With a finalized roster, our boys headed to IEM Katowice as a strong contender, but not a clear front runner. After a great performance in the first match up of the tournament, the seedings started to become more and more clear. Placed in a group with Na’Vi (the most feared team in the tournament), the mYi boys managed to top the group with a 2-0 score above strong contender Dignitas. Intelligent drafting and mechanically sound play allowed us to propel through the Round of Four matches, sealing the deal for the road to Korea. But pride was on the line here, and more importantly, the crown of European dominance for the beginning of the 2016 season.
Although we had a competitive draft going in to game one of the finals, Dignitas was able to create a small window of opportunity for themselves early in the game. The small map size and strength of siege on Tomb of the Spider Queen warranted itself towards Dignitas’s small lead as the gap began to quickly increase, leading to a solid win for Dignitas in game one. Game two is when things became a little bit interesting however. After a series of strong drafts (with losses mainly accredited to mechanical mistakes) the boys went for the big man himself – Cho’gall. Personally I was a little perplexed by this. Hearing some thoughts from Hasuobs, Dreadnaught, and others, I agree that Cho’gall has a place in the meta; and understand why European teams have attempted to work him in so often. My main problem however, is that countering a Cho’gall decently usually comes at less cost than performing with Cho’gall decently can. An impressive counter-draft from Dignitas of Muradin, E.T.C. and Tyrande kept Darkmok (Cho) and Blumbi (Gall) on their toes the entire match. Although the two admirably kept the split-brained ogre in check for the majority of the game, Cho’gall punishes his own team harder for mistakes than most of the other heroes – the second match wasn’t meant to be.
With the momentum in favor of Dignitas, the mYi boys would have to rally hard to take a game for themselves, and rally they did. Cleaving an early lead on Infernal Shrines, the Boys in Blue wanted to make a statement. As more and more Dignitas structures fell, the prospects grew ever higher, but a mid-game over extension allowed Dignitas to take the first experience lead of the match. Slowing down the pace of the game, Dignitas played more methodically than usual to propel this slight lead to a shrine victory. With this shrine, Dignitas took a massive experience lead – forcing our boys to become uncomfortably aggressive. Tasting their victory, Dignitas emptied their gas tanks on the aggressive counter-play the Boys in Blue attempted in the closing minutes of the match. Dignitas was able to take the core.
Looking to the future, the mYi crew is ecstatic about the trip and competition in Korea, as well as, the boot camp leading up to it. For the time being it seems like the power vortex of Europe has calmed itself after the tumultuous winter period. A current power ranking from this analyst would read; Dignitas (1), mYinsanity (2), Na’Vi (3), Fnatic (4), with the top 3 being very closely contended. It will be interesting to see if this holds up throughout the Spring and opening of the Summer season. That being said, the global competition is even more stacked than the European regional competitors, and our boys will have to do everything they can in preparation for their biggest event to date. We at mYinsanity would like to congratulate Dignitas for the 1st place finish and gaining their invitation to the Global Championship; but to also give a grave reminder that “fans who bleed blue, are watching you”.