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Gwent Open #3: a Familiar Face Takes the Trophy

SuperJJ looking handsome as ever.
Gwent Open #3: a Familiar Face Takes the Trophy
The mid-winter update, despite adding 100+ new cards and a UI overhaul, had left a sour taste in the mouth of many Gwent players. Many felt frustrated with the game-breaking bugs and being able to spawn additional silver spies with Create cards. In response, we saw CD Projekt Red kick off 2018 with a well-needed hotfix to address the game’s biggest issues. All that remained was to Clear Skies the dark cloud Hazard hanging over the community. And the upcoming Gwent Open was more than capable of doing that.Live from their Warsaw studios, we saw curses lifted and a new champion crowned. Eight of the biggest players such as Gwentslam champ GameKingAT and top-ladder player Adzikov competed for a share of the $25,000 prize pool. While the Opens are bronze-tier tournaments, the top 2 players receive an invitation to the next Gwent Challenger, which can lead to qualifying for Gwent World Masters in January 2019. Therefore, these events could be considered the most influential in the Gwent calendar.Day one kicked off with a Germany civil war and saw SuperJJ taking on Kolemoen. Both players were no strangers to the competitive scene, SuperJJ having qualified for both previous Opens and Kolemoen finishing second at Challenger #2. SuperJJ brought a line-up heavily teched against beating Consume Monsters, a tier-one deck on the ranked ladder.SuperJJ is known for his targeting against strong archetypes but it hasn’t always worked out well. In the past two Opens, he targeted Mill Nilfgaard and weather-based decks retrospectively and failed to run into either. This left his own decks clogged with many low-tempo cards that couldn’t find use. Fortunately for him, Kolemoen had brought Consume Monsters and JJ’s tech choices like Artefact Compression, Muzzle and Mandrake were able to shut down the Nekkers. Not only that, but Kolemoen acknowledged his 0% chance of winning and conceded the final game almost instantly.Day one also saw China’s Huyahanachan taking on Adzikov. Possessing the homefield advantage, Adzikov was looking to break his tournament curse. Previously, his consistent ladder performance has ensured he’s qualified for every competitive Gwent event to date. But it’s the tournament environment that has proven to be his downfall, being eliminated in the first round every time.This time, however, he was hoping to change things and had opted to not bring popular decks like Consume Monsters because of how targetable they are. Despite an early misplay where he played his Commanders Horn on the wrong row, the ladder grinder proved he’d upped his game and managed to break his curse to win 3-1.

[caption id="attachment_100333" align="aligncenter" width="601"]Gwent Open 3 Bracket All to play for – the semi-final bracket.[/caption] The day two semi-finals saw GameKing begin with a considerable disadvantage. The Austrian and Gwentslam #2 champ had previously defeated eiSloth on day one with his unanswered Consume Monsters list. But separating him from the final and a ticket to Challenger was a match against Mr Anti-Consume himself, SuperJJ. SuperJJ is known for his 4 Million IQ play in Gwent Open #2, where he utilised Keira Metz to line-up a game winning multiple Scorch. This time, we saw him showcase his 4 Million IQ deckbuilding as GameKing was unable to secure a victory with his Monsters deck. A 3-1 victory sent SuperJJ to the final to break his own curse of never making it past the semis. Meanwhile, Adzikov defeated Shaggy, winner of Gwent Open #1, in a tense 3-2 victory that proved his dominating performance on day one wasn’t a fluke. The final game was a Northern Realms mirror with the Polish ladder-king successfully bleeding all of Shaggy’s cards out of him in round two. In a down period to let the finalist rest, CDPR unveiled a new Faction Challenge, which is available today. Expanding on their first incarnation – Skellige vs Northern Realms – players can pick to play either Nilfgaard or Monsters. Whichever group secures the most victories will entitle them to some exclusive in-game rewards like a faction avatar. The viewers were treated to a show match between casters Megamogwai and Impetuouspanda, with neither player shying away from those sacred memes like Slave Driver and Triss: Butterfly Spell. [caption id="attachment_100334" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Gwent Open 3 Final The Final – SuperJJ and Adzikov battled it out for the biggest share of the $25,000 prize pool.[/caption] And then came the main event. The final saw SuperJJ take on Adzikov. Thanks to his previously dominating performance, the top-ladder player had the advantage and wasn’t playing Consume Monsters, which his opponent was targeting. However, SuperJJ’s tech cards once again proved useful outside of Monsters and the German player was able to secure a 3-1 victory, despite his opponent making it rain with Battering Rams. Both players had been on top form throughout and we look forward to seeing them at Gwent Challenger in April.