Week 8 of HPL has just finished, but how much has the landscape of the league changed from week 7? Join me as I recap the best moments of week 8, and we prepare for what’s still to come.
Kaldi Joins Tempo Storm, sneaks into top 8:
After Fnatic disbanded their Hearthstone Division, Kaldi was quickly picked up by Tempo Storm. On his first match representing Reynad’s brand, Kaldi managed to take a convincing 3-1 win from Archon’s Zalae. This particular match provided one of this week’s highlight, as Kaldi managed to beat Zalae’s Patron with a Freeze Mage deck. Kaldi executed his gameplan perfectly and took advantage of a rare misstep by the Archon standout. With this victory, Kaldi is currently in the top 8, and that’s exactly the place where he wants to be. With Zalae, Purple, Neirea, and Ek0p all losing this week, Kaldi finds himself with the longest active winning streak at 3. Can he capitalize on his momentum and take his new team into the playoffs?
Tune-in to HPL next week to find out, as the newest Tempo Storm representative has matches against Neirea and Era.
Sjow reclaims the lead:
Last week Purple had caught-up with Sjow at the top of the HPL rankings. This week Sjow proved that he likes to stand alone, and with a victory over his teammate Neirea he once again became the sole leader of the tournament. Also, if my calculations are right, Sjow is the first player to clinch a spot in the live finale. The Team Liquid Ace only has three matches left in his regular season, and if he can beat RDU, Greensheep, and Dog, he will be guaranteed the number 1 seed for the playoffs.
SuperJJ has been in the top 8 or very close to it for most of the tournament, but this definitely wasn’t his week as he went 0-2 with loses against Nihilum’s RDU and the already eliminated Greensheep. By defeating JJ, Greensheep has done a massive favor to his team Dignitas partner Kranich, who jumps over him in the rankings. SuperJJ is 1-4 on his last 5 and he’s going to need a strong finish if he wants to join his Team Complexity partner in the top 8.
Next Week’s Featured Matches
#3 Purple vs #9 Ek0p:
Ek0p and Purple both saw their winning streaks derailed this week, but only one of them will be able to start a new one. Archon and Cloud9 clash as Purple looks to jump back into the number 1 spot and Ek0p fights to keep his playoffs hopes alive. Who will stand victorious? Find out next Monday!
#4 Zalae vs #12 SuperJJ:
This wasn’t the best week for Zalae, as he also saw his winning streak broken. The former Magic Online Player of the Year took back-to-back loses against Kaldi and Kranich, and he only has 2 matches left on his regular season. Zalae faces off against RDU this monday, and will have his closing match this Tuesday. His final boss will be Complexity’s SuperJJ, who needs every win he can muster if he’s going to make the playoffs. It is possible that Zalae clinches his playoff spot on Monday, so one has to wonder if that would impact this match at all.
#6 Neirea vs #7 Kaldi:
This Wednesday match might be one of the most important of the season for these two players, as both stand near the bottom of our top 8 with six losses each. These guys desperately need to keep winning so they can punch-in their ticket to Frisco, and the losing this match might cause one of these contestants to miss-out on the playoffs.
#3 Purple vs #14 RDU:
This might not seem that interesting on paper, but RDU’s #14 is a bit misleading. Not only did he inherit a 0-3 record for joining the tournament as a late replacement for TidesofTime, but he also has the least matches played so far. With a 4-6 record, RDU could win his 5 remaining matches and still make the playoffs. Purple in the other hand still has a chance of becoming the #1 seed. Should the Archon coach win his last 3 matches, he’d only need Sjow to drop a match to ensure at least a tie at the number 1 spot.
Purple and RDU face each other this Thursday, and you won’t want to miss it.