Hafu Chan is a legend. For the past eight years, she's been a star in one of the most popular sports in the world: competitive video gaming, known as eSports. And she's done it while facing an incredible amount of sexism and hostility from others in the male-dominated eSports world.
Hafu streams herself playing Hearthstone and other games on Twitch, where she has thousands of subscribers and a loyal fan base. But she says she's been turned off from competing because of sexists and trolls sending her nasty messages.
In this episode of REAL FUTURE, Kevin Roose visits Hafu and learns what life is like for a female eSports celebrity, and what she thinks could help eSports solve its gender problem.
PCG: Do you have a list of the Classic cards Blizzard should be targeting for nerfs?
Firebat: I would target the Druid combo immediately. I think that is the most boring thing ever. Since beta people have been killing people with Force of Nature-Savage Roar, and they still kill people with it today. It’s been tier one since the existence of Hearthstone.
PCG: But if you take it out the class becomes really weak.
Firebat: Oh yeah. Hopefully they replace it with something. Hopefully they don’t give it the ‘+2 to chargers’ treatment, but they should definitely change it. People have died this way since the beta, and they're tired of dying this way. Let's make Druid kill people in a different way. How many times have you seen a Druid game not get ended with Force of Nature-Savage Roar? Every Druid game ever has ended that way. That's like a billion Druid games, so let's make Druid win in a different way.
PCG: I enjoyed your critique a few months back of Paladin, in which you said the problem was not Mysterious Challenger, but how the class curves so perfectly. You also said that the power level was too strong given how easy Secret Paladin was to play versus a deck like Patron which had a higher skill cap. Do you think the switch to Standard will potentially make Hearthstone less fixated on minion trading?
Aside from Dr. Boom, Piloted Shredder is probably the single card players are most looking forward to seeing the back of when the Standard format arrives. The problem with it was that it just represented too much value, pushing out almost all other creatures costed at 4-mana. Check out our list of the 20 most powerful cards which won't be playable in Standard Hearthstone.
Firebat: I hope so. They may just introduce a new Minibot and a new Muster in the next set, you know? But it seems like that might be something they’re addressing. They could make it so that there's more of a focus on spells and not just playing minions on curve every turn. Maybe there will be more minion diversity, so it’s not just the new Piloted Shredder on turn four. But if you're going to keep Hearthstone minion-oriented, and you're going to make it so minions are way more important than spells, then there's always going to be a minion that fills that role. There's always going to be a best 2-drop, a best 3-drop, and a best 4-drop.
So unless they take the focus away from minions a little bit, and improve how good spells are, then there’s always going to be a new Piloted Shredder. There are going to be new minions to take the role , just because the You can Frostbolt it. Alright, now you have two mana to try and deal with the 2-drop. Maybe Frostbolt that too? Now you’ve used two cards and given up all of the tempo to kill one minion. So spells need to be better if they're going to make the game less focused on minion trading.