Day One of the Heroes Global Championship Mid Season Brawl is officially in the books and there were no shortages of incredible moments in the first seven sets played on Saturday. Let’s dive straight in:
Set 1, Group B: HeroesHearth (NA) vs Luna Meow (Taiwan)
North American fans were happy to watch HeroesHearth make quick work of the minor region team with a 12-minute victory on Dragon Shire and then a 13-minute victory on Tomb of the Spider Queen. It was absolute domination from the NA-squad and was the 2-0 they needed to achieve.
Set 2, Group A: Gen.G (KR) vs TheOne (CN)
The reigning Blizzcon Champions (Gen.G, formerly MVP Black) came out the gates swinging, exerting their will over the Chinese team. TheOne managed a slight lead on the first map, Infernal Shrines, but Gen.G engaged down a talent, 12 vs 13, and still came away with the 3 for 1 team fight and took control of the series from that point on. On the second map, Volskaya Foundry, Gen.G took a 3-level lead early and never lost control. Easy 2-0 in favor of Gen.G.
Set 3, Group B: Dignitas (EU) vs Tempest (KR)
On one hand, it’s probably not fair to count out any Korean team; on the other hand, this was the first jaw-dropping moment of the tournament. Dignitas looked off in the first map with several missed gank opportunities and some uncharacteristic anti-synergy in their heroic timings. That’s not to take away from Tempest’s performance, a team that has struggled at LANs in the past. They looked extremely prepared for Europe’s favored son with impressive team fights and consistently capitalizing on Dignitas’ mistakes. Game 1 on Infernal Shrines and Tempest simply looked like the better team. Dignitas managed to stay close enough in experience that the match was close overall, but ultimately Tempest controlled the match and a late game team fight decided it:
Game 2 on Battle of Eternity probably deserves its own article. 34 minute match.... On Battlefield of Eternity... If you need any indication that the rest of this tournament is going to be amazing. This is the game. Please, just watch this VOD:
Set 4, Group A: Fnatic (EU) vs Mindfreak (ANZ)
Fnatic dismantled Mindfreak. Game 1 on Infernal Shrines resulted in a 17-0 massacre. Game 2 on Tomb of the Spider Queen lasted 12 minutes and was 11-1 in kills; the only death coming from BadBenny as they finished off the core. This was a mandatory, 2-0 victory for Fnatic if they hope go to anywhere in this tournament. They delivered. Next...
Set 5, Group B: Method (EU) vs CE (CN)
Method easily dispatched China’s number one seed with a convincing Towers of Doom victory that featured a lovely story from Deckard Cain in the middle of a team fight:
In Game 2, Method drafted one of the more interesting compositions of the tournament so far: Solo-Heal Abathur with Valeera. The blow-up potential from an Abathur hatted Valeera was intense and revealed one of those strategies that we’ll most likely see again as the tournament meta evolves. Method’s insane map control and 14-5 kill ratio gave them the 2-0.
Set 6, Group A: Tempo Storm (NA) vs Ballistix (KR)
This was a statement set for Tempo Storm. On their best map, Dragon Shire, they demolished Ballistix. On the analyst desk, Wolf Schröder pointed out that Ballistix looked sloppy and simply didn’t play well; however, there’s no denying that Tempo Storm played exceptionally. For Game 2, Tempo took Ballistix to Volskaya Foundry and once again punished the Eastern Clash Champions:
Set 7, Group B: Method (EU) vs Dignitas (EU)
Method is showed they’re clearly here to compete and in Game 1 on Dragon Shire they displayed a relentless team fight that consistently kept them a step ahead of Dignitas. Method finished off Dignitas up 3 levels and a 14-3 kill ratio. I’ll be honest, I was dumbfounded… Dignitas looked tilted. But they righted the ship with a strong performance in Game 2 on Cursed Hollow to save face for the day and avoid a complete disaster.
Not the day Dignitas wanted to open with. There’s no sugar coating the fact that Europe’s best team lost to Korea’s second-seed. Granted, it was an incredible set that could have gone Dignitas’ way but there’s no denying that Tempest showed some cracks in the armor. To make matters worse, a fellow European adversary was able to take a map off them and they simply didn’t look good. They redeemed themselves with a classic macro-oriented victory, but the damage was already done… Europe’s greatest hope to win the tournament dropped their first three maps.
Tempo Storm manhandled Korea. HeroesHearth took care of business against an opponent they needed to handle. It was a good day for North America. Tempo Storm looked incredibly polished in their performance but they have a tough day ahead as they have the first matchup of the day versus Gen.G and then close out Sunday with Fnatic. HeroesHearth, meanwhile, faces a tough matchup in Tempest for their only set of the day.
I received an alpha key back in August of 2014 and have been hooked on Heroes of the Storm ever since. I love playing, talking, and writing about HotS. Hit me up on twitter @ouroborosHotS.