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PenguinSan dominates the $100,000 Battlegrounds Lobby Legends Winter Vail event cover image

PenguinSan dominates the $100,000 Battlegrounds Lobby Legends Winter Vail event

#News

APAC proves once more the region is built differently and takes home the last Battlegrounds Lobby Legends tournament for 2022.

Battlegrounds Christmas came early with the final Winter Vail Lobby Legends event. The ninth edition of the Lobby Legends circuit had a $100,000 prize pool, double what its predecessors had.
If you missed the action last night, join us in this Esports.gg recap for Battlegrounds Lobby Legends' final event in 2022.
The players - Image via Hearthstone Esports
The players - Image via Hearthstone Esports

Battlegrounds Lobby Legends - Winter Vail: Semifinals

The action started earlier than expected for the western world. This Battlegrounds Lobby Legends tournament was virtually based in Korea. The ever-lasting rivalry between gamers and time zones had yet another battle.
This time it wasn't Zorg who misread the schedule and almost got eliminated from the tournament. It was ixxdeee who learned a valuable lesson, fortunately, in time.
Going to the actual Battlegrounds Lobby Legends action, Day 1 of the event saw the two semifinals. The 16 players, 12 coming from the LL Qualifiers and 4 from China, had to accumulate points to secure a Top 4 position to get to the finals.
Once again, Chinese and Asia-Pacific players dominated the field. Out of the eight finalists, only Zorgo and Maks7k were not from those regions.
Lobby A Semifinals results – Image via Blizzard<br>
Lobby A Semifinals results – Image via Blizzard
Lobby B Semifinals results – Image via Blizzard<br>
Lobby B Semifinals results – Image via Blizzard
There were two clear favorites, or at least for the fans. On one side Zorg, backed by his faithful community. On the other, PenguinSan, who had made 26 Top 4s in 41 Lobby Legends games before this Battlegrounds tournament.
Tavern Buddy Twitch extension Fantasy Team minigame - Image via Blizzard
Tavern Buddy Twitch extension Fantasy Team minigame - Image via Blizzard

PenguinSan for the win

PenguinSan started full throttle in the final Top 8 on Day 2. Remember that Battelgrounds Lobby Legends finals run under the Check format in which players need to get to 20 points and then win a lobby to win the whole event.
Under this premise, PenguinSan stormed the first three games, scoring an impressive amount of 18.5 points in them. In game 4, he just needed to avoid the bottom 2 places to take a shot at winning the Battlegrounds Lobby Legends Winter Vail event.
Final lobby in check by PenguinSan followed by Zanyang and Sara - Image via Blizzard
Final lobby in check by PenguinSan followed by Zanyang and Sara - Image via Blizzard
As you could imagine, that first step was easy. However, winning a game under pressure isn't that easy. In his first attempt to secure the tournament, PenguinSan lost early on with Togwaggle. This allowed Sara and Zangyang, to put the lobby in check too. Stakes were higher than ever.

Check Mate

In game 6, when many players leaned towards Elementals, PenguinSan was able to assemble a Murloc composition after discovering a Brann on Turn 9 with Fungalmancer Flurgl. Everything seemed to indicate that PenguinSan would take to Japan the last Battlegrounds Lobby Legends crown.
In the final battle, in which Sara tried to turn things in his favor with divine shields and some poison murlocs, PenguinSan correctly teched a Voidlord and took the W. With that win, he became Battlegrounds Lobby Legends: Winter Vail champion, taking $20,000 in prizes.
PenguinSan crowning moment - Image via Blizzard
PenguinSan crowning moment - Image via Blizzard
Final standings for Lobby Legends Winter Vail - Image via Blizzard
Final standings for Lobby Legends Winter Vail - Image via Blizzard

2022 Battlegrounds Lobby Legends Review

With this final Lobby Legends event for 2022, I wanted to review some of the highlights this circuit had. This was the first year for competitive Battlegrounds. The auto-battler esports ecosystem had $500,000 in prizes, and, what's more important, it brought the community together.
Unlike Standard competitions, Battlegrounds Lobby Legends players were allowed to stream their PoV. This created a higher engagement with the audience. On top of that, there were many community co-streams that even covered the non-broadcasted portions of the circuit.
If you add that the broadcasts were not limited just to YouTube, you will find why these events broke Hearthstone's viewership downfall.
Last but not least, Hearthstone Esports' decision to bring invited casters to almost every major tournament during 2022 (to both BGs and Constructed events) was simply a success. While now we see the community praising PockyPlays, many other talents proved to be both experts in the game and excellent entertainers.
We are still waiting for news about Battlegrounds Lobby Legends in 2023, but I would consider 2022 a success for the game mode. Stay tuned to Esports.gg for more Hearthstone news and updates. See you next time, in Bob's Tavern.
Manuel "Rane" Delgado
Manuel "Rane" Delgado
Editor | Twitter @RaneTDF
Manuel “Rane” Delgado is an experienced Hearthstone caster, content creator, and tournament organizer from Argentina. He started his career on Esports casting his own tournaments, now he currently casts the Hearthstone Esports circuit for the LATAM region, among other content creation and tournament organization.