Qualifiers #1 was pretty boring straightforward... I mean not that the games were bad but we had what we expected : Happy first and Foggy second. Then a stacked pack of players, hard to distinguish skill-wise.
Hawk made the best mark of them all, going to the LB final and creating troubles for the two favorites. Now was the time to confirm for the inquisitive Russian, and to get back into the spotlights after some difficult times.
Either the Qualification method to get to the Final 8 is bad, either the skill gap is too huge but R1 was very one sided in favor of the Invited players.
The only one to show resistance was Blade in a crazy game 2 against Hawk that saw both players having 3 bases and level 8 heroes. The Moldovan keeps showing great promises after beating Orcworker and Focus in a previous Gera Cup. Refreshing!
Avatars bashing each others in the closest game of Day 1
Anima was the big disappointment of the first day. He was demolished by Rudan in the first round, losing his Archmage countless times to Rudan's shadow strikes. He then lost 1-2 to Bound, a player that was expected to take an early exit and, to his credit, did not (until he forfeited... when will we have a tournament without forfeits??!).
A word about the only 0-4 of the day Starshaped. He was far from being ridiculous and we enjoyed his funny strategies that were sometimes close to work (PotM first against Blade, building his base into Orcworker's on EI with a mercenary army...). Tack så mycket!
Sorry warcraft3.info but since this calculator was implemented, I just want the favorites to lose all the time! And so they did in the WB semi finals.
Sonik was the statistical favorite against Rudan. After taking the lead, he ended being thrown down to the LB by the Prince of Persia Serbia 1-2.
Rudan claimed to have been training a lot for this second Qualifiers, which is unusual apparently. Neo calls him "a natural talent", a way to say he is lazy otherwise I suppose!
I always heard that NE mirror was the matchup with the most versatility : after 3 long games of DH/KotG bear fights, I am not so sure. Games were fun enough, as they were close... and they will delight our Warcraft theorycratians out-there:
- Should you go for entangled lvl 2 or thorn aura lvl 2 on your KotG?
- Should you invest more on bears offense/defense or buy more heal scrolls?
- Should you move your trees to a new mine late game or just go allin as your base will be out of moonwells and your staffs will go straight back into the battle?
- Did Rudan win only on micro and all those previous questions do not matter? I am really curious to hear about opinions
The last stand, where something went wrong for Sonik
I feel like Orcworker is going through a hard phase now. The little I see, he blunders a lot. His victory against Infi is one of my favorite moment of last December WCA : I was the only observer in the game that day and I wanted to interrupt Neo/Remo casting of Longwalk's one so bad...
Not unlike many others players that shined during WCA, he seems to struggle in 2017. Only 1/4 finals during Gera Cups, fast exit during Taidu's Qualifiers #2 and no big wins during these GCS Qualifiers after losing yet another BO3 against Hawk - like last month.
The blunders are what Orcworker's needs to work on. A boulder BM kill comes to mind last time. This time its a Kodo forgotten at a creep camp during G1 or a badly positioned BM that gets bolted to death in G2 while he seemed to have the advantage.
Not under-evaluating Hawk's performance at all here, at the time I was writing those few lines, he was my favorite to take the 3rd spot!
Tomorrow I will end the article with GCS Western Qualifier part 2, and the interviews of the winners.