Heroes Global Championship Finals Day 3: Group C
In any given group stage of a tournament there is a group of death. The group that is, for whatever odd seeding reasons, the group most stacked with talented teams. For 2017 HGC groups, that is group C. Roll20 is the first NA seed and has been bootcamping in Las Vegas. In their own words, they have broken themselves down and built themselves back up into the strongest version of their team they can imagine. Dignitas is the second seed from EU and is hungry for a world championship. For all their accomplishments as one of the longest standing professional rosters, who have five first place wins under their belts, they have not won a world event. Tempest are the world champions of summer 2016 and the third seed from Korea. Considered to be the best team fight team in the world, they have struggled with the largely macro focused or double support metas that have dominated the game for the last year. Red Canids is the Latin America team and they are the decided underdogs in this group, having not won even a single map at an international event.
This is the group that every analyst has hedged their bets on predicting the winners. But it should be noted in a meta that has so far been heavily team fight focused, the favorite based on past success in different metas should be Tempest.
Roll20 vs Red Canids
There always seems to be a story at every international event of a major region team heavily underestimating a minor region team and gets destroyed due to their own mistakes. Game one was Roll20’s turn on the arrogance chopping block, making a boss call on Sky Temple 19 to 19 with inferior boss control tools and zero bush checking. They lost the boss and Canids pushed to end.
Game two and three were more what we’ve come to expect from Roll20. Canids didn’t seem to have any chance, getting picked off again and again in game two to Chromie and Genji, and then being unable to do anything against Glaurung’s Medivh in game three. We did see some clever thinking from Canids, taking Roll20 to their best map: Tomb of the Spider Queen. Canids is essentially guaranteed to lose on this map against Roll20 but it means in game three, when they have first pick and Roll20 has map pick, Roll20 cannot take them to Tomb and Canids will have a more favorable map. Unfortunately, Roll20 has two speciality maps: Tomb and Infernal Shrines.
Team Dignitas vs Tempest
Macro wins games. In every game in this series Dignitas was in control of the map. They were so far ahead in game one in map control that they opted to make a gutsy backdoor Medivac play and got the core to 55%. Some major errors prevented them from getting it lower, as expected since it isn’t exactly something you can practice. However, it gave Tempest the experience lead and Dignitas did not commit to the second backdoor to finish core, which was honestly their best chance of closing out the game. Instead they gave Tempest an opportunity to fight on core 19 to 20 with infinite Archon and Tempest’s team fight in that situation proved to be dramatically superior. Game two and three Dignitas did not take any risks and closed out the series by abusing Tempest’s classic weakness: they cannot macro to save their tournament lives.
Team Dignitas vs Roll20
The most anticipated match up in groups by many, many viewers from NA. Game one was a stomp in Dignitas’s favor. They were winning from the very beginning of the game with an Abathur composition. When you have a power spike at level 10, and were winning before that, you’re far more ahead than it might first appear. The gap between EU and NA continues to be much larger than NA teams understand, impacting their ability to close it.
Game two was essentially a cheese attempt by Roll20. Something I say with respect, as worse team will not beat a better team without unexpected strategies. The key aspect, however, is that you have to practice your strategy enough that you can execute that strategy better than the opponent can respond. D.Va, Hammer, Morales with double global on Cursed is a very workable composition, but Justing mistalented D.Va and there were positional errors into Dignitas’s Garrosh. Despite a clutch boss play right at level 10, Roll20 was unable to overcome the wall that is Dignitas and was closed out 2-0.
Red Canids vs Tempest
Heroes of the Storm as a competitive eSport is about mechanical execution first, strategy second. It doesn’t matter how perfect your strategy is if you can’t execute it. In contrast, you can have average or even bad strategies and win because your mechanics are strictly superior. This series demonstrates just that. JSchritte is a thinking player and has very reasonable drafts. He’ll make the right call for his team to get ahead or catch up, but when Sonya has every spear juked and the enemy team hits every skill shot then you can’t win. Tempest simply pushed their buttons better than Canids. There is no dressing up the sheer mechanical skill difference between these two teams.
Roll20 vs Tempest
Game one was a familiar strategy by Roll20 that they used against GFE on Warhead Junction. It is astonishing to me that Tempest did not realize what was going on the moment the map was selected and that can only be attributed to a lack of research on their opponents. Roll20 was in the driver’s seat of this game the entire time and it casts a long shadow over the entire series. If Tempest doesn’t respect the pocket strategies of Roll20 then the odds of them winning with their general weaknesses as a team in this series go down dramatically.
Game two was a cheese attempt by Tempest, in exchange for game one, with triple warrior and double support on Battlefield of Eternity. They should win the race, the side soak, and the sustain war into Roll20’s composition, which they do for almost the entire game. With both keeps down it looked like we are going to a game three, then Roll20 wins three straight fights. Void Prison into Dragonblade with Haymaker isolation, over and over again. Roll20, for the first time since 2015, took a game off of a Korean team through straight up out team fighting in the late game. We can talk about the mistakes Tempest made – H82 taking a bad trade so he was low health for the Genji reset, the small positional errors that let those big Void Prisons happen – but it’s not as if Korean teams are perfect players that never make mistakes. It’s just that NA hasn’t had the level of synergy and coordination necessary to punish those mistakes. Until now.Related: Blizzard Entertainment, eSports, Heroes of the Storm, HGC, MOBA