This past weekend saw one of the United Kingdom’s biggest Hearthstone tournaments take place, with 103 competitors from across the world including well known pros such as Lifecoach from Germany, Powder from Sweden and Firebat from the U.S.A. Round One kicked off in the Swiss format, with the top 16 players after seven games progressing through to the group stages. The remainder of the 103 would be eliminated to take place in the Redemption Cup, a Hearthstone tournament running alongside the Truesilver Championship but with a smaller prize pool and no Hearthstone World Championship points on offer.
With such a small portion of the competitors advancing at the end of the Swiss stage, some upsets were bound to happen. Firebat, a former world champion was one fatality whilst AKAwonder, the winner of the recent Legendary series in Katowice was another. This also meant some slightly more unknown players progressed, including the top two by the end of the stage; Ness and Modernleper, both of the United Kingdom.
Stage Two saw the top 16 split into four groups which you can see below, with the top two progressing to the single elimination stage:
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D|
The main surprises in the group stages were Modernleper being knocked out after his flawless 7-0 performance in the Swiss stage, Rdu after being the reigning champion and ThijsNL, after his reputation as one of the top players in Europe. On the other side, Ness showed his 6-1 performance in Swiss wasn’t a fluke and both remaining Americans, Zalae and Dog, made it through without too much trouble.
Stage Three kicked off with Powder of SK Gaming facing off against Xixo of Natus Vincere, with Powder taking a 3-2 victory. Zalae and Dog was the next matchup, which meant only one American had the chance to win overall. Dog, player for Team Liquid came out on top after a 3-1 win, with Ness of Torpedo Gaming surprisingly defeating Lifecoach 3-2 in the next game, meaning despite taking three players to the event, G2 eSports went home with nothing better than a 5th-8th place finish. C4mlann, the only Flow eSports player to make it through the groups was the final player to progress to the semi finals after defeating Pokrovac 3-2.
Powder vs Dog was the first semi final, with Powder defeating Dog’s Rogue with his Shaman, but falling to Dog’s Warrior with both Shaman and Druid. He came out on top in the battle of the Warriors, but lost the momentum as Dog came out victorious with Mage. In the other semi final, Ness started off strong defeating C4mlann’s Druid with his Warlock deck, but C4mlann swiftly brought it back in a Warlock vs Warlock matchup. Ness whipped out his trusty Priest deck though, and eliminated both of C4mlann’s remaining decks, the Warlock and Warrior. The stage was set; Dog vs Ness, U.S.A vs UK.
It commenced with Dog playing Warrior and Ness utilising Warlock. A long game ensued, with Dog eventually having one win condition left in his deck: Grommash Hellscream. Fortunately for Dog, Grommash ended up being the very last card left in Dog’s deck and he found lethal just one turn before it was drawn. Lady Luck was definitely on Ness’ side. Dog chose his Rogue deck next and quickly brought it back to 1-1 overall. Ness’ remaining decks were Druid and Priest and given that Priest is often considered a very poor matchup vs Rogue, to Ness it was now or never. Dog stayed strong however and eliminated the Druid, meaning the odds were stacked firmly against Ness in match four. But Ness showed just why his performance all weekend hadn’t been a fluke, with some odd plays even the casters questioned at the start, but ultimately he managed to defeat the Rogue and subsequently the Mage, meaning Ness achieved a 3-2 victory and was crowned the champion of Insomnia57’s Truesilver Championship, netting himself $10,000 and 15 HWC points on top of the eight he already had.
Congratulations to Ness on his first major victory, and keep your eyes peeled here on VGU for more Hearthstone event coverage.