NA Weekly Recap – HGC Phase 2 Open Division Cup #5

Cup #5 for Phase 2 brings in two new teams in the Top 4 this week: FemmeFerocity and Firm Handshake. Firm Handshake would take the 2-0 over FemmeFerocity for third place, but the points awarded to these two teams put them into the Top 8 and contenders for the playoffs!

With little surprise our other top finishers for the week are Freebirds and Wrong Orc. Wrong Orc has a firm lead in this rivalry at 3-1. While playing with a substitute, Wrong Orc still found a way to punch their ticket to the Grand Finals; speaking to the synergy of the returning four players.

Here are the highlights from another three-game grand finals between Wrong Orc and Freebirds.

Game 1 – Cursed Hollow

Wrong Orc Bans – Genji, Dehaka, Rehgar
Freebirds Bans – Hanzo (1st), Abathur, Diablo

Wrong Orc Picks – Yrel, Deckard, Muradin, Jaina, Falstad
Freebirds Picks – E.T.C. (1st), Blaze, Raynor, Zeratul, Uther

We kickstart this series on a map that started off last week’s series as well. Freebirds had the early and mid-game covered but made a mistake calling for a late boss. This week, we see a more equalized early game presence and kept the experience relatively equal until the endgame.

Wrong Orc would claim the first curse and Boss, but a couple of players took a step too far and were taken down by Freebirds, allowing them into the experience driver seat.

Ackbar! Ackbar! A step too far!

Freebirds were positioned with two tributes already, raked in a few more takedowns which easily secured level twenty a level-and-a-half ahead of Wrong Orc. The last tribute would be channeled and the boss would be taken during the curse and end the game.

Game 2 – Towers of Doom

Wrong Orc Bans – Genji, Yrel, Stitches
Freebirds Bans – Diablo (1st), Abathur , Maiev

Wrong Orc Picks – Dehaka, Johanna, Zeratul, Hanzo, Rehgar
Freebirds Picks – Deckard (1st), Raynor, Blaze, Thrall, Garrosh

With the defending champions and leader in the rivalry on their back foot it was great to see them come out again with a comparable early game presence. Last week where Freebirds had the dominating early game, and Wrong Orc upset them in the late game. With this stronger presence in the early game, and a 4-0 record against Freebirds on Towers of Doom coming into this game, it was a bit of a surprise that the mid-game falling behind again.

Into the mid-game, the two teams made concessions on camps, engagements and Altars, exercising an amount of patience and big picture awareness that many of our Open Division teams should be taking notes on. At Level 13, this game again looked very similar to last week in that Wrong Orc was down 32-20 remaining core health and made a great play around an Altar.

Delays are just the beginning of grand adventures

From that delay, Wrong Orc would claim all three Altars available during that phase and equalize core health.  Marching to the late game both teams would whittle each other down to fatal core health from pretty much any form of core damage.

Wrong Orc’s global pressure and ability to take out some of Freebirds’ Forts would tilt the map control into their favor and back Freebirds into a not-so-free-bird-cage. However, that same door would swing wide open and present an opportunity for Freebirds to snatch back a victory and close out the series; a quick pick on Dehaka and only seven seconds left before the Boss spawned. Freebirds had their win condition in their sights and the advantage of fighting 5v4.  In the end, eight players had fallen, but Wrong Orc was the last team standing and claimed the fatal four shots to end the game.

Go! Fight! Win!

Game 3 – Battlefield of Eternity

Wrong Orc Bans – Genji, Yrel, Garrosh
Freebirds Bans – Hanzo (1st), Abathur, Fenix

Wrong Orc Picks – Blaze, Diablo, Thrall, Raynor, Kharazim
Freebirds Picks – Deckard (1st), Li-Ming, Dehaka, Muradin, Cassia

The start of the game was pretty standard and nearly dead even in experience by the time the first Immortal spawned. Freebirds would capitalize on a skill combo between Deckard and Dehaka for first blood. Two more takedowns would lead to Freebirds claiming the first Immortal. An amazing pressure against Wrong Orc allowed Freebirds to bully them out of protecting the top Fort and even a Keep tower.

The second Immortal phase allowed Freebirds to clean up the towers and gates for each keep allowing the third Immortal to take a keep, assuming they could claim it.

And that’s all she wrote.

With a 13-0 takedown lead, Freebirds would leisurely stroll into Wrong Orc’s base and smash the Core like a child’s piñata into some phat loot.

Your Cup #5 Champions and solid challengers for first place in NA Open Division, Freebirds, take it in Game 3!

One Step Closer

Two cups remain and Freebirds is only 30 points behind Wrong Orc for first place. That also means they even have the chance to take control of their rivalry if they were to win against them two more cups in a row. There are also about thirteen other teams who could find their way into the remaining six playoff spots should they make strong showings in those next two cups.

Thank you for reading the NA Weekly Recap! For a breakdown of points following Cup #5 visit and click the “Standings” tab.

When you or your team decide to jump into the fray and compete in the HGC Open Division for either Europe or North America, head over to for more information. We’re taking a couple of weeks off while the HGC heads towards the Phase 2 Western and Eastern clashes. We’ll see you again for the next Open Division cup on August 20th.