Hearthstone World Champion Bunnyhoppor retires from competitive play
Bunnyhoppor, one of Hearthstone’s greatest players of all time, decided to step down from competing in 2023.
Hearthstone fans enjoyed a weekend of competitive play with the Spring Championship, Bunnyhoppor didn't play it, but he still made the news. After years of competing, Raphael 'Bunnyhoppor' Peltzer announced on a Twitlonger that he will not aim to qualify for the other Masters Tours "to have more time to focus on family."
The reasons behind Bunnyhoppor's retirement
Bunnyhoppor has been living on an emotional rollercoaster. Before winning the 2022 Hearthstone World Championship, he got notice that Team Liquid would cut his competitive contract. During that same time, Bunny learned that he was going to be a father. As if that wasn't enough, this January, he suffered the 2023 Hearthstone Esports announcement.
"When the new system got announced it was obvious to me that competing was simply not worth it unless you were aiming to grind for the direct Worlds Qualification and with the system being what it is, that means putting endless hours into the game through the entire Jan-Nov. This isn't something I can or want to do."
Despite this, Bunny was only one point away from qualifying for this past Spring Masters Tour, but he will not pursue that path any longer. With these changes and the upcoming baby, Bunnyhoppor decided to focus on family.
This doesn't mean he is leaving Hearthstone. In his Twitlonger, he mentioned that this year he would lean more into content creation. Bunny recently did a subathon, and this past weekend, he co-streamed the Masters Tour on his Twitch channel.
"I've decided to stick around streaming and have honestly been having more fun than ever streaming with all the lovely people in my chat."
A competitive legacy
Bunnyhoppor's crowning on December 2022 wasn't a fluke. The current Hearthstone World Championship has been around for a long time in the scene. If anything, getting to the top of the Hearthstone world was something he deserved.
Ever since 2016, Bunnyhoppor demonstrated he was ought for big things. His success in the HCT circuit in 2016 was only one of many to come. In early 2017 he made the Top 4 in the Hearthstone WESG championship. Then in 2018 Bunny won the HCT Summer Championship and qualified for the first time for a Hearthstone World Championship.
With that top 4 placement at Worlds, many would have thought that Bunny's peak was a thing of the past. However, he competed for three more years during the Grandmasters era and after an incredible 2022 managed to make it once again to Worlds.
I can't express with words what that tournament meant to Bunnyhoppor, so I invite you to watch the final moments of the 2022 World Finals. After a two-hour match, ending in a Control Priest mirror, Bunny burst into tears.
"I didn't think this was ever gonna happen."
It's comforting to see that he won't be leaving the scene completely and that he is retiring from competitive play on his terms after a huge W. My best wishes to Bunnyhoppor in this new stage of his Hearthstone career, and more importantly, this new stage of his life.
That's all for now, but stay tuned for more Hearthstone news and guides. Be sure to visit esports.gg for all the latest esports news as well. See you next time in the Hearthstone Spring Championship collecting Twitch Drops.