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David “Justsaiyan” Shan announced April 1 that he has retired from Hearthstone esports ahead of Grandmasters. In a statement, he said he declined the offer to join the tournament and will pass the spot on to another player.

Justsaiyan added that he almost reconsidered because of the excitement for the new expansion and the nostalgia brought on through Classic mode.

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Justsaiyan said he was almost compelled to stick with pro play because of Hearthstone’s latest expansion but decided to retire. | Provided by Blizzard Entertainment

“I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished in Hearthstone and the friends I’ve made along the way,” he said.

Justsaiyan acknowledged the success of players such as Muzahidul “Muzzy” Islam, William “Amnesiac” Barton, Casper “Hunterace” Notto and Jaromír “Jarla” Vyskočil.

Additionally, he noted how he got to commentate during the 2019 Hearthstone Grandmasters Global Finals. Xiaomeng “VKLiooon” Li, the first woman champion, got crowned at that tournament.

“I’m glad to have gone down this esports journey, and I thank you for being there and chasing the dream with me,” Justsaiyan added on TwitLonger.

Justsaiyan retires from Hearthstone esports ahead of Grandmasters Hunterace
Justsaiyan at a Hearthstone tournament with Hunterace | Image via @justsaiyanHS on Twitter

In terms of why he retired, accepting another season of Hearthstone Grandmasters would mean delaying the process of his other goals.

“So I’m leaving it in the past and leaping forward in pursuit of new dreams,” he said.

Justsaiyan’s Hearthstone esports journey

Justsaiyan began playing Hearthstone back in his junior year of college. In an interview, he said the card game nostalgia drew him in. The accessibility of Hearthstone encouraged him to continue playing it as well. When he first started out, he mainly played Arena mode. Afterwards, he went on to try his hand at constructed.

“I remember being one game away from hitting Legend rank as the season ended, and the final boss was actually Kolento,” he said, recalling his earlier days of Hearthstone. “I was playing Druid and he was climbing ladder with Sunshine Hunter. Unfortunately, I don’t quite remember how that game ended.”

One of Justsaiyan’s first major tournaments was The Deck Gauntlet, where he played for Tempo Storm and took home second place. He then went on to compete in several Hearthstone Championship Tour events across the world under the same banner.

Some of his favorite memories with Tempo Storm included time spent with Muzzy, Petar “Gaara” Stevanovic and Andrey “Reynad” Yanyuk.

Justsaiyan retires from Hearthstone esports ahead of Grandmasters Justsaiyan Amnesiac Muzzy
Justsaiyan has been playing Hearthstone since his college days | Image via Tempo Storm on Facebook

Justsaiyan took first place alongside another player in the 2018 Hearthstone Championship Tour Fall Playoffs. In more recent years, he played for Radiance and in several Hearthstone Masters Tour and Grandmasters events.

The new Hearthstone Grandmaster

With Justsaiyan’s retirement, another Grandmaster will take his spot. Due to an error, Hearthstone fans believed Pavelingbook would take his place.

“Blizzard contacted me last week and told me that I was next in line for promotion,” Pavelingbook said in a statement. “At first I was surprised because I was pretty sure that at least one person was ahead of me for promotion but I didn’t ask too many questions and accepted the offer.”

Pavelingbook acknowledged how that caused a stir within the Hearthstone community as well. However, the listing was soon corrected between Pavelingbook and Blizzard.

“Blizzard has since apologized to me personally for their mistake and I am happy that they were at least communicative with me throughout the process,” the statement read.

The Grandmaster who took Justsaiyan’s place was later announced as Martín “Tincho” Mazza.


Amy Chen is an esports journalist and enthusiast who specializes in in-depth interviews and breaking news. A University of Toronto and Humber College graduate, she is passionate about building up the Canadian esports industry. Her current favorite games are Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, and she has always had a soft spot for World of Warcraft!


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