Superleague 2016 S2 Grand Finals: MVP Black vs Tempest

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Team Lineups

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

  • MVP Black is unanimously considered to be the best team in the world.
  • MVP Black qualified for the semifinals winners bracket by beating Tempest 3-1: an impressive Match 1 showing from Tempest, a Kerrigan pick from Rich, an Abathur vs TLV showdown, and brilliant strategic use of Summon Sindragosa were featured.
  • MVP Black qualified for the grand finals after knocking TNL aside 3-0. While TNL’s preparation was evident, so were their relative mediocrity and learned helplessness.

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


Prematch Trashtalk Segment Snippets

  • Tempest duckdeok: I was happy beyond words at reaching the final!
  • Tempest Hongcono: Nah, I always knew we would make it to the finals.
  • MVP Black  Kyocha: I did not expect Tempest to make it this far. We were actually waiting for TNL to come up for the rematch.
  • MVP Black Sake: TNL was really horrible in the losers bracket finals.
  • MVP Black KyoCha: Yes, the TNL vs Tempest series was terrible. Not sure why people were impressed. We were watching in our team house, appalled.
  • Sake: Eh, I expect Tempest to do well :^)


  • Tempest Hongcono: MVP Black is just another team.
  • Tempest duckdeok: TNL was the team to beat. MVP Black scares me less.
  • MVP Black Sake: What now?
  • MVP Black KyoCha: Forgot our ten-minute stomp with Summon Sindragosa? :^)
  • Tempest Hongcono, Tempest duckdeok: We lost the series due to bad drafting and decisionmaking in Matches 2 and 3.
  • MVP Black Sake: How does that explain your getting stomped in Match 4?
  • MVP Black KyoCha: We lost Match 1 only because I last picked Kerrigan for Rich.


  • Tempest duckdeok: MVP Black’s greatest strength is their stellar drafting; their greatest weakness is merryday’s needlessly aggressive positioning.
  • MVP Black KyoCha: I would worry about your own support if I were you.
  • MVP Black Sake: Many teams have faced us thinking there are exploitable holes in our play. Guess what happened to all of them.


  • Tempest Hongcono: As you can see we’re going for the cocky-as-hell gimmick today. So move over Rich, you had your time in the sun; we’re winning this one.
  • Tempest duckdeok: Er yeah… congratulations on your second place finish!
  • MVP Black Sake: You weren’t that ‘cutthroat’ last time we met. We’ll teach you what it means.
  • MVP Black KyoCha: Stomps are boring, I hope Tempest can at least entertain us.


Match 1: Dragon Shire

Pick & Ban Phase
MVP Black | Tempest

Ban Phase 1: Falstad / Illidan

  • Respect ban against Lockdown from MVP Black. Seems to be a good call.
  • Standard Illidan ban from Tempest.

Pick Phase 1: Tassadar / Muradin Greymane / Sonya ETC

  • Extremely standard pick phase 1 from both teams. There is nothing to explain.

Ban Phase 2: Tyrande / Abathur

  • Tempest deny MVP Black of the fearsome ETC + Tyrande + Tassadar trio.
  • With Tempest holding Muradin and Greymane, MVP Black’s Abathur ban is hardly surprising.

Pick Phase 2: Rehgar Kael’thas / Li-Ming Uther / Tyrael

  • Extremely standard pick phase 2 from both teams. There is nothing to explain.


Key Moments
0:00 Match start.

0:40 Tempest are unfazed by MVP Black’s aggression and instead strike back with confidence, visibly surprising and taking down two of their foes. Thrilling start.

1:25 Tempest take the first Dragon Knight. One of the earliest Dragon Knights of the season.

2:40 MVP Black invade Tempest’s Siege Camp but are forced to retreat after being met with fierce retaliation.

3:30 Tempest move to take the 6’o clock Bruiser Camp; MVP Black back off despite being even in levels.

4:40 Greymane narrowly escapes from what was looking to be a guaranteed gank. MVP Black leave unsatisfied.

7:05 Tempest aggressively overwhelm MVP Black in a 4v4 teamfight and further their lead.

8:20 Tempest are quicker to group near top and successfully take down Sonya. MVP Black manage to deny Dragon Knight but Tempest are clearly in control of the game.

9:40 Tempest take their second Dragon Knight with their talent tier advantage.

10:30 Both sides show crisp play in a deathless teamfight.

13:00 MVP Black take down Kael’thas through a successful ambush, but Tempest take their third Dragon Knight.

15:05 Both teams teamfight beautifully, but MVP Black take a slim victory due to Ancestral Healing missing by a heartbreaking millisecond.

18:40 Despite Tyrael getting caught out of position and dying instantly, Tempest outplay MVP Black with spectacular concentration and mechanics to end up even.

21:00 Tempest outmuscle MVP Black to claim their fourth consecutive Dragon Knight. ETC narrowly avoids death in a following skirmish.

21:45 ETC naively misjudges Tempest’s damage output and falls anticlimatically. With their Dragon Knight still intact, Tempest make the correct call to all-in the Core and win.



Match 2: Cursed Hollow

Pick & Ban Phase
MVP Black | Tempest

Ban Phase 1: Falstad / Illidan

  • Bans are identical to Match 1.

Pick Phase 1: Muradin / Tassadar Greymane / Thrall Kael’thas

  • Great decision from MVP Black to deny Hongcono of his favorite champion by far.
  • Tempest respond with two very standard picks.
  • MVP Black secure an early Thrall for Rich then follow up with Kael’thas. Kael’thas is not only a standard power pick but also is Lockdown’s comfort fallback when Falstad is unavailable.

Ban Phase 2: Uther / Tyrael

  • Tempest ban Uther to proactively force MVP Black into banning Rehgar.
  • MVP Black have no desire to comply. They ban Tyrael instead.

Pick Phase 2: Rehgar Sonya / Kharazim Sylvanas / ETC

  • Two very standard picks from Tempest.
  • MVP Black respond with the obvious Kharazim then round off with Sylvanas. TLV and Abathur would have been equally viable, but only Sylvanas can interrupt Mosh Pits.
  • It is known Tempest have extensively prepared Anub’arak, but Tempest decide to just play it safe, last picking ETC. Perhaps next game.


Key Moments
0:00 Match start. dami is on Greymane, Lockdown is on Sonya!

0:30 Tempest take two outer towers while MVP Black take only one.

1:25 Two separate 2v2s break out and Tempest win both. The experience gap widens.

3:20 Sylvanas lets down her guard and suffers a meaningless death in front of her Fort, furthering Tempest’s lead. Meanwhile, Kharazim makes the interesting decision to not take Cleanse in favor of Echo of Heaven.

4:45 Tempest emerge victorious in a full-on 5v5 by virtue of better mechanical play and coordination.

5:40 MVP Black take their Boss in peace while Tempest decide to just soak and hit 10.

7:40 Tempest trigger the curse after capturing and sending their own Boss.

8:00 Thanks to Greymane’s solo kill on Thrall, Tempest easily steamroll over a 4-man MVP Black. MVP Black lose their center Keep.

9:00 MVP Black sink into complete shock and denial as Tempest take down all five of them without losing even one. MVP Black’s Core falls before the ten-minute mark.



Match 3: Infernal Shrines

Pick & Ban Phase
MVP Black | Tempest

Ban Phase 1: Xul / Illidan

  • Standard bans from both sides. Falstad being up for Lockdown is notable.

Pick Phase 1: Muradin / Sonya Greymane / Tassadar Falstad

  • Tempest first pick Muradin for Hongcono without hesitation.
  • MVP Black make the interesting decision to immediately take away dami’s two best champions, Sonya and Greymane. MVP Black probably will either use their next ban on Kerrigan or draft preemptively around dami picking Kerrigan.
  • Tempest take the standard Tassadar and happily give Falstad to Lockdown.

Ban Phase 2: Arthas / ETC

  • MVP Black further chip away at dami’s hero pool, banning Arthas.
  • Standard ETC ban from Tempest.

Pick Phase 2: Tyrael Rehgar / Kharazim Anub’arak / Tychus

  • MVP Black go with two very standard picks.
  • Tempest take the obvious Kharazim then finally pull out the Anub’arak. This is the first Korean game of the season to feature Anub’arak. MVP Black’s entire draft has been in vain; dami had something extra up his sleeve after all.
  • MVP Black last pick Tychus, meaning either Sign or KyoCha will have to play one of Sonya and Greymane. For the first time in ages, MVP Black have completely stepped outside of their comfort zone. Will it end well?


Key Moments
0:00 Match start. KyoCha is on Greymane. His proficiency on the hero is unknown.

2:00 Tempest take down two of MVP Black, who seem to be unacquainted with the exact limits of Anub’arak’s offensive and defensive prowess. KyoCha looks terrible on Greymane.

3:30 While MVP Black manage to summon the first Punisher, they again lose two members in sloppy fashion. Tempest are very much in control and are maintaining the lead.

5:55 Tempest take down a naively positioned Tyrael and summon their first Punisher.

7:00 MVP Black successfully pick off Anub’arak while Kharazim makes a miracle escape.

8:30 Sonya is caught out of position and dies immediately. MVP Black attempts to turn the game around with a surprise ambush but only end up wasting all their ultimates.

9:40 MVP Black look grossly disoriented and uncharacteristically hasty. Tempest pick off three of them one by one then summon their second Punisher. Two-level advantage.

11:15 Tempest emerge victorious in a very close teamfight. Very impressive decisions from Muradin and Falstad were key.

12:30 Sonya and Rehgar attempt a 2v4 defense despite being underleveled; their arrogance is promptly punished. Tempest still further their lead.

14:30 With their Punisher, Tempest kill three members of MVP Black and destroy a Keep.

16:00 MVP Black finally score a point by taking down Muradin but still remain far behind.

17:20 Tempest clinically crush MVP Black with their level 20 advantage, taking down two members and heading to the Core without hesitation. Tempest are now one game away from dethroning MVP Black.



Match 4: Tomb of the Spider Queen

Pick & Ban Phase
MVP Black | Tempest

Ban Phase 1: Xul / Illidan

  • Both teams opt for standard bans. Falstad being left open means much less on this particular map, but there is no doubt it will linger on both teams’ minds.

Pick Phase 1: Tassadar / Muradin Greymane / ETC Kael’thas

  • Extremely standard pick phase 1 from both teams. There is nothing to explain.

Ban Phase 2: Tyrande / Falstad

  • Tempest deny MVP Black of the ETC + Tyrande + Tassadar trio.
  • MVP Black really want to keep Lockdown off Falstad.

Pick Phase 2: Rehgar Sonya / Kharazim Thrall / Li-Ming

  • Two very standard picks from Tempest. Sonya will probably be played by Lockdown.
  • Two forced and obvious responses from MVP Black.
  • Completely unexpected twist from Tempest, taking Li-Ming instead of the expected Tyrael. Now we cannot know who will play what until the game loads.


Key Moments
0:00 Match start. duckdeok is on Li-Ming. Wow, how much can this man flex?

0:30 Both teams commit to a 5v5 and back off after a kill each.

2:40 Both teams’ main tanks escape with a sliver of health, displaying how perfectly they understand their heroes’ limits.

4:00 Kharazim is caught out of position and dies. Tempest are left free to summon their first batch of Webweavers.

5:00 Sonya is caught out of position and dies, but MVP Black are still down a whole level. Kharazim again chooses Echo of Heaven over Cleanse; not sure if wise.

7:30 Tempest summon their second batch of Webweavers with their level 10 advantage.

7:45 All five of Tempest categorically outplay their MVP Black counterparts. Tempest take down four in exchange for one, extending their experience advantage to two levels.

10:00 Tempest take Boss while MVP Black summon their first batch of Webweavers. MVP Black avoid losing the game outright by a hairbreadth.

11:15 Tempest destroy MVP Black’s top Keep alongside their Boss. They go on to dive MVP Black in front of their Core and exchange two for two before backing off.

13:00 MVP Black once again avoid losing the game outright by a hairbreadth. So close.

14:15 Thrall and Kharazim make fatal mistakes. Tempest end the game and the series.




Postmatch Interview with Tempest

  • dami: The past six months now feel like a wonderful dream. I’m happy beyond belief. Shoutouts to my parents and my teammates, thanks for everything. Special message for my girlfriend – I love you! (sheepishly draws a heart with his arms)
  • Hide: A big thank you to my parents and our fans. Couldn’t have done it without you.
  • Lockdown: A lot of things happened after I left MVP Black, many of them unpleasant. I’m grateful to my teammates for sticking together through all the hard times. I’m sorry to my parents for making them worry about me. Huge thanks to everyone here.


  • Hongcono: To be honest I expected MVP Black to win, but here we are.
  • Lockdown: Eh, I felt it was a 50-50.
  • Hongcono: Shoutout to my various business partners. And to Hide and Lockdown’s parents: I’m sorry for telling you guys not to watch our predetermined defeat, I was very wrong. But I know you guys watched anyway, so yay!
  • duckdeok: Proud of our team for weathering through everything. Yes, Li-Ming was a prepared pick. To MVP Black: congratulations on your second place finish 😀


  • Hongcono: I got carried through this tournament, but promise to carry when we get to Sweden. To be honest I was recently planning to retire from Heroes. Glad I didn’t.
  • Hide: Thanks to all my teammates for keeping my morale up whenever I was shook. We will try harder to improve and become a truly world class team!

2 thoughts on “Superleague 2016 S2 Grand Finals: MVP Black vs Tempest

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