Superleague 2016 S2 Semifinals Losers Bracket Final: TNL vs Tempest

Team Lineups

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

  • TNL qualified for the semifinals winners bracket through beating Mighty: featured were a truly brilliant draft from TNL in Match 3 and probably the best played Stitches in professional HotS history in Match 4. With TNL pulling out new picks literally every game in their determination to become not only a rugged but also flexible team, the whole series in general was quite refreshing. Read the match report here.
  • TNL fell to the semifinals losers bracket finals after a demoralizing loss to MVP Black, getting outdrafted and outplayed in all three matches. Read the match report here.

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

  • Tempest fell to the losers bracket after losing 3-1 to MVP Black. Despite the expected loss, their confident and hyperaggressive Match 1 performance was memorable.
  • Tempest advanced to the losers bracket final after a 3-1 against Mighty: Mighty put up a valiant fight but Tempest’s victory was convincing. Having successfully debuted several new strategies such as Tassadar + Brightwing and main assassin Falstad, they are definitely riding a fresh updraft. Whether the addition of these new edges will be enough to beat TNL remains uncertain, of course.


Prematch Trashtalk Segment Snippets

  • There was no prematch trashtalk segment for this series.
  • Most experts and viewers expect TNL to win this series.


Match 1: Sky Temple

Pick & Ban Phase
TNL | Tempest

Ban Phase 1: Greymane / Illidan

  • Interesting Greymane ban from Tempest, most likely to preemptively discourage a possible Abathur pick.
  • Standard Illidan ban from TNL.

Pick Phase 1: Muradin / Tassadar Sonya / Rehgar Falstad

  • Extremely interesting decision to first pick Muradin of all heroes. Denying Noblesse of his best hero is understandable, but leaving both Tassadar and Sonya up is a recipe for disaster. Tempest must have something up their sleeve here.
  • TNL obviously take Tassadar and Sonya.
  • Tempest respond similarly, picking Rehgar and Falstad.

Ban Phase 2: Zeratul / ETC

  • TNL’s Zeratul ban is difficult to understand. It may be to deny Tempest from picking Abathur and Zeratul together, but Tempest doing that would only leave TNL with the easier composition to execute. Baffling.
  • Obvious ETC ban from Tempest.

Pick Phase 2: Kael’thas Johanna / Sylvanas Thrall / Brightwing

  • TNL pick the standard Kael’thas then add the surprise Johanna; TNL do not want to fall behind in waveclear. The crux of Tempest’s speedy rotational play yesterday was always having the advantage in waveclear.
  • Tempest take Sylvanas to answer to TNL’s potential last pick Brightwing. Thrall is added next – as dami has failed to impress on all heroes not named Sonya, it will be interesting to see if he can prove himself to be more than a one-trick pony.
  • The expected Brightwing from TNL. Tempest have shown the power of pairing Sonya, Tassadar, and Brightwing yesterday in their Match 1 against Mighty.


Key Moments
0:00 Match start. But wait: dami is on Sylvanas; Lockdown is on Thrall! Very interesting.

0:30 Tempest come out clearly ahead in the prewave tower exchange by virtue of Sylvanas.

1:10 Tempest catch out and take down Tassadar, moving next to secure center temple.

1:50 TNL emerge victorious in a prolonged brawl around center temple, taking down three members of Tempest and losing one. TNL finish center temple then move top, now nearly a full level ahead.

3:30 TNL finish top temple as Tempest are muscled away.

6:30 TNL finish bottom temple as Tempest are forced to back off once again.

9:45 TNL nearly manage to catch out and take down Thrall, but Mighty Gust saves the day. TNL finish top temple while Tempest are unable to quite finish bottom temple, however.

11:00 Tempest send Muradin in a naive attempt to sneakily finish bottom temple, but he is caught out and burst down. TNL immediately capture Boss with their level 16 advantage.

13:00 Tempest successfully defend TNL’s push alongside Boss with only 4 men. Tempest’s high risk high reward decision to send Sylvanas up top to push and soak pays off.

14:50 Tempest aggressively engage upon TNL and finally turns around the game.

16:20 Both teams decide to peacefully trade temples. Tempest are left with one more Keep.

17:40 TNL manage to chunk off the last bit of health on Tempest’s center Keep and escape.

19:00 Both teams commit to the final teamfight around center temple. Tempest open fire first with a three-man Sundering, but Thrall dives in alone too deep and is instantly burst down outside of Ancestral Healing range. TNL easily crush the rest of Tempest and end.



Match 2: Cursed Hollow

Pick & Ban Phase
TNL | Tempest

Ban Phase 1: Tassadar / Illidan

  • Standard bans from both sides.

Pick Phase 1: Muradin / Rehgar Sonya / Falstad Greymane

  • Tempest first pick Muradin again. TNL’s draft in the previous game has made it obvious that Cmoving is incapable of playing Tychus. In such circumstances I can understand why Tempest want to prioritize Muradin to such a degree.
  • Obvious Sonya + Rehgar takeaway from TNL.
  • Tempest respond with two standard picks in Falstad and Greymane.

Ban Phase 2: Uther / Abathur

  • Obvious Uther ban from TNL.
  • With the tables perfectly set for an Abathur + Zeratul pick from TNL, Tempest make the wise decision to deny the more integral part of the duo.

Pick Phase 2: Li-Ming Zeratul / Kharazim Tyrael / Arthas

  • TNL pick Li-Ming and Zeratul. Li-Ming is a standard power pick on the map but the Zeratul pick is truly confusing. Other than it being a comfort pick for sCsC, there is absolutely no reason why Zeratul should be picked here, especially because by doing this TNL lose the chance to pair Sonya with Tyrael. Match 2 of yesterday’s series has already proven that Zeratul cannot shut down Falstad on his own.
  • Obvious Kharazim + Tyrael pick from Tempest.
  • With Falstad being the only ‘true’ ranged hero on Tempest’s team, TNL’s last pick Arthas is understandable but still disappointing, as they could have taken Tyrael in the previous rotation and last picked Zeratul here instead.


Key Moments
0:00 Match start. Hongcono is on Muradin, duckdeok is on Tyrael. Extremely puzzling decision from Tempest (consult commentary from Match 4’s 0:00) but there must have been a very good reason for this swap.

1:00 A rather random 4v4 erupts in the woods. Tempest lose Greymane.

4:30 Both teams spend two hectic minutes playing musical chairs around the first tribute. TNL emerge victorious, taking down two in exchange for one. First tribute to TNL.

5:20 Tempest are quicker to arrive at the next tribute. They catch out and take down two members of TNL, allowing them to secure the tribute free of resistance.

7:20 Tempest are again quicker to arrive at the next tribute and punish TNL’s tardiness. TNL lose three members and the tribute. Lockdown’s Falstad hunting down Zeratul was quite a sight to see.

9:25 Tempest trigger the curse with their talent tier advantage then move to TNL’s center Fort. TNL attempt to defend but lose Sonya as Seven Sided Strike’s swift DPS prevails over Ancestral Healing’s delay; Lockdown Flights into TNL’s base as celebration. Tempest only extend their lead further.

11:00 Perfect teamfight execution from Tempest. TNL lose three members and Tempest freely take enemy side Boss.

12:15 Tempest engage with a four-level advantage and a Boss, bursting down Arthas in a flash with Seven Sided Strike; a timely Mighty Gust allows Tempest to finish the game. TNL are heartbroken as they respawn and defend but end up watching Tyrael whacking at a Core below Archangel’s Wrath range.



Midmatch Interview

  • TNL were unhappy about their Match 2 loss but remained confident in their chances.
  • Tempest commented that Match 1 made them realize they were the better team in teamfights, which allowed them to aggressively steamroll Match 2. Lockdown was obviously quite happy about his Falstad play.


Match 3: Dragon Shire

Pick & Ban Phase
TNL | Tempest

Ban Phase 1: Tassadar / Illidan

  • Standard bans from both sides.

Pick Phase 1: Xul / Muradin Greymane / Sonya Uther

  • TNL first pick Xul – not quite overpowered but still very strong on Dragon Shire.
  • Tempest respond with Muradin and Greymane. Muradin and Falstad are their obvious two key picks for the day, but as TNL seem uninterested in taking or banning Falstad, securing one of dami’s better heroes seems more sensible than taking Falstad at this point in the draft. dami’s best hero is of course Sonya, but taking Muradin in the first rotation is a must, and Sonya does not function well without any of her best supports (Tassadar, Rehgar, Uther). Great drafting from Tempest so far.
  • TNL obviously take Sonya but then choose Uther instead of Rehgar. As Tempest will most likely ban ETC, there is no reason for TNL to prioritize Uther here; this decision can only be explained by JaeHyun being a much better Uther than a Rehgar. Mighty have shown yesterday what happens when a team fails to pick up crucial meta picks. Things are not looking great at all for TNL.

Ban Phase 2: ETC / Rehgar

  • Obvious bans from both sides.

Pick Phase 2: Falstad Chen / Kael’thas Stitches / Kharazim

  • Tempest’s Falstad pick was expected but the following Chen is a big surprise. Using Chen and Falstad together does allow for insane control over obelisks and the altar.
  • TNL respond with the standard Kael’thas and a surprise Stitches. While TNL clearly have enough crowd control to keep hold of Hooked targets, Stitches is definitely not the safest nor the most logical pick here. This decision seems to have been made in a similar vein to their picking Uther over Rehgar; proficiency over strategic theory. Noblesse has recently carried an entire game all by himself on Stitches and TNL are hoping he can do that again.
  • Obvious Kharazim last pick from Tempest.


Key Moments
0:00 Match start.

1:00 Great play from both teams’ main tanks lead to a 1-for-1 exchange.

1:40 Tempest take a very early Dragon Knight but fail to do much with it.

4:10 Tempest catch out and burst down a lone Sonya near TNL’s top Fort. Tempest are now at a half-level experience lead.

5:10 Tempest catch out and burst down a lone Sonya at the same exact spot. sCsC obviously needs to be more aware of his surroundings, but the more serious issue is TNL having done nothing while their top was dove twice. TNL look utterly lost.

6:00 Tempest easily take the second Dragon Knight with their level 10 advantage. TNL lose their center Fort.

7:25 The power of Seven Sided Strike is on full display as Stitches melts like cheese from 60% health. Tempest win yet another teamfight.

9:10 Beautiful individual play and team coordination from Tempest leads to a three-for-two exchange in their favor.

10:10 Tempest take their third Dragon Knight but with it do little of significance.

12:30 TNL finally claw back into the game; Tempest are punished for their overconfidence as they lose two members and their bottom Fort. The experience gap is now gone.

14:30 Tempest emerge victorious in a close teamfight even after a bad start; Lockdown bravely deciding to stay in the fray with only a sliver of health was key. Tempest take yet another Dragon Knight.

16:50 With the level 20 advantage, Tempest engage and juggle aggro perfectly to take down four members of TNL under their own Keep. Tempest make the correct call to ignore the lonely Stitches and just whack the Core.



Match 4: Infernal Shrines

Pick & Ban Phase
TNL | Tempest

Ban Phase 1: Xul / Illidan

  • Standard bans from both sides.

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

  • Standard first pick Sonya from TNL.
  • Tempest naturally respond with Muradin and Tassadar.
  • TNL obviously take Rehgar and Kael’thas next.

Ban Phase 2: ETCGreymane

  • Obvious ETC ban from Tempest.
  • TNL refuse to bend their pride and ban Greymane instead of Falstad – a hilariously terrible decision. No matter how uncomfortable dami gets, Lockdown will always pull the weight of at least three people on Falstad. Moreover, not banning Falstad allows Tempest to pick Falstad and Brightwing again on Infernal Shrines; unless TNL have a prepared trump card against Tempest’s Brightstad tactics, they will lose this game.

Pick Phase 2: Falstad Brightwing / Arthas Tyrael / Kerrigan

  • With Tassadar in hand there is no reason for Tempest to not pull out the Brightstad.
  • TNL must have concluded yesterday’s Match 1 result was due to Mighty’s execution rather than Mighty’s draft. TNL decide to copy Mighty’s approach against Brightstad and round off their composition with two more tanks.
  • Holy smokes, a Kerrigan pick from someone not named Rich. Although this last pick indirectly but conclusively proves dami’s incompetence on Thrall, the anticipation from a non-Rich Kerrigan pick is just too much for us to care about such insights.


Key Moments
0:00 Match start.

0:30 Kerrigan advances too far for a kill and dies. Typical dami overaggression.

2:30 TNL are left alone to take the first Punisher as Tempest are happy to stay soaking and remain level in experience.

3:10 TNL take two for one in a skirmish near Tempest’s top Fort.

4:15 Tempest even the score by taking two for one themselves.

5:45 TNL manage to burst down Kerrigan and win the Punisher race by about ten skeletons. Tempest lose their bottom Fort.

9:00 TNL emerge victorious in a full-on teamfight around the activated shrine; Tempest’s lack of sustained damage against TNL’s triple warrior composition is apparent. Prolonged fights are not an option for Tempest; they need to burst down TNL one by one within five seconds of each Kerrigan spell rotation.

10:30 Disregarding the appalling timing of Ancestral Healing, Tempest prove they do have enough burst to take down one warrior at a time, just not three.

12:50 Despite fantastic individual play from Kerrigan, Tempest’s narrow win conditions are highlighted again as they fail to prevail in another prolonged deathless teamfight. Punisher goes to TNL.

15:15 Amazing focus and calculated aggression from Tempest – what a joy to watch! TNL are left speechless as Tempest rip away a two-for-one exchange in their favor.

16:40 Both teams treat us with another beautiful teamfight, a two-for-two exchange.

22:00 One final teamfight to rule them all. After forcing Rehgar to blow Ancestral Healing on Tyrael with Kerrigan’s first spell rotation, Tempest then perfectly combo Mighty Gust and Force Wall to isolate Sonya from the rest of TNL. Having brought down three members of TNL, Tempest are free to push with their Punisher and end the game.



Postmatch Interview Tidbits with Tempest Lockdown

  • I am so happy right now. I can’t find the right words.
  • I cut down on looking for flashy plays and switched to a calm and reactive style.
  • The massive roleswap was instrumental to our reaching a new level of play – our new positions allowed us to finally mesh together as a team. TNL too have improved since we last met them, but we improved much more.
  • I used to be an absolutely terrible Falstad. Glad to see my practice pay off.
  • I don’t think there is any underlying reason to why our record on Sky Temple is this bad; we lost on it today only because I threw the game at the end, for example. Our excelling on Infernal Shrines makes more sense as I enjoy picking assassins with excellent waveclear; we’re usually in the better position when the shrine activates.
  • Looking forward to the grand finals against MVP Black. Thanks to my teammates for working really hard to make it so far, and to for our fans for supporting us!

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