Hearthstone HCT World Championship 20172 months ago
Hearthstone HCT World Championship 2017
By Cole Ricke
Hearthstone HCT World Championship 2017
The Hearthstone HCT World Championship recently ended, and with it, a new champion was crowned. Fans worldwide got to spectate some of the highest-level Hearthstone play to date.
A stacked group A kicked off the 2017 HCT Hearthstone World Championship. DocPwn managed to overcome Planet Odds’ Hoej in a close, hard fought 2:3 victory. However, this was overshadowed by what was seen as quite the upset as Flash Wolves’ Tom60229 managing to take down Orange, the flagship player for Alliance. The match was 2:1 when both Tom and Orange played with their Priest decks. Tom managed to topple the Dreamhack Summer champ and take home his first win of the group stage. Orange came back with a vengeance and swept Hoej, the Spring Champion, to keep his tournament life alive. When Doc also swept Tom and secured his spot in the playoffs, it became a rematch of Group A. However, Orange could still not overcome his group rival, and lost 0:3. Taking him out of the tournament and leaving the group A victors to wait and see the outcome of the others.
Group B was a tragedy for American fans. It started as a spark of hope, with Muzzy being the only player from the U.S. Muzzy managed to overcome JasonZhou in a tough fought series. The score was 3:1, but each game was a battle, with the score not telling the whole story. In the next match, Taiwan toppled Ukraine when OmegaZero beat veteran player Kolento 3:2. Heartbreak continued for Kolento fans as he was again defeated 3:2, this time by JasonZhou. Samuel defeated Muzzy, placing Muzzy in the last match of the group to determine who would make it to playoffs. After what appeared to be nerves leading Muzzy to make some questionable plays with his priest deck, he was sent out of the groups with a clean sweep by Jason.
Group C and D played out to the expectations that fans had, with ShtanUdachi and black horse Sintolol taking the former and Surrender and Fr0zen taking the latter. However, the only surprise out of both groups was that Group D’s Neirea seemingly did not put up any sort of fight, taking a total of 2 games. This surprised both fans and analysts, as he was seen as a contender for a playoff spot. However, his performance was lackluster at best.
Playoffs began with DocPwn versus JasonZhou, arguably two out of the top three players in the entire tournament. Docpwn started off dominant, taking two games to start the series 2:0. However, his rogue deck couldn’t beat either of Jason’s druid or priest decks, tying up the series at 2:2. The final game of the series was a rogue mirror match, and Doc couldn’t beat Jason’s dominant play. Jason won the series 3:2 to advance to the semifinals.
A similar story occurred when Fr0zen and Sintolol played, with Sinto going up 2:1 before Fr0zen made a heroic comeback in game 4. The priest mirror match played right into Fr0zen’s comfort zone, as he knew this matchup very well, stemming from hours of practice with other top tier players. With the series being tied up at 2:2, Fr0zen managed to steal a win with his mage to take the series and advance to the semifinals.
The fight to represent Taiwan was a heated match between Tom60229 and SamuelTsao, both players wanting to prove dominance. Instead of counter picking classes, they decided to fight head on to prove who’s the better player. The first two were mirror matches between druid and priest, with Tom taking both in a convincing fashion. With Tom’s rogue falling to Samuel’s druid, this could be another reverse sweep in the quarter finals. Tom won yet another mirror match with rogue to take the 3:1 victory home. With Surrender taking a 3:1 victory over ShtanUdachi in what could be described as anything but a stomp, the semifinals were ready to begin.
The first semifinal match was Fr0zen versus JasonZhou, and this was a match to watch. So far, Fr0zen had been running his warlock deck, which had lost him his series versus Surrender. He decided to play his other decks and take the series to a 2:1 lead before trying the Warlock again. He lost yet another match with it, making the series a 2:2 tie, with the possibility for both players to advance. However, with a combination of lucky draws from Fr0zen and terrible luck for Jason’s druid, Fr0zen squeezed out a win and managed to continue to the finals.
The last match before the Grand Finals saw Surrender facing Tom60229. Surrender was considered the favorite, but Tom decided that the odds weren’t a factor as both players ended up taking a victory with their respective druid decks. From then on, it was the Tom show. Absolute top level playmaking and predictions from Tom took Surrender by surprise and resulted in Surrender’s early exit from the tournament.
And then there were two. Fr0zen and Tom60229 were set to go head to head in the Hearthstone HCT World Championship Finals. From the beginning Fr0zen wanted to prove that he deserved the title by taking the first two matches, giving himself a 2:0 lead. Everyone was already congratulating Fr0zen on his hard fought victory, except Tom. Tom did his homework and watched Fr0zen’s earlier matches. He knew his one weakness, apart from his Warlock: His druid. Knowing this, Tom abused his opponents weakest deck and did not quit until he had won the last match of the series. Tom had beat Fr0zen 3:2 and secured a World Championship Title for himself, Flash Wolves, and Taiwan.
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