By Anne Elise Morrigan
So, this is an attempt to start doing more moment-to-moment coverage for Trolls.GG. I’m going to try to fill the gaps when it seems like no one is writing content. Want some analysis for what’s going to happen? Hopefully, we have you covered! So what’s gonna happen on the first day? We know one thing: 2 teams will be eliminated by the end of Friday. Which two? Well…
Match 1: Team Dignitas over Team Octalysis, 2-0.
Octalysis has been through too many changes to be consistent. Their moves between 2017 and 2018 made the team seem hot, but the departure of Kure and Daneski stunted the growth of a team that made it to Blizzcon last year. Meanwhile, Dignitas is the most dominate, consistent, and cohesive team in the field. Octalysis won’t even provide a speed bump as Dignitas runs them over in a fast sweep.
Match 2: Tempo Storm over Method, 2-1
BadBenny and adrd coming back home to the roster they had been a part of all last year (formerly known as Team expert) is the hope that Method needs to avoid a repeat of the last Clash, where they went out first. Tempo Storm bringing in Vin to replace Psalm means Tempo still has some gelling to do. That said, Tempo is still 80% of the team that thumped Ballistix twice at the MSB. Method will get one win from the mad scientist, adrd, but then they are on their way to the lower bracket.
Match 3: HeroesHearth Esports 2-0 over Leftovers
What a story HHE has been! From Open Division Champs, to winning Crucible, to first in their region, HHE is poised to make a statement and fight for a top spot. They were not quite ready at the MSB, but up against a Leftovers team that has a 1-9 map score against the top of their region, HHE looks to push past Leftovers and get a seat to watch their next opponent. And that will be…
Match 4: Team Liquid 2-0 over Team Freedom
I have been following the core of this team from mYinsantiy, to Misfits, to now Team Liquid, and aside from their match against Team Dignitas, Liquid has looked solid. They haven’t looked pretty, but they look like they are on their way back to where they were at the start of 2017, when it was this roster, not Dignitas or Fnatic, that sat atop EU. Team Freedom has quietly stayed in the hunt in NA, sometimes even being on top of the region but now they are starting to lag as HHE and TS look worlds ahead of the rest of NA. This will be closer than the 2-0 score indicates but Liquid will edge out both of the first two games for the sweep.
The pairings for the lower bracket matches are based on previous Clashes, apologies if the HGC powers do something different and they end up being wrong.
Match 5: Method over Team Octalysis, 2-1
Remember how Method went out first at the last Clash? Remember how they were the first EU team to ever go out first at a Clash? Remember that it was Team Octalysis who knocked them down to the lower bracket in the last Western Clash?
At the last Clash, while Method got knocked out, adrd drafted the most amazing series of events to push Zealots from first to drop to the lower bracket to ending up in the grand finals and almost taking the entire tournament. The Mad Scientist will look to repeat that as the Tempo Storm loss stings Method hard, and they want to avoid repeating history. Octalysis will show why they belong, but it won’t be enough.
Match 6: Team Freedom over Leftovers, 2-0
I don’t have a ton to say about this match other than Team Freedom will be playing this last, against the weakest team in the Clash, with a friendly crowd that should be plenty hyped for some EU blood. Team Freedom is still the team that went to Blizzcon and they want to make a statement that when, not if, they go back this year, they will do more than just put on a good show against Gen.G (then MVP Black) in a losing effort. This won’t be pretty. Expect Team Freedom to go for the throat and for this to be a very lopsided 2-0. For Team Freedom, this has to be a statement game.
And so that’s it. Both #4 seeds get eliminated on Day 1. There won’t be any upsets.
On Day 2, there will be fireworks aplenty. See you after Day 1 for follow-up predictions.
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