Jason “Amaz” Chan swept his way through the grand finals at IEM Shenzhen to clench a championship victory, but it was his match in the semifinals that made for a much bigger story.
The Hearthstone tournament at IEM Shenzhen featured some of the biggest names in the game today, including Chan, Cong “StrifeCro” Shu, Marcin “Gnimsh” Filipowicz, and Dima “Rdu” Radu. Of the four, only Filipowicz failed to advance to the playoff bracket from the group stage.
It was in that playoff bracket that Chan and Radu would meet in the semifinals. This was a rematch from their infamous finals clash at Dreamhack Summer. Radu won that match and the Dreamhack title, but became engulfed in an ensuing controversy following allegations of cheating as a result of other players having messaged Radu through the game’s chat client during the finals.
These messages were caught live on stream and inspired much debate among fans and players. Andrey “Reynad” Yanyuk, who had lost to Radu in the semifinals of that event, was especially vocal in his criticisms. Chan refused to involve himself in the debate, but there could be little doubting that he was eager for a rematch on a similarly big stage.
The match did not disappoint, as Chan and Radu went down to the fifth and final game in their best-of-five series.
Radu stood to win the match with a Grommash card poised to finish off Chan on his next turn. But Chan had fortune on his side, as his Ragnaros card, which randomly dishes out eight damage at the end of each turn, chose to deliver that damage to Radu’s Grommash. This was enough to knock Grommash off the table and keep Chan alive, setting him up for an eventual match victory.
But even after that dramatic win, Chan’s journey still wasn’t complete. Taiwanese player Azeri shocked Shu in the quarter finals with a three-game sweep en route to earning his own spot in the final.
But with his rival Radu already having been beaten, Chan would not be denied. He was able to produce a quick three-game sweep of his own over Azeri to clinch the IEM Shenzhen title and go home several thousand dollars richer.
This is the second consecutive title for Chan, who was also the winner of June’s Millenium Cup, where he beat Aleksander “Kolento” Malsh in the final.
Screengrab via YouTube/ESL