This article has been written by Babyjosus in collaboration with Iancm1997, Mercernn & Banditpig.
Disclaimer: We have edited a section of this article (on 01/06/2020) in which we mentioned Santtu2x had chosen to not play a druid from Ermion and suggested this could’ve changed the outcome of the game – this is in fact a mistake as it turned out that no druids were drawn therefore that was an impossible suggestion, not a misplay.
Gwent Open #1 came to our homes in the weekend of May 30th-31st. If you were not able to watch it or just want to get a bit nostalgic, we got you covered with our recap of the event. Among some of your favorite veterans there were a lot of new faces this time. Definitely keep your eyes peeled on them because they could very well be seen again in any of the future tournaments. The Gwent Open #1 was being held from home due to global circumstances aka COVID-19. Which allowed us to get a peek inside of the casters and the players their personal homes. We spotted exactly 5 Shupe plushies during the tournament.
Before we head to the matches of day 1, it is worth mentioning that the prize pool of the first Gwent Open of season 2 was almost tripled thanks to the community purchasing the Flaming Pack & bundles which amounted in a total of 29200 USD. This meant that each player received extra 2400 USD in addition to the base prize pool distribution. On top of that, each participant received 500 USD for reaching the Quarterfinal, 1000 USD for reaching the semifinal and 1000 USD for reaching the finals. The winner received an additional 1000 USD. The community that was watching the tournament at home had a chance of getting all kinds of goodies. 50 Meteorite Powder or 3 Kegs during the tournament days, and if you watched the official stream for a total of 4 hours, you would also get a unique Pavko Gale avatar. Alright, let’s jump into the matches now.
The first match of day 1 was between Team Aretuza member Kolemoen vs SuMo. Fans predicted Kolemoen to win by a large mile. 88% out of the fans that voted were in favor of Kolemoen. With Kolemoen making a joke of the current situation that we are in and bringing Lockdown. It was unfortunate for him that Lockdown seemed to have quite a disadvantage in the mirror and he did not manage to win. The disconnection from the spectator mode prevented us from seeing it, but Kolemoen got the score back to 1-1 in the second match. SuMo had to wrestle his way back into the series and got ahead 2-1. And although Lockdown did quite well for Kolemoen in the fourth match, the pure power of Morkvarg, Heimdall, and Wild Boar of the Sea was just too much to handle for him. The discard package included by SuMo really helped him draw into his high-end gold cards and he ended up winning 3-1. This was a shock to most of the people watching but it shows that the Chinese players shouldn’t be underestimated. You can check their decks here:
The second match was between Wangid 1 vs GwenDetta team member Nik_R. Also, this time, the results from the polls were not very close to each other with 77% of the fans rooting for Wangid1. This could be because Wangid1 has won a Gwent Open in season 1. Funnily enough, Nik_R managed to win the first match with a beautiful display by putting back Invocation in the deck with Assire and drawing it with Matta to eventually put Anseis on the top of the deck to play it with Joachim. The second match was horrible for Wangid1. He ran out of time and couldn’t use a leader charge of the Blood Scent ability in time and ended up having to use all three leader charges to get an Ekkimara to win the first round. Since Korathi Heatwave would only get him a draw. Alas, because of his mistake Wangid1 lost the match and it was 2-0 for Nik_R. Wangid1 didn’t manage to get a reverse sweep and Nik_R was able to win 3-1. You can check their decks here:
Next we got to watch the clash of the titans. Demarcation vs Tailbot (also known as Tailgod). Although, 78% of the fans voted for Tailbot. This could very well be a wrong indication since Twitter is banned in China and therefore it’s likely that the Chinese fans were not able to vote for Demarcation. Demarcation lost the first game from Tailbot which was a brutal victory for the Polish man. After the first game, the second game resulted in a draw because Demarcation got unlucky with his RNG from Bribery and they had to play same matchup again. Demarcation said that the first two games made him tilted but ultimately he brought back the tension by winning the third game when he got his Zen back. He hard pushed Tailbot in the fourth game which proved to be the correct and fruitful tactic for Demarcation. Thanks to his charge possessing leader with more flexibility, he was able to conserve part of his leader potential for R3 while Tailbot had to invest it in R2. And ended up winning the fourth and fifth match from Tailbot as well. With the fifth match being a win by only 1 point. Another veteran was quickly wiped out of the tournament by one of the new faces. Does this mean that the end of the era of the Gwent veterans is near? You can check their decks here:
The series was followed up with a break, where we got presented a card art leak that was fresh from the press:
Could this be the Squirrel that is seen in the card art of Iorveth’s Gambit? In current Gwent, Iorveth’s Gambit is all about the trap archetype. Therefore, this could very well be a new Scoia’tael trap card.
After the break and many hours into the tournament we finally got our final series of the day. 66% of the fans predicted Santtu2x from Team Aretuza to win this series from Andi99, who is a member from Team Legacy. Santtu2x is a well-known community tournament player and made it for the first time to a Gwent Open, just like Andi99. Although, the way things played out was not how Santtu2x expected things to end up. Santtu2x won the first two matches due to internet issues on Andi99’s side. According to the rules you automatically lose the match whenever you get disconnected from the game. In the third match Andi99 was allowed to turn off his webcam and they were able to play their third match without any issues. Unfortunately for Andi, this was too late, and he lost the match which got Santtu2x a quick 3-0 win over Andi99 without him having to speed Gwent. This series was certainly a consecutive of tragic circumstances and hopefully CDPR will come up with something that won’t allow this to happen a second time. In competitive play of League of Legends, the match is being paused whenever any issues occur. After the issue is fixed, the game will then resume from where it was left at. This is something that CDPR could look into. You can check their decks here:
The following video pretty much sums up day 1:
After an eventful day 1 and a night of sleep, day 2 arrived for all of us to get excited about. Not only because of the match ups but also because on the PlayGwent website there seemed to have appeared a thick fog with a countdown in it. The early morning fog loomed as far as we could see, it was almost tangible, shrouding everything in a thick white veil, the countdown barely managing to penetrate the haze. More things seem to appear overtime. This raised a number of question marks. Will we get a new expansion announced in the new season of Gwent? Fans have been predicting the fog indicates that we will get a return of Dagon who was a leader in beta Gwent for the Monsters faction.
With all the fans getting excited about the news, the match between SuMo vs Nik_R was about to start. 61% of the fans had put their vote in for Nik_R. Which made a lot of sense since he played really well on day 1. In his matches against SuMo, he also played really well and ended up winning 3-1 that got him through to the finals. It seems that the CIS community have gotten a new star to cheer for.
After the first semifinals, we got to the semifinal that everyone was waiting for, Demarcation vs Santtu2x. Demarcation that beat Tailbot to get to the semi’s and Santtu2x only having to do very little to reach it, meant that Demarcation was slightly favored with 59% of the fans voting for him. The first game between the two resulted in a draw, unfortunatley Santtu2x did not manage to draw a bronze Druid, which left Gedy at 1 charge unspent. Perhaps that could’ve made all the difference. They had to play again, with Demarcation ended up winning it thanks to his better defense that prevented Santtu2x from countering his vital engines. The match after that was also won by Demarcation. Santtu2x did got back into the series by winning the third match which got some fans excited. Some of them were yelling perkele in the Twitch chat and got a timeout for doing so. Unfortunately this didn’t helped out Santtu2x that much because Demarcation won the fourth match and got to the finals with a score of 3-1.
Before we got to watch the final between Nik_R and Demarcation we got treated with even more leaks than during day 1. Aside of a new board, a new Arachas Queen skin, a new border and a new avatar we got presented with a couple more card art leaks:
When you think the art in Gwent can’t become any better than the current art that we already have, CDPR keeps surprising us because so far it’s truly outstanding. The first card art leak of the day reminds us a of Aloy, who is the protagonist of Horizon Zero Dawn and the sole playable character throughout the game. The second card art is a golden Nekker who is sitting in a cave. This might be a reference to the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol, more commonly referred to as the Golden Idol, which is a fictitious artifact that appears in the opening sequence of the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first entry in the Indiana Jones franchise created by George Lucas. There have also been rumors that it could be a reference to a Cthulhu Idol and that the speculated expansion will be horror themed. The third card art leak is Ethereal, who is a demon-like, nightmarish creature appearing for the first time in the Hearts of Stone expansion from the Witcher 3. For Iris, it takes on the form of her husband, Olgierd.
After the card art leaks, the final was starting. If you have looked at the bracket, so far Nik_R has only played against Chinese players with Demarcation, another Chinese player, being the final boss. With Demarcation winning the first match, the second match resulted in a draw. Nik_R played Dagur and it got Gradened by Demarcation, however Nik_R decided to not revive it with his leader. Instead he played Morkvarg and then Wild Boar of the Sea. Nik_R’s decisions may have been influenced by the fact that Demarcation did not spend his last 6 coins on Sea Jackal, which could be considered as a big brain play by him. They had to play again and Demarcation beated Nik_R which got him to the point he had to win one more game to be crowned the winner of the first Gwent Open of season two. While Nik_R needed a reverse sweep against Demarcation. He did manage to win a match, but Demarcation was simply too good for Nik_R and ended up winning the fifth game of the series by a huge amount of points. We can therefore crown Demarcation the winner of the first Gwent Open of season 2, which got him a ticket to the Gwent Masters that is being held at the end of the year. Demarcation said in his interview that he will slow things down the next season and focus on his studies, but after that he will try to play as much Gwent as he can and maybe will achieve many more wins.
With day 2 coming to an end, and being a lot smoother than day 1, CDPR announced the upcoming Gwent Open that seems to be around the corner. It will be held on 27th-28th of June so keep that weekend free in your agenda.