff Decks: Tempo Mage, C'thun Warrior, Midrange Hunter, Midrange Shaman

Q: How did your team come together?
A: All four UNT teams in the tournament (3 of which made playoffs) are associated with our school’s Tespa Chapter. We held tryouts and based teams off of tournament placing from Fireside events we held through the chapter over the course of this year.

Q: What is your favorite memory from this tournament?
A: While we didn't win the game, our wildest moment came playing Control Warrior. Post Golden Monkey, we were in a top deck or die scenario. Tanmandeets who was sitting behind us said "We need a Deathwing or we lose." We proceed to draw and play a Deathwing. After they had dealt with the Deathwing and started applying pressure again we heard "We need a Reno or we’re done." We proceed to draw a Reno Jackson and collectively lose our minds.

University of Alabama - Birmingham (Blazers)

Playoff Decks: Control Warrior, Midrange Hunter, Malygos Yogg Druid, Midrange Shaman

Q: How did your team come together?
A: We came together last year, we had a couple of classes together and met there.

Q: What is your favorite memory from this tournament?
A: We got 0-3'd by Chessdude123's team (in Swiss stages) and then we 3-0'd them back in the Playoffs.

Collegiate Hearthstone East

University of Rochester (Yoggonomics)

Playoff Decks: Malygos Rogue, Dragon Warrior, Discolock, Midrange Shaman

Q: What were your expectations coming into this tournament?
A: We wanted to have some fun playing games, and enjoy a more competitive format than ladder. We're pleasantly surprised to have come this far.

Q: What is your favorite memory from this tournament?
A: Opponent used post-nerf Yogg-Saron on an empty board and it Pyroblasted itself as the first spell. Esports.

Lehigh University (Mountainhawks)

Playoff Decks: Tempo Mage, Midrange Hunter, Malygos Druid, Midrange Shaman

Q: How did your team come together?
A: We just wanted to have fun, and experience playing competitive Hearthstone. None of us have ever played in a tournament before, so this has been a great experience for us.

Q: What is your favorite memory from this tournament?
A: For the playoffs, we spent all afternoon in one of our member's dorms. We got together and projected the game and played from there. Spending an entire afternoon (8+ hours) just playing Hearthstone was exhausting, but we had fun doing it.

Collegiate Hearthstone West

California State University - Fullerton (Titan Kings)

Playoff Decks: Midrange Hunter, C'thun Warrior, Discolock, Midrange Shaman

Q: How did your team come together?
A: We were thrown together from our Esports club. We did not know each other beforehand.

Q: What is your least favorite card?
A: Totem Golem because the 4 health makes it difficult to deal with.

University of California - Santa Cruz (Benji’s Penguins)

Playoff Decks: Murloc Paladin, C'thun Warrior, Malygos Druid, Midrange Shaman

Q: What was the closest match your team had in the tournament?
A: Our closest match was us playing Malygos Druid against a Control Warrior. We misplayed thinking we had lethal, but still barely won since our Ragnaros hit face twice.

Q: What is your least favorite card?
A: Hex. It is a very difficult card to play around and Shamans always seem to have it.

Catch the regional finals on Saturday, November 19th, starting at 12pm PST on the PlayHearthstone Twitch Channel!