I just wanted to share my experiences at the 2019 HCT Championships in Taiwan. I think it’s important that people be made aware of the lack of organisation of the event for foreigners.
As you know, the event took place in Taipei, Taiwan. I bought my tickets (for Saturday and Sunday), booked my flight and hotel, and was BEYOND excited to go to the event. I play a lot of Hearthstone and was eager to go learn and play with other avid players.
Much to my dismay, ALL the screens at the venue were in Chinese. In that, I mean that the game was in Chinese only, not a single screen was in English. The hosts were also Chinese (which I expected since the event was in Taiwan), however I did not expect that there was NO WAY of listening to the English broadcast. Kibler and Frodan were sitting on a stage and were completely drowned out by the blaring Chinese broadcast, there was no section to listen in English and there were no headsets available to listen to it either. There was no wifi to connect to Twitch (and being a foreigner, I did not have a data plan in Taiwan although hind-sight I should have bought one).
The next problem was the event to play the brawl for packs. There was a section where the audience could play against each other. For every win, they got a stamp on a card. For every 12 wins, they would win 40 free packs. Now the problem was, that if you did not have an account on the Asia server, you couldn’t play. Had I known that this event existed, I would have played the Asia server enough to open up the brawl so that I could participate.
Next was the art exhibit all being in Chinese as well. There were large portraits of a lot of the Hearthstone characters (Jaina, Deathwing, etc…) with what I image is the story behind the characters. All of the information was in Chinese only. Now we’re talking about pieces of paper/cardboard with printed text. What would it have cost to print it in English as well? 50 cents? To further add insult to injury, there was a raffle for these portraits and guess what? The entry tickets were all in Chinese so I had no idea what they were and did not enter the raffle. I only figured it out when I saw people in the audience holding the portraits.
Luckily the grand masters flew in for Sunday and there was a section that was set up in English that we could listen to. The audio had many problems and was really low compared to the Chinese broadcasters but at least we had 1 screen (42 inch TV) in English and if we sat right next to the speakers we could hear.
The funny part in all of this, is that I was approached by broadcasting crew to interview me for the event. I did not do it since I knew that if I shared my experiences about the event it would not be broadcast, and if I didn’t shared them, then I would be lying to the viewers by giving the impression that everything was fantastic.
All in all, this was a very bad experience. I highly recommend that no one ever go to a Blizzard event if it is not in a language that you understand. It was a giant waste of my time (multiple days to travel and watch the event) and money (we’re talking hundreds of dollars), and a regrettable experience. This was my first and probably my last Esport event ever.
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