Buy or Sell: #HGC EU – Week 9, Phase 1, Part 2 2018

Anne EliseNews

Buy or Sell is, hopefully, a weekly feature on Trolls.gg where I will play “Mad Money” with the current goings-on of HGC. These will be fun articles where I tell you whether or not I think a team is on the rise, a team is falling, or something else in HGC is going well or needs a little work. Please remember, these are tongue-in-cheek articles, no one is really buying or selling anything, and this is just to start discussion about how the pro scene is going for NA and EU.

So, I missed Week 8 for lots of personal reasons that we don’t need to go into. It should suffice to say that life isn’t always great, but we muddle through as best as we can. As I look at what happened in Week 8 and Week 9, we don’t have a ton to talk about. So, here’s what we know:

  • Team Dignitas has locked in the first spot for the Mid-Season Brawl
  • Fnatic has locked in the second spot for the Mid-Season Brawl
  • Team Liquid (29-21) needs to win a single map in week 10 to secure the top playoff spot over Team Method (26-20)
  • Team Method has to beat Tricked and have Liquid swept by Fnatic to secure the top play off spot
  • Zealots has locked in the 5th place spot for Phase 1
  • Tricked has locked in the 6th place spot for Phase 1
  • Leftovers and Diamond Skin are in the crucible

So, the only thing that week 10 will determine, after week 9, is the outside chance of Method overtaking Team Liquid for the top playoff spot, a.k.a. third place, for Phase 1.

So, what is there to buy or sell?

Well…

BUY – EU is Team Dignitas’ world

How many different ways can I tell you to buy Team Dignitas? Aside from Zealots upsetting them in Part 1, and Zealots very nearly upsetting them at the Western Clash, Team Dignitas hasn’t really had a reason to be scared. Yes, Team Liquid did get up 2-0 on Snitch and the boys and, for a moment, Dignitas looked mortal but this team is peaking right now and it’s hard to see anything changing.

SELL – Tricked esport

I keep waiting for Tricked to show up. They have the occasional match where they shock me with a win I didn’t see coming (see: both of their wins over Zealots) but then they will drop a set to Diamond Skin. They were swept this phase by Dignitas twice, Fnatic twice, and Liquid once. If Tricked loses to Method this weekend, then they will go 0-8 with at least five of those losses via sweep against the top four teams in EU. This team needs to make some hard choices heading into Phase 2. The talent has always been there but they have never been able to put it together. I wonder how much longer AlextheProG will stay with this team if they cannot find wins.

BUY – Team Liquid’s turnaround

Since the Western Clash, Team Liquid is 5-1, and if it hadn’t been for the reverse sweep by Team Dignitas they would be 6-0 and overwhelming favorites to knock off Fnatic this weekend. As it stands, it’s a little hard to call Liquid the favorite this weekend, but they have the most momentum of any team not named “Dignitas” heading into the final weekend. In Phase 1, Part 1 of 2017, this team looked unstoppable heading into the Western Clash. They spent the rest of 2017 slowly falling apart. I don’t know if this is the year that Team Liquid breaks its curse and makes it to Blizzcon, but they are in great shape to make the MSB.

SELL – Zealots in this meta

I have no idea what is going on that has led to Zealots being this inconsistent. Miracle win against Team Dignitas, miracle run through the Western Clash, starting this phase 3-1 with a win over Fnatic, but losing to Method in the previous set, with back to back loses to Tricked and Liquid, and Zealots dropped from probably the second most feared team in EU, to a locked in 5th place and first round playoff match to the team that beat them twice, Tricked esport. This weekend, Zealots has Dignitas, and it won’t be another miracle. Midnight has struck. Zealots will not be heading to the Mid-Season Brawl. This team will have tough choices to make in the upcoming roster swap period.

So that’s pretty much it. I don’t want to get too deep into playoffs and crucible talk. The matches in week 10 won’t have much, if any, effect on the standings, but there are pride points here that do matter, so:

Predictions for Week 10

You know, I made predictions on Trollin HGC, but I don’t remember them, and I’m too lazy to go look up the show notes. So, here we go:

Friday

  • Team Dignitas over Zealots 3 - 0
  • Method over Tricked esport 3 - 1

Saturday

  • Diamond Skin over Leftovers 3 - 2
  • Team Liquid over Fnatic 3 - 1

Match of the Week

The only match you really need to watch is the last one of the weekend. I don’t know if Liquid over Fnatic is an upset, based on performance since the Western Clash, but it feels like it would be. It’s a little sad that everything is very anti-climatic in this last week because the first nine weeks have been so great. Don’t get me wrong, this weekend is worth watching, but these games don’t really have any bearing on the seeding for the playoffs or the MSB spots.

Even Diamond Skin vs. Leftovers, which is the fight for 7th place has little meaning as the teams in the crucible have likely already targeted which team they think is the weaker of the two. So, enjoy a nice, relaxing weekend of EU.

The playoffs and the crucible are going to be wild!