Superleague 2016 S2 Semifinals: Mighty vs TNL

Team Lineups

Mighty:
Pang (Flex)
DDuDDu (Assassin)
Kong (Flex)
ZZANG (Support)
JOKER (Warrior)

  • Pang has previously been criticized for his champion pool but has stepped up to show great versatility recently.
  • DDuDDu has shown great proficiency on Valla in their series against RAVE HOTS.
  • JOKER has developed a new characteristic style of play this season – he always puts himself precariously close to death in performing low-level reconnaissance for his team. His obsession with chokepoint vision control has paid off surprisingly often.
  • Mighty have qualified for the semifinals through a clean stomp against RoMg.

TNL:
Cmoving (Assassin)
sCsC (Warrior/Assassin)
Noblesse (Warrior)
Sniper (Flex)
JaeHyun (Support)

  • 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. They have been improving on that front, however, as shown in their most recent series versus DsA which took them to the semifinals.

 

Prematch Trashtalk Segment Snippets

  • Mighty ZZANG: “We’re very happy to have reached our first semifinals as a team.”
  • TNL Cmoving: “We qualify for semifinals on a very regular basis, having done it again this season means nothing. I just want to play the game already.”
  • Mighty ZZANG: “Our greatest asset is knowing our own strengths well. We try not to fall into the trap of always playing catch-up to the meta; we know that sticking with what works best not for others but for us is imperative.”
  • TNL Cmoving: “Our greatest asset is the mutual unbreakable trust all five of us share. We truly believe our team to consist of five excellent, irreplaceable players. We never blame or doubt each others’ abilities, no matter how hard we’re behind in a game.”
  • Mighty ZZANG: “Before this season started, our coach recommended I switch from main tank to support. We have been performing better as a team since the roleswap and I have realized in hindsight my tank play may not have been stellar.”
  • TNL Cmoving: “I sincerely respect ZZANG for taking on a new role for his team and doing well on it, but he is no match for our support JaeHyun. JaeHyun is on the same level as MVP Black merryday or eStar Tiger.”
  • Mighty ZZANG: “TNL’s greatest strengths? Their teamwork and tenacity. Their main weakness? I’m not convinced they have an exploitable weakness but one could argue that their hero pools are relatively narrow.”
  • TNL Cmoving: “Mighty’s greatest strength is Kong’s mind for the game in the pick & ban phase, they draft quite well. Their main weakness is individual talent. When you look not at the team but the five individual players, Mighty are by far the worst team in this season’s semifinals.”
  • Mighty ZZANG: “RAVE HOTS and RoMg said the same thing right before playing us… TNL would do well to remember what fate befell those two teams :^)”

 

Match 1: Infernal Shrines

Pick & Ban Phase
Mighty | TNL

Ban Phase 1: Tassadar / Illidan

  • Standard bans from both sides.

Pick Phase 1: Xul / Sonya Rehgar / Thrall Greymane

  • TNL are very happy to first pick Xul on Infernal Shrines.
  • Mighty take together the king and queen of this season’s Superleague so far, Sonya and Rehgar. Both are boasting over 80%+ winrates with Sonya breaking 90% at times.
  • TNL respond by taking two standard picks, Thrall and Greymane; the Thrall pick is somewhat surprising as sCsC’s Thrall has been painfully mediocre in the past. Watching TNL attempt to overcome their chronic hero pool issue one step at a time is quite refreshing.

Ban Phase 2: Uther / ETC

  • Obvious Uther ban from Mighty.
  • Having picked three mainly melee heroes with no way of interrupting Mosh Pit, TNL make the wise decision to ban ETC.

Pick Phase 2: Muradin Falstad / Tyrael Kharazim / Li-Ming

  • Mighty are happy to take the standard Muradin and Falstad.
  • TNL show off more of their ongoing project with Tyrael and Kharazim. The old TNL here would have picked something quite different, most likely Johanna+Malfurion or Diablo+Tyrande. JaeHyun pulling out Kharazim is something truly worthy of hype! Kharazim was a hero he was publicly known to be horrible at.
  • Most other teams would end their draft with Kael’thas without hesitation here, but Mighty stay true to their self-assessment offered in the prematch trashtalk segment; knowing DDuDDu is not a very good Kael’thas player, Mighty decide on Li-Ming.

 

Key Moments
0:00 Match start.

2:45 TNL collapse upon Falstad and take him down while Mighty manage to summon the first Punisher. Mighty kill Tyrael in the following skirmish while the Punisher does little.

6:30 Both teams focus on summoning the second Punisher but TNL succeed by a slim margin. The Punisher takes down Mighty’s bottom Fort and secures TNL a one-level lead.

9:55 With a talent tier ahead, TNL handily take their second Punisher of the game.

11:15 Beautiful use of Sanctification from TNL grant them victory in a full-on 5v5. Falstad should have used Mighty Gust for disengage as soon as TNL engaged with Sundering.

13:20 Falstad whiffs a Mighty Gust just as TNL head for the next activated shrine. Mighty are not scared to engage, but again TNL clinically utilize a perfect Sanctification to take down three while losing none. TNL go on to end the game alongside their Punisher.

Talents
g1-mighty-tnl

 

Match 2: Sky Temple

Pick & Ban Phase
Mighty | TNL

Ban Phase 1: Xul / Illidan

  • Standard bans from both sides.

Pick Phase 1: Tassadar / Sonya Rehgar / Thrall ETC

  • All five picks are utterly standard.

Ban Phase 2: Tyrande / Falstad

  • Obvious Tyrande ban from Mighty to deny the ETC + Tassadar + Tyrande trio.
  • With Tassadar in hand TNL go for the relatively standard Falstad ban.

Pick Phase 2: Greymane Kael’thas / Uther Tychus / Tyrael

  • Mighty take two more standard picks, Greymane and Kael’thas. It seems that Mighty have decided after Match 1 that what Kael’thas brings to the table is more important than DDuDDu being better at Li-Ming.
  • TNL respond with the standard Uther and then Tychus to deter a Muradin last pick.
  • Mighty accordingly shy away from Muradin and instead take Tyrael.

 

Key Moments
0:00 Match start.

0:20 TNL take Tyrael down in the level 1 gut check brawl.

1:10 Mighty strike back with a fury, taking down three and losing none against a needlessly bloodthirsty TNL.

5:30 After over a minute of prolonged skirmishing, TNL punish Greymane’s lapse of concentration, taking him down and thus securing the bottom shrine.

9:00 Mighty try to contest center shrine but fail to find an opening, wasting precious time before heading to secure bottom shrine in exchange. TNL head down to interfere with Mighty’s belated capture but Mighty manage to hold them at bay.

16:00 After nearly 10 minutes of mutual anxiety and tense-but-boring peace, the two teams finally commit to a full-on brawl. TNL’s lack of sustained damage against heroes not named Muradin proves fatal as Mighty wipe all of TNL with clean mechanical play. Mighty then capture Boss and both Siege Camps to immediately end with one last push.

Talents
g2-mighty-tnl

 

Midmatch Interview

  • Mighty was satisfied to have played out key teamfights well in Match 2, successfully managing to dance around – and not in – Mosh Pits.
  • TNL felt Match 1 with Xul went according to plan while Match 2 was lost by their bad draft decisions, the most egregious being the preemptive Tychus pick.

 

Match 3: Cursed Hollow

Pick & Ban Phase
Mighty | TNL

Ban Phase 1: Falstad / Illidan

  • TNL ban Falstad, hinting at a Tassadar or Abathur pick.
  • Standard Illidan ban from Mighty.

Pick Phase 1: Sonya / Rehgar Greymane / Tassadar Uther

  • TNL have realized during the break that prioritizing Tassadar over Sonya is not a bright move. First pick Sonya from TNL.
  • Mighty takes Rehgar to deny the Sonya+Rehgar combination then take a standard Greymane.
  • Despite having lost the previous game with the duo, TNL opt again for Tassadar and Uther as they have Sonya this time.

Ban Phase 2: Kael’thas / TLV

  • Unremarkable Kael’thas ban from Mighty.
  • TNL throw out a wicked mindgame curveball by banning TLV in addition to Falstad. Mighty are now pressured to either pick Abathur, which they did not plan on doing, or prepare to counter Abathur, at which point TNL will have the choice of simply not picking Abathur in favor of another standard team composition.

Pick Phase 2: Abathur Tyrael / Li-Ming Thrall / Arthas

  • Mighty decide to take the bait and pick Abathur for themselves, adding Tyrael to the mix as well. It is fascinating how quickly Tyrael became a standard all-purpose pick in Korea after the recent patch.
  • TNL reveal their trump card, picking Li-Ming and Thrall. That’s right, Sonya will be TNL’s main tank. Non-Illidan Abathur compositions are almost always at a combat disadvantage before level 10 due to Abathur not being able to sponge damage or heal; against the damage of three assassins (Sonya may technically be a warrior but her damage potential and style of play is that of a melee assassin) and the sustain of two supports, Mighty will undoubtedly suffer, especially with Thrall not being available to help cut through the double support sustain! Truly beautiful drafting from TNL.
  • Mighty choose perhaps the best possible last pick given the circumstances – Arthas. Arthas works very well against melee assassins, and TNL have two. It is doubtful whether the Arthas pick will make up for TNL’s convincing victory in the draft, however. It is difficult to see how Mighty will manage to do anything against TNL before the double Greymane comes online, and it will likely be too late by then.

 

Key Moments
0:00 Match start.

3:40 The first tribute goes to TNL but Mighty successfully maintain a standoff long enough for Abathur to soak quite a bit of experience. Mighty will be perfectly content so far.

5:50 TNL take the second tribute following a bloody but deathless skirmish.

7:05 TNL take the third tribute nearly for free; despite being level in experience, Mighty’s composition is still helpless against TNL’s. The curse begins.

7:30 Mighty are caught out under their cursed bottom Fort and lose three members.

8:30 Mighty open up a 5v5 in a clutching-at-straws attempt to take back momentum, but are forced to leave with shattered hopes after another huge defeat. it seems that TNL’s brilliant draft has secured them a virtually free win. TNL proceed to take enemy side Boss and destroy Mighty’s bottom Keep with it.

10:25 TNL retreats from the Core but Mighty go for a needless chase. TNL turn around on a clearly desperate Mighty and end the game.

Talents
g3-mighty-tnl

 

Match 4: Tomb of the Spider Queen

Pick & Ban Phase
Mighty | TNL

Ban Phase 1: Tassadar / Illidan

  • Standard bans from both teams.

Pick Phase 1: Xul / Sonya Kael’thas / Rehgar Muradin

  • Mighty is happy to first pick Xul on one of his best maps.
  • TNL take Sonya but pair the pick with Kael’thas instead of Rehgar. TNL are forced to pick Kael’thas in this rotation to ensure they have enough waveclear against Xul.
  • Mighty respond with the obvious Rehgar and Muradin.

Ban Phase 2: Zagara / ETC

Pick Phase 2: Uther Sylvanas / Lunara Valla / Stitches

  • TNL pick the obvious Uther then add Sylvanas to top off the Xul response.
  • Mighty pull out a surprising niche Uther counterpick – Lunara! – then end their draft with giving DDuDDu his favorite ranged assassin, Valla.
  • TNL are left to choose between Johanna, Chen, and Stitches; all look to be perfectly logical and effective. TNL eventually decide upon Stitches.

 

Key Moments
0:00 Match start.

2:10 Mighty take Stitches down while Rehgar escapes with a sliver of health.

2:50 Stitches lands a fantastic Hook on Lunara and TNL take her down.

3:15 Stitches lands a fantastic Hook on Xul but TNL fail to take him down.

3:30 Stitches lands a fantastic Hook on Rehgar and TNL take him down. This is starting to get ridiculous. Noblesse is running a solo show so far.

4:15 Stitches lands a fantastic Hook on Rehgar and TNL take him down. Mighty may want to request a pause to check Noblesse’s mouse for scripts.

5:30 Stitches lands a fantastic Hook on Valla, and while TNL fail to secure the kill, TNL manage to summon their first batch of Webweavers. Did Noblesse even miss one yet?

6:30 Stitches lands a fantastic Hook on Rehgar. What is even happening.

7:40 TNL peacefully summon their second batch of Webweavers. It helps that Mighty are cowering in absolute fear of the Hook.

8:28 Stitches lands a fantastic Hook on Valla but TNL fail to secure the kill.

9:00 The two teams exchange blow for blow only to quickly retreat after a losing a hero each. Far more importantly, however, Stitches misses a Hook for what seems to be the first time this game. How utterly shameful.

10:50 Stitches lands a fantastic max range Hook on Lunara and TNL easily burst her down, allowing them to destroy Mighty’s center Fort. Can we be sure that Noblesse has not been replaced with Azubu Frost Madlife from a time machine?

12:30 Mighty somehow manage to summon their first batch of Webweavers and attempt to start a push. Stitches lands a fantastic Hook on Xul, however, and TNL take him down. Mighty’s push immediately flickers out.

15:15 Stitches lands a fantastic Hook on Xul and it leads to another three kills for TNL. Now TNL have both a three-level lead and about enough material for a Stitches highlight reel to end all Stitches highlight reels.

16:10 Stitches lands an easy Hook on Muradin and TNL take him down; two more fall while retreating. Mighty just lost nearly 80 gems! The Spider Queen would have been displeased if she too were not so busy watching Stitches.

16:20 Stitches’ last Hook of the game lands on Lunara at max Fishing range. With four of Mighty down, TNL head to the Core, kill Valla as an afterthought, and end.

Talents
g4-mighty-tnl

 

Postmatch Interview Tidbits with TNL Noblesse

  • We expected an easy win today; dropping Match 2 was shocking for us. Our drafting on the new patch is still not very good and my individual play was horrible that game.
  • I put in enough practice on Sonya to be able to pull it out when necessary. I am pretty sure no other team’s main tank has played as nearly as much Sonya as I have.
  • I would rate my Stitches play today as a 20 out of 10. I’m not even sure if it was me in the booth for Match 4, it was unreal! It probably won’t ever happen again, but I really enjoyed it while it lasted.
  • I’m not afraid of our coming match against MVP Black; it’s not as if we have anything left to lose. We promise to put on a good show.

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