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NA Open Division Playoffs complete with upsets as two teams advance to Crucible

Heroes Lydia “lideyuh” Mitrevski

Seven weeks of North American Open Division have been completed and the top 16 teams faced off to decide the final two to advance to The Crucible in late May.

LFM has been a dominant team in the North American Open Division leading in the standings, competing in all seven Open Division cups and taking three cup wins.  Even in Death and LFM have met twice before in the Open Division, with LFM winning both matches.

Game one of the semifinals on Dragon Shire saw a severe lack of wave clear on the side of LFM as Even in Death completely controlled the lane pressure. EiD convincingly took the first win as they controlled all four Dragon Knights of the game.

Game two was much more equal as both teams reached level 10 at the same time, but EiD had more utility from their ultimate abilities. As they both reached level 16, Even in Death seemed to have the best ability to steal the boss but LFM was still able to take it despite getting completely team wiped. EiD ignored the boss AND a siege camp knocking at their door and made a tricky call to push farther into LFM’s side of the map. As level 20 was reached the competition was dead even as LFM attempted another boss take and a core rush getting it all the way down to 51%. Even in Death held a strong and somewhat simple defense, wiping LFM and taking the two game lead.

LFM made a strong comeback in game three attempting to redeem themselves, forcing at least a game four.

Even in Death held their own again in game four, taking the first immortal and fort down on Infernal Shrines easily three minutes into the game. From then on the game rolled in EiD’s favor ending the entire game in barely 15 minutes.  

As the fourth seed, Even in Death upsets LFM as the first seed and advances to the Open Division finals and The Crucible.

On the other side of the semifinals, UT-A faced against Imported Support. UT-A has been a strong contender for most of the Open Division, but has fallen short towards the end as much of the team has admitted they will be splitting up.

Game one of the series, UT-A reached level 14 against Level 18 Imported Support and chose to initiate a questionable fight with three heroes taken out, leaving the map wide open for Imported to make big plays. As level 20 approached along with another Dragon Knight and multiple camps for Imported Support, they took the first game win.

Game two was fairly similar as Imported took the second win and set up match point.

As game three was fired up, Imported actually chose Cho’Gall to close their draft. At first it may have seemed like a bit of a cocky choice as they were up by two games, but the gameplay spoke for itself. Regardless of technically being down one hero, Imported was able to take the sweep and knock out UT-A.

While both Imported Support and Even in Death automatically advance to The Crucible, the two faced off in the finals to decide which team would be able to pick which of the bottom two HGC Premier teams they would face.

After two games it was all tied up 1-1 showing competition especially in the Open Division is neck and neck.

Game three on Towers of Doom was so equal at level 16 with 15 points left on either sides core. Even in Death had strong poke potential from Genji but didn't have strong enough team fight potential as Imported was able to take the one game lead.

As the potential game winner for Imported Support, game four was just as equal. 

While they took Ragnaros, EiD took a counter Varian that served them very well by denying numerous webweaver turn ins. Imported Support had a strong lead but Even in Death found their way to push back. Inching to level 20, Imported took the charge as they spawned webweavers and attempted to push them all the way to the core but as the webweavers died they were forced to retreat as they lost two players and couldn't guarantee the win. As Even in Death took the boss the back and forth continued. With their healer down, Imported had no choice but to try to defend as the boss was taken. As much of a late game as it was, the boss was too strong to defend against and Even in Death tied up the series again.

As it came down to one game on Warhead Junction, Neither teams chose very typical global heroes as Imported Support took Abathur and Even in Death drafted Zagara. EiD roamed for camps most of the game to continue pressure on all lanes during warhead fights. While Imported took boss, EiD ignored it with Illidan pressuring top lane and the rest of the team pressuring middle lane. Another fight at the boss as it was taken by Imported Support but it turned into four kills to two and a completely opened the top lane to Imported’s Core. As EiD attempted to sneak the core, Imported had respawned and held enough of a defense to hold them back. With Rehgar down Imported tried to take the win but with the vast amount of ultimates used in defensive mode, Imported was only able to take down to 47% before getting a 4 man wipe as Even in Death took the final win in the Open Division Playoffs.

As the HGC Premier League is also completed, we know that Naventic and No Tomorrow will now join Even in Death and Imported Support in The Crucible. May 27th. Even in Death now has the choice of which of the professional teams they will face in a best of seven series. The other two teams will play as well and the two winners will advance to the HGC Premier League.

Follow us on Twitter @GosuGamersHotS for more Heroes of the Storm news and coverage from around the world.

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Lydia “lideyuh” Mitrevski
HotS enthusiast. Paladins n00b. Trophy hunter 4lyfe. Esports and gaming journalist. Freshest twitter memes @lideyuuh.

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