EU Weekly Recap – HGC Open Division Playoffs

What a ride. After seven amazing Cups, we finally find out which teams will challenge the bottom two HGC teams in the Crucible. For these competitors the playoffs are where you pull out all the stops. Make it to the Crucible and then train your butts off for your opponent… but you have to make it. 8 teams came to play, but only two will move on. The first Crucible spot to be decided was between the final two teams in the Winners bracket.

Winners Bracket Final – Team Singularity vs. Worst Positioning

Team Singularity: Laranas(tank), Karci(carry), Henn1ng(support), zwHyrda(off-lane), and Knuutti(flex). 2-0 Valhalla in 1st round and Team Go in 2nd round.

Worst Positioning: Earth(tank), Dreamy(flex), SonicLeBeast(carry), zhiku(off-lane), and Noonia(support). 2-1 Teraz Rodzina in 1st round, and 2-0 ePunks in 2nd round.

Game 1 – Infernal Shrines

Team Singularity took the early lead in this game, controlling the first two Shrines and finding three kills. Worst Positioning evened things up on the third Punisher when SonicLeBeast caught Knuutti in a Ring of Frost, allowing them to capture the objective. But the fourth objective proved to be the deciding factor with a spectacular Core defense:

Game 2 – Towers of Doom

It is not possible to sum this game up in a few, short sentences. It was a classic Towers of Doom match between two incredibly talented teams. The back-and-forth was non stop. The team fights were epic. Seriously, do yourself a favor and watch the VOD of this game. The game was ultimately decided on the Boss while each Core was within finishing range:

Game 3 – Dragon Shire

Worst Positioning came out of the gates guns blazing grabbing a couple of picks and the early experience advantage. They pushed their advantage slowing, taking control of the map and never relenting the lead. Despite being down two levels, Team Singularity had an opportunity to fight on the same talent tier and took the fight:

Worst Positioning showed incredible resilience on the first two maps, coming from behind each time in impressive fashion to secure their spot in the Crucible, and finishing convincingly on Dragon Shire. Congratulations to them!

Losers Bracket Final – Team Singularity vs. Granit Gaming

Team Singularity had another chance to earn their seat with a matchup against Granit Gaming. The last time these two teams met, Team Singularity beat Granit Gaming 2-0, in the finals of Cup #5.

Granit Gaming: Gnappe(support), Olf(off-lane), Kirwa(carry), RaiDbawZ(tank), and Meinkraft (flex). They lost to Team Go 2-0 but emerged from Losers bracket by beating Valhalla 2-1, then ePunks 2-1, and finally Teraz Rodzina 2-0.

Game 1 – Towers of Doom

From the start, you could tell Team Singularity had brushed off their previous set and was ready to compete. Karci was a menace on Medivh and Granit Gaming could never really figure out how to take the upper hand:

Despite being down 32 to 7 in Core shots, Granit Gaming turned a team fight in their favor on even talent tiers at Level 16. However, Team Singularity found a couple picks as a double Altar phase spawned and finished with a 20-0 victory.

Game 2 –  Infernal Shrines

This time it was Granit Gaming’s Meinkraft on the Medivh, and coincidentally or not it was Granit Gaming who snatched the early lead. Their combination of shrine-control and wave-clear allowed them to capture the first two objectives and get a structure and XP advantage. They maintained their lead throughout the game and eventually captured a Punisher and a Level 20 talent advantage:

Game 3 – Battlefield of Eternity

Team Singularity took the early lead on this map claiming the first two Immortal objectives. However, Kirwa’s play on Samuro proved to be the X-factor with constant split pushing. Granit Gaming was able to slowly turn this match in their favor by prolonging the team fights and maximizing the split-push value. During the third Immortal, the game turned in Granit Gaming’s favor for good:

Team Singularity threw a Hail Mary attempt taking a fight before Granit Gaming reached Level 20, but they lost three members in the skirmish. Granit Gaming captured a fully shielded Immortal and pushed Core for the win.

Game 4 – Dragon Shire

Granit Gaming was on fire. Team Singularity put up a stout defense, however, Granit Gaming squeaked out the early lead and never let go. It seemed as if every team fight, Granit would get the picks and live with a sliver of health. Eventually, Team Singularity was forced to take a fight a talent down:

GGs and congratulations to Granit Gaming on claiming the final spot in the Crucible. For Team Singularity it was a bitter end to a stellar performance for the entirety of the Phase #1 Open Division. It’s been a real pleasure covering this team and I hope to see them back in Phase #2.

Grand Finals – Worst Positioning vs. Granit Gaming

We don’t have to beat around the bush here. Both these teams are winners and both are headed to the Crucible. On one hand this is meaningless. On the other hand, wouldn’t you want the opportunity to choose your next opponent? Those were the stakes as the winner gets to choose their opponent in the Crucible. Plus we need an Open Division Champion! Worst Positioning started the set one game up on Granit Gaming by virtue of their perfect record through the playoffs (weighted best of seven).

In Game 1 Granit Gaming put the hurt on Worst Positioning offing their core in just 11 minutes with a highly aggressive Medivh-Sonya composition on Battlefield of Eternity. Game 2 on Sky Temple was a much closer affair as both teams kept pace in experience and structures. Eventually, things came to a head when both teams had their Storm talents:

Worst Positioning followed the win with an even more impressive victory on Infernal Shrines by staying a step ahead of Granit Gaming and landing monster combinations in team fights:

With their tournament life on the line, Granit Gaming came out strong in game 4. The early game was a wash, but Granit Gaming turned things in their favor with a juke from Kirwa and Olf spinning to win:

For game 5, Granit Gaming pulled from their bag of tricks a cheeky Zagara-Abathur split-push composition. The majority of the game, it looked like their strategy was going to work. Granit Gaming produced relentless map pressure but Worst Positioning leveraged their superior team fight capabilities to stay close. After losing top and bottom Keeps, Worst Positioning punished Granit Gaming in retreat, and claimed top and bottom Keeps. Except… they weren’t done:

Your Phase #1 HGC Open Division Champions are Worst Positioning!

If you read this marathon of a recap all the way through, I salute you. We’ve got some time before the Crucible so we’ll take a closer look at these two squads leading up to the Main Event. Check out for information on this and all previous tournaments.