NA Weekly Recap – HGC Phase 2 Open Division Cup #1

Welcome to the opening cup of Phase 2’s North American Open Division! I hope you’re ready for the next seven weeks of intense competition. The format has stayed the same as Phase  1:

  • Points are given to the top 16 teams each week, accumulating through all of the cups
  • After all of the cups, the top 8 point earners will play through a double-elimination playoffs
  • The first and second place teams of the playoffs will challenge the two bottom teams in the HGC for their spot in the HGC during the Crucible event.

From this week’s competition, staring down their competition, Wrong Orc and Freebirds found their way past their opponents, Reborne and Team Newmerics respectively, and into the grand finals.

Game 1 – Braxis Holdout

Freebirds Bans – Abathur (1st), Jaina
Wrong Orc Bans – Genji, Yrel

Freebirds – Malfurion (1st), Garrosh, Fenix, Greymane, Blaze
Wrong Orc  – Muradin, Dehaka, Stukov, Li-Ming, Sgt. Hammer

The action wouldn’t take long to kick-off as Wrong Orc would make a clean pick on Fenix and both teams would trade a Fort before even the two minute mark. Freebirds would be the first to fill their zerg pit to 100% capacity, propelling their experience lead.

The progression of the match rested entirely on the objective phase. Both teams would claim camps, clear lanes and buy time without critical mistakes until the objective started. The second objective was once again claimed for Freebirds and led to the first Keep of the game being taken down. The next objective with a single pick onto Muradin would be enough to destroy Wrong Orc’s final Keep.

Wrong Orc would put a hard stop to the snowball by winning a short set skirmishes on the top capture point causing two staggered deaths of Freebirds’ two warriors. While they would capture the objective, it was stopped in its tracks due to the power of Fenix’s Planet Cracker heroic ability, but this was Wrong Orc’s way back into the game and delayed the end of the match from level 15 to level 20.

Planet Cracker Value

Game 1 was a close game as Wrong Orc would almost dug their way out of their grave but eventually were buried by the Boss and a massive wave of zerg. Freebird claimed Game 1.

Game 2 – Cursed Hollow

Freebirds Bans– Abathur (1st), Tracer
Wrong Orc Bans – Genji, Garrosh

Freebirds – Dehaka (1st), Hanzo, Deckard, Johanna, Li-Ming
Wrong Orc  – E.T.C., Malfurion,Blaze, Jaina, Zeratul

While Game 1 was mostly Freebirds’ show with flashes of Wrong Orc. Game 2 was a long-fused firework! The first eight minutes or so would be close and each team taking advantage of their comps and playing around the camp timing and objectives.

However, the heroics came into effect and Wrong Orc was the only team to find their value in excess. Wrong Orc would smash multiple members of Freebirds repeatedly and claim the first curse extending a one-level-lead to a three-level-lead in just under four minutes. We saw several Void Prisons come out from Zeratul, played by Nessper, in these skirmishes that targeted the right person or took advantage of Freebirds’ positioning. This allowed the rest of Zeratul’s team to collapse on the Freebirds in ways that they could not counter or mitigate.

Zeratul’s Delicatessen; creating Sandwiches of Destruction since 2015

Shortly thereafter, Wrong Orc made a few more takedowns happen, claimed a Boss and drew a line in the sand to say, “This far and no further!” Game 2 goes the way of Wrong Orc.

Game 3 – Towers of Doom

Freebirds Bans– Abathur (1st), Garrosh
Wrong Orc Bans – Genji, E.T.C.

Freebirds – Malfurion (1st), Blaze, Jaina, Muradin, Fenix
Wrong Orc  – Dehaka, Falstad, Stukov, Johanna, Li-Ming

This is exactly how you want a series like this to end; slugfest team fights, expertly executed plans and no clear winner until the final shots landed on the core.

This back and forth battle lasted basically all the way up until the last few sequences and plays. Both teams positioned themselves to take a lead if they could execute just slightly better than the opponent.

For a few minutes it looked like Wrong Orc was beginning to pull away based off of takedowns and a level 19 to 17 experience lead, but Freebirds turned a team fight and brought it to a level 20 to 20 and ahead on Core health, 12 to 5. But it wasn’t meant to last as Wrong Orc found one last team fight opportunity to flip the game back in their favor.

Beginning of the End

Game, set and match! Wrong Orc claim victory in Game 3 and ending the series 2-1! The North American Open Division Cup #1 Champions are Wrong Orc!

The Race is Long

This is just cup number one in Phase 2 and there a six more to go! Going off what we saw tonight as well as during Phase 1, you cannot count any team out. These teams will have to manage their growth and how well they adapt to the meta as it forms with each new patch.

Thank you for reading the NA Weekly Recap! For a breakdown of points following Cup #1 visit https://heroeshype.com/naopen/ and click the “Standings” tab. Look for Cup #2 next week on July 9th and 10th.