Shockadin Uther makes guest appearance in day 2 of NA's ETS#2
The world champion Cloud9 moves on to the grand finals, after an intense winner's bracket final against Team Blaze.
Despite this past week's balance changes, it is clear that Xul and Rehgar aren't going anywhere, showing their faces in almost every draft today. The best moment of drafting was definitely a first pick Lost Vikings, that resulted in Cloud9 reminding everyone why they can pretty much play any composition they want (see 1st star of the day below).
In both Round 1 matches, the veteran teams had dominating performances over their opponents. Cloud9 shut out opponent Gust or Bust, and Tempo Storm did the same to Hot Dog Burglars. An equally sized shut down occurred in the loser's bracket, when Gust or Bust defeated Hot Dog Burglars 2-0.
Most exciting were the winner's bracket semifinals and finals, both of which went to a third game. In the semifinals Cloud9 bested Tempo Storm, winning both of their games using unusual compositions. They took Game 1 on Towers of Doom after a startling 1st pick of Lost Vikings, and won Game 3 on Tomb of the Spider Queen with Derek "DunkTrain" Arabian on Tassadar as a solo support. A close finals ended in a spectacular fashion with a bloodbath of kills by both teams, finally allowing Cloud9 to snowball to victory over Team Blaze. Worth noting is that Cloud9's Keiwan "k1pro" Itakura did not die in that final game.
You should be very excited for HoTS right now.
Nothing is more terrifying to HoTS fans than being stuck in a stale meta. Thankfully, Blizzard is doing its best to make sure that doesn't happen. Looking at the range of drafts today, it is impossible not to notice just how many viable Heroes there are in each role. Even better, Li Ming and Valla both saw a ton of diversity in their talent choices. Moving into a meta of both drafting and talent diversity is an exciting place to be.
3 Stars of the Game
1. John Paul "KingCaffeine" Lopez
Cloud9s warrior main may have a big box of tanks, but Muradin is the only toy he wants to play with. Every time Cloud9s opponents failed to select the dwarf as their first ban, utter domination ensued. KingCaffeine's competence is not to be questioned, however, as he closed out the series against Blaze with strong ETC play.
2. Quinn "Srey" Fischer/Brian "Zixz" Skarda
Tempo Storm's warrior and support mains showed that they can operate as a dynamic duo with Srey on Stitches and Zixz on Malfurion. The combo of Stitches' meat hook pull into Malfurion's Entangling Roots was able to secure them a few beautiful kills. The pressure this duo provided gave TempoStorm the breathing room they needed to take Game 2 away from Cloud9.
3. Taylor "Arthelon" Eder
Arthelon showed his incredible versatility today, with immaculate performances in a wide spectrum of roles. His high point was definitely running The Lost Vikings in Game 1 against Tempo Storm, where the constant presence during objectives on Towers of Doom was too much for TempoStorm to handle.
Honorable Mention: Kun "iDream" Fang
Dunktrain allowed him to take the reigns of what would appear to be the primary support for a game. But when iDream took Divine Storm at 10, and then Holy Shock at 13, everyone was ready for the shockadin to bring some holy burn. Unfortunately for Uther, Tempo Storm took Game 2 against Cloud9, reminding the paladin why he rarely talents into his Retribution tree.
ETS will continue tomorrow, an hour earlier than previously published. You can watch it starting at 6 P.M. CET/1 P.M. EDT/ 10 A.M. PDT on twitch.
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