Gfinity Spring Masters London: As it happened
Today is the first of the two day event. The players will play in their four man groups and the top two from each group will progress to the Semi-Final stage.
For those new to the scene, Esports groups don't work quite the same as normal sports groups.
Instead of all the players playing each other, there are a series of matches as follows:
The first two matches would be the same as any other event. The four players play in two matches:
A v B C v D
After that, the two winners play each other and the two losers play each other.
The winner of the winner's match advances as group winner (#1 seed) and the loser of the loser's match is eliminated.
The two remaining players then play a match and the winner of that match is group runner-up (#2 seed).
This makes for a very similar system to the one most people will be familiar with, but it is not identical.
This works well for Esports as it eliminates the need for messy tiebreaker systems.
With that in mind, here are the groups for day one of London:
Groups 1 and 2 will complete in the morning and I will be bringing updates from about 1130am GMT.
The first round of matches is:
Firebat vs Dreax, Faramir vs Greensheep, Thijs vs Anaro and Sottle vs Powder
This means that all two and a half UK players (Powder is Swedish but lives here, so I'm claiming him for the day) are in action early.
Given that this is a huge event for the UK, I will be covering the whole thing and not just the UK players, but obviously I wish our guys all the best.
Also, let's not forget the casters. They have an all-star casting lineup as follows:
ThatsAdmirable, Gnimsh, Monk, Kaldi, Aquablad and Raven
Raven and Aquablad are both from the UK. Again, I wish them Good Luck!
The Prize Pool is split as follows:
First place: $4,000
Second place: $2,000
Third and Fourth places: $500
The Gfinity Arena looks great. Watching Hearthstone in a cinema is spectacular. Here's a terrible photo that doesn't do it justice, just for a taste.
LIVE Quarter Final updates!
The first quarter final is World Champion Firebat vs 16 year old surprise package Anaro
Game1: Anaro plays Paladin into Firebat's face Hunter. He gets a great draw. 1-0 Anaro
Game 2: Anaro Handlock into Firebat face Hunter he has a 50-50 to win with Ragnaros and misses. 1-1
Remember that we are playing Conquest today which means that once a hero has won, they cannot be reused.
Game 3: Firebat plays Freeze Mage wile Anaro sticks with his Handlock. Anaro gets a Ragnaros to stick and takes the game to lead 2-1
Game 4: Firebat sticks with Freeze Mage. Anaro is on his last deck - Mech Mage. Lots of AoE and early removal takes it down for Firebat. 2-2
Game 5: Anaro Mech Mage vs Firebat Rogue,
Mech has the play and hand is Warper, Chugger, Spider Tank, Tinkertown.
Firebat's hand is also okay. Anaro runs out the Warper, it gets killed, as does the tank next turn.
Firebat makes a 6/6 Edwin. Mage has drawn into Azure Drake and Dr. Boom
Firebat has double Azure in hand and draws Flurry, although he has no decent activator.
Current board is 6/6 3/3 4/4 for Firebat vs 4/4 for Anaro who has fireball, Mirror Entity , Boom and spare parts in hand on turn 7.
Anaro plays Boom and goes face to put Firebat on 16 (vs 30)
Fan takes out the boom bots and they kill Edwin.
Anaro is now going face with poor minions and Firebat appears to have stabilized.
The second quarter final is Forsen vs Naiman
Game one: Naiman Mid Hunter beats Warrior 1-0
Game two: Naiman Handlock beats Forsen Mech Mage 2-0
Game three: Naiman's final deck Paladin vs Mech Mage. Forsen wins to trail 2-1
Game four: Paladin vs Druid. Naiman wins to qualify for the Semi Final 3-1
The third quarter final is the big one for this group.
United Kingdom's Sottle vs Faramir
Game one: Sottle Handlock vs Faramir Warrior
Part of Sottle's chances here lie in 3-0ing the Warrior.
He forces Faramir to overdraw using mortal coil on Acolyte and hits the Jackpot as one of the two burned cards is Grommash.
However Faramir fights back and manages to beat Sottle down. Losing to the Warrior is bad news.
Game two: Druid mirror. Both players have Wild Growth. Sottle also has Innervate.
Sottle ties it up 1-1 using his mana boost
Game three: Faramir Druid vs Tempo Mage
Sottle gets Mana Wyrm, Double Apprentice, Mirror Entity and Portal (Madder Bomber) and that's that 2-1 to Sottle
Game four: Faramir Druid vs Handlock
Faramir draws BGH just in time to secure the win. 2-2
Battery low: Sottle won: Will miss QF4 and be back for the Semis.
In quarter final four Zozus beat Amaz 3-2
The first semi final is between Firebat and Naiman
Game one: Firebat wins with Rogue against Mid Hunter 1-0
Game two: Naiman wins with Hunter against Freeze Mage 1-1
Game three: Firebat wins with Mage against Handlock 2-1
Game four: Firebat closes it out with Hunter against Handlock 3-1
The second semi final is between Sottle and Zozus
British hope Sottle takes on fellow qualifier Zozus.
We've been watching Zozus a lot and have been impressed with his play to this point.
Game one: Zozus wins with Demonlock vs Handlock 1-0
Game two: Zozus wins the Druid mirror 2-0
Game three: Sottle beats Rogue with Handlock to pull it back to 2-1
Game four: The dream is over. Zozus wins with Rogue against Druid to reach the final.
Sottle exits his booth to a deserved round of applause from the crowd, which he acknowledges.
A great performance in his first of hopefully many LAN events.
The final was a rapid affair with Zozus apparently nervous and making several uncharacteristic errors.
Firebat held it together to win 4-1 and take the $4,000 first prize.
His lineup selections were terrific and he showed once again how good he is at the preparation aspect of the game.
I shall be writing a blog entry in the next few days to talk about various things to do with the tournament and my experiences at my first LAN since I played Daley Thompson's Decathalon in the late 80s!
Overall the event was fantastic and I am really looking forward to the next one.
While we wait I'll also try to do some updates on what happened yesterday.
Sottle was the UK's big winner beating Powder twice to qualify in second place in group B.
Anaro beat both Sottle and ThijsNL to win the group with Thijs believed to have missed lethal in one of the games although nobody is entirely sure at the moment as to how much mana he had.
Faramir won Group A by beating Greensheep and Firebat.
He will play Sottle in the third quarter final later on today. Greensheep lost to Firebat after both beat Dreax, to set up the match currently in progress.
It would be unfair of me to mention that Greensheep missed a messy lethal involving Reversing Switch and Cogmaster, so I won't.
Group C had Forsen - coming off a recent 0-6 - winning both matches 3-0 against FaKe and Zozus.
Zozus beat Amaz and Amaz beat FaKe to set up a rematch for second place.
Note: I am not ashamed to admit this is my first big event and any comments positive or negative are welcome.
I'll take on board what people have to say to improve the content.