- DsA consist of star veteran players desperate for a Superleague title. Most of the current DsA lineup have been recruited by kinnu.
- kinnu was TNL’s coach last season and is known as one of the brightest strategical minds in Korea. It is understood he recently has been studying the meta of various foreign regions and is willing to assimilate some of it in their play.
- nachojin boasts a huge champion pool and also has a shrewd mind for the game. Korean commentators have joked that DsA picks and bans on a dual-core processor.
- ttsst is considered to be in the form of his life both by experts and his teammates. Experts have him as the third best tank in Korea after MVP Black sign and TNL Noblesse; his teammates have been calling him “sign Lite” as a high compliment.
- TAS is an amateur team of near-unknown rookies.
- HaeBiN is the team captain and main tank.
- GGaMang has been known to have a wide champion pool in HL.
Prematch Trashtalk Segment Snippets
- DsA kinnu: “Both DsA and TAS are newly formed teams, but our lineup trumps theirs in both experience and previous success. We should beat TAS handily. Expect a 3-0.”
- TAS HaeBiN: “We may be the clear underdog but we can definitely put up a fight. We want to win at least one game and show the potential of a pure amateur team.”
- DsA kinnu: “I’m sorry but I can’t see TAS winning even a single game. If TAS really want it they should sacrifice their sleeping hours and cram in more practice.”
Match 1: Dragon Shire
- DsA is known to dislike Dragon Shire.
Pick & Ban Phase
DsA | TAS
Ban Phase 1: Kael’thas / Illidan
- Both are standard bans.
Pick Phase 1: Thrall / Falstad Xul / Greymane Muradin
- Recent general consensus holds that Thrall can easily bully out most toplane heroes with the possible exception of Zeratul. As the laning phase is highly important in Dragon Shire, Thrall is a solid first pick for DsA.
- TAS take Falstad and Xul. Falstad is a standard all-purpose top tier pick. Xul provides powerful waveclear and siege which can be used to offset Thrall’s combat pressure.
- DsA follow up with Greymane and Muradin. Both are standard top tier picks.
Ban Phase 2: Abathur / ETC
- A Sylvanas ban here would allow Xul to do his thing better, and a Li-Ming ban would leave TAS with the only top tier ranged assassin as of this meta. However TAS decide to ban Abathur, perhaps in part due to Mighty’s massive success two days ago.
- Very obvious ETC ban from DsA.
Pick Phase 2: Uther Zeratul / Tassadar Tyrande / Diablo
- With both Muradin and ETC unavailable, commentators try to guess which second tier tank TAS will choose. Stitches has been abandoned by many Korean tank players after his recent brief moment in the sun, while Diablo is still considered to be decent by some such as MVP Black sign. Taking two expected picks in Uther and Zeratul, however, TAS delay their tank selection.
- DsA instalock Tassadar and Tyrande, widely perceived as the best double support combination as of this meta. These picks also act as a soft counter to Zeratul.
- TAS finish their draft with Diablo as their main tank, rounding out their aggressive skirmish-heavy composition.
00:00 Match start.
00:30 A very early 5v5 at the center of the map quickly dissipates after Diablo dies. The commentators point out TAS should not have committed to the fight, as Diablo lacks tankiness before accumulating a good number of Souls and also lacks any true disengage.
01:15 Falstad falls to a blatantly telegraphed gank, underestimating the damage DsA can put out during the Storm Bolt – Lunar Flare stunlock. Things are going badly for TAS.
01:35 With Falstad dead and DsA moving in to capture Dragon Knight, TAS bravely commit to a midlane 3v4. Xul falls and Tassadar mounts Dragon Knight. Dragon Knight takes down two gate towers, putting DsA at a clear experience advantage.
02:40 TAS send three heroes top and manages to catch out a pushing Thrall. The gank squad moves downwards and picks off Tyrande and Tassadar as well, completely closing the experience gap. Diablo was instrumental in securing all three kills.
05:10 TAS catch out and burst down Tyrande yet again, but then for seemingly no reason at all proceed to dive under two towers chasing Tassadar. Their utterly baseless greed is punished as both Diablo and Zeratul melt. DsA take their second Dragon Knight thanks to the throw and march on towards the center Fort.
06:25 With all ultimates ready both teams commit to a full-on teamfight. TAS does not have enough damage to burst down Muradin and end up losing Xul and their center Fort.
09:00 A huge teamfight breaks out top. TAS go for a one-man Apocalypse just to burst down Thrall but they fail. Without their key ultimate and caught in too deep, Diablo, Zeratul, and Falstad fall. TAS manage to kill Greymane in the process but things look grim.
11:00 A beautiful Feral Spirit on a shimmer in transit allows DsA to burst Zeratul down and capture their third Dragon Knight of the game. With the Dragon Knight DsA manage to destroy the center Keep. Diablo dies yet again amidst TAS’ late effort to defend.
15:00 With Tassadar shooing Zeratul away from attempts at a flank, a teamfight breaks out bottom. A clean Sundering leaves Xul on the wrong side of the tracks and Diablo hits the panic button too late as Xul dies. TAS’ team composition requires all key ultimates to be perfectly chained together for them to win a teamfight, but it has not happened once all game. Not once did Void Prison into Apocalypse into Poison Nova happen.
15:50 After hearthing, DsA rush top and easily steamroll over TAS with their three-level advantage. The game ends shortly after.
Match 2: Cursed Hollow
- Commentators expect an Abathur and/or The Lost Vikings pick. Specialists have been performing extraordinarly well on this map worldwide.
- While not seeing play too often, Abathur and TLV have the first and second highest winrates in professional play since the Tracer patch (80%+).
Pick & Ban Phase
DsA | TAS
Ban Phase 1: ETC / Illidan
- A somewhat unorthodox ETC ban suggests TAS want to first pick Muradin.
- Standard Illidan ban from DsA.
Pick Phase 1: Thrall / Muradin Abathur / Li-Ming The Lost Vikings
- TAS take Thrall instead of Muradin. Everyone is left scratching their heads.
- DsA is happy to instalock Muradin and Abathur.
- TAS surprise everyone by grabbing TLV after the standard Li-Ming pick. GGaMang is known to play a mean TLV in Hero League, but picking TLV this early in a competitive draft feels unnecessarily risky.
Ban Phase 2: Diablo / Zeratul
- By banning Diablo DsA can force HaeBiN to play something he is even more uncomfortable on. Seems to be a very effective ban.
- A Zeratul with Symbiote attached can categorically negate whatever TLV can offer. TAS wisely ban out Zeratul.
Pick Phase 2: Greymane Dehaka / Uther Stitches / Rehgar
- DsA pull out Greymane and Dehaka without much hesitation. Greymane is not only a solid pick in general but also excels at picking off individual Vikings. Dehaka is another brilliant pickup as he can dispose of lone Vikings at whim from across the map, and provides the sweet auxiliary benefit of robbing TAS of yet another decent tank. Casters note this will be Dehaka’s Superleague debut match.
- TAS grab the standard Uther then finally decide upon Stitches to be their main tank. All three commentators heavily disagree with the logic behind the Stitches pick, arguing Johanna would have been the lesser evil in every single regard; one of them even labels the Stitches pick as “the absolute worst choice TAS could have made”.
- DsA’s last pick is obviously Rehgar.
0:00 Match start.
1:00 Dehaka kills an overextended and oblivious Baleog. This does not bode well.
1:30 Dehaka Brushstalks top and Drags Thrall to his death. Stitches falls subsequently. DsA are now at a slight experience lead.
2:30 TAS strike lucky with the first tribute spawning opposite to their siege mercenaries, but fail to contest the objective at all. DsA take the tribute free of resistance.
3:00 Despite Dehaka Brushstalking bot and killing Erik, TAS take no action at top even with their 5v3 numbers advantage. After wasting nearly a minute doing nothing, TAS force a belated engage. Dehaka happily Brushstalks top. DsA kill Thrall and Stitches yet again.
4:25 DsA take both the second tribute and blue side Boss for free. TAS attempt to take red side Boss in return but are stopped easily by DsA.
5:40 Thanks to a clinical play by ttsst, DsA take down Thrall as the third tribute spawns. As they capture the third tribute and start the curse, Dehaka randomly kills Olaf up top. The casters joke that TAS would want to Alt+F4 here and now if this was Hero League. TAS are two levels behind with TLV and things are looking utterly hopeless.
6:50 With their two-level advantage DsA take red side Boss with ease.
7:50 DsA gank Stitches and Olaf, taking down both. The casters lament Stitches’ current spot in the meta and reminisce the days when Stitches was the best hero in the game.
8:30 Muradin has stopped taking talents since level 10 to showboat, but he has only two question marks so far. Casters note that he could become Secret Pally if he manages to make it to level 20 without additional talents, thus acquiring five question marks.
9:25 TAS are dominated by DsA in a tribute teamfight despite having started it with an ambush. Thrall, Stitches, and Uther fall. DsA take their fourth tribute of the game.
10:25 DsA capture blue side Boss, kill an Erik lost in the woods, and initiate a teamfight as the fifth tribute of the game spawns. Thrall falls again and DsA claim the objective.
12:30 DsA start red side Boss then turn on TAS as they arrive. Thrall and a few Vikings fall, allowing DsA to return to Boss and finish it in peace.
13:30 Abathur and Dehaka manage to capture their sixth consecutive tribute. With their Boss still healthy DsA rush the Core and end the game under the curse. It is a categorically perfect game for DsA: TAS failed to take a single structure, tribute, or kill this game. TAS look crestfallen and speechless as the camera pans towards them.
Gyuri’s Visit to the RAVE HOTS Teamhouse
OGN randomly treated us with a fun clip before Match 3 began. Here are some of the more entertaining/informative fragments from the video.
- Gyuri remarks something “smells funny in here”. Camera pans to a gigantic heap of undone laundry on the veranda. RAVE HOTS members make sheepish expressions.
- An entire minute is spent admiring Jfeel’s flamboyant striped blankets. The players complain that Jfeel keeps hugging other members in his sleep. Jfeel insists he used to hug things while sleeping throughout his entire childhood and that he cannot help it.
- The players admit they only do the laundry and dishes when ‘supplies run out’. Gyuri notes “I should come here once in a while just to force you guys to clean up.”
- RAVE HOTS wake at 1 PM and scrim until midnight. From midnight onwards they are free to play Hero League and stream.
- “Our coach personally provides our food and rent. We’re all really indebted to him and we’re truly grateful.”
- Jfeel (Support): “MVP Black Sake playfully teases me a lot.. he jokes that our team could beat MVP Black with a better support, for instance. Sake was and is a really good brother to me, though. He used to look out for me a lot and bought me drinks often when I was on MVP Sky. This season, I want to be the one buying the drinks with fresh prize money.”
- Hidden (Warrior): “My goal is to become the best tank player in the world, even better than MVP Black Sign.”
- Nmx31 (Assassin): “I just want to be world champion.”
- Gilduck (Flex): “All of my conscripted friends have nearly finished their time in service, whereas I have yet to go. I really want to have something I can show to my friends and myself… something that can prove my youth was not wasted in chasing a dream. Something that can prove my past efforts have not been in vain.”
- Hamelin (Flex): “We haven’t been together as a team for too long, but I hope we can keep working well together and place our hands on the Superleague trophy!”
- DsA did not expect the TLV pick, but as TAS picked TLV way too early in the draft, they were not worried as they had enough picks left to deal with the curveball.
- TAS explained that TLV was picked to counter Abathur, saying that the game would have played out much better had they not made so many errors in execution.
Match 3: Sky Temple
Pick & Ban Phase
DsA | TAS
Ban Phase 1: ETC / Illidan
- Both teams first ban the same heroes.
Pick Phase 1: Thrall / Muradin Greymane / Kael’thas Kharazim
- TAS take Thrall over Muradin yet again. The commentators are flabbergasted.
- DsA are happy to quickly take Muradin and Greymane. A caster mentions offhand that DsA reset really likes Rexxar and he might be tempted to pull it out today.
- Things still look okay as TAS grab Kael’thas, but then the Kharazim pick throws everyone off guard. There is not a single reason under the sun to pick this underwhelming middle-of-the-pack support so early into the draft.
Ban Phase 2: Diablo / Abathur
- By banning Diablo DsA can force HaeBiN to play something he is even more uncomfortable on.
- TAS ban Abathur for seemingly no reason. DsA keanu is shown on camera trying and failing to pull back a smirk at the way picks and bans have gone so far.
Pick Phase 2: Li-Ming Uther / Falstad Tyrael / Rexxar
- DsA go with very standard picks.
- TAS go with the standard Falstad then select Tyrael as their tank this time. All three commentators simultaneously profess relief at not seeing Stitches again.
- Rexxar is instalocked. The commentators are thrilled and proceed to take turns at impersonating Rexxar’s Korean Hearthstone voiceover.
0:00 Match start.
0:01 The casters start a running joke that Misha is the actual hero and we won’t be seeing much of the unimportant Rexxar, cheerfully suggesting viewers that want to see Rexxar should just go play Hearthstone. More Hearthstone Rexxar impersonations ensue.
2:35 Misha’s stun enables DsA to take down Thrall and fully capture the top temple. The casters point out that Misha is not only more important than Rexxar but also is better than Leokk.
4:35 Muradin and Misha chain their stuns well to catch Thrall out again. Misha is showered with glowing praise after glowing praise. One caster complains how everyone in his Hero League matches threaten to throw when he intends to pick Rexxar; he hopes Rexxar will now be recognized as a good pick after this game.
7:00 Seven minutes have passed into the game and the casters are still spending the vast majority of airtime talking about how Misha (not Rexxar, Misha, remember) is a great pick.
8:30 A prolonged teamfight winds down with not one hero dying. DsA is left at higher health however and end up capturing the center temple.
9:45 TAS desperately attempt to capture the bottom temple despite being down three levels. Kael’thas dies in the ensuing teamfight and the bottom temple also goes to DsA.
11:40 TAS’ bottom Keep falls, but the commentators are busy extolling Misha’s abundant virtues. The destruction of the Keep is not even mentioned in passing.
13:15 While Greymane is capturing the top temple alone, a 4v5 teamfight breaks out at bottom temple. DsA steamroll the fight even with the numbers disadvantage and TAS fall back. Now holding a four-level lead, DsA go on to capture Boss and end the game soon after. As the Core falls, the casters ecstatically declare the entire match to have been a wonderful Misha highlight reel.
Postmatch Interview Tidbits from DsA reset
- “Due to TAS picking The Lost Vikings early in the draft, I was able to grab Dehaka as a counterpick.”
- “Team captain kinnu instalocked Rexxar without even discussing it with the team or even me. I was a bit thrown off but appreciated the opportunity to play Rexxar!”
- “I want to pull out Artanis in the near future.”
- “I know TNL Noblesse mentioned last week that he wants the grand finals to be TNL vs. DsA, but I doubt MVP Black will fail to make it. We’ll try our best nevertheless.”