"The Nuts" StrifeCro reigns supreme in Krefeld
He entered the tournament as the favorite with the reputation of being the best player in the entire Hearthstone world, he exists the Take TV studio with $8,000 USD, the SeatStory Cup trophy and a major title to back up the "mystic" around his greatness. StrifeCro is the first ever SSC Champion.
Three days of intense and great Hearthstone action live from Krefeld, Germany have come to a close with StrifeCro taking home the trophy, a large check and the honor of being the first ever SeatStory Cup champion. On his way to that glorious win he defeated teammate monk and the DogeHouse members Savjz and Gnimsh, dropping only a total of seven games in the entire tournament.
That stellar record of 16-7 got bolstered by a 4-1 victory in the finals, only losing the opening match against Gnimsh's only aggro deck - the Zoo variation of Warlock. With that deck the Polish TCG veteran had great success throughout the tournament, beating teammate Artosis and the Mayor of Value Town Trump twice. This time it was only meant to give him one point, at least saving him from the depressing shutout in the Grand Finals. The win came about, even with StrifeCro anticipating the move towards that aggressive deck, bringing out the defensive Warrior as an answer. Unfortunately "The Nuts" couldn't really find an answer for the early game drops without a Fiery War Axe or later a Brawl, so the low drop minion could just occupy the board at will. Armoring up and trying to hold off the aggression didn't work out and so the series was tied at one, due to StrifeCro enjoying a default lead coming from the Upper Bracket.
Now it was time for the Handlock, which turned into the absolute finals MVP. Caster Trump revealed before the game, that StrifeCro feels like the Warlock variation would take about 70 percent of the games against the aggressive Zoo deck, an assessment he later back paddled from. On the battlegrounds it proved to be quite an answer, although the game ultimately came down to a last draw for Gnimsh. With his opponent only on eight life and a Soulfire in hand, he decided to disregard the Molten Giant on board and try to finish the game right there. Several outs in the deck would have been lethal in that situation, including the second Soulfire, Leeroy Jenkins or Doomguard. He drew Amani Berserker instead and had to witness StrifeCro healing back up to 15 life when "OBLIVION" was heard all over the battlegrounds. Lord Jaraxxus was just too much to deal with for him and no top deck in the world could have turned the tides once more.
The response to the Handlock of StrifeCro was actually the Warrior from Gnimsh, disregarding the strength of the Shaman in said matchup. In the interview afterwards Gnimsh explained this with the strenght of Execute for the early giants, a card he never got to draw in the entire contest. It was also not a giant that got him into a lot of trouble, but a Twilight Drake and the ensuing wall of two Ancient Watcher securing the blue minion. From that position he could clear once more with Baron Geddon, but back-to-back Siphon Soul against the Baron and Grommash Hellscream made it even harder. The last straw, a desperation Brawl saw a 9/9 Mountain Giant outmuscle the other two creatures, spelling doom in Night Elf letters for the Polish player.
Left to just one life in the tournament, one last deck to salvage the entire situation, he finally chose the Shaman deck and once again got within striking distance of killing the American player. For the longest time the former Starcraft 2 professional didn't draw into his taunt donators like Sunfury Protector or Defender of Argus, pushing this game to the limit. Twice Gnimsh came within a couple of points from lethal, having Windfury just waiting to surprise "The Nuts". It didn't work out and with a Molten Giant turning into a 9/9 juggernaut, the game quickly went out of hand with immense damage coming up. The actual finish was actual a 23 to zero burst down for Thrall's HP, receiving a Leeroy Jenkins strike straight into the face, before getting grilled by Hellfire and finding death at the hands of the swing of Lord Jaraxxus.
StrifeCro now is $8,000 USD richer and gives all his fans and supporters a lot more reason to call him the best Hearthstone player in the world. Gnimsh at least goes home with $4,000 USD, while Trump travels back to the states with $2,000 USD more in his cookie fund.
Final Standings of SeatStory Cup 2014
- 1. StrifeCro
- 2. Gnimsh
- 3. Trump
- 4. Artosis
- 5./6. Savjz / monk
- 7./8. Lucifer / ek0p