The second Gwent Challenger event is happening this weekend, organised by CD Projekt Red. The quarter finals are played this Saturday, with the semis and grand finals taking place on Sunday. With a respectable $100,000 prize-pool, eight challengers will be battling to take home the lion’s share. With the brackets drawn on Thursday, is anyone in for an easy ride? And which match-ups look particularly tough? We’ve taken predictions once again from across the Gwent community to get a feel for who is the favourite in each match-up.
We spoke to a range of people from the community in order to get a broad flavour of how people think these games will go.
Our ten fortune tellers are:
- crokeyz - A Gwent streamer who covers the early morning shift. He’s won a Gwentlemen Open in the past, and is known for his penchant for mill.
- Insangpha - Representing Korean Gwent. Insangpha won Gwent Mania Korea, and his team reached the finals of The Gwentlemen Invitational.
- Jaggerous - Resident host of the Gwentlemen talk show, Jaggerous hosts and commentates for Gwentlemen events. She also makes deck guides on YouTube and streams on Twitch.
- Merchant - Official caster of Gwent Challenger and the previous two Gwent Opens, Merchant is also known for his YouTube videos, Twitch streams, and spicy memes.
- Petrify - Representing Australia, Petrify is a competitive player and streamer who recently competed in GwentSlam #3.
- ImpetuousPanda - Player turned caster, Panda will be commentating Gwent Challenger along with the recent Gwent Open. He also played in GwentSlam #1.
- Raikou - Seen by many as a deck building god, Raikou represents Japanese Gwent and is a staple at the top of the pro ladder.
- Swim - Analyst for Gwent Challenger, and well known deck builder, Swim is known across the community for his innovative plays and popular live streams.
- vaysh - Well versed with factions across the board, vaysh can commonly be found in the top 8 for Gwentlemen Open events. Another skilled player, he is often seen in the pro ladder elite.
- Lamios - A hardworking Gwentlemen, Lamios keeps the meta snapshot up to date, and stays on top of the Gwent meta. He’s also a common name on the Gwent reddit.
So what did everyone think?
This time around the community seems fairly split in most of the match-ups. TailBot vs Shaggy has 70% of predictions favouring Shaggy. This is interesting considering last time they played, TailBot came out the victor. Shaggy did win the first Gwent Open, but TailBot has earned a number of second place finishes, including the second Gwent Open, and GwentSlam #3. Lamios expects Shaggy to win, saying “Shaggy and TailBot are both great players, but TailBot so far has only played (albeit very well) the most standard meta decks available. Assuming both players play to the best of their ability, Shaggy has the edge simply because he’s a lot more unpredictable.” It is expected to be an exciting and closely fought match. When asked about her prediction, Jaggerous said that “TailBot is known for his smack talk, and I think he’s sometimes seen as the bad guy of tournaments. Because of this, people discount him as a player, but he is very consistent and doesn’t tend to take big risks. Shaggy on the other hand can be a little inconsistent. I think that on average this works out better for TailBot.” Although the panel favours Shaggy, TailBot did win their previous match-up, and this is a set likely to go to five games.
Adzikov vs kolemoen has a 50/50 split in predictions. Both players qualified for challenger via the online qualifier, however Adzikov would have qualified through crown points. Adzikov is the veteran of tournaments, having played in all three GwentSlams and the recent GwentOpen. Unfortunately, he’s been knocked out in the first round every time. He’ll be hoping to break that curse this time around. Merchant predicted Adzikov, saying “his desire to make it past round 1 probably burns with the force of a thousand suns by now.” On the other hand, kolemoen is relatively unknown in tournaments, but within the competitive scene has a strong reputation. ImpetuousPanda said “I think he’s going to surprise a lot of people, he has a very good understanding of the game and makes little mistakes from the games I’ve played against him. Adzikov is still obviously an extremely consistent player, I believe the main decider in this match up will be anything but direct skill(nerves, composure,etc).” So it may come down to tournament experience, and in that regard Adzikov is on top. But he also has a lot to prove given his track record, and it appears this is anyone’s game.
When it comes to Freddybabes vs J0rah the vote is unanimous, 100% in favour of Freddybabes. Freddy is a strong player and is coming off of a Gwent Open win. J0rah on the other hand came second in the first Gwent Open, but seems to have turned away from Gwent since then. Petrify thinks this will be an easy win for Freddy, saying “Freddy has got a walkover versus J0rah since J0rah doesn’t even play Gwent anymore basically.” If this is the case, this will likely be a fairly clean 3-0, but it remains to be seen if J0rah is as inexperienced as people think.
Finally, we have GameKing vs Lifecoach. Both players are seen as titans in competitive Gwent. Both are regularly in the top 5 for the pro ladder, and both have tournament experience. Lifecoach is the defending Gwent Challenger victor. He also hosts GwentSlam tournaments. Competitive Gwent is basically his life. He hasn’t competed recently however, whereas GameKing has played in Gwent Open #2, along with three GwentSlams. Our panel is divided once again for this match up, with 60% for Lifecoach. It seems that vaysh thinks that GameKing’s recent tournament experience will help him, saying “GameKing is actually playing the game, when his opponent is busy showing sushi on stream.” Crokeyz was in favour of Lifecoach, his reasoning being “I’m picking Lifecoach so that he invites me to the next GwentSlam.” In all seriousness, this match-up is so close that panelists are giving arbitrary reasons for their predictions. Both players have strong reputations, and it seems to be anyone’s game.
From our panel, the predictions favour Shaggy. Freddy and Lifecoach. Three of the four match ups seem very divided however, so it’s definitely going to be a good one to watch. You can watch Gwent Challenger this Saturday at 4pm CET on the CD Projekt Red Twitch channel.
This article was written by Francesca “Jaggerous” Jagger. You can find more from her on her YouTube, Twitch, and Twitter.