Kolento is your DreamHack Winter champion
After a well fought final that saw no fewer than three Druid mirror matches, Kolento is your DreamHack Winter champion as he took the final 4-2 over ThijsNL. Kolento takes home $10,000 and regains his world number one status.
The most stacked tournament to date has come to an end, and after three days Kolento stands tall as the DreamHack Winter champion having defeated DreamHack Bucharest champion ThijsNL in the final 4-2. Druid was the deck of the tournament returning to prominence once again with an incredible 65% win rate, so it was fitting that the final saw no fewer than three Druid mirror matches thanks to the deck revival format.
Kolento took an early advantage managing to blind pick his Priest against Thijs' Hunter - as if Priest was not favoured enough, Kolento got what it would be hard to describe as anything other than the absolute perfect draw in the match up. With a turn one Cleric and a turn two Blademaster & Circle of Healing, Kolento was just too far ahead from the word go. Early Holy Novas and Shadow Madness helped Kolento clear minions and traps, and he managed to draw into every anti-Hunter card he needed. Thijs then struck back with his Druid, though Kolento once again took intiative in the early going. Thijs was able to play Cenarius on an empty board and set himself up for a combo victory.
The first of the Druid mirrors began, and Kolento's faster version with less bigger minions lost out by simply running out of steam too quickly and allowing Thijs to heal himself and get too far out of reach with Ancient of Lore and taunts. Kolento was not satisfied with the deck's performance, and immediately queued back into the mirror for game four. This time his faster deck was able to use the lower mana curve to push home an advantage, getting out Haunted Creepers and Echoing Oozes to push early damage and taking the game before Thijs ever got going. Thijs then in turn chose to bring back his Druid deck, and the Druid mini best of three was on. Unfortunately repetition did not change the result this time, as Thijs had two Savage Roars in his hand early on and was left with too clunky a hand to be able to hit back and resist the early onslaught. Kolento did end up having to use both his Savage Roars to clear, but a Swipe deck and a strong board pushed him over the edge to match point.
Thijs was left with his Warrior, the class that won him DreamHack Bucharest, to try and come back in the series. The start was positive with a Fiery War Axe and Armorsmith, but Kolento opted to clear the Armorsmith early with a Savage Roar to stop Thijs from being able to really get anything going at all. Kolento built up his Shade and small minions once again piling on damage, and a Force of Nature + Savage Roar combo sealed him the championship.
DreamHack Winter is Kolento's fourth title win this year, adding it to his victories at the Viagame House Cup, Prismata Cup 2 and VGVN 2, as well as runner's up spots at the M-House Cup and Heroes of Cards 2 and a quarter final appearance in the World Championships. His total prize money for 2014 is around $40,000, and he once again sits atop the GosuGamers world rankings.