EU Weekly Recap – HGC Open Division – Phase 2 Playoffs

All good things come to an end and last week was the end of the Open Division. 8 teams fought through seven Cups to accumulate enough points for this moment: the playoffs. The top 2 teams earned the right to play for their spots in the Heroes Global Championship next month in the Crucible.

The number one seed, ePunks Black, made easy work of their first opponents defeating Team Go and tranquility 2-0 each. They secured their spot in the Crucible and the Grand Finals with a 3-0 victory over Holy Bananas.

The number three seed, Holy Bananas, laid HIVE eSports to rest with a quick 2-0 and then took out Skogsapor 2-0. Falling 0-3 to ePunks Black sent them to the lower bracket where they would again face Skogsapor; this time, taking the set 3-1 to earn their Crucible seat and another chance at ePunks.

Grand Finals

Game 1 – Dragon Shire

ePunks Black – Muradin (Lauber), Greymane (Roskmeg), Sonya (Cas), Junkrat (SonicLeBeast), Deckard (GranPkt)

Holy Bananas– Anub’arak (Earth), Raynor (Googosh), Yrel (Olf), Fenix (GURU), Malfurion (Rzuf)

It’s worth pondering whether Holy Bananas was warmed up for this match (having come off their 3-1 victory over Skogsapor) as they looked like the more aggressive team in Game 1. Teams played safe for the first 10 levels until Holy Bananas found a kill in the top lane and captured the first Dragon Knight. Armed with an experience advantage, Holy Bananas stepped on the gas and never let up. With a 16 talent tier advantage they captured another Dragon Knight and pushed ePunks bottom Keep, except they weren’t done:

Game 2 – Infernal Shrines

ePunks Black – Hanzo (SonicLeBeast), Junkrat (Roskmeg), Dehaka (Cas), Whitemane (GranPkt), ETC (Lauber)

Holy Bananas– Raynor (Googosh), Deckard (Rzuf), Anub’arak (Earth), Genji (GURU), Leoric (Olf)

Once again Holy Bananas came out swinging and delivered the first blow landing a kill on Whitemane to go along with the first Punisher. On the second objective a beautiful Lorenado isolated E.T.C. for another kill and the subsequent Punisher. As their experience advantage mounted, they found ePunks in a precarious position:

There was nothing ePunks could do to stop the snowball. An easy third objective for Holy Bananas gave them everything they needed as they assaulted the top Keep and eventually took down the Core.

Game 3 – Volskaya Foundry

ePunks Black – Deckard (GranPkt), Hanzo (Roskmeg), Muradin (Lauber), Leoric(Cas), Greymane (SonicLeBeast)

Holy Bananas– Raynor (Googosh), Yrel (Olf), Anub’arak (Earth), Fenix (GURU), Whitemane (Rzuf)

Holy Bananas were on fire. The ePunks seemed stunned and in the early portions of this game, things were not getting better. In the first seven minutes, Holy Bananas had 6 kills to 0 deaths. However, an invade gone wrong for Holy Bananas breathed life into ePunks Black as they grabbed their first two kills. Another good fight over the second objective gave ePunks their first lead of the entire series and a Protector for them to break stuff with. The third objective would ultimately define this entire game and, if you’ll excuse a bit of hyperbole, the entire series.

Heading into the point-control objective, ePunks had a solid, half-level experience lead. Anticipating the oncoming talent disadvantage, Holy Bananas invaded the ePunks Turret camp and managed to land a kill on Greymane. Up their Level 20 talents, but down a hero, ePunks Black pushed the top lane Keep while the Holy Bananas captured the point. The Protector was enough to take down the bottom Keep. As the Bananas retreated, ePunks dove in:

Game 4 – Towers of Doom

ePunks Black – Diablo (Lauber), Yrel (Cas), Fenix (Roskmeg), Li-Ming (SonicLeBeast), Kharazim (GranPkt)

Holy Bananas– Hanzo (GURU), Deckard (Rzuf), Leoric (Olf), Anub’arak (Earth), Greymane (Googosh)

Sensing their Championship aspirations on the line, ePunks took the early lead in Game 4, winning a skirmish 2 for 1 and firing 8 shots to 4. But Holy Bananas kept it close and by the time each team was approaching Level 13, Bananas had crept into the lead. Displaying their excellent map control, Holy Bananas captured the bottom Keep and simply wouldn’t let it go. This proved important as both teams obtained their Level 16 talents and ePunks wanted a fight:

Checkmate. Holy Bananas, forced ePunks Black to challenge them on the Boss and despite a good defense, they simply couldn’t defend the ensuing double Altar phase. GGs!

A stunning performance from Holy Bananas earns them the Open Division crown and the right to pick their opponent in the Crucible. For ePunks Black, a reality check of sorts might be good for a team that steamrolled their way to six OD Cup victories. This gut punch should help them focus their energies heading into the most important matchup of the whole season.

And that folks, is a wrap. Thanks for following the Open Division and stay tuned for the October Crucible matches to find out who will represent Europe in the 2019 HGC season. As always, check out HeroesHype website for everything Open Division including recaps and highlights of all previous tournaments.