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Wubby    Fnatic
Wubby had some phenomenal plays in the 3-2 series against Team Liquid in the Europe HGC Phase 2.

RotoWire Analysis

Wubby was playing crazy aggressive in Game 1 on the hero Illidan. So aggressive in fact that he died twice in under three minutes for absolutely no reason. This didn't dampen Wubbys spirits or dull his aggression it only managed to hone it. For the remainder of Game 1, Wubby was playing amazingly well. At the 18 minute mark, Wubby used his heroic Hunt on the enemy Tychus and Immediately jumped away. This caused a flurry of cool downs to miss but most importantly the enemy Lucio burned his sound barrier in a moment of panic. Without the Sound Barrier, Fnatic was able to push into Team Liquids core and secure the round. Game 3 had Wubby on Dehaka and his global play was devastating. Whenever Team Liquid moved in for the objective Wubby would start threatening keep wall, constantly forcing Team Liquid to react to his movements. At the 15 minute mark Wubby was able to land a max range Drag on a retreating Anub'arak scoring the Punisher and bottom keep for his team. Game 5 had Wubby on the hero Arthas, setting Anub'arak up for easy Burrow Charges. This combination proved to me way too much for Team Liquids composition to handle, with Fnatic ending the game in roughly eight minutes.
SmX    Fnatic
SmX played Malfurion only one time in the 3-2 victory against Team Liquid at the Europe HGC Phase 2.

RotoWire Analysis

SmX played amazingly well in Game 1 always where he needed to be on the hero Brightwing. Due to Team Liquid running The Lost Vikings, SmX was often relgated the untasteful job of cleaning up their constant mercenary camp pressure. Never failing to be aware of his teams engagements, SmX was always on time to every team fight. Game 2 had SmX on the hero Lucio for the map Infernal Shrines. Using Sound Barrier at the 16 minute mark would allow FNATIC to safely end Game 2 in a very convincing fashion. Game 5 had SmX on Lucio in order to assist Greymane's burst potential. Once Fnatic drafted Arthas to pair with Lucio, the draft began to look very one sided. This is fairly easy to understand as Arthas makes enemies go slow, and Lucio makes allies go fast, resulting in one of the easiest to abuse combo's in Heroes at this moment.
scHwimpi    Fnatic
scHwimpi has broadened his skill set and has begun to flex heroes outside his role. This was evident in some of his plays throughout the 3-2 series with Team Liquid at the Europe HGC Phase 2.

RotoWire Analysis

scHwimpi started off Game 1 with a crushing death. Failing his Burrow Charge on the hero Anub'arak, scHwimpi ran face first into his own wall giving up an unnecessary death. ScHwimpi was able to come back at level 10 and make a huge play when Breez taunted the enemy Tychus. As soon as the taunt went down, scHwimpi used his Cocoon to take the enemy Arthas out of the fight, completely removing Team Liquids front line. For the rest of the game, scHwimpi did an excellent job of using his Cocoon to isolate targets at the same time Illidan dove in, causing a 5 vs 4 engagement. This took off the majority of Wubbys pressure, allowing him to go hard into Team Liquids backline. Game 3 had scHwimpi on Gul'dan with his best play coming in the final moments of the game. At the 16 minute mark scHwimpi was able to use Horrify to push two members of Team Liquids backline into the midst of his team, instantly killing both of them. Game 5 was over in eight minutes and thirty seconds thanks to scHwimpi on the hero Slyvanas. This was mostly due to the fact that its Battlefield of Eternity and largely due to the fact that Wubby and Breez were setting up kill after kill on the heroes Anub'arak and Arthas.
Quackniix    Fnatic
One of the biggest reasons Fnatic does as well as they do is largely due to QuackNiix making excellent heads up plays. This resulted in his team taking down the undefeated champions 3-2 in the Europe HGC Phase 2.

RotoWire Analysis

QuackNiix played Falstad in both Games 1 and 3. Game 1 was on Warhead Junction with QuackNiix clearing up the Mercenary camps the enemy Vikings picked up. At the 16 minute mark, Team Liquid used four of their Nukes in an attempt to take the Boss pit. QuackNiix arrived just in time to Gust them all off the capture point, securing it for his team. QuackNiix did an excellent job at flying in on Illidans hunt targets throughout the game, always supplying the extra damage that Illidan lacks. Game 3 QuackNiix had a great Gust play at the 12 minute mark, helping his team isolate the enemy Anub'arak picking up a kill that would ultimately save top keep. Game 5 had QuackNiix playing the hero Greymane for the map Battlefield of Eternity. This ended up working incredibly well due to Breez and Wubby being so on point in their tank roles. As soon as they locked down any enemy hero QuackNiix would immediately jump in and finish them off.
Breez    Fnatic
Breez was able to lead the charge against their biggest rivals, Team Liquid, winning with a final score of 3-2 in the Europe HGC Round 2.

RotoWire Analysis

Breez was on Varian in Game 1 and played very well in the early stages of the game. Understanding that his hero isn't strong until level 10, Breez patiently waited for his moment and he did not miss it when it came. As soon as he hit level 10 Breez moved in for a quick play, Taunting the enemy Tychus which resulted in a kill that turned the game completely around. Game 2 had Breez on E.T.C, opting for Mosh Pit at level 10. Breez's best play was at the 15 minute mark when he was able to use his Mosh Pit on an Auriel who used Aegis on herself, trapping her immediately when she came out. Game 5 was the deciding match with Breez picking up Anub'arak pretty early on in the draft. This was primarily chosen to counteract a potential Li-Ming pick for Team Liquid. As soon as Li-Ming was draft for Team Liquid, Fnatic knew exactly what kind of game it was going to be, winning in just over eight minutes.
Yoda    Team 8
Yoda was not playing his best in a 2-3 loss to B-Step during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

Yoda started out Game 1 on Tychus and tried his best to be useful for his team on Dragon Shire. His Tychus pick was in response to the quadruple melee that B-Step drafted, however he wasn't nearly as effective as he should have been and realistically this is what led Team 8 to their first loss of the evening. Game 3 was no different on Infernal Shrines with Dehaka, except in addition to not maxing out his heroes capabilities Yoda also ended up feeding 5 times and just about single handedly made his poor team lose. In Game 5 yoda once again tried Tychus but despite being up against 3 warriors he just did not have the mechanical skill required to take control of the game and give his team the edge in big team fights. While he did have one big play at the seven minute mark where he was able to help wipe the entire enemy team and then take the boss camp, overall his play was lackluster and his death near the 20 minute mark pretty much ended the game for his team, leaving them with a 2-3 loss and a sour taste in their mouthes.
Remmerballer    TRICKED eSport
Remmerballer had his moments, but appeared to self destruct under his own ego, playing progressively worse the longer the series went. This didn't stop him from throwing out the b-steps even though he lost 1-3 to Playing Ducks at the Europe HGC Phase 2.

RotoWire Analysis

Remmerballer fed first blood to Playings Ducks right out of the gate in Game 1 on the map Towers of Doom. Once Remmerballer got level 10 he opted for Taunt on the hero Varian. Using this on Zeratul at the 10 minute mark he was able to pick up a huge kill for his team, setting them up for bottom fort and a free altar. Remmerballer's ability to watch for Zeratul and Taunt him in every fight proved to be invaluable to TRICKED's Game 1 victory. Unfortunately, this was the only game that Remmerballer had any real impact in, playing progressively worse as the series went on. In each game, Remmerballers reaction times appeared to fade while his ability to make bad decisions increased.
Glaurung    Team 8
Glaurung was a big part of why Team 8 lost 2-3 to B-Step during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

Glaurung opted for a Medivh pick in Game 1 and actually played pretty well. Not well enough to carry his team to a victory but well enough that he earned two kills and four assists while giving up zero deaths of his own, in addition to dozens of slick saves for his teammates via portals and shields. Game 3 however was a different story as Glaurung chose Greymane, one of the strongest heroes in the meta currently. Despite having all of that firepower behind him though, he was outgunned by both his teammate Prismaticism on Gul'Dan as well as multiple members of the other team. Additionally, he died four times while only securing two kills of his own, not a very good trade off at all. Game 5 was the same narrative just different hero as Glaurung opted for a Zeratul pick, perhaps the hero he is typically most well known for. Sadly, he was not playing up to par at all and this resulted in weak hero damage, zero kills, and a loss for Team 8.
Gnappe    TRICKED eSport
Gnappe is one of the players on his team that seems to improve slightly in every series. Even though his team lost 1-3 to Playing Ducks, it is becoming clear that Gnappe is no longer one of the main issues. This took place during the Europe HGC Phase 2.

RotoWire Analysis

Gnappe played a very good Lucio in Game 1, often using his speed boost to help Varian close the gap on his targets. This synergy created a very threatening composition with Varian able to pick up anyone who was even slightly out of position. At the 10 minute mark we saw this theory in action with Gnappe boosting Remmerballer into charge range of the enemy Zeratul, netting a very clutch kill. At the 15 minute mark Gnappe used his Sound Barrier at just the right moment, keeping his team alive against all odds, trading one life for three. Game 4 was the last straw for TRICKED with Gnappe playing Auriel on the map Braxus Holdout. While Gnappe did not play his best, he also didn't play his worst game either. Sadly, an Auriel is only ever as good as her hope targets aggression, in this case Crozzby. With Crozzby playing very passive on the hero Lunara, Gnappe was almost always running on empty tank. This resulted in a very disappointing end to an otherwise interesting series.
ethernal    TRICKED eSport
ethernal was one of the better players on TRICKED but also had some serious play style flaws when it came to managing his cool downs. This resulted in many deaths that should not have happened and a 1-3 loss to Playing Ducks at the Europe HGC Phase 2.

RotoWire Analysis

Ethernal made a lot of mistakes in Game 1 due to his over aggressive positioning. Interestingly enough, in a few moments of brilliance it did pay off. At the six minute mark he was able to aggressively fly bottom for a quick kill on the enemy Malfurion. Not even 30 seconds later Ethernal was able to pick up a kill on the enemy Abathur in the top lane, successfully catching his team back up in experience. Game 2 had Ethernal on Falstad yet again. Split pushing allowed him to pick up a free fort at the five minute mark, evening out the growing gap in experience. For the remainder of Game 2 Ethernal did an exceptional job at soaking experience and a subpar job at using his barrel role as a defense mechanism dying during nearly every engage.
Crozzby    TRICKED eSport
Crozzby spent the final moments of the 1-3 series against Playing Ducks with his tail between his legs, losing yet again in the Europe HGC Phase 2 matches.

RotoWire Analysis

Crozzby was on Gul'dan in Game 1 and was an overall mixed bag of good and bad plays. Getting picked off right away due to his poor positioning was a huge detriment to his team, dying three times in seven minutes. He managed to make up for this with a great Horrify at the 13 minute mark, picking up a revenge kill on the enemy Muradin. Game 4 was a disaster, with Crozzby on the hero Lunara paired with Gnappe on the hero Auriel. Doing very little damage, Crozzby spent most of the game bounding away when he should have been pumping his enemies full of poison. There was something fundamentally wrong with Crozzby's play style, as an Auriel healer comp is only as good as the main hope targets aggression. With Crozzby furry cotton tail always on the retreat, the series ended in a very disappointing display of incompetence.
McIntyre    B Step
McIntyre struggled in a close 3-2 victory over Team 8 during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

Game 1 saw McIntyre on Falstad, however since his team had a Dehaka already there wasn't much need of a second split pusher since the map was Dragon Shire. This redundancy did help some though, as he could rotate in and help k1pro on Dehaka with top lane duties but ultimately he could have picked a more useful hero. Game 2 was a step in the wrong direction as McIntyre once again tried to force a Falstad pick that didn't fit into his teams composition. He also took Seasoned Marksman but spent a lot of time solo laning and not getting value out of his level 1 talent. He could have done much better. Game 3 was another poor one for McIntyre as he chose Artanis on Battlefield of Eternity. This was a good pick but his execution was terrible and he ended up dying three times, half of the total deaths for his team. Overall this was a weaker performance for McIntyre.
AlexTheProG    TRICKED eSport
AlexTheProG struggled to bring out the pro in his name in the 1-3 loss to Playing Ducks at the Europe HGC Phase 2.

RotoWire Analysis

AlexTheProG did fairly well in Game 1 on the hero Anub'arak. Opting for Cocoon at level 10, Alex was able to dive into the enemies back line and remove the Tychus from the majority of the team fights. Game 2 had Alex on Tyrael, using his Sanctification to very little effect in almost every single teamfight. It appeared that Alex was mostly using Sanctification to secure his position in the fight and not to save his team from the enemies big engage. Game 4 was the final straw for TRICKED eSport's as they slowly crumbled under the weight of the Playing Ducks. With AlexTheProG on Arthas as TRICKED's solo laner, he was surprisingly forced to fight in a 1 vs. 2 situation, with the Ducks having both Falstad and Dehaka against him in the top lane of Braxus Holdout. This proved to be too much pressure for him, with his opposition easily draining all of the tower shots in under two minutes. Because TRICKED didn't come up with a counter strategy quick enough, the Playing Ducks were able to walk all over them for the remainder of the game. At the 13 minute mark, AlexTheProG tried to make a risky flank into the Ducks backline. This was undoubtedly a fool's errand, as he was immediately isolated and killed.
WolfJoe    Playing Ducks
Wolfjoe appeared to be the tag along little brother who clearly is less skilled than the rest of his teammates. While this series might not have been his best, he also did very little outside of being out of position in the 3-1 victory against TRICKED eSport in the Europe HGC Phase 2.

RotoWire Analysis

WolfJoe's positional awareness was so below average we got to see some really impressive sights like the death he had three minutes into Game 2. On the hero Malfurion, WolfJoe ran down to bottom lane and aggressively tried to lead the charge into the enemy, dying almost instantly to an Anub'arak Burrow Charge. Later on in the game, WolfJoe had a few opportunities to use his Twilight Dream to secure kills for his team, but he often hesitated too long or moved himself too deep into enemy territory before he felt comfortable using it. This is the issue you typically don't see in professional HotS matches, when a player doesn't fully understand the range of their own heroic ability. Thankfully in Game 4, Sportbilly made WolfJoe's life easy by using his Falstad Heroic, Mighty Gust, to push four members of TRICKED eSport's right on top of WolfJoe. WolfJoe immediately hit his R key and all 4 members appeared to evaporate in the following barrage. This play alone would be the deciding factor in Game 4 and the series.
KingCaffeine    B Step
KingCaffeine played a strong mechanical series against Team 8, winning 3-2 during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

KingCaffeine started out Muradin in Game 1 on Dragon Shire. He also played Muradin in Game 3, Game 4, and Game 5. All told KingCaffeine played Muradin in 80% of the nights matches, and it was a big part of why his team was able to win such a close series 3-2. The one game KingCaffeine wasn't on Muradin, Game 2 Tomb of the Spider Queen, was also one of the two matches that his team lost. While it was a close game, it appears certain that B-Step and KingCaffeine rely very heavily on Muradin in the current meta and could be exploited by draft bans or target picks from other teams who study their replays. Overall KingCaffeine managed to rack up four kills, 23 assists, and four deaths for a total KAD of 4-23-4 on Muradin. His one match on Arthas in Game 2 netted him a 2-3-3 KAD for a total of 6-26-7. Fairly good for a main tank player.
Sportbilly    Playing Ducks
Sportbilly's best success was in the assassin department especially in the 3-1 series against TRICKED eSport in the Europe HGC Phase 2.

RotoWire Analysis

Sportbilly was killing it in the early stages of Game 1 on the map Towers of Doom. Playing the hero Zeratul, he was able to assist ChriZ on Muradin in picking up three kills in under two minutes. Game 4 was Sportbillys time to shine on the hero Falstad. Right off the bat, at the two minute mark, Sportbilly flew from the top lane of Braxus Holdout to the bottom lane for a 5 vs. 4 engage. While the Ducks were only able to pick up one kill, it was the starting point of something bigger. Having gained some confidence, Sportbilly flew in for an aggressive Gust at the 8 minute mark, pushing four members of TRICKED right into WolfJoe who immediately destroyed them with a Twilight Dream. This play alone would secure Game 4 and the series for Playing Ducks.
nande.hots    Playing Ducks
Nande was a solid player in the 3-1 win against TRICKED eSport in the Europe HGC Phase 2.

RotoWire Analysis

Nande made some great plays on Abathur in Game 1, often using his Symbiote to empower Muradin in team fights, greatly increasing the dwarves stature. Unfortunately, Nande was caught out by the enemy Falstad, giving up what little advantage his team had built up. Opting for a full auto attack build Sonya in Game 2, Nande brought very little to team fights until level 20, when the character has enough self-sustain through hardened shield to stay on her targets. What the auto attack build does do well is burn down static structures, and Nande did just this on the enemies core at the 22 minute mark. Game 4 had Nande on Dehaka for the map Braxus holdout. While Dehaka is considered one of the strongest picks for this map, Ducks were also able to pick up Falstad. With both of the best global heroes in the game, Ducks were able to put both of them in top lane, absolutely dominating TRICKED's solo laner AlexTheProG. This strategy would also allow Ducks to respond immediately after killing the solo lane, rotating both globals to the bottom lane for a five versus four teamfight.
k1pro    B Step
k1pro was on fire in a 3-2 victory over Team 8 during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

k1pro started out in Game 1 on Dragon Shire with Dehaka. He was the designated top lane defender and Prismaticism on Leoric was his lane opponent. This is a tricky matchup for any Dehaka player, but k1pro brought his A game and made it work. While doing so k1pro was able to score a kill, four assists, and a single death in addition to scooping up nearly 23,000 experience for his team, nearly enough to level his team from 1 to 10 all by himself. In Game 2 k1pro tried running Tyrael as a soft counter to Pristmaticism on Chromie but his teams lack of hard CC just wasn't cutting it against the strong burst of Chromie and Greymane. In Game 3 k1pro went for Anub'Arak and this was another strong match for him. He ended up with two kills, 15 assists, and three deaths but the value and utility he got out of the double stuns built into his kit was bar none the best. It was also the sole reason that B-Step was able to win this match.
Cris    Playing Ducks
Cris had a great 3-1 series against TRICKED eSport in the Europe HGC Phase 2.

RotoWire Analysis

Game 1 had Cris on the hero Tychus, opting for Odin at level 10. The biggest issue Playing Ducks had was when Cris used his heroic, nothing would happen. No hard engage, just a passive shoot off, with both teams trading a little damage here and there, and Cris ultimately wasting his heroic. This resulted in many team fight losses, as once his heroic was down, TRICKED eSport would hard engage picking up multiple kills. Game 2 had Cris on the hero Gul'dan to which he was able to land an excellent Horrify at the 13 minute mark, securing a kill on the enemy Lucio. This kill would prevent TRICKED from pushing with their newly acquired Punisher on the map Infernal Shrines. Game 4 had Cris on the niche mage Chromie. Opting for Chrono Sickness at level 5, Cris was able to guarantee kills if any one of TRICKED's members were to accidentally step on one of his traps. This was particularly strong due to the fact that his team had also drafted two global heroes who could show up the moment a trap was sprung.
chriZplosion    Playing Ducks
ChriZplosion had a hot streak from start to finish on the hero Muradin in their 3-1 victory against TRICKED eSports at the Europe HGC Phase 2.

RotoWire Analysis

ChriZplosion was on fire in Game 1 on the map, Towers of Doom. playing the hero Muradin, he was able to thread the needle with his Storm Bolts, picking up first, second and third blood in the first two minutes of the game. ChriZ was on Johanna for Game 2, bringing out the unkillable crusaders AOE damage build. Using his Blessed Shield at the 12 minute mark would allow his team to pick up a huge kill on the enemy Lucio. Game 4 had Chriz back on Muradin which is visibly his best hero. Setting up kill after kill with great leaping storm bolts, Chriz took the match by storm. The culmination of his efforts was clear, with Playing Ducks up nearly two levels, three kills and pushing with a 100% Zerg wave in just under five minutes.