25 October 2014 - 08:59

Tournament Recap: Seatstory Cup II

Let's take review of the Seatstory Cup, one of my all-time favorite Hearthstone tournaments so far! Lots of talking points, so let's dive right in!
Dot Esports

Hey all,

Today, I'm taking a look at Seatstory Cup 2. Overall, this tournament was one of my all-time favorites.

It had lots of talking points, great Hearthstone, almost all the most famous pros, and some qualifiers looking for a breakout performance.

Seatstory Cup 2

Location: Krefeld, Germany

Prize Pool: $20,000

Competitors: 32

Winner: Savjz

Hot Players: Trump, Xixo, Reynad

Casters: Frodan, Artosis, Guest Casters

This tournament was held at a house in Krefeld, Germany and featured most of the Hearthstone pros we've come to know and love. The competition at this tournament was extremely fierce and any one of the 32 competitors could have come out on top if they got the right draws.

Favorites included Kolento off the back of his 11 game competitive winning streak, Amaz who finished second at Viagame and Strifecro because of some strong recent tournament performances.

But in truth, any one of the competitors on the right day could come out on top.

The tournament itself had fantastic production, and was very well cast by Frodan and Artosis with a rotating cast of guest commentators.

Here are the main talking points from the tournament.

Talking Points

  • Shaman was the most prolific deck of the tournament and Savjz went 10-0 en route to victory.
  • Faster, more burst based decks were brought.
  • Amaz and Trump both brought Zoo which Trump took to the quarterfinals.
  • Hunter was the most commonly banned class.
  • Reynad finally had a good tournament, going 4-0 in the group stages.
  • Breakout performances from Theude and Mirrari
  • Savjz's legendary Edwin Van Cleef play against Theude.

Tournament Format

Seatstory Cup 2 employed the standard ruleset for competitive Hearthstone.

Best of 5, one class ban

This is the default go-to for competitive HS since the Blizzcon Invitational last year. The class ban makes tailoring decks around a certain playstyle much easier, and can lead to some innovative decks.

An example is Savjz's Shaman deck which is great for the tournament metagame.

I cover the deck later down in the guide. But in short, it has strong matchups against Handlock and Druid while being weak to Hunter which Savjz could easily ban.

The format is simple, used for the vast majority of tournaments, and for good reason.

As I've said before though, I'd like to see some innovation in this regard and a format that allows you to use a deck that's lost before would be quite welcome.

Best of 7, Best of 9, one class ban

For the quarterfinals and finals, Seatstory Cup 2 made matches Best of 7 and Best of 9.

It played very similarly to the Best of 5 format, and simply meant players had to prepare more decks.

All in all, the ruleset for Seatstory Cup was pretty straightforward and is a tried and tested way to play tournament HS.

Meta Analysis

Seatstory Cup 2 had one of the most stacked fields in tournament history, and as such, it's good to take a look at the decks which excelled.

Mage and Shaman had great tournaments, each pulling real weight for the winning competitors

Lothar's mid range Mage featuring 5 secrets swept Strifecro 3-0. Shaman brought big series wins for Savjz and Reynad respectively.

Elsewhere, Hunter was brought my most players but was banned in almost every match. The ones that weren't banned were teched to be beaten.

Savjz for instance brought Hunter, but rarely got to play it. The two times he did bring it, he lost.

What this indicates is that Hunter while a strong and viable deck on ladder can be countered in a tournament setting quite easily.

This bodes well for deck builders looking to climb the ladder amidst the sea of Hunters.

Notable Deck

This was an easy choice for this tournament - Savjz's double Lava Burst, double Doomhammer Shaman deck that he went undefeated with.

Credit must go to Chakki who created the deck and gave it to Savjz for the tournament.

The deck plays exactly to the strengths of those two cards - burst.

In the early-mid game it plays like the standard mid-range Shaman builds that we've seen in the metagame for the last few seasons. But instead of value minions, replaces them with raw damage for finishing games.

Notable exclusions are Nerubian Eggand only 1 Haunted Creeper.

This is a purely tournament based deck, and will likely struggle against Hunters on the ladder but is brutally effective at finishing games off in a tournament setting.

Double Doomhammer is key to winning and represents a huge amount of damage especially when combo'ed with Rockbiter Weapon

Match of the Tournament

The standout game of the tournament was incredibly hard to pick. There were a ton of really great games.

Shoutout to the final game of the tournament between Savjz (Rogue) and Mirrari (Warrior) which was a nailbiter and a fitting way to end the tournament.

However, I'm going to go with the Mage mirror match between Reynad and Forsen in their first group match.

Reynad in a typically unlucky showing, had Archmage Antonidasand Alexstraszaas the second to last and last cards in his entire deck.

However, he somehow managed to hang on and eke out enough damage on Forsen who couldn't deal exactly 1 damage which would have finished him.

A truly epic game, and a real look into the complexity and brilliance of tournament HS.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8p9pOLRlQI

Biggest Takeaway

Honestly, Seatstory Cup 2 had everything for me. I enjoyed it perhaps the most out of any Hearthstone pro tournament to date. It had excitement, action, great production value.

It had popular streamers and pros, but also qualifiers and people looking to get recognized.

The biggest takeaway for me was that THIS is how tournament HS should be. It was hosted really well by Frodan and Artosis, my two favorite casters in the Hearthstone scene.

Rotating guest casters were great too including lady eye-candy Lothar and the enthusiasm of Amaz coupled with the calm methodical approach of Trump.

There was a lot to like here, and the winner, Savjz, couldn't be a more deserving champion.

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