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In 2019, Chinese Hearthstone pro, Xiaomeng “VKLiooon” Li won the Hearthstone Global Finals. She made history, becoming the first-ever female Hearthstone World Champion and the first woman to win a major esports title at BlizzCon.

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VKLiooon had defeated US pro, Brian “bloodyface” Eason, in quick fashion, routing him 3-0 in the Hearthstone Global Finals.

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VKLiooon dominated the entire weekend and went undefeated at the con, playing Evolve Shaman, Quest Druid, and Highlander Hunter.

VKLiooon on winning the Hearthstone World Championship: “Girls can be strong pro players, just as guys do”

VKLiooon at Hearthstone World Championship 2019
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The path to BlizzCon was a long one for VKLiooon, as the China region was not part of Blizzard’s Grandmaster circuit. As such, she had to qualify for BlizzCon by playing in open tournaments.

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After her victory, an emotional VKLiooon thanked her fans for supporting her and shared with the BlizzCon crowd a story about how a few years ago, when she was at a major Hearthstone tournament, a male player told her that she was in the wrong queue because “this isn’t for you”.

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VKLiooon also had some words of encouragement for aspiring female players.

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

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“This is the best way to strike back at those people who doubted me only because I am a girl,” she continued. “It proves that girls can be strong pro players, just as guys do.”

Along with the Global Finals trophy, VKLiooon took home US$200,000.

The female Hearthstone esports player first rose to fame in Qingdao, China, after becoming the first woman to reach a Gold Series Final in 2019. Despite losing the championship, she continued her path to becoming a world champion by joining another tournament in Nanchang, where her semifinals appearance qualified her for the China Gold Series playoffs.

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She fought her way through the China Gold Series in Tianjin, where she finished with a perfect 7-0 match record to become the first female player to compete and eventually win at the Hearthstone Global Finals later that year.

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