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GosuGamers Awards 2014: Hearthstone winners

Welcome to the first ever GosuGamers Awards for Hearthstone: Heroes of WarCraft. This year, we honor the best players, teams, tournaments, personalities and stories in thirteen categories as we reminisce about all the events of 2014.

You will notice that each category has two winners. One is determined by the community vote poll, which were open between December 14th and now. The other award is handed out by the GosuAwards committee responsible for putting together the nominations. Each of the six committee members independently rated every nominee for each category and to determine the winner of the GosuCrew award. You can read said nominations article here.

Now, on to the awards
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
GosuGamers'
Player of the Year Award
Kolento
A deckbuilding master. A practice machine. A champion and innovator.

Just a few things that Hearthstone fans will use to describe Aleksandr "Kolento" Malsh. The Cloud 9 member has been the sharpest spearhead of his team, breaking out on the competitive scene during the first M-House Cup (then as a member of Managrind) and moved on to win two of the most highly esteemed tournaments in Hearthstone: DreamHack Winter and Viagame HouseCup. Despite his waning results in the last weeks of 2014, the force with which Kolento dominated in his prime easily win him the title of "Player of the Year".
Runner-up
 
StrifeCro
 
...for being the most consistent North American player, from the early days till now.
Community Choice Awards
Kolento
(54%)
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INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR
GosuGamers'
Innovator of the Year Award
Kolento
One does not become the king of constructed play without having the spirit of the innovator in him. In this category, Kolento takes his second GosuAward, voted by crew and community members alike.

Kolento is mostly known for perfecting archetypes and establishing them as kings of the meta. He's mostly credited as the reinventor of the miracle Rogue but his touch can be felt in other decks like midrange Hunter, aggressive Druid, Handlock and Paladin.
Runner-up
 
StrifeCro
 
...for teaching us how to build and play Druid.
Community Choice Awards
Kolento
(43%)
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BEST TEAM
GosuGamers'
Best Team Award
Cloud 9
Cloud 9 walk away with the "Best Team" award without any real competition. Even with their formation, blue shirts were miles ahead of their rivals in terms of individual talent, having signed Kolento, StrifeCro (winners and runner-ups of the former two categories) and also Ekop, Gnimsh and Hafu. What sealed the deal was acquiring TidesofTime from Tempo Storm, locking down the most powerful roster in Hearthstone in 2014.
Runner-up
 
Tempo Storm
 
...for discovering and nurturing the talents of TidesofTime and Gaara.
Community Choice Awards
Cloud 9
(60%)
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RIVALRY OF THE YEAR
GosuGamers'
Rivalry of the Year Award
Krip vs Arena Mages
It's usually the case in traditional eSports that "Rivalry of the Year" is won by two teams or players with a vast tournament history between them. For this year's Hearthstone, it's a bit different.

Being one of the most prolific arena players, Kripparrian's adventures are well documented. A huge part of that is his struggles against Mages. "It's an undending battle between the veteran streamer and the barrage of Fireballs and Flamestrikes" we wrote in our nominations article and it's a sentence that so perfectly describes this brilliant ongoing rivalry.
Runner-up
 
Reynad vs RNG
 
...because even one-sided rivalries can bring enjoyment.
Community Choice Awards
Reynad vs RNG
(41%)
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TRANSFER COUP OF THE YEAR
GosuGamers'
Transfer Coup Award
TidesofTime to C9
Hearthstone is a young eSport so witnessing big roster shifts and jumps is rare. Before TidesofTime's case, they were actually nonexistent, since no player or team had build their names to such an extent so that a transfer coup can cause excitement.

For Cloud 9, acquiring TidesofTime from Tempo Storm was the move that cemented them as the number one team in the world, winning the race against Reynad's team. If the WEC champion was still with his old home, the "Best Team" category could've been more neck-and-neck.
Runner-up
 
Firebat to Archon
 
...for becoming a founding member who'd become world champion a month later.
Community Choice Awards
Firebat to Archon
(35%)
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MOST MEMORABLE EVENT
GosuGamers'
Most Memorable Event Award
BlizzCon Worlds
The "Road to BlizzCon" has been the most thrilling experience in competitive Hearthstone. The journey started all the way back in April and spanned over several ladder seasons, tense swiss action and dramatic offline qualifiers. Everything was building towards the grand final finish in November and there's no surprise that the crown tournament of the game is voted as the most memorable one for 2014.

It wasn't Firebat's run that made it unforgetable. We had StrifeCro and Kolento clashing in the group of death; TiddlerCelestial proving China is not as weak as the West thinks; and Kaor writing his Cinderella story, competing to open a bookstore for his girlfriend.
Runner-up
 
Viagame HouseCup
 
...for introducing one of the best pick-ban formats in competitive HS.
Community Choice Awards
BlizzCon Worlds
(49%)
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STORY OF THE YEAR
GosuGamers'
Story of the Year Award
Firebat's run
How does one become a world champion?

For Firebat, this was a matter of utmost dedication. The Archon player was more or less in the shadows before BlizzCon, rarely seen in online invitationals and lacking any success on the stage. Though that only motivated him more. Practicing during work and filling enormous spreadsheets with data in order to find algorithms for each match-up and mulligan phase, Firebat's level of practice was unparallelled. A world championship title is most fitting award for his efforts.
Runner-up
 
The boom of Hearthstone
 
...for starting as a casual card game and growing to a top 3 Twitch game.
Community Choice Awards
Firebat's run
(25%)
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BEST CASTER
GosuGamers'
Best Caster Award
Frodan
Frodan is often dubbed the hardest working man in Hearthstone and that's likely true. Following the bankruptcy of ESGN, Frodan had to pursue every casting gig he could get and today, he can be seen casting every major event in the game. His accumulated knowledge with scary speed, becoming more and more insightful after every tournament. All this he built on top of his already polished camera presence during his times as StarCraft 2 commentator and it's no surprise that today he's far and away the most professional and educated caster in all of Hearthstone.
Runner-up
 
ThatsAdmirable
 
...for his vast in-game knowledge and beloved catch phrases.
Community Choice Awards
Frodan
(45%)
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MOST EDUCATIONAL STREAM
GosuGamers'
Most Educational Stream Award
Trump
Watching streams has long been a useful tool to learn and possibly master a game. That's even more true for Hearthstone and the popular streams are often the "teachers" who introduce and tutor card game enthusiats into Blizzard's TCG. In 2014, one particular streamer shined the brightest in that regard - Trump.

The former SC2 player has tons to offer to his viewers. From arena drafting tips, to basic deckbuilding, to combat math, to planning ahead, Trump's name is a synonym of mastering the fundamentals of Hearthstone.
Runner-up
 
Lifecoach
 
...for burning all the rope in the world only to explain every single outcome.
Community Choice Awards
Trump
(47%)
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META KING OF THE YEAR
GosuGamers'
Meta King Award
Naxx Trinity
Curse of Naxxramas shook the Hearthstone meta like nothing before it and a large part of that are Undertaker, Sludge Belcher and Loatheb, three of the most used and hated cards in the current game. The first became the foundation of every aggressive deck and reinforced Zoo and Hunter to new levels. The second is the go-to minion for control decks, its presence so powerful that it singlehandedly revived Paladins and Priest back into the meta. And Loatheb... well, he's everywhere.
Runner-up
 
Leeroy Jenkins
 
...for making players fear for their lives consntantly, even when at upwards of 20 life.
Community Choice Awards
Naxx Trinity
(31%)
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DRAMA OF THE YEAR
GosuGamers'
Drama of the Year Award
Hi, mom!
When an eSport is in its infancy, every controversy sticks out and makes the headlines. For Hearthstone in 2014, it happened during DreamHack Summer where in a game against Amaz, eventual champion Rdu was messaged by his friends about Amaz's hand and typing "Hi, mom" for all thousands of viewers to see. The phrase became the banner of the first ever cheating controversy in Hearthstone and it set Rdu on to a long and hard road to redemption.
Runner-up
 
BlizzCon regional exclusion
 
...for leaving some of the best players out of the world championship campaign.
Community Choice Awards
Hi, mom!
(51%)
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GOSUGAMERS SPECIAL AWARD FOR ESPORT CONTRIBUTION
GosuGamers'
Special Award
DreamHack
DreamHack's positive influence over the eSports scene is undeniable. Since 2010, the brand has been growing bigger and better, introducing new games and improving their production every step of the way. That is why when reports spoke of Hearthstone going to DreamHack, the hyped could be literally felt in the air. Between the first Bucharest event and the closing in Sweden in November, DreamHack had become the grandest offline stage for Hearthstone.

This is not to say that all credit should go to DreamHack as many events were actually initiated by other parties and there isn't still an official DH circuit for Hearthstone. Regardless, the hospitality of the DreamHack stage cannot be overlooked, especially when so many memorable matches were played on DH soil.
GOSUGAMERS SPECIAL AWARD FOR GENERAL CONTRIBUTION
GosuGamers'
Special Award
Trolden
It's GosuAwards tradition that each year an award is reserved for content creators and community contributors. As far as general Hearthstone content goes, there's none more deserving than Trolden.

Known for his "Funny and Lucky Moments" series, the famed YouTuber is responsible for putting a smile on Hearthstoners' face every week, working hard to bring us the most unforgettable plays. A man dedicated to self-perfection, Trolden goes away with our special award for general contribution to the community for 2014.

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