The direct invite situation for the Legendary Series grand finals, to be hosted at the ESL studios in Burbank, California, is getting more and more interesting by the week. Last week, it was Darkwonyx who received an invite, carried by the unlikely heroes of a Paladin deck and a unorthodox and unexpected Warlock variation. This week, it was Magicamy’s turn to shine.
The newest Tempo Storm member fell against her good friend SjoW the week before, but it turned out that the Redemption Tour and a second chance was all she needed. In a showdown of Tempo Storm team members in the grand final, the former StarCraft: Brood War pro kept the upper hand and punched a ticket for the finals, with the Defeated Hyped having to wait his turn to try and get in again next week - against stiff competition once more.
The magic ride
Last time around, Magicamy couldn’t quite muster the strength to get to the finals after losing the semifinals to compLexity Gaming’s SjoW. This time around she made it count, beating out Trump and fellow Asian Challenger cup player FlyBird for entry into the grand finals.
The ending point of the entertaining series between the two Tempo Storm teammates was as unique as the series as a whole. For example, in the first matchup, Rogue against Handlock, the Handlock was suddenly in possession of a Trade Prince Gallywix, which gave his owner a Sprint and a Shiv. Not often do you see Gul’Dan in possession of those drawing spells, especially in a class that already has the ability to draw out their entire deck in almost every control matchup. It also worked the other way around (before Sylvanas stole him). The result of that steal was a Shadowflame being added to the Rogue’s hand - a rather underwhelming card given the generally low attack of the Rogue’s creatures. That exchange - and the unlikely card options that it opened up - was one of the highlights of the contest.
This was followed by another quite interesting contest between a Grove Tender Druid deck against the Zoolock. Usually this would have been a really strong matchup for Hyped, given that Druid usually loses the contest against the aggressive version of Warlock. This time around, however, this wasn’t the case, as Magicamy could stabilize very early, stopping the snowballing potential in its tracks. The recovery never quite happened, and two dead draws on turn seven scuppered Hyped’s chances of equalizing the series.
Still, Hyped had a trump card left in his deck choices, with the Rogue and Mage master selecting Jaina Proudmoore as his last-chance deck. In the mirror match, Hyped’s slightly more board-orientated Freeze variation proved to be slightly better and more efficient. Hyped went first in the matchup, got his Alexstrasza off first and the lack of Ice Block on Amy’s side was ultimately her downfall - sealed by two Fireballs straight to the dome.
Now it was time to revive decks, since the seeding portion of the grand finals was over. Rogue mastermind Hyped put his trust in Valeera, while Magicamy chose to play the only deck that hasn’t contributed a point in the grand finals yet - the Freeze Mage. In the end, the match came down to the one card that Magicamy has been missing previously. The Ice Block bought her the one turn she needed after the Alexstrasza to burn down her opponent, who had lethal with a Ragnaros. Those exact eight health points and the popped Ice Block were the story of the game, granting Magicamy the high point of a successful run.
Overall, Magicamy’s performance was overwhelming, as she withstood some BM from Trump, extended the heart sign to him, received applause and pulled out a victory with Mal’Ganis over FlyBird. Her play once more showed why she won the Challenger Cup in week five as well as got into one of the most iconic Hearthstone teams out there. Her road will not stop here, though, as she can now focus on her preparation for more tournaments and the big showdown in Burbank, California.
The fight continues
Darkwonyx and Magicamy can already pack their suitcases and shades for sunny California. However, other competitors still need to hang on and fight for the right to participate in the main event. As the first player to ever get three appearances under their belt, it will be Zalae playing in the tournament once more. The Zenith Gaming player currently holds a 2-2 record with two wins in the first round but two losses in the semifinals. As a newcomer and runner-up of the Challenger Cup in week five, he has already made a name for himself with nice plays and solid decks all around. Now it’s time for him to break out of his shell and get further. He’s already made history in the new tournament series with three consecutive appearances - only a grand finals spot would make him even more memorable.
However, it won’t be an easy road, no matter how you slice it. With less and less opportunities to get to Burbank, players are eager to seize the invite spot and prove their talent on the big stage. Last week, XiXo, Hyped and Trump received an invite - this week it’s Savjz, StrifeCro and Amaz. Alongside the returning Hyped, Zalae and Flybird, this might be the most star-studded week of the Legendary Series. All three invited players have big LAN titles to their names, with Savjz and StrifeCro both having won the coveted SeatStory Cup and Amaz holding the title of Intel Extreme Masters Shenzhen. The two Challenger players and three returning players will have their work cut out for them as the elite division of Hearthstone enters the fray.
This leaves out Hyped completely, who is one of the most established players in the entire NA scene as well as one of the most respected players in the world.
In addition to the players, it will also be an interesting showdown between the top Hearthstone organizations. Tempo Storm, Cloud 9, Team Archon and Team Liquid will all be sending their stars into the competition for both bragging rights and individual glory. For Tempo Storm, a second spot in the grand finals is on the line, while all the other organizations are looking to get on the scoreboard.
However you see it, one thing’s for sure: it will be must-see Hearthstone action, so make sure you don’t miss out and tune in this Saturday at 19:00 CET (13:00 EST) to watch Frodan and Azumoqt cast this star-studded tournament.
To get an overview of everything else Legendary Series, be sure to check out the official site!