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WGL Winter 2018 - Grand Final

08.12.18 | Flipi 2207

Introduction

From all across the globe, we joined viewers tuning in to watch this year's final of WGL. The master was facing his apprentice - elf versus elf, West versus East, Moon versus Foggy. Would Moon's experience prove sufficient to take his dominating streak to its conclusion, or would Foggy secure himself the title through another uphill battle, as has been his way? 

SPOILER MANAGEMENT: For those wishing to view the matches firsthand, we have hidden the final result of each map & and tournament inside SPOILER tabs. So feel at ease to get a feel of the flow of the games here, and still remain innocent enough to enjoy the thrill of the maps later yourself - if you wish to do that.

 

Going into a BO7 you are almost always ensured the reveal of some pocket strategy, some off-meta surprise timing or a plan crafted to play tricks with the opponents mind. In the games we witnessed tonight, there was plenty of all of it.

Map 1: Amazonia

Foggy came out of the gates swinging, bringing Demon Hunter out to directly pressure Moon's Keeper's mana dependency. Soon though, from the ashes of the early game, rose an expansion at Moon's natural, as he worked to capitalize on the strength of his T1 army composition. Foggy, in response, would have none of it and prepared to lay siege to the newly acquired mine, bolstered by wisps setting down Ancient Protectors.  Would Moon be able to hold his advantage and secure the win?

 

Spoiler!
In fact Moon did not hold his expansion, but directed his attention, and several Glaives, to the base of Foggy. Foggy's siege was a relative success, but upon returning home he soon came to realise the price paid to secure it was far too high. Moon pressed him squarely into the back of his mine, where he finally had to admit defeat.

 

Map 2: Terenas Stand LV

The second time around, two Keepers set hoof on the battlefield. Foggy would this time be the first to expand at his natural, but would become separated from it by a devastating push from Moon, utilizing mercenaries from his secured Mercenary Camp and a well placed, offensive, Ancient Protector. Foggy would eventually lose his expansion, but did succeed in getting Moon out of his half of the map, and with some scrambling, put together a strong Glaive push against the expansion Moon had setup on his side. Using his zeppelin brilliantly, Foggy started to outmaneuver Moon.

 

Spoiler!
Moon decided to abandon his expansion and instead go for Foggy's tree, again. He made a bee line for it with the help of his own zeppelin. It seemed desperate, perhaps foolishly so, but Moon did in fact have the whole game already planned. With Foggy having no TP at hand, his Keeper was all that arrived at home to defend (via staff), in hopes of saving his main. Moon then revealed he had also prepared Hyppogryph Riders to counter Foggy's now defenseless glaives and Huntresses. Foggy lost both his tree and his army, and so, the map as well.

 

Map 3: Northern Isles

Light shows and music announced the start of the third map, and we saw a much more standard game out of the early minutes, and two Keepers once more. Foggy scouted Moon's expos at a critical timing and successfully cancelled it, putting him at a slight advantage over his opponent. Moon, having made a rather late Huntress Hall, transitioned into a powerful T1 push (with what looked like an exodus of units streaming out of his base on the minimap), centered around a mounting numbers of glaives once more. Foggy lost both his Ancients of Lore, but through a last second Ankh of Reincarnation pass, was able to save his Alchemist and successfully repel Moon. Minutes later, Moon returned again!

 

Spoiler!
In a battle that made our heads spin with deja-vu, Moon did to Foggy what Foggy had done to Lawliet. Pushing him into the back of his base, razing building after building, Moon spent every last unit and a final few hero attacks to kill Foggy's tree and then TP away. Foggy, left with a few Mountain Giants, almost no buildings and his heroes, made for Moon's base with as much haste as Mountain Giants can. He arrived, uprooted a few trees and crushed Moon's tree in retaliation. All of a sudden, we were faced with a BASE RACE! Things came to a boiling point as Moon lost both his heroes, but removed all but the last building on the map for Foggy (a newly built Ancient of War, taking root outside Moon's natural). Moon had 2 zeppelins and 3 glaives left. Foggy had two heroes and some units, but only one last building still standing. As Moon pressed the attack with a final split drop of glaives, the micro and pressure management required simply became unrealistic and he GG'd out as one of the glaives took a finishing blow. His final building? An uprooted Ancient of War on the map it seemed.

 

Map 4: Echo Isles

The intensity of play was rising with each game. Foggy, fresh faced and hungry for victory, went for his Mercenary Camp. Moon went for a safe green camp by his base and proceeded to move across and become a serious thorn in Foggy's early game. And yes, two Keepers again. Foggy prepared and postures for an early push, but Moon's somehow always perfectly timed scouting allowed him to prepare himself and scare off Foggy before the push realized. Foggy made up for it by catching up in experience, creeping the Market Place and Goblin Shop in quick succession. Moon then came out pushing, with an expansion placed in the background. The push did damage, but Moon was repelled, and, again, Foggy started posturing for his own assault on Moon's side of the map.

 

Spoiler!
But again, Foggy's push turned around before it realized. This time however Moon chased after him, catching up to his glaives outside Foggy's base, and proceeded to lay waste to them as they tried to get in better positions, even running through the green camp which was still uncrept. Foggy had lost his 2nd Ancient of War in the earlier push, and was suffering from a lack of wisps also. Cracks were showing. In the end, Foggy called GG from the back of his base, under the light of Moon's Tranquility.

 

Map 5: Last Refuge

The first hero on both sides needs no introduction, and so the early game went fairly standard. Moon came out with slightly better bang for his buck during it though. The second hero on both sides is also no stranger to the match, bringing his Healing Spray and Acid Bomb to bear on his opponents. The real difference came when Foggy went almost straight for Mountain Giants, while Moon focused on Dryad numbers - planning to leverage his legendary micro of the unit. Foggy had his expansion cancelled twice, with Moon putting up his own expansion at the unexpected side mine, in very close proximity to Foggy's natural. And so, Foggy walked over there to go have a word.

 

Spoiler!
In replay it was confirmed that Foggy may have blundered somewhat in his attempt to take down Moon's expansion. When he was finally forced to TP he had lost a few units and the tree was still standing, albeit barely. His expansion did finish, but Moon had opinions on the matter and they clashed almost immediately again, right between their two expansions, now a focal point on the map. Foggy lost all his Dryads, but succeeded in forcing Moon to TP by focusing his heroes. The respite was short lived however, as Moon returned soon after with even greater Dryad numbers. The, as Foggy was forced to finally exposed his Keeper by passing items to his Alchemist to save it, Moon's Alchemist ran Foggy's Keeper down in the back of Foggy's expansion. The Boxing Champion's hero receiving a brutal beat down.

 

Map 6: Concealed Hill

 

Spoiler!
It's a bluff! No 6th map played.

 

Map 7: Twisted Meadows

 

Spoiler!
It's a bluff! no 7th map played.

 

The Champion

Spoiler!

Due to it being a mirror match, we can put the patch comments aside for now. Moon finished his WGL 2018 run with only 2 maps taken from him in the entire tournament. Throughout his games, he out-planned, out-meta'd and out-played his opponents. Using Keeper of the Grove's merciless early-to-mid game strength, he punished his opponents for ever stepping foot in the ring with him. He may have looked like he was crying, tending to his eyes after every game, but he was shedding no tears for others, only focused on what he was here to prove.

Foggy made us really proud, and he did not go down without a fight. But for 2018, it is Moon who will be crowned champion - King Keeper.

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