Last weekend 40 of the best North American Hearthstone players played their way through a grueling bracket to decide the 6 players who will qualify for the main event. Some notable players in the top 40 included:
For the full list of participants see here.
PurpleDrank and Hotform both immediately advanced out of the winner’s bracket to qualify. The Canadians had impressive runs, with Hotform beating Hyped [3-2] and Amaz [3-1] and PurpleDrank going a combined 9-0 against LegendofTimmah, Zalae, and Trump. The other two players to qualify from the winner’s bracket were Vlps and JAB, both of US descent. Vlps had an amazing run through the bottom half of the winner’s bracket going 3-2 against Tempo Storm’s JustSaiyan, 3-2 versus World Champion Firebat, and 3-1 against a red-hot Luchesi. JAB managed to take down some big names as well, sending StrifeCro, Fibonacci and PHONETAP all to the loser’s bracket while going a combined 9-1. With all those legendary players losing in the winner’s bracket, there were some incredible matchups in the loser’s bracket.
Firebat met PHONETAP in Round 5 of the Loser’s Bracket for an incredible series. Game 1 saw PHONETAP’S Patron Warrior up against Firebat’s own Warrior. PHONETAP was able to get three Patrons on the board by turn 7 for which Firebat had no answer for and swung in for lethal with a Warsong Commander Death’s Bite deathrattle combo. In game 2 PHONETAP chose his Hunter deck as Firebat stuck with his Warrior. PHONETAP again applied a huge amount of early pressure and with the help of a Misha and Houndmaster took the second win of the series by turn 7. In the do-or-die game 3 for Firebat he again chose his Patron deck this time against PHONETAP’S Paladin. Sitting at just 3 health and staring into the face of Tirion Firebat filled up his board with Patrons and a Berserker and swung in for a massive 26 damage to keep his hopes alive. PHONETAP’s Paladin had another chance this time against Firebat’s Mage deck in game 4. Firebat was ahead from the start here and put out a lot of early game pressure and eventually took the win with a Fireball flung over the head of a divine shielded and taunted Dr. Boom. Now with the series brought all the way back to game 5, PHONETAP had one last chance to move on versus Firebat’s Druid. Firebat had a good opening hand with a Darnassus Aspirant and a Wrath and kept up the early pressure and took the win in the end with the classic Force of Nature Savage Roar combo to complete the reverse sweep!
Game 5 of the Hyped vs Reynad series was definitely one to watch. The final match saw both players using their Patron Warrior decks and with Reynad staring down lethal he finally managed to draw his Warsong Commander. What happened next was one of the most ridiculous turns I’ve ever seen in my life. The turn itself lasted almost a full 3 minutes with the rope unable to burn to the end because of all the animations going on. Reynad threw down his Commander, and then both of his Berserkers to give them charge followed by an Unstable Ghoul, two Whirlwinds, then he attacked with the ghoul to kill it triggering another whirlwind effect and swung in for a combined 72 damage just from the Berserkers.
The surprise of the tournament and clear underdog heading into the Regional Championships is nias. He qualified into the last call tournament with World Championship points from the ladder and then managed to grab one of the coveted top 16 spots in the last call tournament to even qualify for the Regional Qualifier. He lost to JAB 3-2 but then went on an absolute tear, beating itsProtoHype, JustSaiyan, Fibonacci, Muzzy, Luchesi, and bloodyface with a combined 20-9 record. We’ll have to see if he can keep his streak going against the best that North America has to offer in the Americas Championship on October 10-11.
Full list of qualified players:
Images courtesy of wiki.teamliquid.net and us.battle.net