With Gwent Open #4 in the books I wanted to take the opportunity and open a discussion on the event. There were quite a few things that made this event different from previous ones. The main things I found:
Flake and Shinmiri have been a consistent staple of Season 3. In my opinion they did what they always do: Great banter from Flake paired with the insane knowledge of Shinmiri and their overall chemistry is amazing and even keeps improving the more they cast. Overall I was personally super happy with that.
Ceely and Trynet were new on the big stage after casting plenty of Qualifiers beforehand. While I think they did a good job their style is more calm and collected and didn't get me as hyped as some other casting pairs. It is of course normal to be nervous in these situation but I think it showed especially in Trynets performance when he was often talking super fast (even faster than usually on stream). I would love to keep both of them in the caster-rotation however maybe we should consider pairing them with someone else? I am not sure and it is tough to say after only one performance.
2) Leek harvest being less fruitful
We are used to getting the juciest leeks in town during the event usually cumulating in a dev-stream before the finals. This time it wasn't there and the few art leeks are all (likely) tied to the mysterious Golden Nekker project. While I would have loved some actual news this didn't get me as hyped as the leeks usually do. Ask the Pros is a great and fun segment but to have it instead of the stream when usually we get Ask the Pros AND a leek stream felt subpar.
3) Post-game Interviews
The post-game Interviews hosted by Burza were in my opinion deeply hindered by the language barrier. Hesser does a good job translating but there is no real back and fourth between Burzas quirkiness and the players if there is always a huge break for translating question and answer. I would personally prefer these interviews being done directly by Hesser (or whoever translates) so a real conversation can happen. This is of course specific to the lineup but I wouldn't mind keeping Burza for english-speaking players and having Hesser for Russian/Chinese/Ukrainian.
4) Facecam issues
I thought Facecam was mandatory to participate in a Gwent Open event (maybe I made that up). Even if not it was rather unenjoyable that so many players had no face cam/issues with the cam this time. Lifetime facecam achievement award of course goes to my man Sif_Great_Wolf who had a facecam that often looked like a picture (what a lad!).
5) Deck variety
This has already been discussed in other threads (particularly in Dreamboys stat thread) but deck variety was almost non-existent this event. That did make the event less exciting for many people. I see a lot of reasons for this: powercreep showed since everybody was basically relying on PoP cards to win matches – many of the players scrimmed together and made out similar line ups to be the best – Open #4 is kind of the Rank 1 of Opens since everybody REALLY wants that last World Masters spot and therefore less memes or alternative strategies – and lastly of course the conquest format which I like but can still easily contribute to these situations.
I would love to hear your thoughts on my raised points. Of course if you saw more things that were different this Open please let me know. Reminder to keep the discussion civil and discuss with the goal in mind to make the next events better (don't just complain, try to be constructive).