VKLiooon sweeps the Hearthstone Grandmasters to become the first woman to win a global championship

    
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Yes, a Hearthstone esports event is what put Blizzard into a humongous mess, but let’s take a moment away from that for the sake of Xiaomeng “VKLiooon” Li of China, who won the game’s Grandmasters final in a clean sweep to take the crown and become the first woman to win a Hearthstone global championship.

Lion made a meal of the competition leading up to the grand finals, cutting through 2017 World Champion tom60229 and EMEA Grandmaster Fenomeno without dropping a game and earning a hard-fought 3-2 win against Casie. The Grandmasters final would see Lion against Brian “bloodyface” Eason of Atlanta, GA, where she took the match in a clean 3-0 sweep.

After the win, Lion let her emotions spill forth as well as offered some words of encouragement to other female gamers. “This is the best way to strike back at those people who doubted me only because I am a girl. It proves that girls can be strong pro players, just as guys do,” she’s quoted as saying. She also had some further encouragement in a post-match statement:

“I want to say to all the girls out there, who have a dream for competition: If you want to do it, and you believe in yourself, you should just forget your gender and go for it.”

Lion walks away with an impressive-looking trophy (that lights up!) and a sizeable $200,000 prize. ESPN Esports has further thoughts from Lion in a post-match interview, which we’ve embedded below.

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Paragon Lost

Nice, congrats to her!

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Steve Fury

I’m really proud of her and this is exciting stuff but holy crap can the guy just let the girl breathe and enjoy the moment instead of bombarding her with gender specific questions and issues? There’s a time and a place.

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NeoWolf

Just goes to show when people say you cannot do something or shouldn’t use that negativity it as motivation to prove them wrong.

Good for her!

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Bryan Correll

Next thing you know women will want to be driving and voting and such.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Congratulations!

You know I was thinking VK and Blitzchung could settle this whole China/Hong Kong business through a tournament like Iain M Banks book The Player of Games.

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Bryan Correll

Hmmmm, and in the book the oppressive regime completely collapses after losing the tournament to a space hipster.

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Utakata

I am going to put aside all the controversy that folks like to drum and/or troll up over something like this and just say, “congrats!” Because praise sometimes all it takes to move the world slightly forward for once. And Ms. VKLiooon deserves that accolade without reservation or hesitation. So good on her! <3

…and for the rest of the world, about fucking time! And excuse the pigtail'd French.

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Armsbend

((Deleted at poster’s request.))

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Bruno Brito

There’s Scarlett for SC2, but that’s an extremely touchy topic.

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Armsbend

((Deleted at poster’s request.))

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Bruno Brito

Yeah. They both deserve their praises for being godlike at their games of choice, and i’m leaving on that. I really don’t want to be sucked into that vortex.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Not me, I see a rabbit hole and I think to my self, there’s an exciting dungeon to explore full of shinies and upgrades!

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Bruno Brito

Good luck for you, man. It’s a recipe for stress.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

I just read her wiki, what’s so controversial; maybe it’s because I’m from New York and my Best Man at my wedding is gay, and my wife’s maid of honor now identifies as gender neutral but hey man what ever helps people live their best lives because no one else is living those lives but them.

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Deadly Habit

Because unfortunately some people still think they should have a say in what you have in your pants and what you do with it in the privacy of your own bedroom and those asshats are often are the most vocal minority.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

That said there are people on the extreme on the other side that pushed me out of my own party for not being WOKE enough.

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Armsbend

Sounds like a fun party.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Not any more.

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Bruno Brito

Don’t ask me, i don’t wanna go into that particular beehive. Just having to see three tweets about how Scarlett wasn’t the first “woman” to win a championship because…yeah.

It made me wanna rip my eyes off.

They’re both incredible at what they do. Let’s leave it at that.

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Baemir

I was surprised to see you holding back like that lol. This comment was a little more combative than the other one at least. The debate around transgenderism is usually framed as a matter of absolutes, you either believe or you don’t, which is why I expected you (or certain other commenters with a similar worldview) to be a lot less neutral on this, or at least less concerned with “touchiness”.

For the first time ever, I’m going to be the politically correct guy and say Scarlett was the first woman to win a major championship in esports. Admittingly I could be a little biased because she seems like a chill and likable person.

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Bruno Brito

It’s because debating companies like Blizzard, or protests and such, the target can take it. In this specific case, an entire discussion about Scarlett being a “true woman” or not, would only be damaging to her, and the last thing we need is for cis people to debate trans rights like they’re part of the discussion.

She should be in the discussion, if we’re to have one, and i hold myself to that standard of picking my battles in this topic so i don’t go to bed with a head full of irritation and rage.

In the end, they’re both better by miles than any of us at what they do, and they deserve the kudos, without being bombarded by issues about gender and sex, which they have no obligation to solve. They’re just there to compete.

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Baemir

Except for the part about Cis people being banned from the conversation (I understand the reasoning, but the logistics of having all the parties present can’t be simple), I agre with everything you said.

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Bruno Brito

I’m not saying cis people should be banned from conversation. i’m saying they shouldn’t be the driving factor for trans rights. The same way that straight people shouldn’t be deciding for gay rights.

Having the right to speak, is not the same as having the right to make decisions about them. And it’s a looong battle that the LGBTQ+ community been fighting for, trying to make people realize that *gasps* this isn’t about them.

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Kurt Shadle

I don’t care about esports but congrats on the win.

Though I’d caution against the gender empowerment talk. It’s taking focus away from the event and could earn you a ban.

Yes I’m am asshole for going there and I don’t mean to subtract from her win but it’s hard not to draw parallels between this and the HK incident.

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3dom

Once again glorious Chinese Communism proved superior to inferior Western Capitalism “values” – Blizzard’s press release in China.

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Bruno Brito

Gratz, VK. You deserve it.