The Hearthstone Summer Masters II was another exciting tournament hosted by Gfinity this past weekend. Eight players from all over the world brought their card-playing A-Game to the Fulham arena for the cash prize of $10,000 and a beautiful trophy etched with bragging rights.
Coming into the weekend, Frederick ‘Hoej’ Nielson was the fans’ firm favourite to win it all, and his opening series with Oldrich ‘Faeli’ Mahdal showed exactly why. In a dominant display of skill, Hoej took the series 3-0 and put himself right at the top of the pecking order in Group A. Meanwhile on the Challenge stage, another exciting prospect in Gareth ‘Cipher’ Rouse was up against Thomas ‘Weasel’ Trancoso. Many relished the possibility of a Cipher and Hoej Group A final, but it was not to be. Weasel pulled off a remarkably tight victory, leaving Cipher fans shocked and stunned.
Group A ended with Hoej winning outright after a competitive battle with Weasel, 3-2. Hoej went five games undefeated on the Saturday before Weasel staged a comeback and got two wins back to back. Despite his efforts, Weasel lost in the deciding fixture. Faeli and Cipher also went head to head on the Challenge Stage, where the winner would go on to face Weasel in a runner up series. Cipher lost for a second time, ending his Hearthstone Masters II tournament in heartbreak and without a victory, and Faeli would score an unlikely victory over Weasel in a series of hard-fought battles.
Group B also started off with a bang. Team Dignitas player James ‘Greensheep’ Luo , went up against Cristiano ‘Cloudascris’ Carlotti and immediately made a statement of intent. Greensheep ploughed his way to victory in a number of convincing matches. The thought of a Greensheep and Hoej confrontation immediately became very appealing to the Gfinity crowd.
Kevin ‘KevveC’ Chan played Pavel ‘Sychry’ Sychrovsky on the Challenge Stage and both players put on a real spectacle, with Sychry eventually finishing it off. He and Greensheep would then go on to play each other in a match to determine the winner of Group B. And in a match Greensheep was heavily favoured to win, somehow, Sychry found a way to change the script and win Group B outright. Greensheep was forced to remain in the booth for the third game running. He looked tired, he hadn’t eaten, but he needed to beat Cloudascris, who had beaten KevveC earlier in the evening, for a chance to go to the Semi Finals. Greensheep looked down and out several times, but he dug deep when he needed to and would be back to play again on Sunday.
Sunday’s Semi Finals lived up to expectation. The dream final for Gfinity fans was now the first SF of the day as Hoej went against Greensheep. Unfortunately for Greensheep, the victory was more convincing for Hoej than he would have liked. Despite a bright start and his best efforts, James Luo had nothing in his deck that could contend against a Hoej, who won the Semi-Final 3-0.
It was the second SF of the day that proved to be more competitive as Sychry and Faeli went head to head. Both men took their time contemplating their moves, assessing every step carefully. At times, it was like watching card chess. But eventually, Faeli put the best offense together and picked up the win over Sychry 3-1.
This set up a very apt final, a repeat of the first match of the tournament, Hoej vs Faeli. And this time, the series went a lot differently, and not just because it was a Best of 7. Faeli went 2-0 up immediately after some early concedes from Hoej. Three game-changing secrets in Game 3, however, and Hoej was back in the Final. At this point, the Gfinity arena was rocking and over 12,000 people had tuned into the live stream.
But despite Hoej’s determination, Faeli somehow found a way to win again and gave himself a huge advantage in this series 3-1. If Hoej was to win the HS Masters II, he’d have to win 3 games in a row. And like the champion he is, somehow, he found a way to do exactly that. Faeli invited early pressure in Game 5 and Hoej took advantage. Game 6 was much more spirited, but Hoej continued to play aggressively and beat Faeli into submission, amazingly bringing the series level.
In the decider, the legend of Hoej continued and he beat Faeli once again this weekend, 4-3. Both men immediately shook hands and offered each other immense respect. It was a great final, but Hoej certainly proved to be a deserving and worthy champion!
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