So, you’ve just seen how much Hearthstone players earn and you think to yourself, I want a s**t load of money too, and how hard can it be? I mean all I need to do is sink £200 to buy all the adventures, a c**p-ton of packs and viola, I net-deck and show up to tournaments and just get lucky ’till I get to BlizzCon, right? Wrong.
Let’s take a look at another sport, one easily comparable, Poker, it’s a card game (Captain Obvious reporting for duty), there’s a lot of luck, (Pocket Aces) but there’s still high-end professionals and low end s******s (like me). So why is there this divide?
For me it comes down to two reasons:
1) Understanding the game
I know how this sounds but bare with me, knowing the meta, knowing the match-ups, knowing which order your opponent plays his decks, and most importantly knowing how to play with RNG (no, I’m not talking about praying). I’m going to focus on the last point (the others are pretty self-explanatory). If we look at LifeCoach he’s notorious for taking maximum amount of time on a turn, the reason for this? He’s working out every possible combination that his opponent could pull out, and all the chances of his RNG working so he can make the best decision. TL:DR learn to play around luck, and give yourself the best chances of success.
So this is some intense maths coming up (not really). The general consensus (also the easiest mathematically), is that Hearthstone is 50% luck and 50% skill. So when two players go head to head and for arguments sake, one has 100% skill, whilst the other has 0% , then the better player will win 75% of the time (50% from skill, and 25% from luck) whilst the 0% guy (me) would win 25% of the games. These made up statistics are quiet scary, how can a guy with 0% skill beat the best in the world 25% of the time? Well, firstly the maths in this are at age nine level so everything has been simplified to the point where a chimp would understand it, and secondly this luck element adds some great tension to the tournaments. Upset victories happen all the time, and that keeps it interesting, I love the fact that some underdog could come in at the group stages and upset everything by knocking out a big player, without this I certainly wouldn’t watch it.
So there’s no denying there’s a lot of luck involved in Hearthstone, but there’s a reason these players are where they are, and why luck should still be an integral part of the game. So even though when I’m struggling to get past the Rank 8 Police, it’s actually skill that’s holding me back, and it’s definitely not the fact I’m facing 20 face shamans in a row who all seem to draw perfectly.
Stay salty comrades.