Team Bandit Gang

Official Tournament Recaps

KingDenpai Doing The Impossible, Jhugs’s First Tournament, ZigZak Hoping For More Next Time, OneChristo Making Mistakes, Bomblin Sharing His Thoughts

Intro

The swiss of the Gwent Open Partner Tournament #3 is over. And oh boy, what a roller coaster that was. We send five Gwent Partners from the team to participate in the tournament. And thus, I had a little talk with them about the tournament. Note: Most of their lineups didn’t surprise me because at BG we like to create memes. So, you have been warned and shouldn’t be surprised either.

KingDenpai's lineup:

SK

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/a8017a2947b5d6f65ddc3fecf988b4aa

NR

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/bcce44a0ce08441703a787ad68298cb0

ST

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/ecb72d4681b71d83af4af9ef3dc2d86f

KingDenpai's road to top 8:

”This was my first proper tournament experience – and I have to say first and foremost that I have the upmost respect for people who do this for a living. I really tip my hat off to the pro boys and girls out there grinding day in and out to try and reach top of the ladder. Because doing this swiss, even though it was segmented over the last few days has been one of the most mentally taxing things I’ve ever done in terms of this game. Thinking of doing what I did this week all in one go gives me such a headache…

I play for fun. I don’t play for any reason other than I love memes and surprise factor. I love having weird ass cards and having to make em work. So going into this tourney, I expected to just have a few laughs and dork about a bit. Yet somehow, I’m in the top 8. To describe that feeling… just almost not real.

Day one was an interesting one, because I started with a 0-2 from Doberman. It was a rekt fest – and I thought. “Yeah, this is the reality of the meta I’m facing.” and that was it. Yet – as the days progressed, we started to get progressively more and more hype. 2-0’s a plenty and I started to feel this energy and rush unlike anything I’d had in this game. The pressure was insurmountable, and yeah, I know, it’s a card game yada yada – dude I play Hym for gods sake. I shouldn’t be up here, or so I thought to myself.

My favourite round was my face off against AlanitoBandito with SK vs SK, for sure. Because that was a real meta face down with my memes, no BS. I played an older style of SK that many have forsaken for easy drop and damage nonsense without setup of the current meta. I love self wound to death man, thinking about saving a card like protector for a possible Mork down the line or trying to keep bleed for Hym targets – or even manipulating GS for more points with Hym. It’s SO fun.

One thing that also got to me about this experience was watching everyone unite. Everyone showed a lot of love to all of us, and for the most part we all cheered each other on. It was lovely. I enjoyed watching our BG boys play and seeing them win and lose. I made new friends in my opponents, shoutout to Branca, Handreader, PiotrCNS, Sanxessss, Dobermann, and Alantito Bandito. CDPR even featured one of my plays, which is awesome because they could easily organise this and just leave it to finish on it’s own without bothering to check streams and stuff. But Repek for example, he was in every stream trying to ensure things went smoothly. In closing. This whole experience does not feel real to be honest, but I’m happy that I did it. I can’t sum it up any better than that.”

Jhugs's lineup:

NG

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/eda74e55c5ce218cd6647ec0a5a41ccc

NR

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/12a22a18e077c536beec234c7b8f83be

SY

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/8a25af82a67f59b68035eee6fb2cd62b

Jhugs's experience:

”This was my first Gwent Partner’s Open and going into it I was really excited but nervous at the same time. I wasn’t sure what to decks to bring, some people were bringing memes and others were bringing full on meta decks. I ended up just going what I was most comfortable with which ended up being SY congregate, NG Lockdown, and NR Shieldwall. I felt pretty confident in my SY and NG while I think NR was my weakest faction of the three. I think people were expecting a lot of Shieldwall because I even played against someone who used Tesham Mutna sword!

The faction I was most scared of in the tourney was Skellige. They have an insane amount of removal and control so I ended up banning SK in almost all of my match ups. In the match I didn’t ban SK I played against my own BG teammate Zig Zak and he absolutely crushed me! I didn’t want to play against anyone else from BG but it was bound to happen. I played against TheOneChristo and was able to beat him 2-0 but on the other end I lost to Ziggy 0-2. I’m proud of how all my teammates performed especially KingDenpai for making it to top 8!

Overall, I had lots of fun playing against great players and fun decks. I even got to play against the infamous Misterhabbla1 for my last match where he brought royal inspiration dun banners and devotion elves. I was able to beat him 2-1 but I think he got some unfortunate draws. I ended the Swiss phase with a 3-3 record so I did not qualify for top 8. There were definitely some games I could have played better and perhaps I could have made top 8 with a 4-2 record, but I will take it as a learning experience and train to do better in the next tournament.”

ZigZak's lineup:

SK

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/2bcfc117ebc4ab5b4895da83d921ae33

NR

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/7fe26f0f6d090761e4f9732b0583e912

ST

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/0c5e475540a1b57171603ffe209e8217

ZigZak's hopes:

”The tournament was great and I enjoyed every minute of it. I’m glad that CDPR can make this type of tournament that allows Gwent Partners to show their style of playing Gwent and building their signature decks. And many of those decks also do very well, shout out to our team manager “KingDenpai” who managed to reach top 8 in this tournament with only meme decks. The only downside for me and many streamers that I’ve been talking to is Swiss mode with 6 rounds spread across 3 days might be a little bit too long. Maybe if they can squeeze it down to only 2 days it would already be much better. 

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to reach top 8 as I expected. This time due to my lack of focus during so many games and massive amount of misplays that I made. Got me to realize that next time I need to practice more before the tournament and be more cautious when it comes to making decisions during the match. I hope next time I won’t make the same mistakes and that I will make it to top 8!”

OneChristo's lineup:

NG

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/b3e8b84cfc075a5705dd545f32755697

NR

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/adefc8fb40f9a1669740e7b6c8332018

ST

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/cf7158fa088283adaf8992317cea6a90

OneChristo's mistakes:

”I joined the Partners Open on a whim. I remember getting accepted into the program the day before the previous tournament and was bummed I couldn’t participate. I thought this was finally my chance! I figured it would be a fun opportunity to play against other content creators, but boy was I mistaken, the tournament didn’t go exactly as planned.

Part of this is my fault, since apparently, I struggle with time zones. I realized, after registering, that the tournament was going to be in the middle of my workday. Not only would I not be able to stream my games, but it turns out playing Gwent while on a zoom call was more difficult than anticipated. Nevertheless, I had my heart set on playing. A Partner’s Tournament should be fun right? I planned to bring some well intentioned non-meta decks that would at the very least be entertaining. I bothered my Bandit Gang brethren for whatever decks they had lying around and I finally decided on NR – Double Commando Draug, ST – BJ’s Double Schirru (because BJ puts Renew in everything) and iancm1997’s NG – Imposter Deck (which demolishes Shieldwall).

I had played the last two decks about 3 times each, but what could go wrong? NR is for blue coin, ST for red and NG to target Shieldwall. We discussed my first mistake being times zones, mistake number two was bringing decks I had basically never played, mistake number three was expecting my opponents to play fun decks as well. After having to choose between banning Rage or Shieldwall in my first three matchups, I had had enough. I probably came into this whole thing with the wrong mindset and after the first two losses it began to show.

Shout out to misterhabbla1 for bringing some fun stuff, but by the time I played against him at 0-3, I was just trying to make the biggest Renew Schirru possible. After the game I chatted with him a bit and told him what my goal with Renew was, his response was brilliantly simple “yeah but open decklist bro”. Plenty of mistakes, plenty to learn from and I would do it all again in a heartbeat, knowing that next time maybe I should take a day or two off…”

Bomblin's lineup:

SK

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/b48b9a649f2a412fee6fbfa9954130b6

NR

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/d673ba744997b13ad8db3bb64f25fefd

NG

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/a16d05ddc886556eb9920070bc8b0dd3

Bomblin's thoughts on the tournament:

”The organization aspect was very good. I knew exactly when and how to submit decks when my games start, what are the rules etc. I kind of hoped to test more the tournament platform made by CDPR, but Challonge was working pretty good as well. I love the idea of a community coming together and have fun. It promotes a friendly environment where people can watch unique players that compete on a bit different level of seriousness. I hope we will see more of it in the future. Also, I have to mention, everyone that I played was super nice, friendly and I did not have a single crap encounter. We all love Gwent I guess.

Date and time were actually ideal for me, but I heard some people couldn’t participate because of having to play in the middle of the day. I guess there is no way to make it perfect for everyone. It would be cool if we could see the game mode with half the timer for each turn. It was so annoying to wait 45 min for one pair roping every turn. But can I really blame someone for thinking in a game where you are supposed to think? Another thing that would be cool is if we had swiss cast as well. I believe some would be more than happy to do it. It might be a logistic nightmare though.

Also, I was hoping for more people in the tournament. We have around 250 partners in the discord and there were only 34 participants. I  know that not everyone can play but I expected twice as many to play. And another thing is the decks that have been played. So, there are some rewards for winning the tournament, but I do believe it was made mostly for fun and to promote the game. I do believe viewers that watch Gwent are a bit tired of looking at the same decks over and over. And this is the perfect occasion to show that Gwent can be played a bit differently and you still can have good results and have fun (like Kingdenpai). If viewers want to see the competitive environment, then they have regular Open every 2 months. I would love to see the next Partner have some bans decks, cards, or specific rules like you have to play x, etc.”

Final Remarks

We haven’t stopped laughing because we still can’t believe that KingDenpai was able to beat almost all of his opponents with memes. Its truly an amazing achievement by our General Manager to reach top 8 with that lineup. We will all be rooting for him on Saturday and hope you will do too! Note: Briberyplayer, MoriartyUK and TweedleDumdee got accepted to the Gwent Partner Program this week. Hopefully they will be representing us in the next tournament as well.

EnerGiiX Not Being A DrawGod, First Qualifier For Sikamouk

Intro

The TOP 64 qualifiers for Gwent Open #4 has come to an end last weekend and our very own consistent TOP 64 Pro Player enerGiiX and Academy Player Sikamouk participated in it. And thus we talked to them about what they have to say about the qualifiers. Note: Both their lineups showed some of that BG identity that we aim to share with the world and hope to attract new fans with.

EnerGiiX's lineup:

NG

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/8ccd891c6b7ed296cfc9f3bb8b88b2ad

NR

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/d5dbdca6dfa6e42b3cce25fd224ad0b5

SK

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/696e1a3fbd79776c33db03bfba18d378

EnerGiiX's reasoning behind his lineup:

”My NG deck is teched against NR Shieldwall, but does very well against other decks like ST gord and Firesworn devotion. The amount of control through poison and locks give you all the answers to deal with engines and tall units. Getting a round 3 with Vattier is game winning cause of huge point swing potential. The deck did really well in this qualifier only lost ones to a lockdown NG deck.

Shieldwall is overall a very strong deck, but almost everyone in this qualifier teched against this deck. It was a mistake by me not bringing a NR that is teched against the Shieldwall meta deck. Cause this deck in the end made me lose the games I did. Missing Prince Anséis in the Shieldwall mirror is game losing and that is what happened to me two games.

The SK list is teched against NR Shieldwall and ST Natures Gift. Cards like Gremist, Decoction and Hammond work really well against NR Shieldwall. Gremist to purify defender, so cards like Hjalmar and Skjordal can target engines or high level threats like a Prince Anséis. Hammond to move Seltkirk or a Vysogota.  It also works surprisingly well against the Carapace match up. Hammond disables the Keltullis, which is game winning in a long round 3. Even got a win through with my SK against a MO Carapace deck.”

EnerGiiX's in-depth analysis:

”Going into this qualifier I felt really good about my line up, my strategy was to target NR and ban SK. This ladder season didn’t matter. So, I had all the time to prep in scrims and make the line up I thought was best suited facing this meta. I started off the day with a 0-2 loss, not the start that I wanted. Normally I never tilt, but this time I was really upset with how this game went. I lost due to draws, I queued the match ups I wanted and  played round 1 really well both games. But ended up drawing way to many bronzes and missed key cards in round 3 to win the games. Missed Anséis in the Shieldwall mirror which loses me the game. I even baited out his Anséis round 1 by playing Seltkirk as my first play to threaten to win on uneven. A trade that is game winning if I just end up drawing my own in round 3.

After that I took a break and vented my frustration away to focus again for game 2. It started really good because I won game 1 with my NG vs NR Shieldwall. Then I lost the second with my NR against NG Lockdown. Went way too deep in the first round and lost on even because of it. So, I would say I played this game out very poorly. The final deciding game, another NR Shieldwall mirror. Again I take the line to use my Seltkirk to bait out his Anséis round 1. And yet again I end up not drawing my own. Which means his Seltkirk and defender stick on the board in round 3 which is just game losing. Draws really weren’t on my side that day.

Already 2 down in loses, I needed to win my next series very badly. This time I played against someone that was hard teching against SK. Something I came in prepared because I did allot of prep for this scenario. First game I lost as SK vs ST, pushed round 1 real hard to get final say with my Morkvark. But, he had the perfect hand to win round 1. There was nothing I could do about that. Round 2 he bled me dry almost completely , which meant his round 3 with Gord single-handedly won him the game. Next game was NG vs MO Carapace, a match up I prepped for a lot and I knew all the winning lines I had to take this game. The deciding game was my SK vs his MO, a match up that should be unwinnable. But, with cards like Decoction, Gremist and Hammond I stand a change to win against this monster deck. Round 1, I managed to win the round, and kill off his Ciri Dash cause he didn’t play around Decoction and 1 leader charge (a bit lucky cause I taught he would see that line from a mile away). Having Hammond to answer his Keltullis meant that all my units would stick on the board and in a long round 3 with Morkvark in hand I managed to take the win in this match up.

Finally a win, next up facing BeardyBog, with his line up that hard counters NR Shieldwall. I knew this was going to be a though series for sure. First game I managed to win with my NG vs his NR, close one but the Vattier point swing won the game ones again. Second match up it was his NG imposter vs my NR, managed to win round 1 decided to go into a long round 3 with a lot of veiled units. As the round progress I taught I would win this one, but in the end NG managed to still control my board too much to get the points to win this match up. Up next was his NR (hard teched for the NR Shieldwall deck) vs my NR Shieldwall. I decided to go in very aggressive round 1 and try to win uneven to get double final say in round 3. But, he had just the hand to defend my aggressive attacks in round 1 and didn’t lose on uneven. With all the control and tech cards for round 3, I didn’t stand a single change to win this. Maybe going in that aggressive wasn’t the right move, but the match up is almost doomed from  the start and there is only hoping he missed key cards in the final round. Overall this was a very enjoyable series and I felt the player who brought the better strategy won this one.

At this point I knew my changes of even making day 2 were very little. Even though I didn’t have a change to make day 2 anymore I felt the need to continue just to proof to myself that I could still win the remaining matches. And that is what happened. After all, the games didn’t matter anymore, but it was still good to get these wins through. Looking back at this qualifier, I was just really unlucky at the first 2 games and the chance is that if I drew better at those games I would have made day 2. Sadly, sometimes Gwent is just the Gwent the draw your golds card game.”

Sikamouk's lineup:

ST

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/2a2c0a9432091489ebaba59095c41e44

NR

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/d08798b1f0adc46574d38e75ac46cc17

SK

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/c4ffb467b9002186c66c3e5ce82bdfa6

Sikamouk's experience:

“I was anxious but also excited for my first time participating in TOP 64 qualifiers to get into Open. I practically didn’t sleep the night before because I was nervous about my lineup right up until the final moment. After only three hours of sleep, I woke up and loaded up on caffeine. I started off the day by winning my first two series 2-0, each win giving me a boost of confidence. Unfortunately, the third series slipped through my fingers because of a misplay. Each game tested my patience more and more which affected my ability to play properly. I finished 2-3 but I still wonder if I had won my third series if I would have been in better spirits which would have helped me go farther. Despite the upset, I think that this has taught me how important it is to take your time when playing in a tournament, that even one small error can make a big difference and that I have to work on my mental. Thank you to my team for their continued support before and after the event and thank you to Sonneillon for coaching me and smurfing with these decks. This experience was both disappointing and encouraging at the same time. I hope to do even better next time.”

Final Remarks

We didn’t quite make it to day 2 and had no chance to get to the Gwent Open #4 because of it. Our competitive interim-manager said the following: ”I am proud of the time and energy our members have put forth practicing and preparing for tournaments like these.” We believe that if they continue to work hard they can do well. Especially if enerGiiX can be a DrawGod and Sikamouk also works on his mental. And perhaps then they can steal the show and qualify for a Gwent Open. At last Sikamouk has shown that he is no longer an Academy Player and so we will be promoting him to the Pro Team. The official announcement will be very soon!

A Recap Of The Second Gwent Open Of Season Two

This article has been written by Babyjosus, in collaboration with Sawyer1888.

With the amount of positive feedback regarding our first recap, Team Bandit Gang has decided to continue to write recaps for the official tournaments in this season. The Gwent Open #2 of this season was being held on Saturday and Sunday, June 27-28th. So, if you were going to a cottage in Quebec to go kayaking or just want to feel a little nostalgic, we got you covered with another recap. And just like Gwent Open #1, Gwent Open #2 was being broadcasted from the home offices instead of the famous studio at the headquarters of CDPR. WatchFlake was unfortunately not able to cast, instead we got to see Shinmiri cast alongside McBeard. 6 Shupe plushies were spotted throughout the tournament, which is 1 more than last time.

Before we head to the matches of day 1, we would like to mention that the prize pool amounted 22000 USD thanks to the community purchasing the Earth Pack & Overgrown Bundle. This meant that each player received extra 2000 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. For the community that was watching the tournament at home, they were able to receive Twitch Drops. After watching for 4 hours, viewers were able to get a unique Germain Piquant avatar. And after 8 hours – a brand new Master Mirror Keg, to be opened when the expansion releases on June 30th (which is tomorrow!). If you strive to qualify for a Gwent Open yourself, then book yourself a coaching lesson to make this dream a reality. For more information about coaching click here. Let’s jump into the matches now!

Day 1

The first match was between Tailbot vs Green-knight who is a member for Team Leviathan Gaming. Green-Knight is not a brand new face. We have seen him before when he qualified for the Gwent Open #8 in season 1. He played against Molegion from Team Aretuza in the quarterfinals who managed to win 3-0 over him. And to face Tailbot now is definitely not an easy task for the Brit knowing that he is the underdog if you look at the poll. 78,5% of the fans voted in favor of Tailbot. If you look at Tailbots decklists you will see that he was not bringing The Great Oak but Saesenthessis instead for his Mystic Echo. Not sure if this was a key factor for him to win the first game but it ended up working out perfectly. In the second game Tailbot pushed Green-Knight in round 2 just like he did in game 1 and managed to beat the Harmony archetype with Blood Scent in round 3. It was now 2-0 for Tailbot and perhaps this caused flashbacks to the Gwent Open #8 for Green-Knight. In the third game Talbot managed to win again, this time with a satisfying board sweep from Wild Boar of the Sea which caused a lot of girls to scream in the Twitch chat. A 3-0 from Tailbot over Green-Knight meant that the curse of the quarterfinals for Green-Knight is continuing. Hopefully he will manage to overcome this someday. Because it wouldn’t be a surprise if we see him another time. You can check their decks here:

The second match was between Wangid1 vs Magpie131, winner of Challenger #5, who managed to bring a very unique lineup to the table. 56,2% of the fans rooted for Magpie131. Sadly for Magpie, the unique lineup wasn’t enough for him to continue in the tournament as he lost 3-2 to Wangid. But, he definitely got our mad respect for bringing memes to the tournament. If you are interested about what Magpie has to say about the games that he played against Wangid, you can do so here. You can check their decks below:

With the third match between Team Aretuza member Redrame, the best player of North America, vs Iluxa228 a member from Team Legacy, we know we were gonna get treated with skillful displays. For both it was actually their first time playing a Gwent Open. 65,1% of the fans voted in favor of Redrame. While Redrame was unlucky to draw twice into Affan, and a card down in the last match, he still managed to win 3-2 over Iluxa coming back from a 2-1 in favor of Iluxa. The excitement that Redrame had for playing this series resulted in people spamming BIGRAME in the Twitch chat. Does this indicates that the fans have found their new champ to root for? You can check their decks here:

The last match of the day was between Ineverhood vs kams134 from Team Leviathan Gaming. And just like Green-Knight, kams also played in the Gwent Open #8. He was playing against wangid1 and lost 3-0 in the quarterfinal. But that didn’t stop the fans to not vote for him with 70,4% being in favor of kams. It must have been a surprise to most of the people that INeverhood ended up winning 3-1. When kams lost the first round on even, which meant he was a card down in round 3, it was simply not possible for him to win to make it 2-2. You can check their decks here:

Day 2

With day 1 coming to an end, eventually day 2 had to arrive. And everyone was not only waiting for the outcome of the final day, but also on a razors edge about what will be the last cards to be revealed. We will discuss those cards and share our opinions about the upcoming changes here

The Semis were fought out between Tailbot vs Wangid1 and Redrame vs lneverhood. In the first game, casted by McBeardCH and Shinmiri2, two veterans from Open faced each other: Tailbot, one of the fans favourite, against Wangid1, one of Chinas top class players, who just qualified for Open 3 at the latest qualifier last weekend. After both of the players picked their faction to ban (Tailbot banned Wangids Elder Bears Imperial Formation, Wangid1 bannend Tailbots Uprising Draug), the first game was a clash between two of the strongest decks on ladder right now: Tailbots Vampires against classic Mystic Echo from Wangid1, which went in favour of Wangid1 in a close final round. Game two Wangids Crones faced the midrange SK deck and maybe was decided, not only be very unfortunate draws for Tailbot, who missed Wild Boar and Hemdall with some other golds, but also by an offensive Ozzrel, which was used to eat the Morkvarg right away in round 2. Now only Wangids Draug was left, which got beaten in game 3, also by a perfect clapping from Hemdall, which killed 2 revenants. The last game went in favour for Wangid1 again, who just lore friendly beaten up Talilbots Scoiatel with an overwhelming display of NR Uprising. 

To be fair and in all respect for the other players, but seeing Redrame reaching the semis after a nailbiting day 1, was for many fans the highlight of the Open so far. While his double ball deck got banned by Lneverhood, he banned syndicate himself. The first game of this series seemed to be the perfect matchup for Redrame, playing against elves with Draug on blue coin. With a lot of tempo, he tried to win round 1 here, even committing royal decree for a thick Voymir, which was his biggest mistake and cost him maybe the whole series, Redrame admitted later on. Cause not only missed Draug in round 3 to just lose by a small amount of points, he also wasn’t able to get his Draug through all the time. In the second game Redrame managed to get a win with his trademark Mahakam Forge deck against Lneverhoods Overwhelming hunger, just to take a heavy pointslapping in game 3 against it with again, Draug. Game 4 went into a tie and after that was decided in Redrames favour with just one single point, to get his syndicate list through against greatswords. The final game not only was decided by the power of a wild boar greatsword combo at the end, but also by unlucky draws and missing some key cards for Redrame again.

Before the final we got treated with a developer update. You can check it here:

With the developer update revealing lots of new cards and abilities everyone was hyped up for the final matches of the day.

So, after two intense Series we had the final between Wangid1 and Lneverhood. Wangid1, which was beaten round 1 in the last Dpen by the eventual finalist Nik_R, was the 2nd consecutive Chinese player making it into the final, after Demarcations impressive performance last month.
This time Wangids Mystic Echo got banned rather than his Imperial Formation, so it was the first time in the entire series that we saw this deck. On the other side, there was no love for Lneverhoods Tactical Decision Shupe Ball deck. The first game was a strong performance of the old school Elder Bears, who managed to win on even and clapped Greatswords with a double last say in round 3. Game number 2 was interesting, cause both players played different monster decks, which was eventually decided by a misplayed Yghern in round number 2 by Wangid1, which allowed Lnerverhood an aggressive Ozzrel. Games number 3 and 4 both went in favour of Wangid1, who managed to get a smoth victory with Draug yet again against Greatswords, continuing the roll with a heavy control focused display of his crones against elves.

And, like last month, the winner of Open number 2 was a Chinese player, Wangid1. Congratulations on a strong performance and a great respect for all the other participants.

After day 2 came to an end, CDPR announced that the next Gwent Open will be held in August. 29th-30th of August to be precise. Aside of that, we would like to inform you about The Invitational, which is the largest independent tourney that has ever been organized. A total of 100 players, including 6 players from Team Bandit Gang, will battle it out for a $1000 prize pool. Watch the trailer here:

A Recap Of The First Gwent Open Of Season Two

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.

Day 1

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:

Day 2

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.