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Fnatic win Heroes of the Storm DreamHack All-Stars Winter Clash!

The mostly Swedish team managed to prevent Team Liquid from winning the Heroes of the Storm tournament at DreamHack for the fourth time in a row in what was an incredibly tense and entertaining series, earning them the title of Grand Champion!

The DreamHack All-Stars Winter Clash tournament in Heroes of the Storm was an incredibly action-filled one, with base-trades, unconventional hero picks and all-around solid performances. At the end of the line, only two teams, Team Liquid and Fnatic, remained to battle it out for the right to lift the tournament’s trophy as well as $12,500. The two teams had met before in the group stages, with Fnatic taking that series 2-0. This was a very high-stakes series, and the first game certainly showed it off.

Game 1
Map: Cursed Hollow
Bans: Liquid banned Abathur and Brightwing, Fnatic banned Tyrande and Uther
Picks:
Liquid: Falstad, ETC, Kharazim, Sylvanas and Thrall.
Fnatic: Kael’Thas, Sonya, Tyrael, Muradin, Tassadar

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The game started out with Team Liquid quickly taking down the two towers on the bottom lane with the help of Sylvanas’ Black Arrows trait, which also gave them the time to easily get the first tribute. However, Fnatic began fighting back and got the first blood on Falstad on the top lane. After a pick-off on the top lane, Fnatic grabbed the second tribute and killed Kharazim in the ensuing melee. Fnatic also managed to get the following two tributes, casting the curse of the Raven Lord on Team Liquid. However, they only managed to destroy a few towers and a fort during the curse and Team Liquid retaliated after it was over, taking down both Tyrael and Kael’Thas as well as their own boss.
Fnatic kept getting the tributes, though, and after taking their own boss, they breached the base of Team Liquid and destroyed the first inner fort on the top lane in exchange for giving Team Liquid their second tribute. It wasn’t until the tenth tribute that Team Liquid managed to get their first curse, but they made it count, as their boss was already heading for Fnatic’s bottom lane, and they eventually destroyed Fnatic’s bottom fort as well as threatening the core before safely disengaging.
However, as Fnatic were pushing top, Team Liquid decided to play an ace which they kept up their sleeves. Leaving VortiX top on his Falstad as a way of lulling Fnatic into a false sense of security, the rest of the team sneakily made their way bot and rushed the core. In the following mayhem that ensued, Falstad managed to interrupt a few of Fnatic’s Hearthstones back to base, giving Team Liquid just that little bit of extra time needed in order to destroy the core. After being down and seemingly out, Team Liquid mounted the comeback and took game number one.

Game 2
Map: Battlefield of Eternity
Bans: Liquid banned Jaina and Abathur, Fnatic banned Muradin and Tassadar
Picks:
Liquid: Kael’Thas, Falstad, Uther, Johanna and Kharazim
Fnatic: ETC, Tyrande, Sonya, Tyrael and Valla

Liquid’s line-up for this game was interesting, as Kharazim went for Iron Fists instead of Transcendence, focusing more on dealing damage than on healing. The game started out relatively passive still, though. Only during a melee at the bottom immortal did first blood come, and this time it was on Shad’s Tyrael. However, Fnatic still managed to secure the immortal, although it did limited damage on the Liquid defense. In retaliation, Team Liquid stole Fnatic’s bruiser camp, and capitalized on this by destroying some towers on the bot lane whilst Fnatic were killing the bruisers. When the second immortals spawned, Fnatic once again claimed the service of Belial, although the damage inflicted was once again limited.
After Shad narrowly dodged a big gank on the bottom lane, Fnatic claimed their third immortal, which destroyed both forts on the bottom lane, and in the following fight, they get Kael’Thas, Uther as well as Kharazim while just losing Sonya. At the arrival of the fourth set of immortals, a long stand-off ends with Shad going down, but Fnatic still barely manages to win out once again, with only a sliver of the shields left. As catapults kept pushing bot, Team Liquid were caught off-guard, and Fnatic killed off four heroes without losing a single one themselves, destroying the core and evening up the score.
Game 3
Map: Garden of Terror
Bans: Liquid banned Abathur and Tyrael, Fnatic banned Tyrande and Lost Vikings
Picks:
Liquid: Falstad, ETC, Khazarim, Sylvanas and Thrall
Fnatic: Kael’Thas, Uther, Sonya, Tassadar, Muradin

The action started early this game, as Sonya walked into the bushes at the top lane where three of Team Liquid’s heroes were waiting, resulting in them getting first blood off of her. The first night ended relatively action-free, with only one kill per team, and with neither team having enough seeds to grow a terror. However, just as the second night begins, Kael’Thas managed to solo-kill Sylvanas with the help of his Phoenix ultimate, although both teams still manage to spawn a terror, which essentially cancelled each other out, with minimal damage on respective teams’ fortifications. However, after their terror dies, Team Liquid takes the opportunity to push top and destroy the first fort of the game.
During the third night, Fnatic used their terror to great effect, managing to collect enough seeds to spawn another one directly after. They used these to push and destroy Team Liquid’s first fort in the middle lane. However, once the duration of the terror ends, Shad is isolated and subsequently brought down by the entirety of Team Liquid. During the fifth night, Fnatic start growing their terror as Team Liquid goes down the middle lane to snipe the inner keep. However, Falstad was caught out near the top Siege camp and brought down. Following this, Team Liquid made the descision to try to take the core with 4 players, which, in the face of a newly-spawned terror, did not work out and with the entire team dead, Fnatic could comfortably push the enemy core and end the game, putting them up 2-1, needing only to win one more game to take the series.
Game 4
Map: Sky Temple
Bans: Liquid banned Tyrael and Abathur, Fnatic banned Tyrande and Tassadar
Picks:
Liquid: Kael’Thas, Uther, Sonya, Leoric and Lost Vikings
Fnatic: ETC, Falstad, Muradin, Kharazim and Jaina.

shad

Team Liquid roamed around with a mobile gank-squad for the beginning of the game, and eventually found their payout in the form of Falstad on the bottom lane. However, as Kael’Thas limped away towards their fort, Muradin picked him off with an expertly-aimed Storm Hammer, which was only able to reach Kael’Thas thanks to a Dwarf Toss over a barrier below the boss. The first temple phase was relatively passive, with no casualties save for Erik being taken down by Falstad on the bottom lane. Falstad proved to be quite adept at picking off Vikings, as Quackniik was more than happy to showcase, hunting them down through most of the early stages of the game.
Team Liquid reached level ten come the second temple phase, forcing Fnatic to abandon the temple and disengage. However, a good Mosh Pit at the top lane becomes the end of Kael’Thas, although Falstad still kept on finding pick-offs on different Vikings. During the third phase, both teams gave their best rendition of a Mexican standoff near the middle temple, with Fnatic taking control for the temple’s final burst and taking the ensuing team fight on the bottom lane, kiting The Lost Vikings while they were in their ult and re-engaging when it ended, saving their Muradin with Kharazim’s Divine Palm, and killing off Leoric during Team Liquid’s retreat.
When Team Liquid went for the boss, Fnatic show up, making them retreat. As the fourth temples started activating, Team Liquid almost killed off Muradin, which granted them the initial shots of the temple, but then Fnatic showed up and once again took control for the final burst. The same happened with the fifth wave of temples. However, during the sixth activation cycle, a team fight ensues which seemingly ends in the favor of Team Liquid, but, having lost no heroes, Fnatic quickly heal, return and take Leoric down, letting them control both temples for the majority of the cycle, resulting in the destruction of the inner fort on the top lane.
During an extended fight on the top lane, Fnatic manages to kill Olaf, and keeps pushing as a huge creep wave nears the bottom fort. They further capitalize by taking down Leoric once again, this time near the boss, and considering taking it, but Team Liquid make them pull back as the seventh temples activate. During this phase, Fnatic kept moving between the top and middle temples, taking out the last fort in Team Liquid’s base with their help. However, they lose everyone but ETC and Jaina in an ensuing team fight and Team Liquid made the decision to push for Fnatic’s core. However, in a brilliant defense, Fnatic managed to stall Team Liquid’s advance, eventually taking them all out, leaving their core at a mere six percent of its life as the minion waves backed by catapults finish off Team Liquid’s core, winning them the game, the series, as well as the championship!
After the end of the game, Fnatic were greeted by fireworks and confetti as they lifted the Championship Trophy, the proof of their victory. Congratulations to everyone on the Fnatic line-up for their win!

DreamHack All-Stars Winter Hero Clash: Results
1st place: Fnatic, $12,500
2nd place: Team Liquid, $7,500
3rd-4th place: Team Dignitas, $2,500
3rd-4th place: mYinsanity, $2,500

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