During the first part of HGC Europe’s first phase Team expert was able to deliver an impressive performance.
Every game they won was a 3-0 victory, and they lost only versus the top three teams (Team Dignitas, Team Liquid (formerly Misfits) and Fnatic) securing themselves a solid 4th place. Unfortunately this was not enough to qualify for the Western Clash in Katowice, but the team made a good use of the time developing special tactics and improving their teamplay.
Even a God King can bleed
Having proven that they well earned their 4th place, their next goal was poking into the top three teams. Team expert knew they can beat the top teams, having already scored a win against Fnatic during the “King of the Storm” tournament. Their first matches in this 2nd part were against Team Dignitas and Fnatic, two pretty challenging series right from the start. The team focussed on preparing the series against those “big 3” because they were already successful against the other teams. So they were just going to play their own style not adjusting too much on the enemy teams. Not so with the big 3 where they were developing specific strategies and preparing much more for the series.
Dominic “Nic” Asal stated: “The most important games for us were right in the first week against both Fnatic and Dignitas. We prepared mostly for Dignitas as we thought they were the weaker team and that we would have better chances winning against them over Fnatic. We ended up losing against both which was a bit disappointing, since the series against Dignitas was really close. But we knew our biggest chance of making it to the Midseason Brawl was making it through the Playoffs, so we kept being motivated.”
In week #9 they were finally able to beat one of the top three when they scored a solid 3-1 versus Team Liquid. Of course the overall goal was getting a high seeding for the Playoffs, but also showing that the upper end was not untouchable. The team was able to achieve both and now they are facing the winner of the Playing Ducks vs Tricked eSport matchup. If they beat the winner they will face Team Dignitas and after them Team Liquid. The matchups won’t be easy, but neither impossible.
Challenges upon Challenges
Not only the currently top three teams were a big challenge, but also intern struggles. The team was not happy with bLaDe’s performance so they were trying out other players for the melee/flex role. The situation of having to do scrims and even some real HCG series with another player was very challenging for a team relying on trust, familiarity and a lot of practice resulting in a proper synergy. Scheduling and switching took a lot of effort and had an impact on the team’s overall performance. But they had to cope with the situation and were still able to secure a good position in the rankings and for the playoffs. Team expert played three series with Lawrence “Atheroangel” Harper, who is well known in the pro-scene. Possible roster swaps are still discussed and nothing is decided yet. The playoffs though will be played with bLaDe.
This weekend the Playoffs will be played which decide the 2nd spot for the Midseason Brawl which will be held on the Dreamhack Summer. Team expert is the team with the most 3-0 scores, showing that they were superior to their opponents and not playing around.
They feel pretty confident in terms of their first matchup versus Tricked or Playing Ducks. But the following series against Team Dignitas is the biggest threat in their eyes. If they manage beating Team Dignitas they are pretty sure that they will win against Team Liquid. Nevertheless they have a lot of respect for each team, not taking wins for granted or underestimating them. They are still very strong teams and the players from Team Expert are aware of this.
They definitely have a chance to secure their spot for Dreamhack Summer in Sweden, Jönköping. Let’s see what the mad scientist “adrd” has up his sleeves.
Glimpse into the Future
The current standing of Team expert is a very solid #4 spot, barely contested. But they have already shown they can beat at least two out of three top teams. First goal is to solve the internal struggles and finally get a team working smooth like they used to do. expert also offered the team the opportunity of a bootcamp which will help building up a much better synergy between the players than the current online experiences. Their goal for the 2nd Phase of the HGC is getting into the top three. The team is confident that they have a good chance of qualifying for the Western Clash later that year.
More to come
The members of Team expert are pretty happy with their current performance, though they think they still could do better and earn a top three spot. They were able to adjust to the shifting meta in time while other teams had some struggles if changes were not in their favor. This flexibility is very important in case even more severe changes occur to which pro teams have to adapt to. Summed up Team expert is in a pretty good spot at the moment having good opportunities to advance, and also the faith into their skills and members. And with their special drafts they are always good for a surprise.
HGC weekly Highlight #2 vs Playing Ducks