Straight into Towers of Doom for Game 1. Ballistix, unlike Tempest, did not want to deal with Psalm on Maiev and banned it right away. Having already beaten Ballistix in three consecutive maps, Tempo Storm was brimming with confidence, quickly taking an experience advantage after a couple kills. For the first 12 minutes of the game Tempo Storm looked to be in complete control; however, Ballistix knew they needed to make something happen, and they did:
And just like that, Ballistix was back in the game. Then they turned it in their favor:
Ballistix continued to pick Tempo Storm apart and completed the comeback for the win. Game 2 would bring the first Braxis Holdout map pick of the tournament. For Tempo Storm it was like a recurring nightmare. Once again they grabbed the early lead, and again it fell apart in the late game:
Staring down the barrel of elimination, Tempo Storm went to their comfort map pick of Dragon Shire in Game 3. This was a great game all around. Tempo Storm squeaked out a lead in the mid-game and managed to keep the Dragon Knight out of Ballistix’s hands. As Tempo Storm reached level 20, they found the fight they needed to close it out:
Game 4. Cursed Hollow would also make its first appearance in the tournament and it was a good one. Nerves seemed to play a role as both teams made some questionable decisions with rotations and chasing for kills. Ultimately, the game came down to the late game team fights:
Tempo Storm would then capture their boss and push the top lane:
Oh boy. Game 5. Infernal Shrines. Hold onto your butts.
Heroes of the Storm history is being made in this series…
Ballistix drafted an old favorite, taking Valla and Auriel together, while Tempo Storm drafted an almost identical composition to their Game 4 comp. The gravity of this match was apparent from the first objective when Tempo Storm made the decision to give it for free while they soaked experience. While Tempo Storm patiently waited for Heroic abilities, Ballistix took the slight lead in experience and kills. Ballistix’s composition simply out-sustained Tempo Storm at every period of the game; early, mid, and late game. But Tempo Storm never gave up and when they lost someone in a fight, they retreated and did something productive on the map. So that after defending two core attempts by Ballistix, they laid siege to Ballistix’s middle keep and then kept on going:
If you’re looking for a series to go back and watch from start to finish, you can’t go wrong with this entire set. The result marks the first time Ballistix have finished outside the top 4 at an international event and the first time a North American team would finish in the top 4 of an international HGC event.