Superleague 2016 S2 Semifinals: MVP Black vs Tempest

Team Lineups

MVP Black:
Sake (Assassin)
KyoCha (Flex)
merryday (Support)
Rich (Warrior/Assassin)
Sign (Warrior)

  • KyoCha’s champion pool is expanding ever further as always, but recently he has shown a heavy preference for specialists that excel in securing experience leads.
  • merryday was the only member of MVP Black to receive individual gifts from local Chinese fans, most likely thanks to his relatively good looks. This apparently played a huge role in Sake and Rich deciding to go on strict diets until September.
  • MVP Black recently have won the Chinese GHL.
  • MVP Black qualified for the semifinals through a clean stomp against Mighty. You can read the match report here.

Hide (Support)
Lockdown (Warrior/Assassin)
dami (Warrior/Assassin)
Hongcono (Warrior)
duckdeok (Flex)

  • Since their previous loss to DsA, Tempest have decided upon to roleswap across the team excluding the support: the main ranged assassin switched to main tank, the main tank switched to utility flex, the main flex switched to main assassin… as such, the commentators are both worried and excited about the changes.
  • For those interested, duckdeok used to play Starcraft 2 for MVP before switching to Heroes of the Storm. He was the champion of 2013 WCS Season 2 Europe.
  • Lockdown is widely acknowledged as the second best individual player in Korea and perhaps the world. Having first made a name for himself as a ranged assassin main, he has essentially returned to his roots through Tempest’s recent roleswap.
  • Tempest qualified for the semifinals through a very exciting losers bracket final against DsA. You can read the match report here.


Prematch Trashtalk Segment Snippets

  • MVP Black Sake: “Tempest’s greatest strength obviously is having Lockdown. Their greatest weakness is being not having spent a lot of time together. We probably still know Lockdown better than Tempest does.”
  • Tempest Hide: “Both Lockdown and I know MVP Black well, and I expect the ex-MRR players on our team to also play well against MVP Black as per MRR tradition.”
  • MVP Black Sake: “After Lockdown left and Rich came in we started winning literally everything… I hope Lockdown doesn’t feel too bad :^)”
  • Tempest Hide: “Lockdown’s perfectly happy playing with us, thank you.”
  • MVP Black Sake: “I hope this series will be fun.”
  • Tempest Hide: “It won’t be fun. It’ll be cutthroat.”
  • MVP Black Sake: “We’re not even flying to and back from China every week anymore; we’re in peak condition and had plenty of time to practice. Please don’t hate us for another speedy one-sided stomp :^)”


Match 1: Infernal Shrines

Pick & Ban Phase
MVP Black | Tempest

Ban Phase 1: Xul / Illidan

  • Standard bans from both sides.

Pick Phase 1: Sonya / Arthas Tassadar / Rehgar Kael’thas

  • Standard Sonya first pick from Tempest.
  • MVP Black surprisingly first pick Arthas alongside KyoCha’s trademark Tassadar.
  • Tempest go for more standard picks in Rehgar and Kael’thas. Tempest will be happy to have picked up their favorite duo – Sonya + Rehgar.

Ban Phase 2: ETC / Uther

  • MVP Black probably will go again for the ETC ban into Tychus pick.
  • Standard Uther ban from Tempest.

Pick Phase 2: Tychus Malfurion / Muradin Falstad / Kerrigan

  • MVP Black do as expected and pick up Tychus. To the surprise of many, merryday is put on Malfurion instead of the anticipated Kharazim.
  • Despite the Tychus, Tempest still decide to pick Muradin, rounding out their composition with a standard answer to Tassadar in Falstad.
  • Infernal Shrines being by far the best map to do so, MVP Black go for maximum style points by drafting Rich’s trademark Kerrigan!


Key Moments
0:00 Match start.

2:20 Sonya misjudges her surroundings and dives into MVP Black alone, dying for nothing.

2:45 Tempest retaliate with a fury, forfeiting the first shrine and instead choosing to pick off Tassadar and Tychus.

3:10 Sonya and Muradin show complete disrespect for the first Punisher and MVP Black make short work of both.

5:45 Seeing Tassadar far away soaking the center wave, Tempest eagerly force a 5v4 and take down two members of MVP Black.

6:50 MVP Black disrespect the Punisher and attempt to stand their ground as Tempest eye for an engage. They regret their decision as four members fall.

8:10 Tempest burst down Tychus at what seemed to be a safe enough position for him. MVP Black are now down two levels.

9:40 Despite being a talent tier down MVP Black attempt a 5v5; their aggression is proven to be arrogance as MVP Black suffer a nearly complete wipe. Tempest take the Punisher.

11:05 Muradin takes up a needlessly aggressive position and dies for free. MVP Black seem to have been granted a reprieve… until they make the decision to commit to a 5v4 despite being a talent tier down. Tempest win the 4v5 with mechanically stellar play.

14:30 MVP Black initiate a 5v5 at the activated shrine but end up worse off after a 1-for-2 exchange. The Punisher goes to Tempest.

15:45 MVP Black fail to defend Tempest’s following push, losing two heroes and failing to even take down the Punisher. Tempest win the game.



Match 2: Cursed Hollow

Pick & Ban Phase
MVP Black | Tempest

Ban Phase 1: Tassadar / Illidan

  • Standard bans from both sides.

Pick Phase 1: Sonya / Rehgar Muradin / Uther Greymane

  • Who dares not first pick her majesty Sonya?
  • Tempest respond with two standard picks in Rehgar and Muradin.
  • MVP Black are pressured into taking either of ETC or Uther; their choice is Uther. Following is the comfort Greymane for Sake.

Ban Phase 2: ETC / Falstad

  • Obvious ETC ban from Tempest.
  • Interesting Falstad ban from MVP Black. It remains to be seen if this is a ban against Mighty Gust’s disengage potential or a ban against something KyoCha will play to glean experience leads around the map.

Pick Phase 2: Kael’thas Tyrael / Abathur Chen / The Lost Vikings

  • Tempest take the standard Kael’thas and add in Tyrael who is becoming somewhat of a staple on this map.
  • MVP Black’s previous Falstad ban seems to be have been for this Abathur pick. They follow up by picking Chen as their main tank – with only two abilities on Tempest to stop him from chugging, Chen will be very difficult to stop.
  • Tempest are not afraid to bravely pull out TLV as an Abathur counterpick.


Key Moments
0:00 Match start.

0:30 MVP Black head top and Tempest bottom in order to take an early tower. Tempest are left at a slight loss as Olaf dies to Sonya for no reason up top, however.

3:15 MVP Black catch out Tempest in a bad position and take down Muradin and Baelog. The momentum allows MVP Black to take the first tribute.

4:45 Erik is caught out as the second tribute spawns. Tempest are unable to continue the standoff for long and fail to buy enough time for TLV to secure them an advantage.

6:50 Tempest manage to secure a tribute off the back of a fleeting level 10 advantage. Olaf dies up top, however.

7:15 MVP Black engage without fear as they hit level 10 but fail to take down any heroes.

7:40 MVP Black pull off a successful ambush and take down Rehgar as what could be their third tribute spawns. Tempest attempt to stall the capture by sending all three Vikings to group, but MVP Black still manage to take down Kael’thas and trigger the curse.

9:25 MVP Black start a teamfight during the curse at a temporary talent tier advantage. They take down three while only losing Sonya.

10:50 MVP Black catch out Muradin then take blue side Boss. Without Muradin, Tempest are unable to do the same, especially due to the threat of a Wandering Keg steal.

12:00 MVP Black take down Tempest’s bottom Keep alongside their Boss and also win the ensuing teamfight; Abathur is free to capture a tribute after the hubbub ends. Tempest is now down a level and the Lost Vikings now look truly lost.

14:00 Tempest are desperate to close the experience gap but are only individually picked off over and over. MVP Black push straight through midlane and end the game.



Midmatch Interview

  • MVP Black reported that KyoCha blamed himself for the Match 1 defeat, believing he had put the team in a bad position through flawed drafting.
  • Tempest admitted they themselves were surprised after their Match 1 victory. They conceded they lost Match 2 due to TLV not bringing enough to teamfights.


Match 3: Sky Temple

Pick & Ban Phase
MVP Black | Tempest

Ban Phase 1: TassadarIllidan

  • Standard bans from both sides.

Pick Phase 1: Sonya / Rehgar Muradin / Uther Abathur

  • Who dares not first pick her majesty Sonya? Tempest with the expected instalock.
  • MVP Black deny Tempest the Sonya + Rehgar combination and follow with the standard Muradin.
  • Tempest respond with the standard Uther and an unexpected but solid Abathur.

Ban Phase 2: Tyrael / Falstad

  • MVP Black decide to ban Tyrael for some reason, perhaps having concluded that Hongcono was only decent on Tyrael.
  • Falstad is a standard ban on Sky Temple, more so from a team with Abathur.

Pick Phase 2: Greymane Sylvanas / Li-Ming Arthas / Thrall

  • MVP Black default to the comfort Greymane once more. Sylvanas is picked next as a response to Abathur.
  • Tempest opt for a standard Li-Ming then a surprise Arthas, most likely in order to deny it from MVP Black.
  • MVP Black’s choice of melee assassin is Thrall. Thrall has been performing terribly in Superleague this season but his fortune may certainly turn around with Rich’s help.


Key Moments
0:00 Match start.

2:15 MVP Black catch out Arthas then rotate to also take down Li-Ming.

3:10 Tempest turn the tide by taking down Thrall near center temple then move up top. merryday on Rehgar beautifully shows off his mechanics and game sense by first using the temple guardian’s knockback cleave as an escape then dodging a Howling Blast with Ghost Wolf’s lunge attack. He still ends up dying but it was a wonderful individual play.

6:40 MVP Black use all their abilities perfectly to completely wipe Tempest.

7:30 A desperate Tempest look for a miracle turnaround by rushing Boss. As expected, their foolhardy attempt ends up backfiring heavily. Boss goes to MVP Black.

9:35 MVP Black decisively steamroll a teamfight, taking down the entirety of Tempest.

10:50 Tempest puts a temporary halt to the snowball by catching out Muradin.

13:15 MVP Black start off a teamfight perfectly with a Silencing Arrow to burst down Uther. Tempest are unable to resist in the following skirmish. The game ends shortly after with two activated temples raining down on Tempest’s Core.




Match 4: Battlefield of Eternity

Pick & Ban Phase
MVP Black | Tempest

Ban Phase 1: Greymane Illidan

  • Greymane’s prowess in slicing through Immortals is enough reason for Tempest to ban it away from Sake.
  • Standard Illidan ban from MVP Black.

Pick Phase 1: Sonya / Rehgar Falstad Tassadar ETC

  • Who dares not first pick her majesty Sonya? Tempest instalock the Barbarian.
  • MVP Black again deny Tempest the Sonya + Rehgar combination and follow with the standard Falstad.
  • Tempest respond with two standard picks in Tassadar and ETC.

Ban Phase 2: Tyrande Muradin

  • MVP Black decide denying the ETC + Tassadar + Tyrande trio is most important.
  • Obvious Muradin ban from Tempest.

Pick Phase 2: Kael’thas Thrall / Valla Uther / Arthas

  • MVP Black take two very standard picks in Kael’thas and Thrall.
  • Having lost Tyrande but still needing to pick another support, Tempest decide to pair Valla with Uther. It is unclear whether Tempest’s composition will have enough damage to face off against MVP Black’s.
  • Arthas is last picked as the main tank. Arthas performs well in general against Sonya, and Battlefield of Eternity provides plenty of locations for Arthas to attempt a deadly flank whenever Oracle is down. Very logical pick from MVP Black.


Key Moments
0:00 Match start.

1:30 MVP Black manage to take down Valla before Immortals spawn.

2:00 Tempest take revenge by bringing down Rehgar, Thrall, and Arthas.

3:00 MVP Black summon the first Immortal despite having lost the preceding skirmish in such a manner. The Immortal fails to do much, however.

3:30 Tempest catch out Arthas and take the 6’o clock Siege Camp.

4:25 MVP Black take down an overextended Sonya in front of their bottom Fort. Meanwhile up top, Valla neglects to back out early enough from a 1v1 with Falstad and needlessly dies alone. MVP Black are now in the driver’s seat with a one-level lead.

6:30 Both teams are defending their allied Immortal, but only MVP Black are benefiting from the standoff by virtue of having Falstad stay in a lane. Tempest attempt to force an engage before MVP Black reach level 10, but Falstad sees the engage coming and groups in time. MVP Black wins the cluttered teamfight by a large margin.

7:00 dami blindly rushes Sonya into another certain and meaningless death, revealing how desperate and flustered Tempest currently are. MVP Black hit level 10 and capture the Immortal, and Arthas takes… Summon Sindragosa. MVP Black are planning to end the game here and now!

7:40 MVP Black use Summon Sindragosa to trample through Tempest’s top Keep while keeping their Immortal in full health. They move on to destroy the Core as planned.



Postmatch Interview Tidbits with MVP Sign

  • We still do not have a good read of the meta on the new patch. Our subpar Match 1 picks and bans were due to our unfinished research.
  • Chen may not have changed much, but the changes to other meta tanks indirectly improved Chen as a pick. I believe him to be very viable at the moment.
  • People praise me and give me nice nicknames for looking to be immortal on tanks, but I don’t care about not dying in game, I just look to do my job. I think my lack of deaths has to do with merryday being a great support more than any other factor.
  • Seeing as how TNL have declared they are ready to face us, I want to face TNL in the winners bracket just to check if they are truly ready :^) Mighty is not a team to be underestimated, however, so we’re not counting them out by any means.
  • Not having to fly back and forth from China has been helping us stabilize again. Sake and Rich are sticking well to their diet resolutions so far, too.
  • We promise to show a better understanding of the meta in our next game.

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