Liooon became the first-ever woman to win the Hearthstone Grandmasters Global Finals. This is her journey to the top.

Esports.gg and Frodan are collaborating to reveal the Top 8 Most Influential Hearthstone players of all time!! We will be revealing a new player every day in the run-up until Christmas. Our second entry in our top 8 is Xiaomeng “VKLiooon” Li, whose impact on the competitive scene is undeniable.

Top 8 Most Influential Players of All Time

  • #8 – TrumpSC
  • #7 – VKLIooon
  • #6 – Reynad
  • #5 – TBA 19th December
  • #4 – TBA 20th December
  • #3 – TBA 21st December
  • #2 – TBA 22nd December
  • #1 – TBA 23rd December

The story of Liooon’s short but impactful career

In 2019, Xiaomeng “Liooon” Li took home the gold in the Hearthstone Grandmasters Global Finals. This victory made history, as she became the first-ever woman championship winner of Hearthstone esports. 

After becoming the champion of the major esports event, Liooon thanked the players who had practiced the game with her. She also thanked the individuals who supported her by watching her play, even though they didn’t play Hearthstone themselves. 

On the stage of the Anaheim Convention Center, Liooon shared her story with the audience. She recalled that in 2017, she was competing in a huge tournament. She was waiting in line to sign up, and someone told her that she didn’t belong in the line and that the competition wasn’t for her because she’s a girl. 

“And now, today, I’m here with all the support from the fans,” Liooon said. 

Hearthstone Liooon Grandmasters Global Finals VkLiooon
Liooon winning the 2019 Hearthstone Grandmasters Global Finals. Image via Blizzard Entertainment.

The Anaheim Convention Center crowd and her fellow Hearthstone competitors cheered and applauded her. Liooon then continued with a message for girls who are into esports. 

“So I want to say to all the girls out there who have a dream for esports, for competition, for glory—if you want to do it, and you believe in yourself, you should just forget your gender and go for it,” she said.

“So I want to say to all the girls out there who have a dream for esports, for competition, for glory—if you want to do it, and you believe in yourself, you should just forget your gender and go for it.”

Liooon after winning the Hearthstone GrandMaster Global Finals

Liooon thanked her fans again, emphasizing how much she appreciated their support. The location of her supporters didn’t matter. Whether they were in the live audience or watching the tournament online, they meant a lot to her. 

“And I also want to thank all the hard-working people who made this happen, Liooon added. “It’s an epic show.”

Hearthstone Liooon Grandmasters Global Finals VkLiooon BlizzCon
The Anaheim Convention Center audience. Image via Blizzard Entertainment.

Journey to the Hearthstone Grandmasters Global Finals

Prior to playing on the BlizzCon stage, Liooon participated in the Chinese Hearthstone community. She had high placements in 2019, was a consistent player and she only needed a few days to become well-versed in the meta of different decks. She also did casting, streaming and content creation. 

The 2019 Hearthstone Grandmasters Global Finals happened at BlizzCon, where players across the global region duked it out against each other for the win. Six players ranging from America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region earned a place on that stage. 

Meanwhile, two players from China climbed their way to the top against an open pool of 1,024 players and a pool of 64 veteran competitors. Liooon was one of the two players who obtained a well-deserved spot. 

At the 2019 Hearthstone Grandmasters Global Finals, the top players of the world first competed in dual tournament groups under the Shield-Phase Conquest format. This format involved four players of each group being split into pairs. The winners of the initial matches advanced to the next bracket. 

Then, they duked it out in a single elimination bracket. The players who had the best score out of three games moved forward. When it came down to the semifinals and finals, the players dueled in best-of-five matches. A trophy, $500,000 and the Hearthstone World Champion title were on the line. 

How Liooon reached the top

During the Group B initial matches, Liooon brought Malygos Quest Druid, Combo Priest, Highlander Hunter and Evolve Shaman into the fray. After she defeated her opponent and advanced to the next stage, she earned another match victory. The battle involved an Evolve Shaman mirror match and Liooon using her Hunter deck to take down her opponent’s Priest one.

In the semifinal, Liooon drew into her Priest deck’s combo pieces and played Divine Spirit and Inner Fire to overwhelm her opponent. She won another game when her Ragnaros went face for exact lethal. As for the match point, Liooon played against Control Warrior and won using her Malygos Druid, which involved Swipe and several Moonfire spells.

Liooon then went on to win the final. She achieved victory in the first game with the help of Evolve and Soul of the Murloc. Liooon created a threatening board that her opponent’s Quest Druid was unable to answer. 

The next battle went into the late game, and although her opponent created pressure on the board, it wasn’t enough as Liooon claimed a Malygos Druid victory against Quest Shaman. With the aid of Highlander Hunter, Liooon won her third game. She played on curve and put pressure on the board to eventually take out her opponent’s Quest Druid.

Hearthstone Liooon Grandmasters Global Finals VkLiooon
Liooon at the 2019 Hearthstone Grandmasters Global Finals. Image via Blizzard Entertainment.

According to a post, Liooon has retired from Hearthstone esports. However, her impact continues to be immeasurable, making her place in the top 8 Most Influential Hearthstone Players of All Time incredibly well deserved.

Amy Chen -

Amy Chen

| Twitter: @AmyChenOfficial

Amy Chen is an esports journalist and enthusiast who specializes in in-depth interviews and breaking news. A University of Toronto and Humber College graduate, she is passionate about building up the Canadian esports industry. Her current favorite games are Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, and she has always had a soft spot for World of Warcraft!