The Daily Drop: eSports News Everyday

Hearthstone goes open beta, a StarCraft player advises pros to try poker and more in today's drop.
Hearthstone at BlizzCon
Hearthstone at BlizzCon © Cameron Baird / Red Bull Content Pool
By Ryan Smith and Andrew Groen

1. Open Hearth

Competitive card game Hearthstone: Heroes of WarCraft has exploded in popularity over the last several months even while access was very limited. It’s interesting to see how interest in this eSports pastime will grow now that Blizzard has just announced it’s going into open beta mode. Click here to jump into the fun.

2. Copycat Sued

In related news, MMOCulture reported that Blizzard has sued developer Unico for $1.65 million in damages over a mobile game called Legend of Crouching Dragon, which emerged in Oct. of 2013. The game borrows, well, very liberally from the Hearthstone formula.

3. Team Zephyr Making a Splash in Dota 2

Many North American Dota 2 fans have had their eyes fixed on South Korea this month as newborn Team Zephyr began their journey to win the Nexon Sponsorship League Season 3, one of the biggest tournaments in the up-and-coming South Korean Dota-scene.

With two of the most popular figures in the Dota 2 community on the squad, Kevin ‘Purge’ Godec and William ‘Blitz’ Lee, Team Zephyr was destined to become a fan favorite, but they’re also proving they’re a force to be reckoned with.

They’ve had to face challenges from major South Korean teams like MVP, but Zephyr has performed extremely well thus far. They beat Kazakh team All-in (2-0) during the first round of the tournament before roughing up MVP (the previous winners of the Nexon Sponsorship League) as well, 3-1. They now face EoT Hammer in the semi-finals on January 25th.

You can buy tickets to the Nexon Sponsorship League in the Dota 2 store, wake up at an unholy hour to watch it live in the Korean time zone, or catch the VoDs after the event.

4. StarCraft Pros Should Play Poker, Says ElkY

Former StarCraft pro turned poker champ Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier told that more players who excel in Blizzard’s RTS should consider following in his footsteps.

“There are so many skills that SC Pros can use in poker,” said ElkY. “First, as with every world-class competitive discipline, the willpower and ability to perform well under pressure as well as resilience and mental strength are a huge pre-requisite.”

ElkY left StarCraft for poker in the mid-2000s and has earned more than $11 million playing the popular card game. He's the highest-earning poker player from France and was the fourth player to ever win poker's triple crown.

In December, former Brood War champion Lim "BoxeR" Yo Hwan also announced a deal to jump to pro poker.

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