Spoilers follow about HGC NA Open Division 2018 Phase 2 Week 2.
I missed the first week so now I’m playing catch up! The following are summaries and highlights of the matches. I don’t cover everything in each draft or match but I do mention the things I find most interesting or of note.
The top 4 teams going into the semi-finals this week were:
Wrong orc vs Necrodancers - AND - Freebirds vs Reborne
Semi-Final 1: wrong orc vs Necrodancers
Wrong orc won this series 2-1 over Necrodancers
Take away: wrong orc has a strong macro game.
Game to watch: Game 2 Sky Temple to learn when to draft a Zeratul and use him properly.
Map 1 was Infernal Shrines chosen by Necrodancers
Necrodancers chose a double warrior comp with Deckard versus solo tank Diablo with a three assassin comp. Wrong orc showed an early game advantage by winning the first objective. Teh match overall turned against wrong orc when they attempted a camp invade when both teams had just turned level 10. wrong orc came out on the losing end of the fight just as the second objective spawned. wrong orc continued staggering deaths and Necrodancers took advantage of their poor positioning for the next several minutes..Necrodancers hit 16 first and got the third objective on the bottom lane. As they pushed the lane Diablo went down, bottom keep went down, and then wrong orc’s core went down. Kala disliked the Malthael pick and Jake, aka Dollar Store Ben Stiller, agreed.
Map 2 was Sky Temple chosen by wrong orc (time 00:29:30)
Necrodancers chose a double global comp (Dehaka/Falstad) versus a strong ETC comp with a last pick Zeratul. Falstad was predicted to have a bad day (he did). Wrong orc’s early game macro and camp timing are stronger. Wrong orc gets 10 first and second objective uncontested. Necrodancers decided to start the boss and we all know what happens when you start the boss without a numbers advantage on Sky Temple. Wrong orc nearly team wipes Necrodancers and kept a constant level advantage through the rest of the game. Necrodancers go for another boss play in a desperate attempt to turn the match around and promptly lose everything.
Map 3 was Cursed Hollow chosen by wrong orc (time 00:58:00)
Both teams picked a global but it’s Necrodancers that turned it up to 11 with Sgt. Hammer. It wasn’t really an exciting match through level 10. Necrodancers were able to body wrong orc for the first two tributes but wrong orc’s macro play and level 10 camp invade gave the the advantage going into mid game. Wrong orc got the first curse after a decisive team fight and took a two lead after destroying all of Necrodancers tier one structures. Wrong orc took their boss with a level 16 to 14 advantage and pushed bot lane with it. Necrodancers Sgt. Hammer goes down and wrong orc takes the core with the boss.
Semi-Final 2: Freebirds vs Reborne
Freebirds won this series 2-0 over Reborne
Take away: Freebirds can out draft and play a solid game
Game to watch: Skip this series. The matches were too one sided.
Map 1 was Towers of Doom chosen by Freebirds (time 01:33:20)
The Falstad train continued and Reborne jumped aboard. Both teams drafted a global but it’s Freebirds that last picked an unusual Junkrat. Falstad continued to prove to be a squishy liability for the teams that picked him. Freebirds got multiple picks on Falstad and Fenix and dominated the entire game. Reborne felt like they couldn’t get any work done.
Map 2 was Infernal Shrines chosen by Freebirds (time 02:01:10)
Draft felt more dramatic than the first map. Freebirds picked a strong shrine control team by getting Johanna and Sonya early in the draft. Reborne picked a comp centered more around team fight. Freebirds doubled down on Junkrat again for the last pick. Freebirds macro before the first objective helped them get the first Punisher. Reborne made a huge mistake trying invade Freebirds’ shaman camp and all five heroes on Rebone ended up dying at the beginning of the second shrine. Freebirds make a great rotation to destroy bottom keep’s wall before taking the Punisher for that lane. On the push to the core Freebirds got a kill on Reborne and secured the first keep at 13:30. Freebirds got 20 first, took Reborne’s shaman camp, took their own shaman camp, and went for the shrine. Reborne made a desperate attempt to fight over the shrine and lost Garrosh and then the game.
The Final: wrong orc vs Freebirds
Freebirds won this series 2-1 over wrong orc
This was a rematch from week one’s final.
Take away: These teams are the best teams in NA Open and are about equal in skill. They feel more like LFM and less like Heroeshearth.
Game to watch: Game 1 on Sky Temple is a good map to see how to draft, talent, and play Falstad on a bigger map.
Map 1 was Sky Temple chosen by wrong orc (time 02:35:17)
Wrong orc drats ETC and Falstad in response to Freebirds’ first pick Dehaka and will again try to prove Falstad has a place in competitive play. The match was very even for the early game and the teams split the first objective. Wrong orc got 10 first but didn’t do much with it. Freebirds decided to start the boss and won the point (good job Hanzo) in a skirmish that cost each team a hero. Wrong orc extended its level lead afterward with superior macro and then two big ganks on Freebirds. Unfortunately wrong orc didn’t push its advantage immediately and Freebirds got a second boss of the game. Freebirds got a keep of their own on the boss push but stayed too long and lost all five heroes at the beginning of the next temple phase. Wrong orc got huge value from both temples that were up by destroying Freebirds two remaining keeps and doing damage to the core. Wrong orc ganked Freebirds up level 21 to 19, won the team fight, and then took the core.
Map 2 was Braxis Holdout chosen by wrong orc (time 03:05:00)
Wrong orc chose a more standard Braxis comp but Freebirds chose a comp with Tracer and Junkrat. The first few levels of the game were unusual with strange rotations, chases, and positioning. It felt like a complete 180 from the safe and calculated first map on Sky Temple. Freebirds got the first objective and got value both bottom with the wave and top with Yrel. Freebirds got level 10 first and controlled the map but made a mistake trying to force the keep on bot lane and lost a lot of momentum after losing two heroes. After some crazy team fights and skirmishes, Freebirds got the next objective but Fenix’s Planet Cracker just destroys the wave. Freebirds got the first keep, got level 16 first, got the boss, and then both points on the next objective. Freebirds won the last objective, push and won.
Map 3 was Volskaya Foundry chosen by wrong orc (time 03:38:40)
Wrong orc goes with a Stitches blow up comp versus a Freebirds all around solid comp. Rotations for both teams were pretty standard through the first objective. Leoric had a hard time solo laning against Yrel. Both teams had good sustain in team fight’s but Freebirds secured the first objective. They didn’t get much done with the first Triglev and both teams turn level 10 around the same time. After Greymane’s second death in two minutes it became apparent that maybe that wasn’t the best draft choice. Freebirds macro better in the mid game and wrong orc showed signs of stress. Freebirds gets the second Triglev and Greymane dies a third time. Then a fourth. Stitches found a good hook now and then but Freebirds’ Entombs were getting greater value. Freebirds got 20 first, killed Stitches and Deckard, took out bottom keep’s wall, got the Triglev and destroy the first keep at 18:20. Freebirds’ post 20 team fight was too strong for wrong orc and they win a team fight and then the game.