Article by: Hamboy
The 63rd edition of TNH was another stacked tournament, with players of all different levels coming together to compete for more HCT points and a small cash pool. Esteemed pros such as C9s newest member and 2014 World Champion Firebat and his former teammate and 2015 HCT point leader Zalae. Joining them were last week’s winner Koroneko, European ladder and tournament crusher Kolemoen, along with a number of other high level players, all looking for their a shot at some coveted HCT points.
Despite their aforementioned esteem, Firebat and Zalae both fell before the top 4, with Firebat falling in the first knockout round to a less known, but still quite talented ShamonaHe. Zalae found his way to day 2 but fell in the first match of the day. Despite their defeats, the top 4 of the tourney still had some power players, with the two semifinals being BestInWorld v Yinus, and Kolemoen v Ventus. BestInWorld and Kolemoen both put in a performance at the winter prelims in their respective regions, with Kolemoen falling one win short of the European championships. While Ventus and Yinus are perhaps less recognized players, they would be given a chance to change that in the Top 4 of this week’s Tuesday Night Hype.
Our first semi found BestInWorld up against relative unknown Yinus. BestInWorld brought his Tempo Mage, Dragon Priest, Druid, and Zoolock, with his Zoo being banned out. He chose to leave Yinus without his own Priest, leaving him with his Renolock, Secret Paladin, and Druid. BestInWorld was able to get out to a fast start, forcing Yinus into a turn 7 concede. Yinus was able to even the series out in match that nobody enjoys, the Druid mirror. From there on out BestInWorld was able to command the pace of the series. His druid picked up a win against the Secret Paladin, despite falling all the way down to 3 health before being able to stabilize. He closed out the series in a matchup he was favored to win, finding his rather unique dragon priest matched up against the Secret Paladin of Yinus. While both players played well, only one could win, and while Yinus would unfortunately go home with only one HCT point, BestInWorld would now await the winner of the second semifinal to play for more.
Ventus v Kolemoen was up next, with BestInWorld already waiting for the winner. Kolemoen brought a lineup somewhat similar to his prelim runout, bringing his Patron, Handlock, Freeze Mage, and Miracle Rogue. He found his freeze banned in the semis, and chose to ban Ventus’ Druid, leaving Ventus with his Renolock, Secret Pally, and Control Warrior. Kolemoen was able to find himself a favored matchup first, running his Demon Handlock into the Control Warrior of Ventus. He was not as fortunate in the next game as his Rogue fell in a matchup that went down to the last card against Ventus’ Control Warrior. Kolemoen was then able to take a game and psychological lead by winning the unfavored Patron v Renolock match due to some good Loatheb timing. He was quickly turned around however as his Rogue once again failed to get a win, making the Rogue v Paladin matchup game 5 of this semifinal. Kolemoen was finally able to get his Rogue to play as intended however, and rode the back of a huge Van Cleef + Blade Flurry turn to the finals.
And thus the Final was set, BestInWorld bringing his Tempo Mage, Dragon Priest, Druid, and Zoolock up against the Freeze Mage, Demon Handlock, Rogue, and Patron Warrior of Kolemoen. Despite its poor performance in semis, BestInWorld still banned Kolemoen’s Rogue, where Kolemoen stuck with his ban Druid strategy. Kolemoen was able to win the Mage v Mage matchup, despite the freeze mage’s worst nightmare aka Ragnaros hitting the field on BestInWorld’s side. It was all downhill from there for Kolemoen however, as Bestinworld was able to win a suboptimal matchup in the Dragon Priest v Handlock match. BestInWorld was able to follow that win up with a quick tempo mage victory on the back of some nice draws leading to a turn 5 victory. His zoo was only slightly slower, picking up the win one turn later. On the back of that lucky juggle, BestInWorld found himself the TNH 63 champion, claiming 3 HCT points and a cash prize. An interview with the champ himself can be found here.