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The first phase involved 6 games played via Swiss format, and the top 8 players qualified for the single elimination playoffs.
After the Swiss phase, bj0rN (Druid) emerged undefeated amidst a competitive playing field – SEVEN participants were tied for the last two qualifying spots, and had to be separated by their tie-breaker scores according to Challonge. The table can be found here!
Then it was on to the playoffs phase, where the two eventual finalists, bj0rN (Druid) and Demonmore (Warlock) each recorded flawless victories en route to the finals. Brackets can be found here!
In the Best-of-5 finals, the two card maestros duked it out in an exciting series, where Demonmore showed his versatility by completely switching his deck archetype mid-series to throw off bj0rN – first breaking out an Aggrolock, which he never used the entire tournament, and going 2-1 with it, then suddenly switching back to his trusted Handlock to seal the victory!
We caught up with him for an interview:
Interview with Demonmore, winner of January Bang:
Hey there! First of all, congratulations for winning January Bang! The Swiss format is quite unforgiving, and it means being faced against people of equally strong skill level all the time. How did you prepare for this tournament?
Demonmore: Thanks; I just played a lot of ranked after the reset, and also tested my main deck (Handlock) with my friends a couple of times.
I see. Do you recall which were your toughest game(s) in the tournament?
Demonmore: Hmm, probably Round 6 of the Swiss stage, as well as the finals, both against bj0rN. He’s a really good player with 2 main Druid decks.
I noticed that in this tournament, the top 3 classes were Warlock, Rogue and Druid. Would you say these 3 are the strongest classes in the current meta?
Demonmore: Hmm, these 3 are really strong, but I think Zerg Hunter and Mage are still pretty strong. Mage, especially, is a terrible matchup for handlock 😦
Yea, because of everyone’s most hated (or loved) Pyroblast. So I suppose Warlock is your favourite class? What do you like about Warlock?
Demonmore: It’s actually a tie between Rogue, Warlock, and Mage. The reason why I chose Warlock this tournament was because the rules allow for an unlimited sideboard, so I actually had 3 different decks ready for this tournament. My favourite thing about Warlock will have to be its versatility, or the passive. Who doesn’t like card advantage!?
Haha indeed, Life Tap all day! I actually like Rogue and Warlock myself too. Do you have any tips for other players trying to play Warlock well?
Demonmore: Depends on whether you’re playing Aggrolock, Handlock, or Murlock. For Aggrolock and Murlock, the trick is to kill them quickly. For Handlock, it’s slightly more complicated, as using Life Tap is more beneficial sometimes; it helps get Molten/Mountain Giants out quicker, and buffs up Twilight Drake, AND gives you card advantage.
That’s true. Handlock seems quite strong at the moment, with some top ranked players using it as well. As for today’s tournament, how did you find it? How tough was the playing field?
Demonmore: I had a blast! The playing field was pretty tough; I only went 4-2 in the Swiss. I was lucky to have a high tie-breaker score, otherwise I wouldn’t even have been in the top 8. It just shows you it was anybody’s tournament to win.
Haha, that’s really humble of you; if you had a high tie-breaker score, it meant you beat some pretty good opponents!
Demonmore: Haha yea; I guess so 😛
Ok, let’s wrap this interview up; do you have any concluding comments? Shoutouts?
Demonmore: I’d like to thank Hearthstone Alley for hosting such a great tournament, and making sure it ran smoothly. I’d also like to thank my friends, Zephorius and Hambuthebear, for helping test my decks before the event.
Alright! Thank you once again and congratulations on your victory!
Image Credits: Blizzard Entertainment, Jeremy