By cherylchalla

Our very own Archon Xixo was given the opportunity to further his Hearthstone career in Korea, home to the most established eSports community in the world.

How did he get this opportunity? “I practiced with different Korean players over the last year,” Xixo explains, “so they spoke to OGN to get me invited for the Special match, where I competed with Orange, Kolento, and Leomane to face the top 4 of last season’s OGN masters.” Xixo, Orange, Kolento, and Leomane went on to win the Season 2 OGN Masters Special, taking home $12,000.

For Xixo, the opportunity to go to South Korea was a dream come true. “Over the past few years, I’ve mainly followed Korean eSports, like Starcraft and League of Legends,” says Xixo, “and so I’ve wanted to visit South Korea for a long time now.”

In order to extend his stay in South Korea, Xixo decided to play in the OGN Masters Season 3 qualifier. It was not going to be an easy road – the qualifier was a “Legend-only” qualifier, with over 400 participants. Xixo, however, did not let that stop him. Not only was he able to secure himself a spot in playing in the OGN Masters Season 3, but Xixo also found himself working with the Koo players, a Hearthstone team based in South Korea.

Xixo moved into the Koo house, practicing and preparing for Season 3 of the OGN Masters. The first half of the Round of 8 had just wrapped up this week, with Xixo advancing first out of his double elimination group. The second half of the Round of 8, as well as the semi-finals, will wrap up by the end of next week.

“The finals are in Busan on August 22nd,” Xixo shares excitedly. “Busan is a famous beach in Korea – want to see how eSports in Busan looks like?

“Like this:”

eSports in South Korea is on a whole other level, compared to either NA or EU. When asked if NA or EU would ever reach that point of popularity with eSports, Xixo answers, “In order to get there, it would be a good idea for eSports to get its own TV channels. Instead of having 50,000 viewers on Twitch, tournaments could get 500,000 viewers on TV. In Korea alone, the League of Legends World Finals had 4 million people watching.” Broadcasting on television would be an excellent way to reach out to a larger audience, exposing more people to the eSports community.

In addition, Xixo also found that Hearthstone players in South Korea also had a different approach to tournaments. “Players seem more willing to play their own decks,” says Xixo, “probably as a way to gain more fans.” What does that mean for Xixo? “We get to change our decks every round. I can analyze the inconsistencies their decks have and try to punish them. Since the format is Conquest, I have a lot more to gain than to lose off my opponent’s self-made decks. I’d say it gives me an advantage.”

We wish Archon Xixo all the best in the semi-finals (and hopefully finals!) of the Season 3 OGN Masters!

Follow Xixo on twitter.

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