There are a lot of excuses for missing an otherwise obvious play in Hearthstone, but overlooking an obvious play just because you were playing another game at the same time isn't a great one. It is, however, what happened to Linh "Seiko" Nguyen, who basically threw a Hearthstone match because he was also playing in the qualifiers for an Auto Chess tournament at the same time.
Playing a match in the Hearthstone Grandmasters European league, Nguyen seemed very distracted during the match, often looking down and away from the screen. As it turns out, this was because he was playing qualifying matches for a $1,000,000 Auto Chess tournament at the same time. You can see that distraction come to fruition in this Twitch clip, where a missed play costs him the game.
Nguyen owned up to it in a since-deleted tweet, and expanded more in a Twitlonger. "I didn't mean to be disrespectful at all and was pretty happy that it didn't seem like an issue if I play both autochess and HS [sic] at the same time," Nguyen wrote. "I'm used to do/play multiple things/server at the same time and decided to take the risk."
He apologizes and says he's learned that multi-tasking isn't the best approach, and will be dropping from the qualifiers to focus on Hearthstone. But that wasn't the only response; Blizzard's own Drew Higbee, Hearthstone esports product manager, published a Twitlonger saying they knew Nguyen was in both tournaments, and thought the plan was to work the qualifiers around his Hearthstone matches, not play them simultaneously. Commentator Simon Welch also had some words for a Twitter thread on the matter.
But I do strongly believe that Seiko's actions were very insulting to the GM program and to thousands of players who would kill to be in position.- Simon Welch (@coL_Sottle) September 14, 2019
I take my job very seriously, too seriously at times.
It's symptomatic of a larger tug at the core of these scenes, where players are enticed by the allure of competing in several games at the same time. Fighting game players can often be well-versed in multiple titles, and Hearthstone's general approach and mindset isn't all too different from Auto Chess. Though it might be advisable to not try and Bobby Fischer it unless you're absolutely sure you can win. Or at least, that you're not on a webcam the whole time, looking down at your phone.