HCT Atlanta occurred at Dreamhack Atlanta over the weekend. Despite the sure volume of professional talent, a lot of Challenger level players were seen in the top 16. Let’s break down what happened with our HCT Atlanta Review.
Eddie “seohyun628“ Lui wins his first tour stop of the year. It had been a long time coming, as he had put together six prior top 16 finishes.
Top 16 Unexpected Competitors
Despite there being three World Championship qualifiers in the tournament, not one of them made the top 16 at HCT Atlanta. We did see a few familiar faces, but also some fresh Challenger level players showing up strong.
At the top of the bracket, Alan “Alan870806” Chiang lost to “Level9001” in a 3-0 sweep. Alan is not a well-known professional, but has been having a good season, including finishing second at HCT Tokyo.
Thomas “Sintolol” Zimmer had to play a full five game set against “Gallon” in his top 16 match. He won 3-2, and is still looking to secure his seat at the World Championship. He has played really well and went on a roll here in Atlanta.
Felix “Fenom” Mak took on Remi “Tars” Roesch in their top 16 match. Tars swept the match 3-0, as he still seeks for his big breakthrough performance. Tars also made top 16 at HCT Oakland, but hadn’t made top eight until this tournament.
Seohyun went up against Joffrey “Swidz“ Cunat in his top 16 match. Swidz was coming off of a hot top four finish at HCT Orange County, but fell to Seohyun 3-1.
Jon “Orange” Westberg made his exit at the bottom of the top 16 bracket, losing to “Gle” 3-1.
Final Four, Amateur vs. Pro
The two matches in the semi-final featured a well-known professional player going up against Challenger level players that spectators aren’t really familiar with. It was Sintolol versus Flamekilla, and Seohyun versus Plantz.
Sintolol ended up barely squeezing by Flamekilla 3-2. The set’s final match came down to a match between Sintolol’s Deathrattle Hunter and Flamekilla’s Malygos Druid. Sintolol kept providing himself with a huge board, and eventually Flamekilla could not get through the wall of Witchwood Grizzlies. Sintolol now had his opportunity for his first Tour Stop win.
Seohyun had a much easier time against Plantz, sweeping him 3-0. With a lot of momentum towards the final, Seohyun was seeking his first win after six top 16 finishes this year. He was also one of our players to lookout for in our preview of HCT Atlanta.
Seohyun vs. Sintolol
Of the top 16, these two players were definitely the favorites to make it to the final, and that is where they sat. To get the action started off, Sintolol banned Seohyun’s Clone Priest, while Seohyun banned the Deathrattle Hunter of Sintolol.
The first match would be Sintolol’s Evenlock taking on the Odd Warrior of Seohyun. The casters went back and forth as to what deck is favored in the matchup, but the actual game was very close regardless. Seohyun managed to have all of the answers for Sintolol’s threats, forcing an early fatigue. Sintolol conceded the first game.
In game two Sintolol threw his Taunt Druid at the Odd Warrior. He was able to get his Hadronox down early enough in the game to put a lot of pressure on Seohyun with Master Oakheart. Eventually Sintolol found the Branching Paths lethal for a massive face push.
At 1-1, Seohyun went to his Deathrattle Hunter to beat the Druid. Hunter is very favored when they get their good cards, and Seohyun got an early egg with activators to snowball. The Devilsaurs overwhelmed the board and it was an easy victory for Seohyun.
Sintolol had one deck left in his Odd Paladin. Seohyun got another nuts draw in this final game. Sintolol simply could not be aggressive enough against Seohyun to stop the inevitable. Seohyun had the Mossy Horror to kill the three taunts Sintolol tried to put up at the end and the tournament was over.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via the DreamhackHS Twitch channel.