Mid-Season Brawl – Finals – Analysis & Recap

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The final day of the Mid-Season Brawl would crown it’s champion. Let’s take a look at how it all went down:

Tempest vs Team Dignitas

In Game 1 on Dragon Shire, both teams played conservatively. It wasn’t until almost 8 minutes that Tempest managed to edge out a small experience lead and get their level 13 talents before Dignitas and capture the Dragon Knight. The objective allowed Tempest to open up the map a bit, but when both teams reached level 20, Tempest went for the throat:
Cursed Hollow was the map pick for Game 2, and Dignitas pitched a perfect game as they collected eight kills with zero deaths and destroyed the core in under 13 minutes:
Game 3 on Volskaya Foundry and one could almost sense Tempest crumbling under the pressure of this series. Nerves certainly played a role in this game and that was evident when one of the three best teams in the world started staggering deaths:
Eventually Dignitas would destroy the bottom keep and amass a 3 level advantage. With the next Protector, they ran it down bottom lane for the win. Dignitas chose Tomb of the Spider Queen for Game 4 and made it look like home for them. They comfortably maneuvered the early-game pressure from Tempest, and created enough opportunities from kills to turn-in for three Web Weaver phases. Dignitas would reach level 20 first and force Tempest to fight down a talent:
3-1 to Dignitas and on to the Championship set for a rematch against Gen.G.

Tempest Analysis and Takeaways

Tempest is a great team. They set themselves up to face Gen.G in the finals but couldn’t deliver against Dignitas, a team they had previously beaten in the group phase. It’s tough to find flaws in this team’s game. The flaws do exist, however, and it comes down to over-aggression and the tendency to give away experience in the early game for potential kills. If Tempest can corral their aggression and tighten up their focus in the early game this team can absolutely challenge Gen.G or Dignitas. Until they do, they’ll continue to watch the finals of these international events from the sidelines.

Gen.G vs Dignitas

Gen.G began the set up one game on Dignitas by virtue of their upper bracket win. Game 1 would be played on Volskaya Foundry and Dignitas got out to an early lead:
Capturing the first protector netted Dignitas a 2 level advantage and control of the map. Dignitas had the type of lead they typically do not give back. But Gen.G showed why they’re the best in the world, getting isolation kills in lanes and pressuring structures whenever they had a man advantage. They closed the gap in experience in due time and were able to finally fight on even talents:
Dignitas had to concede the objective and Gen.G marched down bottom lane with the protector:
Down 2-0, Dignitas drafted a Stitches and Medivh combo on Infernal Shrines. JayPL showed why he’s widely considered the best Stitches player in the world, racking up kill after kill off of his hooks. But true to their form, Gen.G played around the deaths and and never gave Dignitas a serious advantage. With three consecutive objective captures in Gen.G’s favor, the fourth objective would prove to be the most important:
With an Immortal in tow, Dignitas ran it down mid:

The gods are bleeding...

Khaldor
Dignitas had broken Gen.G’s win streak. Game 3 on Tomb of Spider Queen wasn’t quite as close as the previous match. Gen.G got the early kills, which they turned into objective turn-ins, which lead to an experience advantage, which led to more kills, and the snowball grew. Dignitas, desperate for a turn-in of their own, looked for a fight before Gen.G could gain their level 16 talents:
Down three levels and two keeps, Gen.G turned their gems in for another Web Weaver phase and Dignitas was forced to engage, losing three team members and their core. 3-1 in Gen.G’s favor. Backs to the wall, Dignitas chose Dragon Shire for the 5th map. This was a bloodbath that was in favor of Gen.G after they managed to capture the first two Dragon Knights. However, with the second DK, Gen.G moved onto Dignitas’ bottom keep but Dignitas wasn’t having any of it:
In an instant, what was looking like the slow march of inevitability became an even match and Dignitas wasn’t about to go quietly:
Dignitas captured their first Dragon Knight and marched down bottom lane looking to end:
Gen.G up 3-2. Game 5 on Towers of Doom. Need I say anymore? Unsurprisingly, this map produced one of the most memorable Heroes of the Storm games in the history of competitive play. The game started with Dignitas taking a slight experience advantage but the recurring narrative of this series was Gen.G’s ability to consistently turn things around with their incredible team fighting capabilities, especially after level 10 and heroic talents. And so, Gen.G turned things in their favor during the mid-game and Dignitas’ core at only 5 health, Gen.G looked to finish the game and the series:
Dignitas held strong. In one of the most brilliant calls imaginable, Dignitas claimed every single bell tower with a perfectly executed team split and looked to defend while shots fired on Gen.G’s core. Here’s the last minute of the game, enjoy:
3-3, tie series. If you thought Game 5 was good, let’s just say Game 6 did not disappoint. The equalizer match would played on Sky Temple, a map neither team had played in the entire tournament. The early-game was punctuated with team fights in which neither team could get a leg-up on the other, trading kill for kill. However, the second objective fight change that:

They’re turning Sky Temple into a graveyard!

Khaldor
Dignitas now down two levels had to utilize their global heroes to scratch back into this match. But scratch and claw their way back they did. While both teams played a conservative mid-game, in the end it came down to an objective phase, a boss capture, and a core rush. I present to you the penultimate moment of the entire tournament:
Congratulations to Gen.G, the Mid-Season Brawl Champions.

Team Dignitas Analysis and Takeaways

Dignitas is just as good a team as Gen.G, however, they lack consistency. Losing their first 3 maps of the tournament wasn’t just a fluke, it was a symptom of a recurring issue. The typically need a game or two before they lock it in and play their style of game. This is a team that very nearly beat the best team in the world and it’s incredibly difficult to watch their matches and find anything wrong with this team. I’m sure each teammate will tell you that in any given map they make mistakes. But aside from mistakes that everyone makes, there’s nothing this team does poorly. If they can find a way to turn on the switch a bit quicker at these tournaments, they very well could win Blizzcon.

Gen.G Analysis and Takeaways

There’s not much that hasn’t been said about how good this team is. As a fan of the game in general, this team is a pleasure to watch. If they suffer from any ailment at all, it is that they know they are the best in the world. There’s a theoretical line where confidence turns into overconfidence. It is possible, that Gen.G flirts with this imaginary threshold at times. To a certain extent this impacts their drafting and their quickness to respond to the tournament meta. It’s also hard to argue with results and if Gen.G wants to dictate the meta, they have the power to do so. I also think this is an incredibly gifted team that works their tails off and I don’t for one second think they will ever underestimate Dignitas in a tournament. It’s easy to imagine this team competing in the finals at Blizzcon for a second year in a row.
And thus ends the second annual Mid-Season Brawl. An amazing tournament with some of the best Heroes of the Storm competitive matches ever played. I hope you enjoyed the recaps, clips, and analysis. Cheers!

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Playoffs Day 2 Playoffs Day 1 Groups Day 5 Groups Day 4 Groups Day 3 Groups Day 2 Groups Day 1
ouroboros

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.