NA Weekly Recap – HGC Open Division Playoffs

Our Grand Finals are here! We now know that King’s Gambit and XD will be challenging HGC teams in the Crucible for a spot in the HGC North American league! Before we journey into Grand Final matches, we have to talk about the battles that each team had getting to this point.

XD

Highlights

  • Won the first, fourth and sixth Open Division Cups
  • Placed second, third and fourth one time each
  • Only missed scoring points in one Cup; they did not participate that week.

They came into the playoffs in the first seed and a heavy expectation to win the whole tournament. What no one expected, was for them to be sent to the loser’s bracket by the #8 seeded team, GAZUA, 2-1.

XD would then ride the loser’s bracket through Rouge et Au (#5), Trait Value (#6), Team Nightcare (#3) and EID (#4) without dropping a map.

King’s Gambit

Highlights

  • Would earn their seventh seed from the last Open Division Cup by finishing second
  • In the same Cup, they would defeat XD in the quarterfinals

As the seventh-seeded against the team that defeated them in the last cup, Aria Pls (#2), anyone who hadn’t seen the last cup would be misled to think they didn’t stand a chance. Aria Pls was not prepared as King’s Gambit would 2-0 them. King’s Gambit would also 2-0 Trait Value (#6). After a bloody and well-played series (my personal favorite from the playoffs!) that went the full five-game distance against EID, King’s Gambit would punch their ticket to the Crucible, 3-2.

Game 1 – Towers of Doom

King’s Gambit bans:  Medivh, Johanna
XD bans: Abathur (1st), Stukov

King’s Gambit composition: Jaina, Garrosh, Blaze, Genji, Rehgar
XD composition: Malfurion, Malthael, Hanzo, Maiev, Diablo

As this is a weighted Grand Finals, King’s Gambit was given a 1-0 lead in the series. Meaning, King’s Gambit would only need to win three games to take first place.

King’s Gambit would come out demonstrating why they chose this map. Their execution would deny Diablo from gathering souls for several minutes with two aggressive picks on him. They also controlled the early sapper camps, denying XD from any of the first camps.

It wasn’t until 11 minutes in that XD would negate King’s Gambit’s lead in experience and Core health. XD would win two team fights around a single altar and on the second collect the boss and his four shots.

The lead would be short-lived as King’s Gambit would win a four-versus-five team fight, while their fifth would capture two of the three available altars. The last altar would be gathered after the team fight, swinging a two-point deficit into a seven-point lead.

King’s Gambit would play to not lose the video game by not taking unnecessary risks and waited for the bell towers to toll for XD.


Droplets ringing everyone’s bells.

Playing safe got them a 2-0 lead in the Grand Finals.

Game 2 – Sky Temple

King’s Gambit bans:  Medivh, Blaze
XD bans: Abathur (1st), Genji

King’s Gambit composition: Jaina, Garrosh, Greymane, Dehaka, Stukov
XD composition: Malfurion, Johanna, Hanzo, Malthael, Falstad

After a fast pick on XD’s Johanna, things would slow down through the first temple phase with one for one trades of the temples. The globals on each team would soak the bottom lane; making sure no one got the experience lead from better soaking.

The action would pick up near the end of the second temple phase with a spicy triple kill from King’s Gambit and the follow-up boss capture.


Team coordination at its finest.

From here on, King’s Gambit put on the shades, stomped the accelerator and drove off into the sunset. They would finish the game eleven kills to zero; 3-0 in favor of King’s Gambit

Game 3 – Infernal Shrines

King’s Gambit bans:  Medivh, Maiev
XD bans: Garrosh (1st), Malthael

King’s Gambit composition: Jaina, Johanna, Greymane, Blaze, Rehgar
XD composition: Malfurion, Junkrat, Diablo, Hanzo, Leoric

With XD’s change of heart with their comp, they were able to move in early by stealing the bottom camp and snagging first blood. The next pick would be due to the way that Diablo and Junkrat can displace opponents. XD clearly won the early game and the race to Level 10.

Summoning their second Punisher of the match, King’s Gambit would also end the lives of four of XD allowing that Punisher to damage the bottom Keep’s gate and towers. This swing of experience equated to a two-level lead and allowed King’s Gambit to take whatever strategy they would like leading up to the next Punisher. XD would equalize at Level 20 before the fight would break out.


And the crowd goes wild!

The continual killing of Diablo throughout the match would deprive him of enough souls to revive during that last push and may have been just enough to allow King’s Gambit to close out the series.

King’s Gambit defeated XD 4-0 and earned their choice of opponent in The Crucible!

From Humble Beginnings

King’s Gambit displayed amazing patience and perseverance throughout the Open Division Cups to grow into the HGC North American Open Division Champions!

From here on King’s Gambit and XD have about a month to scout out and train for the HGC opponents in the Crucible. Best of luck to our Open Division challenger teams! I look forward to covering the HGC Crucible matches and cheering them on.

Be sure to catch HeroesHype’s coverage of the HGC Crucible May 4 and May 5.