No matches

Valve and Beyond The Summit’s Artifact Preview Tournament entered playoffs last night, with one peculiar name in the top 8: Liquid’s Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi. The captain of the The International 7 champions finished fifth in the swiss rankings with a 6-1 score and placed among some of the best strategists in the card game genre.

KuroKy will play Austrian Hearthstone veteran Raffael “GameKing” Iciren and should he survive the clash, even harder challenges will lie further. KuroKy is in the same half of the bracket as WCS Europe champion Ole “Naiman” Batyrbekov and the only undefeated player in the tournament so far, Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour winner Joel Larsson. Greece’s Chris “Fenomeno” Tsakopoulos, also known from his successes in Hearthstone, is another one of the tournament’s strong title contenders.

The top 8 players qualified by surviving seven rounds of best-of-3 Swiss matches after a very long day of Artifact action. The first day of the tournament certainly had its problems, stemming in large from the challenge of translating a 128-player Swiss format into a novice-and-stream-friendly experience. Artifact’s innate complexity didn’t help the broadcast either, and on many occasions, the viewers in Twitch chat were left wondering what was going on.

The coming of the playoffs should make things easier to follow. The top 8 being single elimination, there’s a lot more at stake and the competition is more streamlined. By tonight, one champion will bank $4,000 and take the first televised Artifact tournament home.

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