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Expert Stitches mechanics
July 21, 2017
zugrug had some nice picks in a 3-0 victory over Team Naventic during the 2017 HGC Phase 2 Group Stage.
ANALYSIS
zugrug started out Game 1 on Towers of Doom with a Stitches pick. While the Stitches pick was very meta and great for Team Freedom, zugrug opted out of taking the gimmicky level 10 talent Gorge and went with the higher damage Putrid Bile. This seemed like a risk but zugrugs excellent use of the ability provided just the utility needed to secure kills on Team Naventic and end the game in under 13 minutes. Game 2 on Dragon Shire saw zugrug with Stitches again. In this match he also opted for the Putrid Bile ultimate rather than Gorge and he was able to utilize this ult to slow down his enemies while Nazmas and Kure on D.Va and Genji (respectively) wore them down with their heavy sustained damage. zugrug ended Game 2 with a 0-1-10 KDA. In Game 3 zugrug again went with his comfort Stitches pick. This time the map was Infernal Shrines and zugrug opted for Dampen Magic at level 1, allowing him to be a much more tanky frontliner for his team. zugrug ended Game 3 with a 2-1-8 KDA.
Tricky drafter
July 20, 2017
nazmas was a trickster in a 3-0 decimation of Team Naventic during the 2017 HGC Group Stage Phase 2.
ANALYSIS
nazmas started out the series in Game 1 on Abathur, arguably the trickiest hero in the game. The map was Towers of Doom and nazmas drafted the little slug as a surprise pick that threw Team Naventic off balance. nazmas went 2/0/9 for the match and most importantly topped siege damage at nearly 90,000 and experience gained at over 14,000. The experience gained was almost double the 8,500 that Zuna was able to get for Team Naventic, which was the highest for their team. In Game 2 nazmas went with another off-meta pick in D.Va. Despite the strange warrior selection, especially for the map, Dragon Shire, nazmas was highly effective in zoning the enemy and split-pushing for experience. He ended the match with a 2/2/6 KDA and top damage taken and experience soaked for his team. In Game 3 on Infernal Shrines Nazmas once again opted for D.Va. This time the D.Va selection was a little more expected as Infernal Shrines is a great map for the dive-centric warrior to score kills, and more importantly, win objectives. nazmas played a great series and continues to improve as we delve deeper into the HGC season.
Team Freedom's saving grace
July 20, 2017
Kure was outstanding in a 3-0 victory over Team Naventic during the 2017 HGC Group Stage Phase 2.
ANALYSIS
Kure went with what is now becoming his pocket pick in Genji for both Game 1 and Game 2 of the best-of-five series. In Game 1 on Towers of Doom Kure had a solid 7-1-6 KDA while also topping the damage charts. This led Team Freedom to a quick and decisive 12-minute victory. In Game 2 on Genji once again Kure immediately took control of the map, Dragon Shire, with some outstanding harassment, which eventually led to two kills before the four-minute mark. This game Kure posted a 1-1-9 KDA while once again earning the top damage with just under 40,000. In Game 3 Kure changed directions and picked up a ranged assassin in Valla. The map was Infernal Shrines and Valla is a decent hero, but absolutely not the best at clearing the objective skeletons. With Genji finally banned though, Valla may have been his best choice. This is suggesting that Kure is less comfortable with mage heroes, who are typically the better choice on this map. Kure managed to post a 5/2/5 KDA, and for the third time in a row topped the damage charts with a little more than 37,000 damage.
Rough first match; solid finish
July 20, 2017
KilluZiioN had ups and downs during a 3-0 victory over Team Naventic during the 2017 HGC Group Stage Phase 2.
ANALYSIS
KilluZiioN started out in Game 1 with a Rehgar pick on Towers of Doom. This was easily his worst match of the night as he posted a 0/2/8 KDA and was outhealed by the enemy Uther 19,000 to 15,000. In Game 2 KilluZiioN set a much different pace as he was quick to snatch up Kharazim as a support/melee-assassin hybrid on Dragon Shire. Opting for a tanky build by taking Spell Shield at level 13, KilluZiioN was able to dive deep and often, scoring an impressive 5-0-4 KDA and grabbing two epic multi-kills late in the game to help seal the match for Team Freedom. In Game 3 of the best-of-five series, KilluZiioN went for Rehgar once again, perhaps searching for some redemption after his abysmal play in Game 1. On Infernal Shrines, KilluZiioN used his static shield ability to assist his team in capturing the objective with the area-of-effect damage it provided. This proved to be just enough to ensure three of the four immortal punishers and ultimately close out the series for Team Freedom. KilluZiioN posted a much better KDA in the final match of the series at 2/0/8.
Nearly unkillable
July 20, 2017
daneski was on fire in a 3-0 rout of Team Naventic during the 2017 HGC Group Stage Phase 2.
ANALYSIS
daneski was practically unkillable in his 3-0 victory over Team Naventic to start out Phase 2 of HGC's Group Stage. In Game 1 daneski went with Lunara and posted a 2/0/7 KDA with a quick and strong 12-minute victory on Towers of Doom. While daneski was second to Kure in damage output, he more than made up for it with his expert positioning and reliability in game, opting for a safer but stronger playstyle than he is sometimes known for. Game 2 saw daneski on Greymane. The map was Dragon Shire, and daneski came out ready for action, scoring a kill on the enemy Rehgar just before the three-minute mark. This game daneski posted a respectable 2/1/7 KDA and had some outstanding siege damage at 120,000. In Game 3 on Infernal Shrines, daneski went with a risky Tassadar pick in a solo assassin team comp. Thankfully, that solo assassin was his teammate Kure, who had a big game himself. daneski ended the match with a 0/1/10 KDA on the pseudo support.
Big playmaker
June 30, 2017
Kure was on fire in a 3-0 victory over Even in Death during the HGC Phase 2 Group Stage.
ANALYSIS
Kure, the newest member of Team Freedom and frequent number-one ranked GrandMaster player on the Hero League leaderboards was excellent in his debut performance on his first HGC caliber team. Kure opened up with Genji in Game 1 on Towers of Doom and, confident as ever, went in for a striking kill on the enemy Illidan at the four-minute mark. On a hot streak he nearly got a full team wipe at the 10-minute mark, killing all of his opponents save for the Illidan. Game 2 was more of the same as Kure once again drafted Genji, this time on Tomb of the Spider Queen. In this match, not only did Kure top the damage charts, but he also racked up a 7/1/8 KDA in the process, far outshining the remaining members of his team. Additionally, his strong and aggressive play helped his team end the game at just 17 minutes, which is very quick for a Tomb of the Spider Queen match, many of which stretch on for 30 minutes or longer.
Mistakes were made
June 30, 2017
KilluZiioN had a hard time in a 3-0 victory over Even in Death during the HGC Phase 2 Group Stage.
ANALYSIS
KilluZiioN had a rough series in what should have been a swift and easy victory for Team Freedom. In Game 1 KilluZiioN drafted Rehgar against a double support comp and was unable to keep anyone alive, dropping 10 total deaths from his team due to lack of healing. While KilluZiioN didn't die during the match, his healing output, mana management, and decision making was all suspect. Game 2 went better with Malfurion on Tomb of the Spider Queen, but in Game 3 KilluZiioN once again made some mistakes that cost his team big on Sky Temple. Playing Malfurion, KilluZiioN overstepped his area of safety multiple times, dying twice in the process and forcing his team into risky positions on both occasions. Team Freedom has already demonstrated that no player is safe on this team, should KilluZiioN continue this type of reckless play, he may soon find himself on the chopping block.
Precise marksman
June 30, 2017
daneski was meticulous in a 3-0 victory over Even in Death during the HGC Phase 2 Group Stage.
ANALYSIS
In Game 1 daneski went with his pocket pick Li-Ming on Towers of Doom. His long-range poke and stalling ability proved too much for Even in Death to handle as daneski built up 100,000 damage and had a 5/2/10 KDA. In Game 2 daneski opted for a Lunara pick on Tomb of the Spider Queen and was very precise about when and who he poked down with his damage-over-time auto attacks while pushing hard in the laning phase and keeping pace with the enemy Kael'thas' insane wave clear. Just after the two-minute mark daneski made a small mistake, costing him a death; however, he was quick to recover, and by the 15-minute mark he had amassed seven kills for his team as well as two won objectives. daneski has been consistently showing excellent play in all of his matches throughout both Phases of the HGC. He is definitely a player on the rise.
Menace on Genji
June 30, 2017
psalm was on point in a 3-0 victory over Even in Death during the 2017 HGC Phase 2 Group Stage.
ANALYSIS
psalm started out in Game 1 on Kael'Thas, a hero he is not known for playing. The map was Tomb of the Spider Queen, one of Kael'Thas's best maps due to the fast wave-clearing ability his Flamestrike move gives the team. Despite psalm's unfamiliarity with the hero in competitive play, he performed quite well with a 5/1/14 KDA and nearly topping the damage charts, just under cattlepillar on Stitches. In Game 2 psalm went for Genji on Cursed Hollow. The Genji pick was lightly countered, by both Chen and Varian being picked by the other team; however, psalm was a mastermind at saving his escapes for the perfect moment after both frontline warriors used their gap-closing abilities and put them on cooldown. This allowed psalm to grab three kills and nine assists to just one death for the match, ultimately sealing the victory for his team in just 11-and-a-half minutes.
Epic Saves
June 30, 2017
Jun was a magician in a 3-0 victory over Even in Death during the 2017 HGC Phase 2 Group Stage.
ANALYSIS
Jun opted for an incredibly safe Malfurion pick in Game 1 on Tomb of the Spider Queen. This pick was centered around chaining his Entangling Root CC with a Stitches Hook from cattlepillar or a Kael'Thas Stun. Jun showed expert control in waiting for the perfect moment to drop his CC and blow up a picked target while also maintaining enough distance that the double frontline and assassin Genji could not get to him for an easy kill. Jun managed to top the kill charts in this game with seven while also netting zero deaths for his team. In Game 2 on Cursed Hollow, Jun once again went with Malfurion and was able to keep his streak alive by once again having zero deaths for his team. This was an incredibly one-sided match and Tempo Storm was able to close it out in just over 11-and-a-half minutes. Jun had some great saves on his teammate and showed a lot of improvement over this series versus the Jun that played in HGC Phase 1.
Reverse sweep revenge
June 29, 2017
ethernal got revenge against his former teammates TRICKED eSport in a 3-2 reverse sweep at the HGC Europe Phase 2.
ANALYSIS
ethernal got thrashed in both Games 1 and 2 against his old team, dying more times than anyone else on his team. Game 3 brought with it the taste of sweet revenge as ethernal rained havoc on TRICKED with Arthas. Soloing the top lane of Dragon Shire, ethernal often found time to rotate to middle lane, meeting nande just in time to gank the solo-laning Stitches. With this coordination, ethernal and nande were able to not only pick up first blood, but second blood as well. Before the first 10 minutes were out, ethernal was able to help his team collect seven kills and a monumental three-level lead. Taking Game 3's momentum and carrying it forward, ethernal was able to pick up first blood playing Sonya against Chen in the top lane of Infernal Shrines. As soon as the shrine phase started, ethernal began to dominate due to the fact that TRICKED had zero stuns on their team. Without any stuns, ethernal was able to use his Whirlwind to heal insane amounts of health every single teamfight. As most know, Sonya is the strongest late-game bruiser; if you struggle killing her in the early game, you will never kill her in the late game. Such was the case in Game 4, with ethernal becoming neigh unstoppable in the last fight of the game, crushing Greymane and Reghar.
Showing slight improvement
June 29, 2017
WolfJoe hasn't improved as much as some of his peers but he has begun to make plays in the support roll, especially in the 3-2 victory against TRICKED eSport at the HGC Europe Phase 2.
ANALYSIS
WolfJoe mostly struggled in both Games 1 and 2, never quite doing his job well enough. Part of this was due to some bad drafting and a strange double heal setup. In Game 3, WolfJoe got to finally play the solo support on the hero Lt. Morales. WolfJoe and Cris had a seriously strong showing in the bottom lane of Dragon Shire, trading evenly with TRICKED's Valla/Auriel/Uther lane. Because Cris and WolfJoe were able to hold the lane, nande was freed up to roam around and gank both mid and top lane on the hero Anub'arak. This created a massive lead with both Ethernal and nande clutching in the kills on the rest of the map. Game 4 had WolfJoe on Uther performing very well, keeping his teammates alive through some very crazy skirmishes. At the 13-minute mark, WolfJoe was able to safely escort Tychus, D.Va and Anub'arak to safety with only a sliver of health each. Due to this play, WoflJoe's team would be able to use their Well to refresh themselves and reenter the fray, winning the Infernal Shrines objective.
Role swapping appears to be too much for Billy
June 29, 2017
SportBilly went from healer to assassin to tank in the 3-2 victory against TRICKED eSport at the HGC Europe Phase 2.
ANALYSIS
SportBilly did an excellent job on Genji in Game 3 on the map Dragon Shire. Whereas his two previous games showcased some fairly bad positioning and mechanics, Game 3 bore witness to a completely different SportBilly. Using Genji's Dragon Blade to great effect, SportBilly was able to finish off multiple targets for his team. This was largely due to Cris on Cassia opening the opportunity for him, and partially due to SportBilly's ability to see it. Game 4 had SportBilly on D.Va opting for Bunny Hop at level 10. At the 11-minute mark SportBilly had a huge misplay. Getting baited by the enemy Genji, SportBilly chased the low-health hero away from his team, letting his allies due to an uncontrolled Greymane. With SportBilly primarily tasked with controlling TRICKED's damage output with Defense Matrix, he sorely let his team down.
Makes plays despite poor decision making
June 29, 2017
nande is not a top performer yet he appears to mesh well with his teamates in the 3-2 victory against TRICKED eSport at the HGC Europe Phase 2.
ANALYSIS
The series started off rather rough for nande as he struggled to keep his opponents locked down long enough for his assassin players to net any kills. Game 3 was a different story with nande playing Anub'arak at a very high level. In the first three minutes of the game nande was able to use his Burrow Charge to catch stitches out of position for not only a first blood, but second blood as well. Despite using the hero's base kit quite well, there seemed to be some confusion when it came to using his heroic Cocoon. Game 4 had Nande back on Anub'arak still using his Cocoon for trivial events like stealing a camp from the opposing team. It's moments like this where you really have to question if a small mercenary camp is worth the 60-second cooldown. In the end nande came through for his team, using his Burrow Charge to pick off a Reghar right before his team began to siege the enemy core.
Performs well throughout series
June 29, 2017
Cris played extremely well throughout the entire 3-2 victory against TRICKED eSport at the HGC Europe Phase 2.
ANALYSIS
Cris played a phenomenal Cassia in Game 3 on the map Dragon Shire. Knowing that WolfJoe on Lt.Morales had his back, Cris made sure to maximize not only the effects of his trait, but also those of his level 1 talent Charged Strikes. With these two heroes playing into Valla/Auriel/Uther, we saw a surprising amount of gumption, as both traded damage back and forth evenly. Due to the fact that just Cris and WolfJoe were needed, nande was freed up to roam on the hero Anub'arak, picking up multiple kills in the middle lane. Game 4 had Cris playing the hero Tychus on the map Infernal Shrines. With a quick rotation to the top lane at the two-minute mark, Cris was able to use his Grenade to help pick up a kill on the enemy Chen for first blood. Opting for Odin at level 10, Cris was able to help siege during the shrine phase, giving his team a lot of area-of-effect control.