Spring Team Clash Group A Preview
Claymore - Captain: MrSweetPiggy
The first team at which we take a closer look today is the only three-person team in the field. Claymore enters this competition with a true underdog status, earning qualification as the lower bracket winner of the Qualifier and registering the lowest Crown Point total of any team with 60. Last time around, we witnessed an upstart qualifier in Austria claim the ultimate glory in the Aretuza Gwent World Cup; can Claymore duplicate the feat this time around?
The first player up for Claymore is their captain and also the most historically successful player among their ranks in MrSweetPiggy. Piggy has been around Gwent for quite some time, securing a Top 100 finish as early as Gwent’s Open Beta. Since then, he has displayed a strong competitive drive both on the ladder and in tournaments. Piggy is regularly a strong competitor in community tournaments, placing highly in many Claymore Opens and winning such events as the Battle Royale hosted by Team Leviathan Gaming. On the ladder, Piggy has secured two Top 64 finishes in Gwent Masters Season 2 while also adding some other solid positions. As such, Piggy has claimed 42 Crown Points this year, tops among all members of the Claymore team.
Next up for Claymore is another recent returnee to the world of Gwent. Wonder98 was a consistently strong player during the “layoff” between Gwent Challenger #5 and the start of Gwent Masters Season 2, securing consistent Top 50 ladder finishes. Following that, he had a period of relative inactivity in Gwent, first appearing on the leaderboards for Gwent Masters Season 2 only in the third season (Season of the Bear). From there, he improved greatly and secured a Top 64 finish last season during the Season of the Elf. With only two seasons to accumulate Crown Points (one of which resulted in no Crown Points), Wonder has still collected a total of 18 of them in Gwent Masters Season 2.
MagWTF rounds out the Claymore roster as one of its longest standing members. Although not truly a competitive Gwent player, MagWTF has established himself as a consistent Pro Rank player. He has consistently improved his final position each season, including his best finish thus far in the previous season (Season of the Elf). Instead, MagWTF is perhaps better known as one of the administrators for Claymore. In this position, he aids in running the Gwent Open online qualifiers so smoothly, hosting tournaments (such as the Claymore Open), and providing information to the Gwent community through the Claymore social media accounts.
Team Leviathan Gaming - Captain: BeardyBog
Next up we have one of the presumptive favorites in the competition with Team Leviathan Gaming. They claim the top spot in terms of Crown Points of any team in the event, coming in 25 ahead of Team Aretuza with 325 in total. TLG enters the Team Clash on the back of a historically strong ladder season after claiming four of the top six places during the Season of the Elf.
Team Leviathan Gaming’s team is headed by their captain of this event (who is also their Competitive Gwent Team Captain) BeardyBog. While taking charge of the successful competitive efforts of TLG, Beardy has also carved out a name for himself, which includes securing first place on the Pro Rank leaderboard for Season 13 of Gwent Masters Season 1 and advancing to the Top 8/Top 16 of many online qualifiers. Beardy is another “old school” Gwent Pro competing in the Team Clash, first breaking into the Top 50 of the leaderboard back in the second season of Pro Rank and progressing steadily from there. In Gwent Masters Season 2, he has accumulated 40 Crown Points and finished in the Top 64 during the Season of the Wolf. You can sometimes catch his games live on his Twitch channel.
TLG adds another powerhouse to their roster in the form of Green-Knight. This Manchester native has established himself as one of the strongest competitors in the world, especially in the era of Gwent Masters Season 2. Dating back to the original Gwent Masters season, Green-Knight collected the top spot on ladder on two occasions (Seasons 14 and 15) while also securing qualification to Gwent Open #8. As a follow up to his earlier competitive efforts, he has secured a Top 16 finish in three of four possible opportunities, narrowly missing out in 17th place in one season. His specialty has been a preternatural ability to “min-max” his ladder games, finishing in exactly 16th position twice. During the whole of Gwent Masters Season 2, Green-Knight has accrued 85 Crown Points, good enough for 11th place on the leaderboard.
The next member of TLG is quickly becoming a seasoned Gwent veteran despite getting a later start compared to some of his more tenured teammates. Pajabol represents perhaps the most consistent player in Gwent during the recent months, securing Top 8 finishes in three of the last four seasons, with his only miss coming via a 9th place finish (4th, 9th, 3rd, 5th). In addition to being a dominant force on the ladder, Pajabol has been one of the strongest players in community-held tournaments, winning such events as the EGC Italian LAN (1000€ prize pool tournament) and finishing in the Top 3 of nearly every tournament he has entered. During Gwent Masters Season 2, Pajabol has earned 100 Crown Points, which puts him comfortably at 5th place on the leaderboard. Be sure to be on the lookout for his stream of high-level gameplay!
TLG’s final member to round out their impressive roster is GraveshGravesh. Gravesh is a player who prides himself on both consistency and efficiency, typically completing seasons with one of the highest win rates on the ladder. He boasted a streak of Top 15 finishes in every season with a direct tie-in to an online qualifier that only ended with a “disappointing” 20th place finish in the Season of the Bear. In addition, he has added Top 10 finishes in three other seasons that did not lead to an online qualifier. His efforts have resulted in participating in all but one Top 16 qualifier. On top of all this, he has even defeated Kolemoen on ladder once. In Gwent Masters Season 2, Gravesh has collected 100 Crown Points, which puts him in joint-5th place on the leaderboard (alongside teammate Pajabol).
Team Nova - Captain: Jamedi
Up next we have the dominant Gwent team in the Spanish-speaking world in Team Nova. Recently, Team Nova has been putting in solid performances each season, with members narrowly missing out on Gwent Open qualification on two different occasions. Nova's team for the Team Clash has accumulated 131 Crown Points in Gwent Masters Season 2, which puts them in 7th place among all of the participating teams.
First up for Team Nova is a player who is rapidly ascending in the world of competitive Gwent. Acalajucha has always been a strong player, but has recently gained the results to back it up. He has finished in the Top 64 in each of the last four seasons, performing increasingly well in each online qualifier. During the most recent Top 64 qualifier, he reached the semifinals of the Double Elimination portion, coming up only two series wins shy of qualifying for Gwent Open. During Gwent Masters Season 2, Acalajucha has gained 65 Crown Points, the second most of any Spanish player and also second most of any Team Nova player.
Next up for Team Nova is a player who splits time between playing Gwent competitively and creating content for the Spanish-speaking community. Miketocome appears frequently in the later stages of community Gwent tournaments, such as several of the RuGwent (now known as Claymore Gwent) Opens. You can sometimes find him broadcasting these games (in Spanish) to his Twitch channel. Mike is making his second appearance in a Team Aretuza tournament, after participating for Team Spain in the Aretuza Gwent World Cup. He also worked tirelessly on the side to provide the stellar deck graphics displayed during each cast.
Although he may hail from a remote corner of the world in Colombia, Poisound has left the Gwent community with no choice but to take notice of his accomplishments. He finished in the Top 16 in back-to-back seasons (Season of the Wolf and Season of Love), finishing with the fewest number of games played of any Top 16 player in both of those seasons. Following the latter of these finishes, he reached the upper bracket finals of the online qualifier, but unfortunately dropped two consecutive series to narrowly miss out on qualification to Gwent Open #1. He has added another Top 64 finish in the most recent season, which brings his Crown Point total during Gwent Masters Season 2 to 66, one ahead of teammate Acalajucha to claim the most points of any player in Team Nova.
Last but certainly not least for Team Nova is Windave. He took a somewhat lengthy hiatus during the “downtime” for Gwent esports, but recently made a return to aid in Team Argentina’s triumphant qualification to the Aretuza Gwent World Cup. In the main event, he was able to defeat the always excellent wangid1 in Argentina’s match against Team China. Windave carried this momentum to ladder and wound up narrowly missing out on the Top 200 last season, which was the highest scoring season on average in the history of Gwent. Before his break from the game, Windave was a consistent Pro Rank player, achieving roughly Top 200 finishes with relatively few games played. He came the closest to an online qualifier in Season 7 of Gwent Masters Season 1, when he missed out on the 100th position by a tie-breaker.
Team Swallow - Captain: Demarcation
Our last showcased team is also the most recently formed. Team Swallow is a competitive team composed of some of the strongest players in the Chinese Gwent community, which has grown rapidly in recent months and has the results to back it up. The members of Team Swallow for the Team Clash have accrued 286 Crown Points, which is third most among the participating teams.
Team Swallow is captained by one of the very best players in the world of Gwent currently in Demarcation. Although he had a relatively late start to his competitive Gwent career, he has certainly made the most of his time. Demarcation first appeared on the Gwent Masters leaderboard in the penultimate season of Gwent Masters Season 1, grabbing an impressive second place finish in his very first fully competitive season. In Gwent Masters Season 2, Demarcation has gone from strength to strength, finishing the past four seasons in the 7th, 1st, 2nd, and 1st positions respectively. During the most recent season, he even set the all-time record for MMR accumulated in a single season with 10.751. Additionally, he will be a participant in the upcoming Gwent Open #1 after winning the lower bracket finals of the Top 16 qualifier following the Season of Love. These achievements in total have accounted for 140 Crown Points for Demarcation, the highest among all Gwent players and a full 25 Crown Points ahead of second place.
Next for Team Swallow is one of the true elder statesmen in the Gwent world. So1ento has been achieving high ladder finishes in Gwent for years now, dating all the way back to the days before Pro Rank existed when he claimed a Top 40 position (which earned him a “Wild Card” entry to the very first Gwent Open) on the August 1, 2017 deadline. Recently, So1ento has the results to match his previous successes, with two Top 16 finishes (Season of Love and Season of the Elf) out of four possible opportunities in Gwent Masters Season 2. In the other two seasons, So1ento narrowly missed the Top 64 cutoff. All of these results bring So1ento’s Crown Points total this year to 69, good enough for 19th on the leaderboard and 5th highest among Chinese players.
Another newer competitive Gwent player is up next for Team Swallow. Chinayzq first appeared on the Gwent Masters leaderboard shortly after Demarcation in the final season of Gwent Masters Season 1. He mentions popular Chinese streamer garigari as a major influence that caused him to begin his Gwent journey. Since that point, Chinayzq has improved each season and peaked (thus far) with a 23rd place finish during the Season of the Bear. Currently, that is Chinayzq’s only appearance in the Top 64, but he also has several finishes just outside that mark. Factoring in all of his Gwent Masters Season 2 finishes, Chinazyq has accumulated a total of 37 Crown Points this year.
Rounding out the balance to Team Swallow’s experience on their roster is HuanCi. Although not to the same degree as So1ento, HuanCi has been playing Gwent for some time and was a consistent Top 100 player during Gwent Masters Season 1. His efforts there culminated in a Top 10 finish during the final season of Gwent Masters Season 1. HuanCi carried that momentum into Gwent Masters Season 2, securing Top 64 places in each of the first two seasons. In the last two seasons, his game totals have dropped and he has not returned to the Top 64, but he appears to be in good form recently by earning a position on Team Swallow’s roster for this competition. In the whole of Gwent Masters Season 2, HuanCi has earned 40 Crown Points.
JMJWilson made his first forray into the world of CCG's with Gwent and has been hooked ever since. Since July 2018, he has competed in the game's Pro Rank scene and has participated in most online qualifiers since the official release of Gwent. Wilson serves as a content creator for Aretuza, especially focusing on the monthly Meta Snapshot and the Aretuza Academy projects. He seeks to bring the same analytical mindset to content creation as he does to his own gameplay with the goal of improving others' gameplay experience in whatever way is possible. With the implementation of Gwent Masters Season 2, Wilson aspires to continue his trend of being a consistent competitor in Gwent Masters qualifiers while also remaining committed to coverage of the game's highest level of competition.