2014 Hearthstone World Champion James “Firebat” Kostesich Retires From Competitive Play

James “Firebat” Kostesich, 2014 Hearthstone World Champion and one of the best known professional players, has announced that his competitive Hearthstone career is over. Last weekend, he got relegated from Grandmasters circuit and decided to quit competitive Hearthstone according to his latest tweet:

Firebat also posted a longer explaination on reddit. He mentions that recently he focused on other things such as YouTube, streaming or personal life and didn’t put enough time into competing. He will also continue to make content, including Hearthstone content, and promote the competitive scene if possible. You can read the full statement below:

I just couldn’t find anything that worked for me this meta. Kept trying different things every week but nothing was really clicking. So, I lost enough in the league to get relegated.

If I’m honest I wasn’t putting in the time necessary to play at the level required to win championships. I was putting in the just enough to get by kind of energy. And focusing on other things, YouTube, Twitch Streams, moving house, relationships. So, I’d say it is a deserved relegation. Still hurts though, and I keep running back in my mind all the times I could have done a little more. Or what the hell I was thinking with that control warrior + highlander hunter lineup! Even if I didn’t like the current iteration of the system that much, I loved competing and it has done so much to enable me to be where I am today.

I plan to continue making content, maybe not as much Hearthstone content as before. But, I still plan on trying to promote and help out the competitive scene wherever I can so that others may be given the chance at the same opportunities I’ve had. I know its switched to YouTube now instead of Twitch and its harder to follow. But, if you haven’t had the chance to tune in to the broadcasts I can’t recommend watching it enough. It really is a life-changing program that allowed me to take my passion, turn it into something and become a content creator. I know competitive hearthstone gets memed on a lot, but I hope it continues to enable others to achieve their goals as well.



A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. Over that time, he has achieved many high Legend climbs and infinite Arena runs. He's the current admin of Hearthstone Top Decks.

Check out Stonekeep on Twitter!

Leave a Reply


  1. Goodboy
    October 5, 2020 at 9:32 am

    Dead game?

    • Shurchil
      October 5, 2020 at 11:07 am


    • TardisGreen
      October 5, 2020 at 2:18 pm

      That is quite a jump. Firebat is not the first player to retire from competitive play (Dog, Amnesiac, Chakki, Gallon, and Lifecoach come to mind, but I’m sure there are more). The game survived their departures, as it will survive Firebat’s.

    • Gibilan
      October 5, 2020 at 10:27 pm

      Why are you here then?

  2. Electronick
    October 5, 2020 at 6:35 am

    Shame for the HS competitive scene, he’s a recognisable personality. I like Firebat though, he seems like a good dude.