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daneski    Team Freedom
daneski's play was outstanding in a 3-0 sweep of Team Naventic during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

daneski played Zarya in both Game 1 and Game 2 of the best-of-five series against Team Naventic. In Game 1 on Towers of Doom daneski utilized Zarya's shields in such a way that the enemy Nazeebo could not whittle down daneski's team with his endless spiders, as well as protection for his teammates that were caught off guard and out of position. In Game 2 on Cursed Hollow, daneski used his shields in a similar fashion, except this time it was to primarily counter the heavy burst damage of Li-Ming's Arcane Orbs as well as Leoric's Drain Life. The utility daneski provided in tandem with his damage output and great zoning skills allowed daneski to be a top performer in both of these matches. Time and time again daneski has proven that he is the glue that holds Team Freedom together, and a big reason why these five relatively unknown players have done so well for themselves within the HGC.
McIntyre    B Step
McIntyre had a solid series against No Tomorrow in a 3-0 victory during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

McIntyre, who normally plays tanks or melee assassins, has once again transitioned to another role as a ranged assassin player for B-Step. In Game 1, he went for Tychus on Battlefield of Eternity and his mechanical skills carried over well as he picked apart the enemy frontline whenever they inched deeper towards iDream's Lunara or aPm's Lucio. The Tychus pick was especially strong because his AOE minigun ability was able to nearly always hit four people due to a blunder No Tomorrow made in drafting a quadruple melee composition. This worked out heavily in McIntyre's favor and ultimately led to a Game 1 victory. In Game 2, McIntyre was on Lunara, as iDream went for a Medivh pick. This worked out very well as MyIntyre utilized iDream's portals to aid in his aggressive playstyle and make quick, seamless rotations. McIntyre's ability to reform into whatever type of player his team needs is a rarity in esports and deserves to be commended, given his high performance on a weekly basis.
KingCaffeine    B Step
KingCaffeine pulled out a completely different playstyle in a 3-0 sweep of No Tomorrow during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

KingCaffeine opted for back-to-back Muradin picks in Games 1 and 2, rather than going for his tried and true Leoric that he is best known for. This caught No Tomorrow off guard though, as B-Step did draft Leoric in Game 1 and seeing KingCaffeine on a different tank had their early game strategy completely messed up since they are not accustomed to KingCaffeine playing anything else. KingCaffeine proved to be a formidable opponent and a heavy frontline disruptor as he went deep into the enemy territory time and time again resulting in some great opportunities created for iDream on Lunara. Game 3 saw KingCaffeine on Tyrael where his most important contribution was following iDream on Greymane deep into the backline and providing him with both shields and his heavenly Sanctuary ultimate, which shields 100 percent of all incoming damage. The strategy is a well known and is an exciting one to watch, especially when executed to perfection.
k1pro    B Step
k1pro played well in a 3-0 victory over No Tomorrow during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

k1pro started off the series with a King Leoric pick on Battlefield of Eternity. This hero choice was solely to provide a huge AOE slow in tandem with Muradin that allowed iDream on Lunara to absolutely destroy No Tomorrow's frontline as well as expose and pick apart their backline. In this regard, k1pro played very well; enabling his teammate to succeed in carrying B-Step to an easy victory for their first match of the night. In Gamez 2 and 3 however, k1pro went with a completely different playstyle while playing on Dehaka. Throughout both matches, k1pro was split from his team, soaking up experience and clearing minion waves in an effort to give his team a level lead and occasionally a talent advantage as well. The benefits of his split pushing ability were definitely noticed on Skype Temple where he was able to give B-Step a solid advantage going into the second tower phase. This momentum carried his team forward and helped them close out a rather uneventful series with a 3-0 win.
iDream    B Step
iDream played an intelligent series against No Tomorrow, winning 3-0 during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

iDream opted for a Lunara pick in Game 1 on Battlefield of Eternity. After taking Nature's Culling at level seven, his team was unstoppable on the immortal punishers and were easily able to compete with the crazy burst that No Tomorrow had drafted. Additionally, at level 13 iDream chose the talent Unfair Advantage, which when paired with his teammate KingCaffeine on Muradin was able to do 50 percent increased damage to all targets affected by Muradin's AOE slow. The impact from this ability was instantly noticeable as No Tomorrow's Greymane, Jason was unable to dive in for fear of instantly being blown up. This meant that B-Step was relatively save as Lunara was their only squishy hero without an escape, and it allowed his team to play much more aggressive than they normally would have. Game 2 was another match where iDream's map knowledge really shined through his draft choice of Medivh, he was able to both secure and deny capture points for the Dragon Knight that allowed his team to keep control of the objective, and ultimately the game.
aPm    B Step
aPm did it again in a 3-0 victory over No Tomorrow during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

aPm played the newest support hero, Lucio, in both Game 1 and Game 3. In Game 1 on Battlefield of Eternity, aPm went with a full healing build, taking Sound Barrier at level 10 to be able to deal with the ridiculous burst that Li-Ming's Greymane had on the opposing team. This was the right call as No Tomorrow's erho on Arthas in tandem with Casanova on Anub'Arak were excellent at pinning down heroes and giving their assassins time to unleash their full load of abilities. Game 3 was very similar, but this time he had much less to worry about as his teammate KingCaffeine drafted Tyrael and had the epic Sanctuary save that turned every teamfight post level 10 into an easy breeze of a game. aPm performed admirably this series and should he continue this level of play, his team should start seeing better results.
psalm    Tempo Storm
psalm was inconsistent during a 3-1 victory over Superstars during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

Game 1 saw psalm on Greymane, a heavy burst dive assassin, on the map Sky Temple. psalm was instrumental in the quick 13-minute victory that ensued for his team, scoring seven kills and five assists to zero deaths while topping every statistical category in the game. This was largely due to his Wizened Duelist talent choice at level seven, which allowed him to increase his basic attack damage by 3 percent for every hero kill or assist he got, stacking up to a 30 percent bonus. This snowball talent made his damage output far too much for the already behind Superstars to deal with, and they were heavily out gunned leading to the victory for psalm. In Game 2 however, with psalm on Falstad, Tempo Storm could not establish any momentum whatsoever. Their rotations were almost non-existent and their map awareness was poor, leading to some early deaths and lost opportunities that spelled the beginning of the end for Tempo Storm. psalm trying to split push and never being where his team needed him most was a big part of that. If psalm wants to realize international success with his team, he will need to expand his role beyond just a handful of melee assassins.
Jun    Tempo Storm
Jun was inconsistent as ever during a 3-1 victory over Superstars in the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

Jun once again clung tightly to Malfurion in this best-of-five series, playing him for half of the four games his team played. In Game 1 on Tomb of the Spider Queen, Jun's choice of Malfurion here was actually pretty smart, since he could take the level 1 talent Scouting Drone and place wards across the objective-turn-in areas of the map, which is precisely what he did. In this match Jun was outstanding. His heals were on point, his Cleanses were well timed and positioned perfectly, and his mini-map management was second to none. In Game 2 however, Jun tried to switch it up and play Kharazim, a much more mechanically demanding hero. He had a very good team surrounding him in Tychus, Muradin, and Arthas; however his healing was not enough to keep his team alive through the Zeratul ganks, and Tempo Storm was demolished one kill to 10. Thankfully, Jun picked it up in later matches, not playing his best, but still well enough to win.
Fury    Tempo Storm
Fury had another great series in a hard fought 3-1 victory over Superstars during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

Fury opted for E.T.C. in Game 1 on Sky Temple, this is certainly a pocket-pick hero as he has fallen out of the meta quite a lot recently. Despite being on a weak hero, Fury made it work with excellent mechanics and superb body blocking and CC that led to an early triple kill. This snowballed into a six-minute boss and the bottom temple objective being won for his team. Due to the snowballing nature of Sky Temple, Fury and the rest of Tempo Storm were able to close out the match and claim their first victory in under 13 minutes. Game 3 was another solid game for Fury on Anub'Arak, a frontline warrior he is becoming more and more known for. Just after the three-minute mark Fury dove in for a gank on the enemy Gul'Dan, securing the first kill of the match in the process. Likewise, the 15- and 17-minute marks also were great times for Fury, as he once again helped his team score kills on half of the enemy team, while grabbing the Dragon Knight in between and going ham on Superstar's dwindling structures.
CauthonLuck    Tempo Storm
CauthonLuck had a diverse hero pool in a close 3-1 victory during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

CauthonLuck hit the ground running in Game 1 with a Gul'Dan pick. Just five minutes into the game, CauthonLuck had already racked up multiple kills as well as a boss grab. It already looked like the game was in hand for Tempo Storm, but in Heroes of the Storm, just a single mistake can turn the tides no matter how far ahead you get. Fortunately for his team, CauthonLuck played a nearly perfect game, netting three kills, eight assists, and zero deaths in the process while also just barely missing the top slot for every other statistical category. Game 3 was similarly a great game for CauthonLuck on Dragon Shire, as he drafted Valla into a solo-warrior team comp that allowed him a relative measure of free reign to do as he pleased. This resulted in top hero damage, top siege damage and a 3/0/5 KDA. CauthonLuck also managed to help net his team two Dragon Knight objectives, the last of which ultimately won them the game.
cattlepillar    Tempo Storm
cattlepillar had a breakout series against Superstars in a hard fought 3-1 win during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

cattlepillar started out the best-of-five series on Arthas, a frontline warrior that he played in Game 1, Game 2, and Game 3. In Game 1 cattlepillar went for the bruiser build since his teammate Fury was on another warrior and could handle the main tanking roles. This build included the level 1 talent Frost Presence, which allowed him to use Howling Blast as a very strong engage tool and have a high amount of kill potential. This was realized by Superstars just after the four-minute mark where cattlepillar got a great root off at the start of a fight, resulting in three deaths for Superstars and giving Tempo Storm a very early boss as well as a free temple objective. Game 4 was easily cattlepillar's best, though, as he rocked the stage with Greymane, a heavy burst and dive assassin. There is no other way to describe it; cattlepillar went ballistic with Greymane as he rotated to top and mid soaking experience, killing minions, and dishing out a respectable amount of hero damage in the process. cattlepillar ended the game with a 5/1/4 KDA and nearly 250,000 siege damage, some of the most ever seen in a HGC match.
zugrug    Team Freedom
zugrug has picked up the tanking role nicely in a 3-1 victory over B-Step during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

zugrug started off Game 1 with an Anub'Arak pick that was meant to help his teammate daneski on Greymane dive deep for kills. Sadly, B-Step was one step ahead of them and drafted solid counters to his pick with Tychus and Lunara. In Game 2 zugrug went with an off tank on Varian where he actually ended up tanking the most damage out of all four warriors in the game with 67,000 damage tanked. In addition to that, he pulled off a perfect game with zero deaths, despite being the bearer of the majority of the damage for his team. Game 4 was where zugrug played his best match on Muradin. In this game he tanked the most for his team at 48,000 but also secured a crazy five kills and 11 assists, while dying zero times in the process. zugrug started this game out with a really good skillshot kill on Leoric just 30 seconds into the game, and he proceeded to keep this pace up for the remainder of the game.
nazmas    Team Freedom
Nazmas was on top of his game in a 3-1 victory over B-Step during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

Nazmas is the most annoying type of player to have to deal with. He focuses on heroes that can split-push but still have a global presence so they can, in the blink of an eye, be right behind your team during the middle of a teamfight for an epic gank. This is exactly what Nazmas did all throughout the series against B-Step, and it worked wonders for his team. Game 1 saw Nazmas on Falstad while playing the Cursed Hollow map. Nazmas spent the vast majority of the match split-pushing against fellow lane bully k1pro on Dehaka. Nazmas, however, was able to do a ton of poke damage to him and force him from taking down early structures. Sadly, he had a few mechanical failures that led to him giving up three deaths and losing the first match. In Game 4 on Greymane Nazmas was very aggressive with his opponents, leading him to four deaths, another mechanical failure on his part. Fortunately, his damage output was strong enough that his triple-warrior team comp was always able to help clean up weakened foes, leading to Team Freedom winning the match and the series 3-1.
KilluZiioN    Team Freedom
KilluZiioN played a strong series during a 3-1 victory over B-Step during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

Malfurion was the star of the show for KilluZiioN as he drafted him in Game 1, 3 and 4. In Game 1 he took Malfurion in an aggressive dive composition featuring daneski on Greymane. Unfortunately, the lack of burst heals that a sustain healer like Malfurion brings to the table were unable to seal the deal and keep his frontline alive due to the heavy burst they were up against in Tychus and Lunara. Game 2 on Rehgar was a lot better though, as his burst capability is much stronger than Malfurion and B-Step had far less burst capability than in Game 1 with just Valla as their assassin. Game 3 was by far KilluZiioN's best game of the series with Malfurion, as he secured five kills on the enemy team, more kills than he got in all other games combined in just this one match. Along with 18 assists and only two deaths, it is easy to see how Team Freedom was able to come out on top of this series despite starting out 0-1 against B-Step.
insomnia    Team Freedom
insomnia had a hard time in a 3-1 victory over B-Step during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

insomnia started out in Game 1 with an Arthas pick on Cursed Hollow. This was a solid choice, but insomnia failed to deliver on multiple levels. He had a hard time zoning the backline and keeping them split during engages which led to some close calls and even a few deaths for his teammate daneski as well as zugrug on Anub'Arak. insomnia also had some issues with keeping himself alive, dying twice in very inopportune moments that put his team at risk for defeat, which ultimately is where they landed. In Game 2 insomnia performed a lot better with Ragnaros on Infernal Shrines. insomnia was able to split-push a lot while not over committing to any lane and keeping himself alive while keeping his team ahead in levels. This allowed Team Freedom to be aggressive in the objective phase and win three immortal punishers to B-Step's two, which ultimately snowballed his team into a victory.
daneski    Team Freedom
daneski had a good series in a 3-1 close victory over B-Step during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

daneski opted for a Greymane pick in Game 1 of the best-of-five series. While he made some mechanically beautiful plays, he was unable to find momentum and really benefit from the kills he was securing. In Game 2 daneski went for Gul'Dan on Infernal Shrines. His hero choice was partially countered by k1pro on Anub'Arak but daneski managed to make it work and traded off wave-clear/split-push duties with his teammate Insomnia on Ragnaros. By the end of the match daneski put out a staggering 191,000 siege damage as well as 54,000 Hero Damage. Game 4 was another great match for daneski as he chose Anub'Arak in a triple-frontline dive comp. The extra beef allowed his team to bully B-Step during teamfights and hard engage whenever an opening presented itself without fear of getting nuked down. The strategy was a great one and Team Freedom secured a very hard-fought 3-1 victory.
psalm    Tempo Storm
psalm did not have a good series in a 3-0 victory over No Tomorrow during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

psalm had a rocky start in Game 1 on Kael'Thas while playing Dragon Shire. He managed to get three kills for his team; however, his very untimely deaths, which he also got three of, made it difficult for his team to secure remaining kills and take objectives. While his team as a whole was dominant in this match, psalm was not at all part of the reason why they were so far ahead and, if anything, served more as an anchor for his team than a sail. In Game 2 psalm was on Zeratul and contributed even less. His damage was very poor, his experience soaking was poor, he didn't secure many kills with just two, and even though he was on an invisible hero with a long-range escape, he still died twice as well. Overall this was one of the weakest professional performances psalm has had, and if it wasn't for his teammate cattlepillar doing work and carrying the load, Tempo Storm would not have won this match, or likely even this series.
Jun    Tempo Storm
Jun was all over the place in a 3-0 victory over No Tomorrow during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

Jun started out Game 1 playing really well on Dragon Shire with an excellent Malfurion pick in a double-warrior team comp. He managed to only have one teammate die -- though he did die three times -- and help close out the game in under 16 minutes, extremely fast for a Dragon Shire match, which normally lasts anywhere from 25-30 minutes. In Game 2 where he once again played Malfurion, though this time on Towers of Doom, Jun was not the same player that played just one game ago on Dragon Shire. His heals were spotty, his cleanses were not spot on, and he failed to keep his tanks alive time and time again. With that being said, when transitioning to Game 3 where he also played Malfurion, he was back in his Game 1 form with clutch saves and excellent soft CC. If Jun wants to continue to see his team realize success, he will need to work on his consistency and ensure that he plays all of his games at 100 percent.
Fury    Tempo Storm
Fury was an all star in a 3-0 crushing victory over No Tomorrow during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

Fury was on point in Game 1 on Anub'Arak where he was already at a disadvantage due to Jason on Falstad going an auto-attack build meant specifically to take down the Anub'Arak carapace. First off, Fury's pick was a solid counter to the E.T.C. hero No Tomorrow picked thanks to his double-stun kit that essentially made his Mosh Pit ultimate useless. Secondly, Fury had some insane burst with his level 13 talent Acid Drenched Mandibles that gave him 3 seconds of 70 percent attack-damage boost on slowed, stunned, or rooted enemy heroes. Finally, the most impressive feat he accomplished was his epic Epicenter level 16 talent that was giving him huge value as he could dive in and stun multiple enemies with ease, something he did on more than one occasion. In Game 2 Fury went with Arthas. This was a really smart pick and definitely contributed to his team's victory, but Fury was having a hard time staying alive due to the aggressive comp he was up against, specifically Tychus who can blast away at tanks very easily. Despite his five deaths though, Fury did actually a pretty decent job, and typically would trade his death for multiple kills on the other team, a more than viable strategy.
CauthonLuck    Tempo Storm
CauthonLuck played hard in a 3-0 victory over No Tomorrow during the 2017 HGC Group Stage.

RotoWire Analysis

CauthonLuck opted for a Tychus pick in Game 1 on Dragon Shire. While he was not flashy and didn't make any phenomenal plays, he had good mechanics, strong map awareness, and managed to keep himself alive throughout the match, not dying a single time. While doing so he racked up six assists and 33,000 hero damage. This was not a particularly strong performance from CauthonLuck; however, given his past blunders this certainly goes down as a win for him. In Game 2 CauthonLuck once again relied on his most played competitive hero, Falstad. It should be noted that CauthonLuck has rarely gone a series without playing the versatile bird hero at least once, and almost always takes him off the board if he's still available during his pick phase. His heavy reliance on Falstad was noticed in Game 3 where No Tomorrow target banned him and he was forced onto a less familiar hero, Valla. If CauthonLuck wants to help his team he will need to get more comfortable on other assassin heroes.