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Orange    Alliance
Orange fought his way through the stacked field to defeat Espumito 3-0 in the grand finals to be crowned champion of DreamHack Summer Grand Prix. Orange earned himself $7,500 with the win.

RotoWire Analysis

For those who are not familiar with the DreamHack Hearthstone Grand Prix format, it is an absolute grind of a tournament. It starts with hundreds of players in open play and takes three days to find an eventual champion. With the tournament happening in Europe, all the biggest names in Europe came out to make an extremely competitive field. Orange was one of the biggest names in the field, as he usually is, and brought a strong anti-control lineup: Jade Druid, Nzoth Paladin, Miracle Rogue and Evolve Shaman. The anti-control lineup was a smart decision, but the championship can more be attributed to the beautiful play by the Alliance member. Orange completed the 3-0 sweep with his Nzoth Paladin deck in the last-hero-standing format as he displayed great recognition and understanding of the meta. This result was not a surprise for the well-known professional, but it was definitely earned in impressive fashion.
Zalae    Luminosity Gaming
Zalae capped off a very impressive tournament run in style as he defeated Rdu 4-2 in the finals of StarLadder Season 3 to be crowned champion. Zalae also won $11,000 with the victory.

RotoWire Analysis

There was a variety of strategies coming into the star studded tournament. Some designed their lineup to target aggro, some just brought the best decks, and then there was Zalae who targeted control. The choice did not look smart to begin with as he was quickly swept in his first series of the tournament, but it all worked out just as he planned in the end. In a meta where control decks are strongest, Zalae used his unique lineup of Jade Druid, Burn Mage, Murloc Paladin, Quest Rogue and Jade Shaman to counter them. This was a huge win for Zalae as it is his first ever victory in a major tournament. He has always been known as one of the world's best players, so we do not expect this to be his last win.
Rdu    G2 Esports
Rdu battled his way through a tough field to lose to Zalae 4-2 in the finals of StarLadder Season 3.

RotoWire Analysis

As a player who is known for only playing aggro decks, Rdu surprised the field as he brought a more control oriented lineup. His main reasoning for bringing his lineup was that control decks are just too strong right now. He had a good point, but unfortunately Zalae brought a lineup specifically designed to defeat control decks. A lof of the time, a major championship strictly comes down to who was able to bring the best lineup. Rdu is just as good as any player in the world, but he was not able to take down Zalae. Rdu looked great throughout the entire tournament and he will continue to make noise in each tournament.
Neirea    Team Liquid
Neirea put together a strong tournament showing as he achieved a top four finish in StarLadder Season 3.

RotoWire Analysis

As another well-renowned name is the star studded field, Neirea had to battle just to get out of group stages. He was able to emerge through solid methodical play on his control decks, bring a lineup of Jade Druid, Freeze Mage, Quest Rogue, Evolve Shaman and Quest Warrior. Neirea's run ended as he lost two straight series to Rdu and then eventual champion Zalae. Neirea still reigns among the best in the world and continues to represent Team Liquid well.
Mage   
Mage capped off an impressive tournament run with a 3-0 victory over Tredsred in the grand finals of the Asia-Pacific Spring Playoffs to be crowned champion. Mage also clinched a spot in the global Spring Championship in Shanghai.

RotoWire Analysis

Without any sort of fanbase and a name that drove both the casters and viewers crazy, Mage was able to show that he can play with the best of them. He was able to prove himself the most as he defeated the infamous Kranich, the most well known player in the Asia-Pacific region, in the semifinals to advance to the championship. He then defeated Tredsred 3-0 to be crowned champion in dominate fashion. The title is nice, but Mage is ultimately thrilled to have clinched a spot in the Spring Championship in Shanghai as he will look to show off his controlling style of play some more. Mage brought the lineup of Freeze Mage, Miracle Rogue, Evolve Shaman and Taunt Warrior.
Tredsred   
Tredsred has a strong tourney showing as he made it all the way to the grand finals where he lost to Mage 3-0 in the Asia-Pacific Spring Playoffs. Tredsred clinched a spot in the global Spring Championship in Shanghai.

RotoWire Analysis

There was not a lot of name appeal in the field, especially from an American perspective. Tredsred was among the new players to make a splash, deservedly so as he was able to show off his skills with an aggressive lineup. He brought Secret Mage, Aggro Murloc Paladin, Evolve Shaman and Pirate Warrior to make quick work of a lot of opponents. He was able to get past the well-known GundamFlame in order to get to the semifinals and accomplish his goal of qualifying for the Spring Championship in Shanghai. Tredsred continued on to the championship, where it was evident that he cared very minimally about falling short of winning it all.
Kranich    Team Dignitas
Kranich was his dominant self as he made it to the semifinals of the Asia-Pacific Spring Playoffs. With the semifinal finish, Kranich clinched a spot in the global Spring Championship in Shanghai.

RotoWire Analysis

Easily the most recognizable name of the field, Kranich was the favorite to win it all. Although the competition was tougher than most people would give credit, Kranich may have hurt himself with a unique lineup that saw a Secret Hunter decks struggle. Regardless, Kranich is still one of the best players in the world and talent always seems to find a way to shine bright. Kranich made it to the semifinals and accomplished his goal of qualifying for the Spring Championship in Shanghai.
CitizenNappa made a name for himself as he made it to the semifinals of the Asia-Pacific Spring Playoffs. With the semifinal finish, CitizenNappa clinched a spot in the global Spring Championship in Shanghai.

RotoWire Analysis

As one of the many of the unknown players in the field, CitizenNappa battled it out to emerge as one of the final eight. He was paired up against Virtual and really had no business winning the series. However, Virtual was up 2-0 and went on to make some vital mistakes to throw away the trip to Shaghai. CitizenNappa rode his aggressive list to the semifinals and clinched a spot at the Spring Championship in Shanghai. He lost to Tredsred in the next round, but accomplished his goal regardless.
Muzzy    Luminosity Gaming
Muzzy capped off his dominant performance with a 3-0 victory over Kuonet in the grand finals of the Americas Spring Playoffs. Muzzy also clinched a spot in the global Spring Championship in Shanghai.

RotoWire Analysis

Always respected as one of the finest brains of the Hearthstone scene, Muzzy never was given any more respect than just being a ladder grinder. Overshadowed by his other Luminosity Gaming teammates, Muzzy came into the Americas Spring Playoffs to show that he can compete with the best of them. There is no doubt about that now as Muzzy finished the tournament with an undefeated 10-0 record to be crowned champion and reserve himself a spot at the global Spring Championship in Shanghai. Muzzy brought a very slow control lineup in Control Paladin, Murloc Paladin, Jade Shaman and Taunt Warrior. Muzzy excels with control decks as he was able to exploit the many popular aggro decks.
Kuonet   
Kuonet finished just short of glory as he lost to Muzzy 3-0 in the grand finals of the Americas Spring Playoffs. Kuonet clinched a spot in the global Spring Championship in Shanghai.

RotoWire Analysis

Coming in as an unknown in the scene, fans began to see his skill very quickly as he won series after series. It is clear that Kuonet excels in a meta that favors control decks as he rode a very slow lineup to the grand finals. Kuonet brought Burn Mage, Control Paladin, Evolve Shaman and Taunt Warrior and found success as he was able to exploit the players who brought the aggro heavy lineups. Kuonet eventually lost to a fellow control-enthusiast in Muzzy, but accomplished the ultimate goal of qualifying for the global Spring Championship in Shanghai.
DiegoDias   
DiegoDias surprised the field as he made it to the semifinals of the Americas Spring Playoffs. With the semifinal finish, DiegoDias clinched a spot in the global Spring Championship in Shanghai.

RotoWire Analysis

Representing Brazil in the mix of the United States representatives, DiegoDias was matched up with RadamD with a trip the Shanghai on the line. DiegoDias brought the somewhat unique lineup of Quest Rogue, Taunt Warrior, Jade Druid and Midrange Paladin, the latter two not being as common. DiegoDias' thrilling 3-2 victory clinched himself a spot in Shanghai as he is the only non-United States player to emerge from the Americas group. He went on to lose to eventual champion Muzzy in the semifinals, but was always more focused on just at least qualifying for the global Spring Championship.
Ant   
Ant marked his comeback to the competitive scene as he made it to the semifinals of the Americas Spring Playoffs. With the semifinal finish, Ant clinched a spot in the global Spring Championship in Shanghai.

RotoWire Analysis

It has been a while since we have seen Ant in a noteworthy competition. Ant has been part of the Hearthstone scene for a while, but has been lost in the mix of all the emerging new pros. His last noteworthy finish was a top 8 at DreamHack Austin over a year ago. In this tournament, Ant brought the hyper-aggressive lineup to try to rush his way to a semifinal finish. Ant brought Aggro Druid, Murloc Paladin, Pirate Warrior and Secret Mage. A lot of other players brought the aggro decks, so Ant was forced to win a lot of coin-flip matchups to make it this far. We will see more of his fast paced play in Shanghai as he accomplished the ultimate goal of clinching himself a seat at the Spring Championship.
Hoej    Natus Vincere
Hoej completed an incredible tournament run by defeating Kolento 3-0 in the grand finals as he was crowned champion of the European Spring Playoffs. With the finish, Hoej also clinched a spot at the Spring Championship in Shanghai.

RotoWire Analysis

The initial release of the final eight of the European Spring Playoffs did not even feature Hoej. After some recalculations of the complicated tie breaker process, Hoej snuck in the final eight as the 8th seed. Hoej brought an extremely aggressive lineup, featuring Aggro Murloc Paladin, Pirate Warrior, Aggro Druid and the surprising Secret Mage. After not even being included in the final eight, Hoej upset the number 1 seed, FebEli3, to clinch a spot in the Spring Championship. Hoej was not done there, as he defeated Neirea and Kolento in order to clinch the championship. This is great for Hoej as he emerges back on the competitive scene and also as he debuts for his new esports organization.
Kolento    Cloud9
Kolento finished a strong showing with a loss to Hoej in the grand finals as he finished as runner-up of the European Spring Playoffs. With the finish, Kolento also clinched a spot at the Spring Championship in Shanghai.

RotoWire Analysis

Everybody knows about the skill of Kolento, so a run into the final four to clinch himself a spot in the Spring Championship in Shanghai is no surprise. The competitive scene just seems to be in a better place when Kolento is in the mix. This tournament, he showed his skill on control deck as he brought a slow lineup: Jade Druid, Taunt Warrior, Midrange Murloc Paladin and Quest Rogue. He navigated the matchups smoothly in a tough quarterfinals matchup with Stancifka to officially book himself a spot in the championship. Kolento defeated Rdu before he lost to Hoej as his tournament run fell just short, but yet accomplished the goal he set out to achieve.
Neirea    Team Liquid
Neirea impressed as he finished in the final four of the European Spring Playoffs. With the finish, Neirea clinched a spot at the Spring Championship in Shanghai.

RotoWire Analysis

Neirea has been one of the hottest players in Europe lately as he seems to be at every major tournament. Appearances in the Winter Championship and Trinity Series have created a solid following for Neirea as he rightfully deserves the attention. This tournament saw Neirea keep the momentum going with a unique lineup: Taunt Warrior, Quest Warrior, Jade Druid and the unique Burn Mage. Neirea defeated INER handily to make the final four before he fell to eventual champion Hoej in the semifinals.
Rdu    G2 Esports
Rdu used aggro decks to rush his way to a final four finish in the European Spring Playoffs. With the finish, Rdu clinched a spot at the Spring Championship in Shanghai.

RotoWire Analysis

Continually referenced as one of the best young players, it has actually been a surprisingly long time since we have seen Rdu in a major tournament. We saw him flop as part of the G2 team in the Trinity Series, but now he is solo and making his moves up the charts. His skill can never be doubted though, and Rdu reaffirmed that as he thrived with the ultra aggressive lineup. Rdu brought the pressure in every game he played with the insanely fast Aggro Shaman, Pirate Warrior, Face Hunter and Aggro Druid lineup. Rdu was able to beat Casie in the quarterfinals to clinch himself a spot in the Spring Championship before losing to Kolento in the semifinals. The goal was to make the final four, and Rdu accomplished that swimmingly.
Shoop    Vicious Syndicate Gaming
Shoop surprised and impressed a lot of fans as he worked his way to defeat MrLego in 3-1 in the finals of the DreamHack Austin Grand Prix to be crowned champion. Shoop takes home $7,500 for the win.

RotoWire Analysis

With the Global Games being the only competitive event going on since the start of the new standard year, DreamHack Austin represented the first major tournament of the new season. The field was stacked with the biggest players and names of Hearthstone, with little known Shoop in the mix as well. Shoop is not very well known by fans because he does not travel for tournaments often, but the man can play. He took out names like Dog, Trump and Eloise on his way to the grand finals, where he met and defeated MrLego. Shoop was able to rely a lot on his heavy control decks in Paladin, Mage and Warrior to win each series. He seems to have a great handle on the current meta and seems to always perform well in whatever tournament he enters.
ShtanUdachi    HellRaisers
ShtanUdachi was crowned champion as he defeated fr0zen in the finals of the Hearthstone Winter Championship. ShtanUdachi also clinched himself a spot at the World Championship with his top four finish.

RotoWire Analysis

Showing off his mastery of the game with lightning fast play, ShtanUdachi was the most dominant player of the field. It was not until his semifinal matchup with SamuelTsao that he even faced an elimination game. After advancing to the championship, ShtanUdachi said he wanted to go against fr0zen because of how nervous he was earlier in the tournament, and he got the matchup he wanted. fr0zen was not nervous in this matchup as it turned into a thrilling seven-game series. ShtanUdachi was able to edge out a close victory in Game 7 through some wild combos to earn his championship. ShtanUdachi received $60,000 and a spot at the World Championships with the win and holds the crown of first ever global seasonal championship winner.
fr0zen    Luminosity Gaming
fr0zen finished as runner-up as he lost to ShtanUdachi in the finals of the Hearthstone Winter Championship. fr0zen also clinched himself a spot at the World Championship with his top four finish.

RotoWire Analysis

The tournament got off to an extremely rocky start for the American hopeful as it was clear he was nervous. We saw multiple obvious mistakes made as he need to pull of a miracle comeback from a 3-1 deficit to find his first win. fr0zen was able to calm down and put together the play we expected from him, advancing himself all the way to the championship, clinching his spot at the Wold Championships along the way. Facing the only person who defeated him so far in ShtanUdachi, fr0zen put a much better performance as the two combined for a thrilling seven game series. fr0zen still ultimately fell just short as it was clear that ShtanUdachi was the best player in the competition. fr0zen was still able to accomplish his ultimate goal of clinching his spot at the World Championships.
Docpwn   
DocPwn put together an impressive performance as he ultimately fell to Fr0zen in the semifinals of the Hearthstone Winter Championship. DocPwn also clinched himself a spot at the World Championship next January.

RotoWire Analysis

Coming in as the oldest in the field at 32, nobody really saw DocPwn as being on the level of the rest of the competition. Not only did he prove himself by eliminating the defending world champion Pavel, he ended up clinching himself a spot at the World Championships with a semifinal finish. DocPwn was swept quickly by Fr0zen in the semifinals, but DocPwn still should see his performance as a huge success. He represented the Americas region very well.