- DsA consist of star veteran players desperate for a Superleague title. Most of the current DsA lineup have been recruited by kinnu.
- kinnu 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.
- Despite being shown as a flex player, reset has the heavy burden of having to play the melee warrior/assassin role in most games, a position nearly universally perceived as the most difficult in the game.
- DsA’s last series was a clean stomp against TAS. You can read the match report here.
- Considered by all as the second best team in Korea behind MVP Black, TNL is a team that needs no introduction. eStar’s recent brilliant resistance against MVP Black may have taken the title of ‘arguably the second best team in the world’ away from TNL for the time being, but such will be irrelevant in today’s series.
- Cmoving had been criticized for his lackluster mastery of meta assassins ever since Jaina went out of fashion, but recently he has shown improvement in that regard in Hero League, putting in a lot of practice on Kael’thas, Greymane, Li-Ming, et cetera.
- Sniper has been continuously criticized for failing to concentrate in games against underdogs, only pulling out fantastic performances against stronger teams. When on his game, his level of play has been compared to MVP Black KyoCha’s.
- TNL’s relatively rigid pick & ban phase has long been pointed to as one of their main weaknesses. It will be interesting to see if they have improved upon it.
Prematch Trashtalk Segment Snippets
- There was no prematch trashtalk segment for this series.
- kinnu was TNL’s coach last season. Many expect this to grant DsA an edge.
Match 1: Infernal Shrines
Pick & Ban Phase
DsA | TNL
Ban Phase 1: Xul / Illidan
- Standard bans from both sides.
Pick Phase 1: Falstad / Sonya Tassadar / Thrall Rehgar
- DsA’s first pick is a meek all-purpose Falstad.
- TNL respond with Sonya and Tassadar, two particularly powerful picks on this map that also happen to have great synergy.
- DsA’s Thrall and Rehgar pickup is very standard and makes perfect sense.
Ban Phase 2: Diablo / Uther
- TNL opt for a rather unorthodox Diablo ban. TNL may be wanting to pick either ETC or Muradin no matter what – most likely ETC due to the ETC + Tyrande + Tassadar trio being open – and thus is baiting DsA into an Uther ban.
- DsA goes for the expected Uther ban.
Pick Phase 2: ETC Kael’thas / Johanna Tychus / Tyrande
- TNL lock in ETC as expected. Kael’thas is picked next. It is quite surprising he has been left alone for this long in an Infernal Shrines draft.
- DsA round out their composition with Johanna and Tychus. Picking Johanna over Muradin should be understood as a map-specific decision based on Knight Takes Pawn. Tychus makes perfect sense against TNL’s double warrior composition.
- TNL taking Tyrande last was obvious.
0:00 Match start.
1:30 TNL set up a clean gank and take down Falstad. No lane experience is lost by DsA, however.
2:40 TNL try to catch out and burst down Johanna but she survives with a sliver of health; DsA retaliate by focusing ETC and successfully take him down. With their numbers advantage DsA summon the first Punisher.
6:28 With half-level experience advantage and level 10 in sight, DsA are in better position at the second Shrine. TNL catching out a mispositioned Falstad allows them to summon their first Punisher free of resistance, however.
7:00 Tychus is a bit too brave in defending TNL’s Punisher and goes down for it.
8:00 TNL outplay DsA in a teamfight, taking down Tychus yet again.
9:55 TNL capture the third Shrine and destroy DsA’s bottom Fort. DsA decide to avoid a teamfight and thus defensively rotate to take TNL’s top Fort.
13:00 An extended teamfight at the fourth Shrine ends up with TNL summoning their third Punisher and taking down Johanna.
14:50 DsA hastily overcommit to a fight near their center Keep, wasting Sundering and Mighty Gust in a vain attempt to catch out two members of TNL. DsA are punished for their greed and TNL are now in position to start closing out the game.
18:20 With their level 20 advantage, TNL capture another Punisher in peace and head towards DsA’s top Keep. DsA hit level 20 as the Punisher arrives and bravely commit to a fight to turn the game around but fail. TNL comfortably destroy the Core.
Match 2: Sky Temple
Pick & Ban Phase
DsA | TNL
Ban Phase 1: Kael’thas / Illidan
- Standard bans from both sides.
Pick Phase 1: Thrall / Tassadar Sonya / Muradin Uther
- DsA first pick Thrall. The commentators are confused as to why DsA is prioritizing Thrall – sCsC’s is known to be not very good.
- TNL pick Tassadar and Sonya together again.
- DsA pick the standard Muradin then add Uther as to enhance Thrall’s carry potential.
Ban Phase 2: Falstad / ETC
- Standard/obvious bans from both sides.
Pick Phase 2: Greymane Rehgar / Li-Ming Sylvanas / Johanna
- With ETC + Tyrande no longer up for the taking, TNL take two standard picks in Greymane and Rehgar.
- DsA pick Li-Ming and Sylvanas. As DsA’s team composition does not provide enough sustained damage against the Rehgar + Tassadar duo, Sylvanas will have to land great Wailing Arrows for teamfights to go in DsA’s favor.
- With ETC and Muradin unavailable TNL take Johanna.
0:00 Match start.
1:30 DsA aggressively chase down TNL but both Tassadar and Johanna escape with slight bits of health. The slight lack of damage in DsA’s composition is already showing.
2:30 TNL send three members top and catch out Thrall, allowing them to finish off the top temple and secure a small experience lead.
3:50 DsA aggressively rush TNL’s Siege Camp but the steal attempt fails as TNL overpower DsA in the ensuing 5v5. DsA are lucky to escape with everyone alive.
6:55 DsA siege TNL’s bottom Fort while TNL send Sonya elsewhere to soak; DsA make the correct call to force a 5v4 fight, but clinical Rehgar play keeps all of TNL alive.
8:30 TNL move as one to ambush and take down Li-Ming and Sylvanas, seizing control of the game.
9:10 TNL’s aggressive attempt to capture DsA’s Bruiser Camp incites a full-0n teamfight. Just as TNL begin to come out on top, a fantastic max range Wailing Arrow turns the tide completely. DsA takes down four members of TNL and run to Boss.
11:15 TNL finish defending DsA’s push alongside Boss then turn to chase, Sonya looking to aggressively flank… but as Sonya arrives, Thrall lands a categorically perfect Sundering and leads to DsA to another teamfight victory. DsA destroy bottom Keep and retreat.
15:25 DsA blow several key ultimates in a botched engage and are immediately forced to surrender center temple, conceding their long-kept experience advantage to TNL.
17:00 Both teams commit to a full-on 5v5 near top temple again and TNL takes a clean victory. With Uther and Sylvanas dead, TNL go to capture and return to end with Boss.
- There was no midmatch interview today; OGN instead provided a highlight clip of Match 1 of the recent MVP Black vs Mighty series complete with snippets from both teams’ voice chat. This match was featured as it single-handedly returned Tychus to professional play and established him as a meta pick across several regions (check out the hyperlinked match report if curious as to why).
Match 3: Tomb of the Spider Queen
Pick & Ban Phase
DsA | TNL
Ban Phase 1: Sonya / Illidan
- sCsC’s Sonya has been on point the last two games. DsA decide to ban it out.
- TNL ban Illidan again.
Pick Phase 1: Thrall / Xul ETC / Kael’thas Uther
- DsA again with their Thrall for Life campaign.
- As DsA have used what was probably planned to be a Xul ban on Sonya, TNL pick up Xul. Next is ETC. As Noblesse is widely known to be the best Muradin in the world, everyone is surprised at his picking ETC when Muradin is available and just as viable.
- DsA pick the standard Kael’thas and Uther.
Ban Phase 2: Johanna / Greymane
- TNL ban Johanna as she can function as a hard counter to Xul.
- DsA ban the standard Greymane.
Pick Phase 2: Zagara Valla / Tyrael Falstad / Lt. Morales
- TNL surprise everyone by picking Zagara and Valla together. Zagara makes perfect sense as she is not only very powerful on this map in general but also synergizes with Xul on it quite well. Valla seems less logical at first glance, but she does heavily discourage a possible Muradin pick while also being a solid pick against Thrall.
- Perhaps due to Xul, Zagara, and Valla’s potency against Muradin through % health damage, DsA decide Tyrael should be their main tank and round out with Falstad.
- TNL surprise yet again with a Lt. Morales last pick. While definitely a risky pick, it is easy to see why she can work well in a Xul strategy – she supplements 4-man ganks with extra crowd control, provides disengage for fleeing from 5v4s, and her weakness of having to hearth often is nearly completely negated.
0:00 Match start.
1:45 DsA sends a gank squad and successfully takes down Lt. Morales, but Xul’s presense keeps TNL level in experience, then ahead. DsA are not sure how to deal with the Xul, especially with Zagara’s Creep Tumors keeping key corridors lit.
4:30 TNL summon their first batch of Webweavers and take down DsA’s center Fort.
5:25 TNL take down a lone Thrall attempting to sneak the 6’o clock Siege Camp. Thrall loses his twenty gems and the mercenaries, putting DsA at a further disadvantage.
6:20 DsA aggressively open up a teamfight but TNL emerge victorious. Lt. Morales perfectly redirecting her Healing Beam multiple times to keep everyone alive was key.
9:10 Xul happily exchanges his life for Falstad’s as the rest of TNL take Boss.
10:15 DsA force a hilariously boneheaded engage while also being three levels down; TNL handily punish their desperation and destroy top Keep before backing off. TNL Cmoving is caught on screen cackling in what looks to be cheerful derision.
12:45 In a do or die situation, DsA again forcibly initiate a teamfight near their center Keep. This time, however, things are looking up… but a truly terrible Mighty Gust knocks away a near-death Xul and any remaining chance of a comeback with it. TNL save a few minutes thanks to the blunder as they quickly destroy DsA’s center Keep and then the Core.
Postmatch Interview Tidbits with TNL Cmoving
- Prior to the series, I thought we had no hope… OF LOSING :^) To clarify, we rate DsA extremely highly and thus prepared for this game as we would against MVP Black. Having prepared this much I truly thought we would win no matter what.
- I know my face always fully betrays my emotions – I’m aware of and grateful to my fans who appreciate that!
- We prepared really hard for this season and improved a lot as a team.
- Our primary goal is to defeat MVP Black. We want to beat MVP Black more than we want to win the championship.
- Next up for us in the semifinals is Mighty. We are good friends with Mighty but competition is competition. Again, I don’t think we have a chance… TO LOSE :^)
Postbroadcast Interview Tidbits with TNL JaeHyun
- After the Spring Championship, our team worked very hard to widen our champion and strategy pool. We used to never play ETC + Tyrande compositions but today we won Match 1 with it, for example.
- The Lt. Morales pick worked out even better than it had in practice, so I’m happy. One of the reasons why we picked her today is because Tomb of the Spider Queen rewards early game snowballing and Lt. Morales is great during laning phases.
- DsA is a good team. I hope they make it to the semifinals through the losers bracket.
- We used to beat Mighty a lot in scrims. I’m expecting us to win.
- I wish more supports were released. We play Uther and Rehgar almost every game.
- Special thanks to our new team manager and all the fans who came to see us play.