With the Hearthstone Championship Tour (HCT) Fall Championship Day One wrapping up, we had the chance to watch some of the best from all corners of the world competing for the title of 2018 Fall Champion. The day started off well with the series between China’s GoeLionKing and Germany’s Sintolol.
The lineup was strongly favored for Sintolol playing his Anti-Control lineup against one of the only actual control lineups at the entire event. Sintolol’s Mountain Giants took it to GeoLionKing and managed to set Sintolol off to a 1-0 lead. The second match was GeoLionKing’s Control Warlock facing off against the Taunt Druid of Sintolol. The early ramp into Oakhart and Hadronox was too much for GeoLionKing. GeoLionKing was unable to come back from this and the series swiftly became a 2-0 lead for Sintolol.
The third game of the series was between Sintolol’s last deck, Shudderwock Shaman, and GeoLionKing’s Control Warlock still trying to put up a win. A notorious moment of the past year was Justsaiyan facing Sintolol and overdrawing Sintolol’s Shudderwock in a key game. This time around we got to see a similar thing happen with GeoLionKing’s Gnomeferatu destroying Sintolol’s Grumble ending the game right there and then as it made the Shudderwock combo impossible to pull off.
This led us to the final game of the series where Sintolol’s Shudderwock Shaman survived against the control Priest of GeoLionKing. Ending the series with a 3 to 1 score in Sintolol’s favor who is now qualified for the winner bracket match later in the day.
Results: 3-1 Sintolol Wins
Another series we wanted to highlight today was between Akumaker and our favorite, Justsaiyan. Justsaiyan’s main weakness in the series was his Quest Rogue deck which was vulnerable against the Zoo Warlock, which happened to be the first matchup. Defying the odds, Justsaiyan with some great play, and a great draw he managed to pull off the win surviving with just a few health remaining. From here on out it was easy going for Justsaiyan. While he did barely lose the game of Zoo Warlock against Deathrattle Hunter after he was 2-0 up the remaining matchups left were incredibly favored for him, closing it out in the 4th game of the series against the Token Druid of Akumaker.
Results: 3-1 Justsaiyan Wins
The next great match was the 4th match of the day between CaiMiao and Moyen. It was a nail biter of a series between CaiMaio’s aggressive lineup and Moyen’s Anti-Control lineup. The odds weren’t in Moyen’s favor, and he got off to a rocky start losing out with his Taunt druid against CaiMiao’s Odd Rogue. Not being able to pick up the cards he needed on some of the key turns really came back to haunt him. A couple of blowouts happened, with Moyen’s Even Warlock crushing CaiMiao’s Zoo Warlock to start. It was followed by CaiMiao Zoo Warlock flooding the board against Moyen’s Odd Rogue, which left him in a bad position of 2-1 down against CaiMiao.
The 4th match of the series went hilariously in Moyen’s favor. Wild growth and Nourish flowed into an onslaught of taunt minions. This showed too much for CaiMiao to handle, after which Moyen managed to close it out using his Branching Paths to deal the lethal damage. The final game of the series put Moyen’s Odd Rogue up against CaiMiao’s Malygos Druid. Moyen managed to build up an incredible lead on the back of King Mukla – a tech not seen often in Odd Rogue. Dealing a total of 18 damage for Moyen, it put him in a position to close out the series with ease, regardless of Moyen having to fight through two Spreading Plagues of CaiMiao by turn 6. CaiMiao did not stand a chance against the aggression coming out of Moyen’s Odd Rogue. Moyen would ended up winning the series 3-2 and making it through to the 2nd match of today, the winners bracket match against Justsaiyan.
Results: 3-2 Moyen Wins
The last great series of the day was between Justsaiyan and Moyen. Winner would qualify to the quarterfinals on Sunday, with loser plays for the 2nd qualifying spot against the winner of the loser-bracket match. The lineups were very equal but the draws were not at all. In Game 1 Justsaiyan got the dream starting hand against Moyen’s Taunt Druid with not one, but two copies of Mountain Giant early in the game. The damage of Mountain Giant was too much to overcome from Moyen who could not find the Naturalize card early enough.
Game two was between Justsaiyan’s Deathrattle Hunter and Moyen’s Taunt Druid. A disastrous outcome of Tracking put Justsaiyan in a very difficult situation. Regardless of this, through solid use of Zilliax and Katherina, Justsaiyan managed to build up the pressure he needed and lead the series 2-0.
The third game of the series was Justsaiyan’s final deck, Malygos Druid, up against Moyen’s Shudderwock Shaman. Moyen unfortunately did not get to play Hearthstone during the final game of the series, because of Justsaiyan’s absolute godlike draw. He could not have asked for a better hand. Two Wild Growths, Twig of the World Tree, and two Nourishes were only just the start. Justsaiyan then drew two Naturalizes that overdrew the Shudderwock of Moyen. On top of that, Ultimate Infestation drew both Arcane Tyrants, Malygos and Flibbidonous Floop. The casters and viewers were in disbelief of just how well Justsaiyan drew during that match. Moyen never had a chance in this one. With this Justsaiyan managed to close it out in a swift 3-0 and making it through to the quarter finals.
Results: 3-0 Justsaiyan
That covers our coverage of Day 1 for the HCT 2018 Fall Championship. The action continues on October 12 at 8:30AM PT. You can catch it all at the PlayHearthstone Twitch channel where Groups C and D will be played out.
Don’t forget to check out our player profiles and predictions, including coverage of the Asia-Pacific, Chinese, American, and European players in the Fall Championship .
(Featured Image by Blizzard Entertainment)
I’m Arend Zijdenbos, from the Netherlands. Gamer for as long as I can remember. My current focus is further improving at esports journalism. Currently, I write for Daily Esports and PCInvasion. For more of me, find me on twitter @Azijdenbos.