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Heroes Celebrity Clash League: Season 1 Grand Finals Post-Game Recap
HeroesCCL Grand Finals Results

The grand finals of the HeroesHearth Celebrity Clash League took place this last Wednesday and they were some incredible games. In a best of five format to wrap up season 1 of the league, we saw the underdog team Upstanding Citizens take on the unstoppable powerhouse team of The KT-Ls and they took us to a game five in one of the most hype series of the entire league.

In one of the most unexpected turns of events, Upstanding Citizens took the series 3-2 against The KT-Ls. The analysts, myself included, and the community thought this would be a win for The KT-Ls, but Upstanding Citizens showed up to fight and they ended up being more than their opponent could handle.

Let’s get into these games!

Game one draft, Battlefield of Eternity, The KT-Ls versus Upstanding Citizens.
Game one of the night was on Battlefield of Eternity. We saw some interesting picks from Upstanding Citizens with an early Tychus, and an ETC into a very crowd control heavy team from The KT-Ls. Aullora played her signature Ragnaros. Over on the side of The KT-Ls, we saw Leonblack play his terrifying Garrosh, Tatskichu on her Raynor and Kagirii on Li-Ming. All fairly standard picks from them when they’re available. We began seeing our first Yrel bans of the season, forcing Liam onto another hero: Thrall. Unfortunately, Upstanding Citizens’ attempt to shake-up The KT-Ls’ frontline was not a successful one and The KT-Ls took the win on our first map.
Game two draft, Volskaya Foundry, The KT-Ls versus Upstanding Citizens.
Volskaya Foundry is where we headed for game number two. Again, we saw Upstanding Citizens try to upset the frontline of The KT-Ls with another Yrel ban, this time accompanied by a Garrosh ban. On top of this, they also took away Leonblack’s signature Mal’ganis. The interesting part of the draft came in the second half, with a Gall ban from Upstanding Citizens. Most likely in response to the Alexstrasza pick they saw towards the beginning. Liam gave us our first Malthael of the league, previously the character had only shown up in the ban phase, and we saw Stitches once again from Leonblack. I enjoyed the Upstanding Citizens’ draft this game, with the Lucio, Lunara and Mal’ganis. Allowing constant in and out damage and CC. Upstanding Citizens took map two.
Game three draft, Infernal Shrines, The KT-Ls versus Upstanding Citizens.
Game number three! We jumped on over to Infernal Shrines, where we got some more role swapping over on the side of Upstanding Citizens. Surprisingly, AlexDidz who is primarily known for his tank play was playing Sylvanas this game, and Turk gave us a show with his Lost Vikings. Their team had a significant amount of macro pressure. The KT-Ls gave us our first Sonya of the league, played by Liam, and Kagirii played her other comfort pick -- Jaina. Both picks more than likely in response to the inevitable macro pressure that would be presented by The Lost Vikings. Unfortunately, Upstanding Citizens’ macro pressure could not stand up to the objective pressure and rotations from The KT-Ls. The KT-Ls took map number three.
Game four draft, Hanamura Temple, The KT-Ls versus Upstanding Citizens.
Hanamura Temple was our map for game four, this being the first time we’ve seen it in the league. Notably, this map seems to hurt Mewnfare’s mental. Whether this was taken into account when picking the map or not is unconfirmed at this point. This was a very back and forth game, most team fights were long and bloody. We saw Turk on his Deathwing, the Upstanding Citizens have been the only team in the league to secure a win with the character the week before, and a unique pick from AlexDidz with an Anub’arak. I also want to highlight Aullora’s Ragnaros on this map, she got some massive Lava Wave value at numerous crucial moments throughout the latter half of the game. Lakefu’s Deckard, over on The KT-Ls, was also a great watch. We saw a little mix up of things on their side as well, Tatskichu playing Li-Ming, normally played by Kagirii, and Kagirii went with another favorite of hers: Sylvanas. Despite the mental warfare against Mewnfare this game, Upstanding Citizens took the map and brought us to game number five.
Game five draft, Cursed Hollow, The KT-Ls versus Upstanding Citizens.
Cursed Hollow is where it would all be decided, for game five. With a swift Lost Vikings and Deathwing ban, The KT-Ls aimed to shut out Turk from being as impactful as he has been in the past. However, Upstanding Citizens answered back with a Yrel and Mal’ganis ban, continuing to upset the frontline of the opposing team. We saw fairly standard picks across this draft, the most unique thing being Liam on Zeratul. This was our first Zeratul of the league and Liam played him very well. Mewnfare’s finally got a chance to play Auriel, interestingly enough opting to NOT take Resurrect. Although, this week of games was played on a new patch where the ability was nerfed so that may have been a contributing factor in his decision. In a long fight in the bottom lane, the game was decided with Upstanding Citizens marching to the enemy core and taking the map, and the series 3-2.

After the series, I had a little chat with a couple of members from each team to see how their confidence levels were going into the game and to get a general vibe from them on how they were feeling after.

Beckwin: "Unfortunately, The KT-Ls fell to Upstanding Citizens 2-3. Your team put up an extremely close fight. What were you feeling going into the series? Anything you wish you could’ve done differently?"

Lakefu: “It was such a closer series! I think our biggest disadvantage was the fact we didn’t really know what we needed to work on because we hadn’t lost before. So we just kept on doing what we were always doing, and the Upstanding Citizens managed to play a game style that we hadn’t fought before and that made them end up with the series win. I think if we had the chance to fight them again we would be able to study what we need to work on better and be able to defeat them.”

Tatskichu: “I honestly didn’t think we’d get this far. When I saw 4th place got a prize I was excited. Somehow we clicked together as a team and got really far. It was seriously unreal for me and I still can’t believe we came in 2nd. I wish we could have gotten more practice the final week, we could not get everyone together, we still did alright.”

Beckwin: “Congratulations on winning Season 1 of the Celebrity Clash League. You gave us a great series taking us to game 5. The KT-Ls were viewed as an unbeatable team throughout the league, what were you thinking heading into the series against them?”

Mewnfare: “Honestly didn’t expect to win, was trying to take 1 game at the very least. But something clicked with our team and suddenly everything was working. I also have been improving a lot on my shot-calling, and it all came together with perfect timing for the team to win it all!”

Coffee: “I knew just how strong Leonblack and Liam were but I feel like we overlooked the rest of their team in week one. And they sort of made us look silly. Kagirii freaking obliterated us with orbs and Tatskichu had her way with me but didn’t even buy me dinner first. LAKEFU IS THE MVP OF THE WHOLE SEASON and we didn’t even have a strategy for her. We were unprepared. Going into week 2 - I knew we were improving. But we still had to come from behind. We reverse swept Easy Money. Week 3 - same deal. Reverse swept Down to Dongle. So we knew we liked playing from behind. We’re the underdog and we understood that. We like the pressure of being down and having something to prove. We harnessed that power and dominated tonight. I can’t even begin to tell you the obstacles we have overcome this past month. Australia ping, me traveling for work and playing on a laptop, Aullora disconnecting, me disconnecting, headsets dying, mice dying, west coast servers, Turk being… well, Turk. Have I told you I love Turk by the way? The only fitting end to this Cinderella story was for my team to win tonight just in time for me to catch my train back to LA. And that’s exactly what happened. And we did. And I did.”

These were phenomenal games to watch and I implore anyone who did not see them live to watch them on the HeroesHearth Youtube. The decision to ban Liam’s Yrel I think was essential in Upstanding Citizens’ plan to take the win. Although Liam is an exceptional player it seemed to mix things up on him and forcing him off a clear comfort pick allowed Upstanding Citizens to draft more comfortably in their favor. I stated previously in my Top 3 Players to Watch for the finals that The KT-Ls were very dependent on their cool and collected frontline players, throwing a wrench into that forces them to adapt.

There were several players I wanted to highlight throughout these games. Kagirii, I think a lot of people slept on Kagirii, myself included, the beginning week or two of the CCL. She showed us she was here to fight and make a name for herself. She was without a doubt one of the most consistent players throughout the league. Lakefu has been an exceptional support player throughout the entire league, and it makes sense why she was voted this season’s MVP. Many teams seemed to sleep on her I think due to the fact she was primarily playing Auriel, which was seen as overpowered, but regardless of her hero, she was always on top of her game. Leonblack and Liam, the dynamic duo, were so terrifyingly strong together throughout the entire league. Even with Liam’s favorite goat banned he was still scaringly in sync with Leonblack and the rest of his team. Leonblack continued to show us that it didn’t matter what tanks were banned out, he was comfortable playing whatever he wanted. Lastly, I want to highlight Coffee. A player that I, unfortunately, haven’t gotten to talk about as much as I’d like. For those unaware, Coffee played the finals on not only a hero that is not his normal pick, Greymane, but he also played it on wifi, on a laptop while almost missing his train home. Despite moments where he was unsure of his play, he played very well throughout this series and made his train on time. Kudos to you.

Unfortunately, this marks the end of season one of the Celebrity Clash League. Don’t be sad though! Keep your eyes peeled for information about season two, excepted to come in April or May. Most likely May. 

Follow @HeroesHearth and @HeroesHearthCCL on Twitter for any information regarding season two. Did you miss the games? Want to reminisce about the good old' days? Check out the VODs for all the games on the HeroesHearth Youtube channel! Be sure to tune into the HeroesHearth Twitch channel for all the fun and action-packed Heroes of the Storm gameplay you could ask for.

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Season 2 now please, thanks.