Even though HearthStone has always been the stepchild of the eSports scene, there's an enthused and vibrant community behind the game pushing it relentlessly through the trials and tribulations the expectations of the scene itself impose upon it. Yes, the game may not be a stadium-filler in the mold of Dota 2 or LoL, and due to its very nature and identity, it isn't much of a crowd-pleaser either, but there are people out there who see possibility in it eSports-wise and these people - PGL's Vlad Rosca one of them - are always on the warpath promoting and organizing events and looking for ways through which HearthStone could one day be indeed regarded as a "real" eSport.
The hurdles they face are numerous and daunting though. As said above, HearthStone does not command a lot of traction with the masses, because of its very nature. There aren't dynamic plays massively drawing on the reflexes and coordination of those involved in the action, and there's no spectacular RTS-like, real-time micro-management either. On top of all that, it's 1v1 action, so team dynamics aren't really as big a part of the picture as they are with LoL or Dota2 for instance.
The lack of stability stemming from the non league-based nature of the scene has also been viewed as a major drawback by participants, so much so in fact that it has sparked the withdrawal of a number of teams from HearthStone action already. While some of the clouds linked to the very nature of game-play and its 1v1 aspect do carry their silver linings, even specialists like Rosca will admit that the lack of league-based stability is something the scene has no choice but to attempt to muddle through. The in-team dynamics that HearthStone calls upon aren't particularly impressive either. In fact, teammates don't even really have to like each other: as long as they're good at the game, they will be efficient.
On the upside however, the game is extremely accessible, allowing everyone - through the rise of open qualifiers - to gain access to major tournaments, while being extremely unforgiving for those who do Gs addition of the right caster personalities to the mix can seriously contribute to the creation of a very appealing "HearthStone experience", which the game is quite great at to begin with thanks to its unique format. Rosca and others directly involved in the HearthStone eSports scene, are apparently putting their faith into this uniquely exceptional concoction that may yet lend a fair fighting chance for the game in the world's various eSports arenas.
Peter Wassenberg has been a Gosugamer since 2004. Gosugamers is an e-Sports news and community site launched back in the dark ages of the internet.