By the VODs: Seven Western Clash Spots Filled
After a whirlwind of a weekend, seven teams have booked their ticket to the Western Clash. Tempo Storm, Team 8, and Gale Force eSports from North America made the cut after dominating performances. Misfits secured their spot after defeating Team expert 3-0, and in doing ensured Team Dignitas also made the cut. Fnatic was able to secure their spot on Sunday after squeaking out a win over Team Dignitas in a series that went the distance.
In Latin America, Juan “Jschritte” Passos and his team Infamous were able to pull out a reverse sweep over runners up ponteL to qualify for the Western Clash. This is the fourth international event Jschritte will attend, having qualified and competed at the Spring, Summer, and Fall Championship last year. Join us later this week when we check in with the teams from Latin America and Australia/New Zealand as all eyes turn toward Katowice and the first HGC Western Clash.
Here is what you need to know from this past weekend’s series:
Dignitas and Fnatic go stride for stride
In one of the most anticipated showdowns the HGC has had to offer, Fnatic’s Quakniix showed off some exceptional late game shot calling to secure his team the last spot at the Western Clash at IEM Katowice. In the first two games, Fnatic destroyed Team Dignitas with Sgt. Hammer. Team Dignitas took her away in game 3 and — after a failed core rush from Fnatic — pushed back for the win with the Terran.
In the fourth game Team Dignitas rallied to a win with Kerrigan on Infernal Shrines, taking the series to a final Battleground on Dragon Shire where Fnatic was able to edge out the series with some calculated Chromie play by Simon ‘scHwimpi’ Svensson.
Core Throws and the end of Tempo Storm’s undefeated streak
B-Step fought in five exceedingly tense games with Superstars on Saturday. The two teams went back and forth over the course of the series until it seemed like Superstars had all but won the final game on Battlefield of Eternity. With all their Forts intact at the 24-minute mark and with their opponent’s Core left with no defenses of its own, Superstars charged straight for B-Step’s base despite having just lost the latest team fight for the Immortal.
With their Medivh down for 50 seconds, B-Step didn’t have much hope of mounting a successful defense. Amazingly, they managed to kill four members of Superstars before Medivh respawned, and took out Quinn "Srey" Fischer on E.T.C. with just 2% health left on their Core. With all of Superstars wiped, B-Step strode victoriously to their enemy’s Core.
Gale Force eSports had their work cut out for them going into their match against the established NA leaders from Tempo Storm this weekend. If Gale Force put in any extra time planning or practicing against their opponents over the past week, it certainly showed in Sunday’s games. GFE stomped all over their competitors in three quick games, leaving Tempo Storm wondering what just hit them after their first loss of the season.
Game 2 was particularly surprising thanks to Gale Force’s unconventional team composition of three Warriors (E.T.C., Zarya, and Dehaka) plus Sgt. Hammer as a sole source of damage. While it seemed like they would struggle against Tempo‘s assortment of Assassins, Gale Force executed an unstoppable strategy — the three tanks shielding Sgt. Hammer while she ripped through Tempo Storm’s defenses. The game ended in less than 10 minutes.
Tempest and Mighty vie for third seed
In Korea, L5 and MVP Black have all but secured their spots at the Eastern Clash with 5-0 and 4-0 records respectively. The series this weekend between Tempest and Mighty was incredibly important in deciding who would lead the pack for the third slot. Tempest moved as a single unit, and their coordinated teamwork was enough to pull out a win over Mighty. Mighty still has a chance to make the Eastern Clash and finish 5-2, assuming that MVP Black, L5, or Tempest drop a series in the future.
Korea looks a lot more like Europe in this sense, where the top three teams pulled ahead of the pack early, with Team expert/Mighty close behind. Only in North America were the standings in close contention thanks to the likes of Team 8, Team Freedom, and Superstars.
While the VODS are available on our YouTube channel, you can also take a closer look at every single game from this weekend in our downloadable replay packs below.