William “Amnesiac” Barton managed to battle back from near-elimination in the 2016 Hearthstone Americas Winter Championship to win the whole tournament on Sunday evening with a 3-1 finals victory over Nostam.
Amnesiac emerged as a major North American talent last year, when he topped the regional server at the age of 14 and started to play a supporting role at Team Archon (a major Hearthstone esports organization). In the last year he’s become one of the most notable experts on Hearthstone, as well as a strong competitor in his own right.
Last year he told PC Gamer that if he could manage to take a little time away from school, “I’d definitely be interested in competing in a LAN, especially because I feel like I have a pretty reasonable chance of winning, or at least placing highly. So I would like to see if I could make some waves and maybe win.”
Mission accomplished. After losing 3-0 to Nostam in the group stage, Amnesiac narrowly defeated Canada’s Talion to survive his group. He won both his semifinal against AlSkyHigh and his finals rematch against Nostam in decisive fashion to earn the $25,000 grand prize and clinch an invite to the Global Finals at BlizzCon later this year.
Rob Zacny is a freelance writer and esports journalist. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Top photo: Amnesiac at Americas Winter Championship by Carlton Beener, for Blizzard Entertainment.