By cherylchalla

Firebat claimed the title Champion of the StarLadder Hearthstone Kick-Off Season today, taking home $4,000 USD.

The tournament was played in a Best of 5 Conquest format, in both the group and playoff stages. The playoffs pitted off 8 players in a double elimination bracket.

Team Archon dominated the group stages. Firebat, in this amazing tournament run, won 2-0 over Thjs and RENMEN. Amaz and Orange also made it out of the group stages, both with scores of 2-1.

Unfortunately, both Amaz and Orange did not make it past the quarterfinals of the playoffs. They were placed in the loser’s bracket, where they eventually finished their tournament run, deeming Firebat the last Archon hope in the StarLadder playoffs.

Firebat continued on through the playoffs in a commanding fashion, winning 3-1 over StrifeCro in the quarterfinals, 3-1 over Lostov in the semifinals, and 3-0 over Kolento in the winners’ finals.

Kolento eventually won his series in the loser’s finals, making the grand finals a rematch between Firebat and Kolento. "I felt not so good going into the grand finals," says Firebat, "because my lineup was weak against Kolento's lineup. And the revival system played to the strength of his lineup, which was that none of my decks were that effective against Patron Warrior. But I had already managed to beat him in the winner's bracket finals, so I knew I could do it. Still, the series was not easy."

The grand final’s series was a close and intense battle, with the two players taking turns in taking games off one another. "I felt like I gained a huge edge when I was able to lineup my Freeze Mage revival against his Rogue, which is a favored matchup for me," recalls Firebat, "but Alexstraza was the last card in my deck so I was unable to win it. Now I had to win an unfavorable matchup if I wanted to take the series."

The series eventully came to a 3-3 score. "In the end, the whole series comes down to a 80/20 matchup in his favor," explains Firebat, "so it did not feel good going into it. My Freeze Mage vs his Patron Warrior. He played very aggressivly, which left me no openings to go on the offense myself. So from turn 5, when he made the Patrons, my strategy was to setup an Antonidis that he can't remove, because his deck runs Grommash, which means I can't fatigue him effectivly. I setup situations where he had to use exectues or execute activators and then, when the time felt right, I got my Antonidis out there. And Kolento was unable to deal with it."

In the end, Firebat emerged as champion, with a score of 4-3 over Kolento. Firebat concludes an excellent tournament run and takes home the First Prize of $4,000 USD.

Huge congratulations to Archon Firebat, Amaz, and Orange!

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