Creating a United Front
It’s no coincidence that the top three teams have had stable rosters for a while now. Dignitas, mYi, and Fnatic all boast a 100% player retention rate since the Spring season, and their cohesion as a whole was clearly juxtaposed with other teams still struggling to work together.
Team Liquid swapped out Polish player Jowe for all-star tank bkb’s and had much better results this tournament. Nonetheless, their series against Dignitas showed they still had improvements to make that roster changes couldn’t solve; deterioration in teamwork, shotcalling and confidence started almost immediately after the first bad game and continued downhill from there. Similarly, Na`Vi has struggled to make an impression this year despite their incredible performance at last year’s European Championship as well as BlizzCon. For both teams, it’s a fall from grace, from top place to trial and error in the Group Stages—in many ways a disheartening trend.
On the other hand, our team has shown consistently strong performances in back-to-back championships, coming up just shy of first place in both events. When asked for the secret to the team’s success, team captain and tank player Blumbi says, “I think we just prepare very well for the matches and for our opponents specifically.” For a team that’s been together for almost five months now, mYi has a huge pool of knowledge to draw from: “None of the picks surprised us, we had the stuff in our drafting book and just went through the draft with the whole time pool up.”
It’s clear that the consistent results that our team has been getting in LANs is directly related to the hard work they put in and the stability of the roster. Flex player Darkmok thinks that mYi is finally starting to gain the recognition they deserve, stating, “I think no one can say ‘oh, they were just lucky’, ‘the other teams just had a bad day’ or ‘mYi is just good in this patch’ anymore.”
It’s all about the team synergy.
The Difference is Momentum
Even with their strong performance in the group stages, our team eventually fell to Dignitas once again in the Grand Finals—a clean 3-0 sweep again. Déjà vu. The first game went badly and mYi slowly broke down under the unrelenting pressure DIG was able to dish out in Games 2 and 3.
In spite of seemingly dominant results from Dignitas, Blumbi thinks things could have gone otherwise, stating, “I would even say we had a good shot at winning the whole thing if we played that first game out correctly because they [Dignitas] tend to be negative once they lose a game; they are just insanely good if they win everything.”
“Basically, the winner of the 31 minute game on Battlefield of Eternity was the winner of the series in my opinion. You could see how frustrated they were after losing it and how happy we were after winning it.”-Darkmok
In truth, Heroes of the Storm is
largely about momentum; the team that gets going early in a tournament (especially a weekend-long tournament) will typically keep going strong and win the entire thing.
Darkmok also lends credence to this theory by stating that, “The best series was, by far, the semi-final against Fnatic…Basically, the winner of the 31 minute game on Battlefield of Eternity was the winner of the series in my opinion. You could see how frustrated they were after losing it and how happy we were after winning it.”
Momentum translates into dominance quickly.
Let’s not forget Na`Vi’s utter domination in Prague last year or Cloud9’s nearly flawless victory at BlizzCon—or almost all of the championships so far this year. In Heroes of the Storm, it’s been a trend that nearly every champion has dropped one or two games max the entire tournament. For mYi, the difference between winning and losing the tournament could have been as simple as gaining the edge in Game 1 and riding the success through to subsequent rounds.
Making an Impression
Whatever the missing puzzle piece is for our Heroes team, you can bet they’ll find it before the second European Championship in France. They may have missed out on the trophy this time, but they’ve proven that they can compete with—and beat—the best teams in the region during the Championship.
”I’m proud of my team. I think players and fans are starting to respect us as a good team finally. Na`Vi was 2015; we are in 2016.”
The only weak point for the team throughout 2016 has been inconsistent performances in online qualifiers; once those inner demons are overcome, mYinsanity is likely to become the team to beat in Europe. After all, consistency is key, and mYi is the poster child for slow and steady improvement.
“I’m proud of my team,” says Blumbi confidently, “I think players and fans are starting to respect us as a good team finally. Na`Vi was 2015; we are in 2016.”