Meta Musings on Double Support


 

2017.09.21.

 

Korea is seeing a belated surge of double support. In the last 62 games played in HGC Korea (= a total of 124 team compositions), double support has been utilized a whopping 89* times — more than 70% of the time. In some cases it wasn’t just double support, but triple support, as seen in MVP Black’s use of Lucio + Lt. Morales + Brightwing in Game 1 of their recent Week 9 Day 3 match against L5.

 

The region’s top teams are at the forefront of this trend. Both L5 and Tempest have run double support in 80% of their recent games — quite a bit more often than the two teams at the bottom of the table (Raven, 58%; RRR, 69%). And while MVP Black may seem to be an outlier at 57%, a very different story emerges when their matches are examined in context: MVP Black played double support in every single one of their 8 games against L5 and Tempest, but not even once in their breezy 3-0 blowouts against weaker teams. It is more than clear that Korea’s top dogs are convinced double support is the best way to play the game right now.

 

The late timing in which Korea has adopted the double support meta is intriguing. European teams, who were the first to experiment with and abuse double and triple support compositions, have actually been moving away from such drafts in recent weeks. While top teams such as Fnatic and Team Dignitas still do run double support from time to time, they no longer acknowledge it as a go-to strategy for all situations. Fnatic has drafted double support in only 33% of their recent games; Team Dignitas, 19%. Conversely, the teams that still retain a strong preference for such compositions (Playing Ducks, 50%; Team Good Guys, 79%) are not faring very well at all.

 

What might be the reason for this contrast? We are no longer living in 2016, the era when most meta differences could be explained by the clear mechanical gap between Korea’s elite and the rest of the world. That gap no longer exists. So is Korea simply lagging behind Europe again, as it has for most of 2017? Or has the region figured out something about double support that Europe yet hasn’t?

 

A number of Korean players and analysts have offered a third explanation — that individual player differences could account for the regional divide. The argument is that certain Korean ranged flex players (most notably Lee “HongCono” Dae-hyeong) perform better when playing a support role, while most of their European counterparts shine more when on assassins. This logic falters, however, when it runs into the fact that even MVP Black and L5 — two teams with very talented DPS players in the flex position — are also religiously playing double support.

 

Many Western analysts’ takes are more blunt: they believe that Korea is either stuck in a bizarre inbred meta, or worse, simply aren’t doing their homework. After all, top European teams have already shown how to effectively deal with double support compositions, mostly via macro movement but also by accordingly altering the way they approach teamfights.

 

Unfortunately, neither region will be able to prove that they have the better read on the game until they butt heads at the HGC Global Finals. It is also possible, of course, that we won’t even get to see a sharp clash between these two particular interpretations; teams tend to converge towards a shared global meta as soon as they start scrimming each other prior to an event. Regardless, it should be interesting to watch how Korea and Europe further their respective understanding of the game in next week’s HGC Playoffs.

HGC Korea 2017 Phase 2 Playoffs Preview


 

HGC Korea 2017 Phase 2 Playoffs Preview

Defending BlizzCon champions L5 swept Tempest 3-0 in last Sunday’s 2nd-place tiebreaker, securing their spot in the HGC Global Finals. 3rd-place Tempest now joins Mighty, Team BlossoM, and MVP Miracle in the HGC Playoffs to compete for the region’s third and final ticket to Anaheim. Here’s a look at the playing field.

 

MVP Miracle (6th / 5W-9L / 20W-30L)

Apart from that one miracle run through the Phase 1 Playoffs, MVP Miracle has disappointed all season long. While their individual mechanical talent has never been lacking, their drafts, decision-making, and coordination have been suspect far too often. It’s difficult to understand how two such talented rosters (both their Phase 1 and Phase 2 iterations were stacked with former Korean champions) could have flopped so hard, particularly since they had a fully-funded team house, an advantage that only the two MVP teams have.

MVP Miracle’s recent form has not been impressive at all. They only went 2W-2L in the past three weeks, and their two wins were against Raven and RRR, the two weakest teams in the league. Even worse is that while Miracle did sweep Raven 3-0, they struggled massively against RRR, barely managing to secure a 3-2 victory. In contrast, Miracle’s two losses weren’t against MVP Black and L5, but rather Playoff competitors Mighty and Tempest — and both were uninspiring 0-3 shutouts.

Still, it is important to note that MVP Miracle has been very diligent in trying to fix their problems, swapping roles across the board multiple times to unlock the squad’s true potential. While that has not been achieved so far, it is not uncommon for a week’s worth of hard training to completely transform a newly reconfigured lineup. Who says the kings of old won’t figure things out come Friday and start reclaiming their lost glory?

 

Team BlossoM (5th / 6W-8L / 21W-27L)

Team BlossoM turned heads this summer by making the decision to rent a team house with the players’ own money. While they have not achieved their initial goal (making it to the Eastern Clash), their investment has clearly paid off — BlossoM is by far the most improved team in HGC Korea.

The team house was not the only reason for BlossoM’s improvement, of course; their offseason roster moves were arguably a larger factor. Many were concerned for BlossoM when tank player Oh “Judy” Tae-seok left for MVP Miracle at the end of Phase 1, but solo queue superstar Yoo “Gondar” Hyung-sik turned out to be a fantastic replacement, becoming one of Korea’s most anticipated tank players within mere months of entering professional play. Acquiring Jang “mora” Jin-hak also proved to be a smart move, with mora looking far more composed and confident than he ever was on Tempest.

Despite all that, however, BlossoM’s chances in the Playoffs look grim due to their overreliance on double warrior double support compositions. While their new lineup is undoubtedly better than their previous one, their hero pools are skewed in a certain way that forces them to go in with the same, predictable strategy for almost every match. If BlossoM wants to make BlizzCon, they will need to mix up their drafts quite a bit more.

 

Mighty (4th / 7W-7L / 28W-25L)

Back in Phase 1, Mighty was a team defined by their gritty cohesion, superb front-to-back balance, and Kim “JOKER” Ju-hyeong’s evergreen presence in the main tank position reminding viewers of the organization’s decorated pre-HGC history. Due to their multiple role swaps in the second half of Phase 2, however, none of those things apply anymore. For better or worse, Mighty now feels like an entirely different team.

Most of Mighty’s players have role swapped at least three times in the past month. JOKER, for instance, has swapped from tank to flex, then to support, then to assassin, then finally back to tank. The motivation behind Mighty’s mad series of shuffles was similar to MVP Miracle’s; the team felt that their previous setup seemed to be incapable of improving beyond a certain level, so something had to be changed, and they were willing to keep making changes until something clicked.

Unfortunately, not a single one of their experiments turned out to be worth it in the end. Sure, they still were able to win some games and hold onto their perch in the standings, but over the course of the merry-go-round swaps, the team seemed to have lost or forgotten what made them special, what made them contenders in the first place. Nonetheless, if Mighty can put to use what they’ve learned trying (and failing) to fill each other’s shoes, they just might be able to reach a new plane of understanding and synergy right in time for the Playoffs.

 

Tempest (3rd / 11W-3L / 36W-18L)

Compared to their Phase 1 iteration with mora (then called “Modernlife”) and Kim “duckdeok” Kyung-deok, Tempest’s Phase 2 lineup is a far more cohesive unit. Lee “HongCono” Dae-hyeong and Kim “H82” Jung-woo are both aggressive players who are comfortable following up on Yoon “Sign” Ji-hoon’s daredevil engages.

Tempest is undefeated in Phase 2 against all other Playoff teams, and had things gone any other way in last Sunday’s tiebreakers, they would have been considered a lock-in for Anaheim. But due to L5 providing a very clear set of instructions on how to abuse Tempest’s overt reliance on double support compositions, the atmosphere has shifted. Although Tempest are still the clear favorites to qualify for the HGC Global Finals, the team will have to quickly become more flexible both in drafts and in game, lest the unthinkable happens.

Still, unlike certain teams who are somewhat forced to use double support as a crutch, Tempest has a roster fully capable of playing other compositions with equal success. Their current flex trio of Sign, HongCono, and Chin “Lockdown” Jae-hoon are capable of playing almost anything, and in a pinch, Chin “Hide” Gyeong-hwan could definitely take up non-support duties as well. It should be interesting to see how Tempest adjusts.

Longtime listener, first-time caster


Hey guys — this is RallyJaffa, back in the realm of the written word. Thank you for being so welcoming and encouraging over the last two weekends. It meant the world to me.

 

Before gushing about all the fun I had, I first want to apologize for my voice being rather subdued. Hopefully it wasn’t too obvious on stream, but I had to cast through extremely severe laryngitis — I was coughing up blood every night this weekend — and could barely speak at all off camera, let alone hype things up on air. I would have liked to debut under more auspicious circumstances, but sometimes life throws a rock at you (because life is a Siege Giant) and you have to power through. I’m just glad it wasn’t any worse.

 

Okay, done with whining! Now for the happy stuff.

 

Getting to cast at OGN was like walking in a dream for me. I’ve been an esports junkie all my life; I’ve watched OGN every week since 2001. I never imagined that I would be a part of any of their shows, but sometimes life spawns a Tribute at the ideal spot (because life is the Raven Lord) and you get to take it for free. So I did, and it was great.

 

To be honest, becoming a caster — even a temporary one — had never been on my mind. Sure, I did host three days of Power League Season 2 last year, but that was purely for the community; it’s why I happily retreated as soon as Wolf and Gclef offered to take it up. So I was quite surprised and nervous when I was asked to fill in for Wolf (literally the English voice of Korean Heroes) for a few days.

 

Overall I think I did a solidly mediocre job. The community reception may have been great — two Reddit appreciation threads in four days has to be some kind of record — but I’m aware that it is partly due to my prior heavy involvement in the Heroes community. (I think I’ve been a great community member, though, so yay in that regard.)

 

I was happy about my draft analyses for the most part, especially those for the MVP Black vs. MVP Miracle series in which I was able to predict pretty much every single pick and ban. I was very unhappy about my level of general polish and excitement, however, so if I ever happen to fill in for Wolf or Gclef again I promise to do better in those areas. And please reach out to me on Twitter if you have any feedback; I’d appreciate it a lot!

 

All in all, I guess all those hours burnt in Hero League (Seasons 1~4 GM, peak rank #20, and yes I’m bragging about this here because my mom doesn’t care) weren’t for naught after all! FeelsGoodMan. Until next time, then, see you through my HGC articles and also in the Nexus.

 

Thoughts after the Mid-Season Brawl


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Source: DreamHack

 

1) First things first: Huge congratulations to both Fnatic and Team Dignitas. It’s great to see them reap the fruits of their honest labor. Thank you for the great finals.

 

2) Europe is currently the strongest region in the world, both across the board and at the top. Many experts had been suspecting it. Now there is undeniable proof.

 

3) NA might overtake CN by BlizzCon. The best Chinese players are continuing to leave for Honor of Kings. I fail to see how the region can remain competitive without them.

 

4) The tournament format was absolutely fantastic — it should always be done this way. I found the All-Star matches categorically horrible, but I know I’m not the target audience.

 

5) Korea’s slide downwards was to be expected. Relative to the Western regions, there was little incentive for Korean teams to tryhard in 2017.

 

There are no sponsors to impress. Most Korean teams have given up long ago on looking for a financially meaningful sponsorship, because the domestic esports market is barren outside of League of Legends (and to a lesser extent Overwatch). Thus there is no reason for mid-tier teams and lower to attempt to improve their standing in the league. Such will not lead to a single extra cent — in terms of money, all that matters is avoiding relegation.

 

The glamour has dramatically decreased. The vast majority of KR players used to play in an actual arena, in front of a crowd, with casters’ voices booming over the loudspeakers, and a stage host conducting interviews — the whole pizzazz. Sure, viewer numbers have gone way up due to HGC, and I really think this is a great thing. But the problem is that viewer numbers are an intangible. For most players, how many people watch them online doesn’t matter. As such, many players feel that they have been “relegated” to a lesser event, as HGC production is obviously far less prestigious compared to SuperLeague’s.

 

To be clear, I still think moving to the HGC format was a positive for the region as a whole.

 

6) First impressions on the HGC Korea roster changes:

 

MVP Black has clearly taken a hit — Rich will be Rich, but merryday was the best traditional support in the game, at least prior to MSB. MVP Miracle has also been weakened — there isn’t anything positive about the two roster moves they’ve made. Most importantly, L5 as we knew them are gone for good — unless Hooligan can get on Noblesse’s level within three months, they won’t really be able to compete with Europe’s best.

 

The two playoff-level teams to emerge stronger through the swaps are Tempest and Mighty. The former will most likely contend with MVP Black for first place.

 

In any case, I feel that Europe’s top 3 will still have an edge on Korea’s top 3 come BlizzCon.

 

7) A long interview feature with two Korean players should be coming out soon. Keep an eye out for it! I think it’s the most interesting interview I’ve ever conducted in Heroes.

 

MVP Miracle on Ice


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Source: Play XP

 

MVP Miracle has always been impervious to narrative.

 

When MVP Miracle was first founded in June 2016, fans were tempted to paint them as the almost-haves – a team of top-tier veterans who could never quite reach the apex with their flimsier previous squads. It had definite appeal, as the frame fit Min “Darvish” Seong-min, Im “Reset” Jin-woo, and Kang “Ttsst” Oon-sung perfectly. Unfortunately, both Han “CrazyMoving” Ki-soo and Kwon “Sniper” Tae-hoon were former Korean champions, so the take was judged to be a no-go. And all other drafts auditioned soon suffered a similar fate.

 

Even in game, unlike those of other top teams, MVP Miracle’s style of play did not lend itself to catchy characterizations. MVP Black usually stuck to textbook executions of the standard meta, which made their occasional off-the-walls compositions based on Lee “Rich” Jae-won’s godlike mechanics all the more effective. Tempest always was about their flashy unbridled frontline aggression and jaw-dropping prowess in dogfights, best reflected in Chin “Hide” Gyeong-hwan’s unorthodox interpretation of the support role. And whatever L5 did could be attributed to their savant commander Chae “Noblesse” Do-joon’s genius. But MVP Miracle? Other than being MVP Black’s sister team, no one was quite sure how to think of them.

 

Their grasp on the meta was undoubtedly solid, but they very rarely defied it. Their roster was well balanced, but no single player was quite the best at their position. Miracle would prove themselves to be Korea’s third best team in their first season, then second best come next, but still not a single gripping label would come out from it.

 


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Source: Team MVP

 

When it was announced in December 2016 that Yoon “Sign” Ji-hoon and Rich would be leaving MVP Black, the MVP organization wasted little time in picking up the superstar frontline duo of Lee “HongCono” Dae-hyeong and Park “Dami” Ju-dalm as replacements. Instead of plugging them into MVP Black directly, however, the decision was made to slot the two former world champions into MVP Miracle. Room would be made by moving Ttsst and Reset to MVP Black.

 

No one quite understood why it happened. MVP Miracle had been doing quite well, and Reset had been the team’s centerpiece, their main playmaker. Concerns were squelched at the time – understandably so – by the newcomers’ sheer name value, but the unanswered question would ever linger: why did Korea’s second best team have to be reshuffled?

 


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Source: Blizzard Entertainment

 

Season kickoff rolled around, and the two rebuilt MVP rosters were put on show for the first time. The new MVP Black was a well-oiled machine straight out the door; no lack of synergy could be observed between the locals and the immigrants. Ttsst and Reset looked as good as they had been on their previous team. The other three looked even better.

 

MVP Miracle, on the other hand, was a dumpster fire. To quote: “The aggressive approach of the ex-Tempest frontline proved to be virtually incompatible with the remaining three members’ more risk-averse style, a problem that in hindsight should have been foreseen and prepared for.” The disarrayed superstars would soon plummet to the bottom half of the table, then stay there.

 

When the HGC Eastern Clash was held mid-March, only the 2nd-place MVP Black was invited to Shanghai. 6th-place MVP Miracle stayed in Seoul. Keeping the teamhouse warm, they watched their sister team – on it, former teammates Ttsst and Reset – be crowned Asian champions.

 


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Source: Blizzard Entertainment

 

MVP Miracle has made it to the grand finals of the HGC Korea Playoffs. On the other side is – as fate has it – MVP Black. The winner will head to the Mid-Season Brawl. The loser gets nothing.

 

It has been a miracle run, a miracle climb, from the very bottom of the stepladder, one rung at a time. The fact that none of the slain – GG, Tempest, Mighty – had an unfavorable regular season head-to-head against MVP Miracle says everything. Prior to the playoffs, it was reported that all of MVP Miracle had been putting in insane hours over the last few weeks; they seem to have paid off handsomely, considering how handily their opponents were dispatched up until now.

 

But it will all have been for naught if they fall to MVP Black tomorrow.

 

MVP Black boasts the highest KDA, the lowest time spent dead, and the widest hero pool in HGC Korea. They may have fallen twice to L5 over the regular season, but the exact opposite occurred at the Eastern Clash, where much more was at stake. By any metric, by any qualitative criteria, MVP Black is one of if not the very best teams in the world.

 

There is usually something to be said about momentum when it comes to gauntlet formats; many teams in other titles, such as 2014 Najin White Shield (League of Legends), have ridden it to beat better squads. Yet even accounting for that tailwind, an MVP Miracle win tomorrow is difficult to predict or even foresee – such is the might of their sister team’s dominance.

 

Still, there is reason to believe. The rate of improvement MVP Miracle has shown over the last month is one virtually unprecedented in Heroes; MVP Black has historically been vulnerable to newly formed teams on the rise; and Hongcono and Dami’s in-your-face style of play has always been particularly effective against MVP Black’s disciplined, measured approach to the game.

 

And so has been put a miracle on ice. Ten hours remain.

 


 

HGC Korea Playoffs Preview


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originally published on heroesofthestorm.com/esports (Korean)

 

Following a fairly entertaining final week of the regular season, HGC Korea moves on to the postseason action fans have long been waiting for. The regional meta is very much uncharted at present; a variety of unconventional picks and compositions have seen success over the last few weeks. Upsets at the lower rungs of the stepladder would not be too surprising, seeing how even veteran commentators and players are not yet sure of how to best interpret the current patch.

 


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GG (6th / 5W-9L / 23-33)

 

Most analysts had predicted GG to finish sixth in the regular season, which turned out to be true. A large part of GG’s unimpressive placing was due to their over-reliance on their frontline of Park “Hooligan” Jong-hoon and Moon “Good” Sung-hyun; the two are capable of carrying entire games when the stars align, but their performances deviate severely from week to week, an undesirable trait in a double round-robin. This could, however, work to their advantage in the Playoff format, as one miraculous weekend run is all that is needed to make it to Jonkoping.

 

Something GG will have worked on over the short buildup to the postseason are their relatively narrow and predictable hero pools. Song “WooJae” Woo-jae may co-lead the region in number of heroes played (17), but the team as a whole does suffer from not being able to fully abuse certain heroes in the meta, such as Arthas, Auriel, and Nazeebo.

 

On the flip side, it should be noted that GG have shown decent speed in picking up newly released heroes, and is also the only team in Korea that plays certain ones – most notably Leoric – properly. There is a good chance GG will come up with an effective off-meta take on this patch’s still developing meta.

 

GG’s first match will take place against MVP Miracle on Friday: the two are dead even in the head-to-head at 5-5, and the showdown is expected to be close. A determined Hooligan, vowing to try their best, boldly revealed that GG was thinking about utilizing unorthodox compositions.

 


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MVP Miracle (5th / 6W-8L / 28-32)

 

Many were confused as to why Kang “Ttsst” Oon-sung and Im “Reset” Jin-woo were transferred to MVP Black over the offseason, as MVP Miracle had been doing very well with Reset as their main playmaker. The sheer name value of their replacements, however – former world champions Lee “HongCono” Dae-hyeong and Park “Dami” Ju-dalm – was massive enough to squelch concerns.

 

Unfortunately, the new MVP Miracle turned out to be a dumpster fire. The aggressive approach of the ex-Tempest frontline proved to be virtually incompatible with the remaining three members’ more risk-averse style, a problem that in hindsight should have been foreseen and prepared for. Less individually talented teams would trample over the disarrayed superstars, week after week, via better teamwork.

 

Come Round 2, however, the team managed to start turning their fortunes around. The lack of synergy, while still observable, became less and less jarring; the meta slowly shifted back into a range favorable for Dami; and HongCono’s form started to rise, at once linearly but then exponentially. While Miracle’s regular season ended with a 1-3 loss against L5, it was made clear throughout the match that the team had finally found firm ground.

 

MVP Miracle reportedly has been putting in insane practice hours over the last few weeks. When asked about his mindset going into the Playoffs, HongCono spoke not of victory but only of effort. Soon the fruits of their labor will be on display.

 


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Tempest (4th / 8W-6L / 31-24)

 

Tempest’s shocking loss to last-place Raven on the final day of the regular season, combined with their less shocking but also unexpected fall to Mighty in the week prior, knocked them down to fourth place right before the Playoffs. While most still expect the Eastern Clash participants to at least make it to the finals against MVP Black, their recent form in the league is definitely a cause for concern.

 

Many fans point to rookie melee flex player Jang “Modernlife” Jin-hak’s narrow and static hero pool as the root of Tempest’s problems, but such analysis is only half true and painfully surficial. There is a fair bit of nuance to the squad’s strengths and weaknesses, and the key to understanding the subtleties lies in examining how exactly shotcaller Yoon “Sign” Ji-hoon’s style of play juxtaposes with his teammates’.

 

Sign’s style of play has always been based around diving in deep for pickoffs, which usually demands his team to follow up on his aggression with as much damage and healing as possible. As such, Tempest’s games tend to revolve around Sign constantly trying to capitalize on good openings, while his teammates try to maintain a position where they can provide immediate backup. While this approach to the game is undoubtedly valid, it does sometimes clash with Chin “Hide” Gyeong-hwan’s interpretation of the support position (generating additional value by being as much of a daredevil frontline bruiser as possible) and Kim “duckdeok” Kyung-deok’s preference for a slower and defensive game (as opposed to high-risk high-reward aggression). Tempest’s occasional total breakdowns in formation come from this.

 

With four former world champions on their roster, Tempest have proven several times over the season they very much are a world class team when they click; the problem is that they fail at it a bit too often. What’s past need not be prologue. Will Tempest aim to win through their heterogeneity, or despite it?

 


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Mighty (3rd / 8W-6L / 28-28)

 

Mighty is Tempest’s polar opposite in many ways. Tempest consists of one newcomer and four legends, whereas Mighty consists of one seasoned veteran and four relative unknowns; Tempest will always be beheld to their former glory, whereas Mighty has yet to claim any royal history. But most interesting is how the core strengths of each squad (Tempest’s sheer individual brilliance vs. Mighty’s gritty cohesion as a team) is what the other must acquire if they are to ascend to the next level.

 

Much of the team’s identity is derived from tank player Kim “JOKER” Ju-hyeong, who is incidentally the only member who has been on the organization’s previous Heroes roster. His consistent fundamentals-first approach to the game anchors his flashier teammates to a reliable big picture, while not robbing of them of the space they need to shine. Behind JOKER’s spearhead, the team forms an incredible balance, with Kim “Magi” Jin-hwan and Kim “SDE” Hyun-tae’s more measured and cerebral style complimenting and offsetting Lee “Sans” Jin-young and Na “NaSang” Sang-min’s audacious and instinctual tendencies.

 

Despite Mighty’s virtues, however, they are not expected to fare well against MVP Black. Mighty is not an impressive team when it comes down to individual mechanics, a quality required to compete at the very top level of competitive play. Mighty is the only team in the Playoffs to have failed to take even a single map from Korea’s two titans: their regular season record against L5 and MVP Black is 0-12.

 

Can teamwork alone take a team to the top? This weekend should tell. When asked about his goals for the Playoffs, JOKER answered that win or lose, Mighty would aim to show their competitive potential.

 


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MVP Black (2nd / 12W-2L / 38-10)

 

There is simply no way to discuss this team without demoralizing the entire Playoff competition. Out of all HGC Korea teams, MVP Black boasts the highest KDA, the lowest time spent dead, and the widest hero pool. Most importantly, it has yet to drop even a single match this year to any team not named L5.

 

Prior to HGC kickoff, many had expected MVP Black to suffer heavily from losing their superstar frontline of Sign and Lee “Rich” Jae-won. Such concerns turned out to be false, however; Jeong “KyoCha” Won-ho proved to be a phenomenal melee flex, and Ttsst and Reset both slotted into the team perfectly. Reset, in particular, found phenomenal individual form around the Eastern Clash and has not let go of it since.

 

Objectively speaking, MVP Black’s ticket to Sweden looks to be already secured. The old fox Lee “Sake” Jung-hyuk has proven himself to be the best flex player in Korea, and Yi “merryday” Tae-jun is in peak condition, clearly determined to end his storied career on a high note. There is little reason to believe any team could possibly out-draft the wily KyoCha, or outmuscle the star-studded squad in mechanics.

 

To even stand a chance against MVP Black, as dreadfully trite as it sounds, teams will have to come in with an entirely fresh take on the draft; as evidenced in their showdown in Shanghai against the Chinese giants eStar, MVP Black definitely can make uncharacteristic mistakes when facing alien compositions. With the competitive meta in wild flux, this Sunday just may be the best chance any of the lower teams have at toppling the Eastern Clash champions.

 


 

Shy’s Message in a Bottle


 

Q: “Do you have any messages for your fans abroad? Even if they don’t make it into the article, I can make sure to publish them elsewhere so it still spreads.”

 

A. “I remember one foreign fan from back in 2014, when I visited Paris for All-Stars. She was European, but the handwritten letter she gave me – which was about how she found joy in [supporting] me and how that helped with her life – was all in Korean. I was really touched. ‘Wow… even overseas, there are fans out there who care for me this much,’ I thought. To this day it still remains a warm memory. So I want to send my thanks.”