We spoke with North American player Fr0zen following his 4-3 victory over China's XHope. With the win, he advances to the quarterfinals as one of the final eight players left in the tournament. The top four will advance to the World Championships taking place prior to next year's rotation.
Fr0zen was quick to credit his practice partners, particularly Muzzy. "It really, really helps you calm down during a match if you know their game plan going into every single match," he says, "I really want to thank Muzzy, TheRat, Apxvoid, and Amnesiac for all the support they gave me."
One of the few players not to bring Pirate Warrior, Fr0zen believes he makes it hard on other players when it comes to banning. There's no obvious selection going into each series as a result which he believes gives him a slight advantage. But that's not the only reason he's not running Pirate Warrior. Fr0zen says he was roughly aware of what pool of players he could be matched up against and was positive b787 and another player from China would bring decks that target the archetype.
"I decided that it was too big of a risk to bring Pirate Warrior and going to an anti-Pirate Warrior really worked out for me."
The only player still in the tournament that brought what most would consider a "non-Standard" deck in Aviana Kun Combo Druid, he's quick to defend the fact that Dragon Priest was his Pirate Warrior replacement and not the Druid.
"I really like that there are times where you have to break up the combo and use it for tempo. . .there are a lot of options on a lot of turns," he says.
The Team Luminosity player has had a few struggles with Miracle Rogue thus far with a 2-5 record and losing a game against Freeze Mage despite having a Turn 1 10/10 Edwin VanCleef. Poor draws will always be a risk and Fr0zen admits his play with the deck on Day 1 "wasn't as crisp," but he thinks the deck as a whole will perform better as the tournament goes on.
"These last few rounds have actually been pretty rough for Rogue," he tells us, "the next few opponents have Priest and Druid, very likely, and Rogue is very good [against those]."
Fr0zen wasn't very happy with his performance yesterday and he says his preparation was a big deal when it came to fighting that off this time around. He doesn't have much time before the Quarterfinals begins and Fr0zen acknowledges that Neirea, as an experienced player, is unlikely to have issues with the big stage.
As a result, he's going to have to somewhat improvise this time around. He plans on utilizing the full 70 seconds he has each turn and using it to formulate a plan going forward so that when he gets nervous, he has something to help him maintain his composure.
Regardless, he's glad he has his parents here to encourage him.
"At first they didn't really support me, but as time went on they became more and more supportive as my results began to show. They really wanted me to do the traditional Asian - go to school, go to work, thing," he says with a laugh, "but later on they decided that they wanted me to do what I wanted to do which is play Hearthstone competitively."
Fr0zen plays again later today against Neirea, the victor will move on to the semifinals and earn a seed in this year's Hearthstone World Championship.