This tournament is hosted by the South Korea cable television channel OGN, who specialize in eSport broadcasts. The tournament features exclusively Korean players, and boasts a prize pool of 42 million Won (approximately $36, 000 USD). The players are all strong Korean players, many of whom have competed in world championship tournaments in the past, although there are some newcomers to spice up the field. For the semi-finals they have decided to continue using Conquest, but instead of a best of five, it will be a best of seven. It is still a Conquest format, so each player brings six decks, then at the beginning of the round each player bans one of their opponent’s decks, then picks three of their five remaining decks to compete in the best of seven. The semifinals have now concluded, and here are the results:
The first match was seogui against Steelo, referred to by his fans as God-Steelo. Prior to the match there was quite a bit of trash talking, as seogui has been beating a lot of the top Korean players as a fairly unknown player himself. This has spawned a lot of talk that he is more lucky than skilled. Steelo, as the most popular player in the tournament and a huge Korean streamer, echoed these thoughts, saying he was very favoured to win. The two are apparently old competitors from their days playing professional Yu-Gi-Oh. Despite Steelo’s fame, neither player has brought home any high place tournament finishes. Steelo plays for the well-renowned team All-Killers, while seogui plays for the new team Team-Aggressive. Seogui brought Druid, Mage Warlock, Paladin, Warrior, and Shaman, while Steelo brought Druid, Mage, Warlock, Paladin, Priest, and Rogue. Both players decided to ban each other’s Druid. Seogui decided not to use Paladin, while Steelo decided not to use Priest.
The first game was seogui’s Aggro Shaman vs. Steelo’s Reno Warlock. Despite the strong Shaman start, Steelo had every answer, playing Healbot to sustain, Acidic Swamp Ooze to kill Doomhammer, Dr. Boom on seven, and a big Shadowflame to seal the deal, giving Steelo an easy first game. The second game had seogui countering Steelo by playing Control Warrior against Steelo’s Freeze Mage. Seogui simply did Control Warrior things and built up enough armour that he was unkillable, tying it up 1-1. The third game seogui picked another good match, playing his Reno Warlock against Freeze Mage again. Once again, the Freeze Mage simply couldn’t get through the health gain, and seogui takes the lead. The fourth game had Steelo finally catching a break, and the double Mad Scientist start was simply too much, giving his Freeze Mage a win against seogui’s Aggro Shaman, tying it again. The fifth match was seogui’s Freeze Mage against Steelo’s Secret Paladin. Steelo got an incredibly lucky Whirling Zapomatic out of his Shredder, into a Dr. Boom for lethal, using the bombs to do the final damage with a Doomsayer proc, putting Steelo back in the lead. The sixth match has seogui’s Freeze Mage against Steelo’s Oil Rogue. Seogui played expertly and managed to stabilize by Alexstraza-ing his own face into using Antonidas for the win, tying up the series 3-3. The final match in the best of seven is seogui’s Aggro Shaman against Steelo’s Oil Rogue. Both players had an incredibly strong opening, but Steelo played very greedily, holding back some of his cards and allowing seogui to take an early lead. Steelo managed to stabilize the board, but seogui’s enormous damage from hand allowed him to take the final game and the match!
Through all the trash talking, seogui never retaliated, simply saying he wanted his chance to prove it wasn’t luck. Well here it is, seogui has defeated God-Steelo and advanced to the finals!
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The second match was between Irony and Time. Irony is another well-established player in the Korean Hearthstone scene. He is another member of the prominent team All-Killers, the same team that Steelo is on, who lost two days prior. Irony was much more respectful than his teammate, saying that he believed Time was a good player and that either of them could win. There have been an All-Killers player in every Masters final until now, leaving it up to Irony. Time is a newer player, and one of the few players in the tournament without a team. Time brought Shaman, Warrior, Warlock, Paladin, Druid, and Hunter. Irony brought Paladin, Warlock, Mage, Priest, Druid, and Rogue. Unlike the first semi-final match, here neither opponent banned druid, Irony choosing to ban Shaman and not use Mage, while Time banned Warlock and didn’t use Hunter.
The first match was Time’s Midrange Druid against Irony’s Murloc Paladin. Despite a very slow start, Time simply didn’t let Irony build a board, and then used the Druid combo on turn nine, one turn before Irony could potentially use his Anyfin, giving Time the first game. For game two, Irony decided to stick with his Murloc Paladin while Time moved on to his Secret Paladin. Once again, Time simply didn’t let the game get to turn ten, massacring his opponent with overwhelming tempo into winning on turn eight. Irony sticks with Murloc Paladin for game three, while Time moved on to his Grim Patron Warrior. For the third game in a row, Irony simply was unable to get to turn ten, surrendering on turn nine. Time simply hasn’t let his opponent get to use his combo, stopping him dead in every match. For game four Irony finally switches up his deck, moving on to Oil Rogue. Time plays with his final deck, Zoo Warlock. Time curves out perfectly, and Irony doesn’t find any of his early game. He dropped an SI Agent without comboing it on turn three, and Time Implosions it, rolling a four. Irony draws both Saps, incredibly bad cards against Zoo, and doesn’t find either Fan. Time uses a second Implosion and rolls another four, sealing the game and the match, 4-0.
The second match wasn’t nearly as close as the first, but we have our winners. For the first time, there are no All-Killers players in the finals, as Time joins seogui in the finals.