OPrime’s HGC Review (June 2016)


The following insights were gleaned yesterday from OPrime’s Twitch channel where he broadcast a live video review of Tempest’s games at the Summer Global Championships. As the actual stream was rather disjointed and not at all topically organized, this article took the liberty to ‘rearrange’ some quotes for the sake of clarity. No words were taken out of context, however.

A separate, proper interview with the Tempest coach will immediately follow as soon as he agrees to one. Tweet him here if you want to encourage him to commit!


Table of Contents

  • How Tempest Drafts
    • How much of Tempest’s drafts are preplanned?
    • How much do players have a say?
    • Is Thrall really that bad?
  • How Tempest Functions
    • Who makes the Core calls on Tempest?
    • How does Tempest shotcall?
    • What makes Tempest special?
    • About Hongcono
    • About dami
    • About Lockdown
    • About duckdeok
    • About Hide
  • Thoughts on Other Teams/Players
    • MVP Black
    • eStar
    • mYi
    • MVP Black Rich
    • MVP Black merryday
    • eStar Tumi
  • Thoughts on the Meta
    • Is Tempest’s interpretation of the meta the objectively optimal one?
    • Why is Xul sometimes picked on Battlefield of Eternity?
    • Why does Tempest focus less on waveclear/pushing power?
  • Draft & Gameplay Analyses Tidbits
    • Semifinals Match 1 (vs eStar)
    • Semifinals Match 2 (vs eStar)
    • Semifinals Match 3 (vs eStar)
    • Semifinals Match 4 (vs eStar)
    • Grand Finals Match 1 (vs MVP Black)
    • Grand Finals Match 2 (vs MVP Black)
    • Grand Finals Match 3 (vs MVP Black)
    • Grand Finals Match 4 (vs MVP Black)
    • Grand Finals Match 5 (vs MVP Black)
  • Miscellaneous
    • Will OPrime continue to be a coach for Tempest?

How Tempest Drafts

  • How much of Tempest’s drafts are preplanned?
    • “Most teams are quite predictable in the early stages of the draft. Our first and second picks are set before we head into the match; the remaining three are used more flexibly.”
  • How much do players have a say?
    • “I don’t meddle too much with the draft; I’m mainly there for some extra input, to be an extra head in the discussion. I don’t force bans or picks. Match 5 of the Grand Finals was the only game in which I actually pressed the team to play a certain composition, and even then the players had the final say.”
    • “Viewers should keep in mind there is a clear difference between ‘theoretically optimal picks’ and ‘picks the players will actually perform best on’. We almost always go for the latter.”
  •  Is Thrall really that bad?
    • “I actually don’t know why Lockdown said Thrall was bad, and to be honest I’m not that interested; if our players think Thrall is bad, then that’s what we will draft in mind with. That’s pretty much it. I trust our players’ judgment.”

How Tempest Functions

  • Who makes the Core calls on Tempest?
    • “Hongcono. I’d like to mention Sonya, Tyrael, and Muradin are amazing at Core rushes. We do make really accurate Core calls, but I suspect some viewers were more impressed because due to underestimating those three heroes’ power.”
  • How does Tempest shotcall?
    • “I’m not a full-on manager, I’m just a coach. My primary focus is drafts. I don’t really listen in on voice comms. I’m not well aware of how we shotcall.”
  • What makes Tempest special?
    • “No matter how we draft, all five of our players function both as a tank and as an assassin. Everyone is always ready to dive the enemy backline; everyone is always ready to rush to the helm to draw full aggro. Our approach to and execution in teamfights are far ahead of the curve, primarily due to three of our players – dami, Lockdown, and Hide – playing on a level above and beyond their competitive counterparts. This allows us to play and draft in inimitable ways.”
  • About Hongcono
    • “If people noticed all the seemingly small but hugely impactful plays he makes, everyone would consider him a much better player. Using Heavy Impact Dwarf Tosses in anticipation to disrupt Sunderings, jumping into the enemy team then using Thunder Clap Rewind Thunder Clap to throw them off with the burst heal from a million Healing Static procs, perfect Sanctifications purely based off of anticipation… he clearly deserves more recognition.”
  • About dami
    • “Mechanically brilliant, equipped with an otherworldly animal instinct, always steps up to play better against better opponents… how much can you ask for in a player? Best melee assassin in the world. “
  • About Lockdown
    • “Best ranged assassin in the world. His skillshot accuracy, presence of mind, and calculated aggression is rivaled by no other.”
  • About duckdeok
    • “duckdeok is the ‘actual’ support of the team, mainly focusing on enabling his teammates and taking up sacrificial positions in moments of danger. It’s eerily fitting that his best hero is Tassadar since Tassadar is the embodiment of noble sacrifice in Starcraft lore. Random story: when I once complimented him on his Force Walls, he answered that he’d been using Force Fields for three years in Starcraft 2. I felt really stupid for not having made that connection before.”
  • About Hide
    • “Hide’s teamfight presence as a support is massive and unparalleled. No other support can hope to play so offensively while simultaneously maintaining perfect awareness of his fundamental duties as a support. Tiger and merryday equal Hide as a traditional support, but Hide brings something entirely new and unique to the table.”

Thoughts on Other Teams/Players

  • MVP Black
    • “MVP Black’s picks are the definition of standard. They always aim to have really well-rounded compositions that will score at least a 5 out of 10 in every category – waveclear, crowd control, damage, sturdiness, etc.”
  • eStar
    • “They look to take advantages by committing really deep into every teamfight.”
  • mYi
    • “mYi could become one of the three best teams in the world if they could figure out how to regularly scrim with Asian teams.”
  • MVP Black Rich
    • “Rich is really precise and efficient with his Sunderings, usually using it as calculated displacement in order to secure a critical kill. Most other Thralls just look for the greedy Sunderings, trying to hit as many enemies as possible.”
    • “Is dami better than Rich? Well, everyone on Tempest, including me, will say dami is better, while everyone on MVP Black will probably say Rich is better. dami himself said Rich is better, but he’s really humble and good-natured.”
  • MVP Black merryday
    • “merryday’s Lt. Morales play is clinical. To my knowledge it’s the only support hero he ever bought a skin for… sort of explains things a bit. I also want to just randomly mention here that watching a Medivac escape in front of you has to be the most annoying thing in the game.”
  • eStar Tumi
    • “Tumi’s teamfight positioning with Xul and Sylvanas is textbook. Never doubt his decisions in teamfights when on those two specialists.”
    • “As a spectator I agree that Tumi often looks like the weak link of eStar. But many players that actually played against him offered opinions to the contrary. More than any other role, flex players do so much work off camera. According to MVP Sign, Tumi does get caught out a bit often, and he needs to fix it, but aside from that his overall play is quite solid.”

Thoughts on the Meta

  • Is Tempest’s interpretation of the meta the objectively optimal one?
    • “I don’t think there’s an objectively correct way to interpret the meta. MVP Black opt for a very balanced approach. eStar always go for hyperaggression. Last year’s TNL played around outsustaining the enemy team in skirmishes. It is impossible to say one of these is objectively better than another. Players have characteristics. Teams have to form styles that suits those characteristics.”
  • Why is Xul sometimes picked on Battlefield of Eternity?
    • “Battlefield of Eternity is not a good map for Xul, but picking him against either Tyrande or Rehgar is understandable. Tyrande has no Cleanse which makes Bone Prison tremendously effective; Rehgar is incapable of saving himself which forces him to skirt around Xul all game long.”
  • Why does Tempest focus less on waveclear/pushing power?
    • “We never really fall behind in experience even without good waveclear because we’re very good at soaking. Personally I don’t think waveclear is that important as long as you can keep even in experience without sacrificing much.”

Draft & Gameplay Analyses Tidbits

  • Semifinals Match 1 (vs eStar)
    • “We were always ready to pick Kerrigan on Infernal Shrines. eStar taking Xul made it an even easier decision.”
    • “Li-Ming could have been the better pick on paper, but Lockdown wanted Tychus, so we picked Tychus. What would theoretically work best is largely meaningless in actual games. Securing picks our players would feel most confident and comfortable on is imperative.”
    • “Many spectators have mentioned our Match 1 draft lacked damage, but that was not the case. Our success with Tassadar is not only due to having the best Tassadar player in the world, but also due to having the best assassin players in the world. Remember what I said before: Tempest is a team of five tanks and five assassins. Tassadar’s main drawback for most teams – lack of damage – has never been a problem for us. We almost never suffer from a lack of damage.”
  • Semifinals Match 2 (vs eStar)
    • “In my opinion, this was the only match in the entire tournament where our draft was suboptimal. For one, we started off on the wrong foot entirely due to Hide first banning Kael’thas without thinking about it more. I had planned to ban Xul and first pick Kael’thas. Not a bad first ban by any means, but still.”
    • “Our most egregious error was picking Chen instead of Tyrael even though we fully expected eStar to last pick Tychus. We placed too much faith in Chen’s sturdiness against low CC compositions and the power of the Wandering Cask into Seven-Sided Strike combo.”
    • “Blaming the game solely on the draft would be silly, however. If we played our composition properly we would hardly have been at a disadvantage post-10. We made many mistakes in execution and paid the price.”
  • Semifinals Match 3 (vs eStar)
    • “It’s difficult enough to use Falstad and ETC together; throw a Thrall in the mix and you have a nightmare situation in terms of coordinating heroics. eStar’s teamwork was really off in this game, and while Tumi looked to be the one at fault most of the time, it is also very easy to imagine how he might have been completely innocent.”
  • Semifinals Match 4 (vs eStar)
    • “I thought Match 4 was hopeless for us. XingC was playing out of his mind and eStar’s draft was stellar. But duckdeok taking Spell Shield on Sylvanas made all the difference. Forgoing Windrunner was a brilliant decision that prevented Greymane from deleting him at start of every teamfight.”

  • Grand Finals Match 1 (vs MVP Black)
    • “Going into the grand finals, our players were not conditioned well. We had not eaten properly, everyone was tired, and Lockdown was playing with a fever.”
    • “We were astonished at Rich’s early game play in Match 1. He had absolutely no reason to die for free and give us a gigantic experience advantage like he did. We all realized right away Rich was in terrible condition as well.”
  • Grand Finals Match 2 (vs MVP Black)
    • “To be honest, Kerrigan games don’t have much to analyze in terms of play. If Kerrigan does well enough, her team wins. That’s pretty much it. I guess this game went against that general rule… well played by MVP Black, especially at the sensational ending. merryday’s Cleanse was brilliant and Sign’s use of Tour Bus was phenomenal.”
    • “Sign seems to always know a few seconds in advance how all five members of the enemy team will move. Sign on ETC is bewildering and frightening.”
  • Grand Finals Match 3 (vs MVP Black)
    • “MVP Black’s Match 3 Tracer pick was brilliant. There was little we could do after losing very hard in the draft like that. In retrospect, though, we probably could have played the map more instead of still looking to teamfight.”
    • “After Match 3, I told Lockdown: “I don’t care if you’re playing Li-Ming next game; just play like a bruiser. Teleport in with confidence when you see an opening. Hide is in the form of his life today. He will save you no matter what.'”
  • Grand Finals Match 4 (vs MVP Black)
    • “A lot of people bashed our Match 4 draft, but we actually felt very confident heading into the game. I agree that our draft looks terrible if you take the team names away, but remember that Tempest plays as 5 tanks and 5 assassins. We’re a different team.”
    • “We allowed MVP Black take both Kael’thas and Greymane because KyoCha would have to play one of the two, and he isn’t very good on either; it was a slight bait in that regard. We were also hedging our bets in a way – Muradin and Anub’arak address Kael’thas well while Tassadar addresses Greymane well. Usually we would never allow a team to take both Kael’thas and Greymane but I thought the circumstances allowed for it in this game.”
    • “At some point in the game I thought we only had a 13% chance to win… to be honest, I’d never seen an evenly matched team pull back from a three-level deficit on Dragon Shire, so even 13% was wishful thinking from my end.”
  • Grand Finals Match 5 (vs MVP Black)
    • “Fun fact: I had to point out where Tracer was on Hide’s screen because we had never picked or banned it before. We banned Tracer because Towers of Doom is probably Tracer’s best map and we wanted to first pick Falstad anyway.”
    • “We were planning to first pick Falstad then follow up with a standard Prince Greymane composition – Tassadar, Tyrael, etc. Why didn’t we safely first pick Greymane then? It was because we fully expected MVP Black to pick Muradin and Kael’thas in their first rotation.”
    • “We actually toyed with the idea of last picking Johanna instead of Tyrael since we were nervous about putting all our eggs in the protecting Greymane basket. As usual, the players had the final say, and Hongcono asked for Tyrael. I wasn’t entirely convinced by his ingame talent choices – I don’t think using all talents to better support Greymane was all that necessary – but Tyrael worked well.”
    • “Other than Brightwing + Tassadar being a strong double support combination that we had plenty of tournament experience with, Brightwing was also picked because Polymorph would facilitate our primary gameplan – everyone helping Greymane take down one target at a time.”

Miscellaneous

  • Will OPrime continue to be a coach for Tempest?
    • “I agreed to coach Tempest up until the Summer Championships. I’m not at liberty to divulge more, sorry.”

 


Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for article updates.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s