On Friday, December 21, the Grand Finals of The Hearthstone Showdown, part of the World Showdown of Esports, commenced in Manhattan Beach, marking the first CCG contest in a WSEOE event. Sixteen of the top female Hearthstone competitors battled one another in an all-woman tournament that featured over $30,000 in cash prizes. Jia Aquino “Jia” Dee defeated Cora “Songbird” Georgiou in a 3-2 victory during the 1v1 competition. Jia won a cash prize of $15,000, the largest individual prize awarded in WSOE history. 

So how did all this go down? During the first game, Jia deployed her Druid deck against Songbird’s Paladin deck. Jia won Game 1, but this was only the beginning. Reacting to the defeat, Songbird switched to a Mage deck in Game 2. This proved the right move, because Jia’s Druid and Paladin deck were no match against Songbird’s Mage deck. 

By Game 4, Jia knew she had to change strategies. Being defeated twice in a row is hard to come back from. But she pulled off a victory with finesse, even though she encountered several unfortunate draws with her newly equipped Rogue deck. Still, she managed to win Game 4 by trouncing Songbird’s Zilliax play. Jia had found her rhythm, because Game 5 consisted in no shift in decks from Jia. Songbird went with a Hunter deck. Sticking with her Rogue deck, Jia won Game 5, making the young Filipina a Hearthstone champion. 

Songbird did not go home empty handed, though. She was awarded $6,000 as the runner-up. It was exciting to watch both these skilled competitors go head to head, and both deserve praise for their amazing performances. WSOE 2 has paved the way for more riveting Hearthstone events in the future, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for competitive CCGs.