Making it as a professional gamer is difficult enough. But losing your spot on a professional team and making it back through the amateur division? Well that’s another thing entirely. But for two of the members of Granit Gaming, that’s exactly what they will attempt to do this Saturday, May 5th in their Crucible matchup against Leftovers. The two teams will square off in a best of seven series to determine the team that will play in the Heroes Global Championship for Phase 2.
Gnappe (on Tricked eSports) and RaiDbawZ (on Team Good Guys), lost their spots in the Heroes Global Championship last year and immediately began having discussions about a new team. Gnappe says “We decided to try out people we were already familiar with or knew. We made sure it was mechanically good players so that we could focus on the other aspects of the game as a team.” Kirwa is also a former HGC player after his team lost their crucible matchup to Team Good Guys in the 2017 HGC Phase #1 (a team that featured RaiDbawZ in the flex position). Rounding out the roster is Meinkraft and DerOlf – players with previous experience in the amateur Heroes scene.
- Gnappe (Team Captain) – Support
- RaiDbawZ – Tank
- DerOlf – Off-lane
- Kirwa – Melee flex
- Meinkraft – Range flex
Gnappe: Raidbawz is the shot caller and drafter of the team, he is the guy that will always come with new stuff that he wants to try and figure out the meta and what’s best for us in the current patches. Kirwa and Meinkraft kind of swaps up the flex roles, since Kirwa plays a lot of the third melee and Meinkraft plays the Medivh etc.
Granit Gaming has been a mainstay in the Open Division by participating in every cup. The season started slower than they would have liked, being eliminated from the first cup in the round of 16 by Valhalla 2-0, netting them 10 points. In Cup #2 they came out strong, beating ClanFrui and then Home All Day 2-0. A 2-1 victory over ePunks and 2-0 win over Valahalla put them in the semi-finals where they lost to Team Singularity 2-1. But they dismantled Clausen’s Army 2-0, earning a third place finish and 90 points.
They tagged on another 40 points to their total in Cup #3; beating EPG storm and Delusion Army 2-0, but losing to Teraz Rodzina 2-1 in the quarter-finals. Cup #4 showed that nothing comes easy in the Open Division… in their first matchup, they ran into a newcomer, Worst Positioning, and were unceremoniously bounced 2-0. The team synergy started to shine in the fifth Cup as they breezed through the first four rounds, beating Gorge Good Ult, WhiteNight, ManticOre, and The UnderGOD’s, all with a clean 2-0. Unfortunately, they once again could not get past Team singularity, dropping the set 2-0. That result banked them 90 points and firmly in the picture of a top eight playoff spot. While reflecting on their teams growth through those first tournaments Gnappe said “I think people just started to learn how we wanted to play the game and think more for themselves rather than Raidbawz calling every little rotation. That makes it possible for the rest of the team to come with good ideas and also for Raidbawz to focus more on his gameplay than the rest of us. Also, we are good friends just trying to have fun as we play, and that’s when we play the best.”
In Cup #6, one of the team members had a medical issue which forced the team to forfeit their match to Teraz Rodzina. Still, they added another 40 points allowing them to keep pace in the Open Division standings. In the final, seventh Cup, everything came together. They beat White Night, ManticOre, and Teraz Rodzina 2-0, and then finished off the tournament beating Worst Positioning 2-1.
I asked Gnappe what he thought the team’s strengths and weaknesses were: “I think we are a very emotional team, the times we manage to have fun and just enjoy ourselves – our coordination is on point when it comes to landing ultimates, chaining CC, etc. But I do believe that when we are not “feeling” it, everything just feels off and we have a tendency to feed.”
The playoffs did not exactly start the way Granit Gaming wanted, losing to Team Go 2-0, and instantly facing elimination. Knowing that they had to leave that series behind them and maintain a good mind set – every match from then on was a must win. “We knew we were one of the better teams and didn’t really see the other teams as “threats” if we just played our game.” They rebounded in a big way taking down each Valhalla and ePunks 2-1. A clean 2-0 over Teraz Rodzina put them in the spot they had worked for all season. In the Loser’s Final they lost game one to Team Singularity and then took three consecutive victories to earn their spot in the Crucible. A detailed recap of the Open Division playoff results can be read here.
Three players looking to climb back upon a mountain they once stood with two newcomers eager to compete at the highest levels. Granit Gaming now faces Leftovers, a team that despite finding themselves in the Crucible has displayed a lot promise by constantly taking maps from some of the best teams in Europe, including Team Dignitas in their Week 7 matchup. Leftovers will draw on their experience facing top tier competition on a weekly basis and attempt to hold off Granit Gaming to remain in the HGC for Phase 2. This will be fun.
Bonus questions for Gnappe:
Who is the joker of the team that keeps everyone loose?
I do not think there is one specific guy who fills this role, It can be anyone depending on the day since most of us are very emotional!
Outside of anything current in the meta, what’s a team comp you guys enjoy playing just for fun?
I am not sure I can say, I guess you might find out in the crucible! 😉
What is each player’s favorite hero, regardless of their place in the meta… who would they play if there was no limitation to their pick?
Kirwa loves Brightwing, which he sadly doesn’t get to play a lot. Olf is a big fan of Illidan and Auriel is my favorite by far, but Malf and Rehgar are also up there! Meinkraft really likes Falstad, and Raidbawz is a big fan of the orc known as Garrosh.
Thanks to Gnappe for answering my questions and good luck to Granit Gaming in their matchup!