EU Weekly Recap – HGC Open Division Cup #1

The European Open Division of the Heroes Global Championship has returned for 2018 and Cup 1 is now in the books. 42 teams competed this week and began their quest for a chance to challenge the bottom two HGC teams in the Crucible. Of these 42 teams, only two could outlast the competition and duke it out in the Grand Finals: Team Singularity and ManticOre.

Team Singularity 

Team Singularity’s roster consists of zwHydra (melee flex), former member of the HGC team, Team Synergy. Knuutti (carry) and Henn1ng (support), who played for MÅÅ and was upset by Leftovers (now an HGC team) in the Quarter-Finals of the Phase #1 EU-Open Division Playoffs. Lanaras (tank) and karci (flex) started playing with Knuutti and Henn1ng as Ardent Esports during Phase #2 of last year’s Open Division.

ManticOre 

ManticOre’s roster is Mascarade (flex), valbeatbox (tank), BananaH (support), Toon (carry), and Venobili (melee flex). Aside from Toon, who played with unKnights in the DreamHack Tours tournament in 2017, little is known of their team. With their showing in the first cup, I expect that to change soon.

Game 1 – Infernal Shrines

1st Ban – ManticOre – Gul’dan & Greymane

2nd Ban – Team Singularity – Tyrael & E.T.C.

ManticOre – Hanzo (Toon), Tassadar (Mascarade), Lúcio (BananaH), Anub’arak (valbeatbox), Malthael (Venobili)

Team Singularity – Genji (karci), Uther (Henn1ng), Leoric (zwHydra), Muradin (Laranas), Chromie (Knuutti)

Singularity showed their aggressive nature early in the match by contesting ManticOre’s Impaler mercenaries and drawing first blood by narrowly getting a kill on valbeatbox. The kill allowed Singularity to easily claim the first Punisher and ManticOre responded by capturing their Fallen Shaman camp to ensure map pressure during the Punisher defense. A pair of picks for Singularity earned them Level 10 before their opponent and they used the early advantage to eliminate the bottom keep. Both teams are on even talent tiers as the second shrine spawns and ManticOre engaged:

ManticOre dropped the middle Keep of Singularity with the help of the Punisher and then claimed every mercenary camp available to them while exploiting the sloppy rotations of Singularity. With the 3rd objective on the horizon and both teams inching towards Level 16, ManticOre landed an early, team-fight kill on zwHydra giving them control over the shrine. Hydra’s reduced death-timer trait gave Singularity a fleeting chance to capture the objective and they engaged again in a desperate attempt to claim the Punisher:

With a level advantage (17 vs 16), ManticOre pushed the top lane with their Punisher:

With that, ManticOre took the early series lead. Throughout the game, ManticOre displayed a strong macro-sense for how to win on Infernal Shrines and a pair of objectives were all they needed to finish this one. Singularity did not play poorly, but they let a slight early-game advantage get away from them and the tide turned in ManticOre’s favor from the second objective on.

Game 2 – Cursed Hollow

1st Ban – Team Singularity – Abathur & Lúcio

2nd Ban – ManticOre – Gul’dan & Li-Ming

Team Singularity – Greymane (karci), Dehaka (zwHydra), Anub’arak (Laranas), Rehgar (Henn1ng), Lunara (Knuutti)

ManticOre – Hanzo (Toon), Tyrael (valbeatbox), Uther (BananaH), Tassadar (Mascarade), Sonya (Venobili)

 

The first 8 minutes of Game 2 looked much like a gentlemen’s match as both teams opted for a conservative early-game that resulted in a pair of tributes for each squad. The only death coming from Lanaras whilst Singularity had an inkling to contest the fourth tribute spawn which could have been a Curse for them. The spawn point for the fifth, tribute-giving curse proved pivotal as we were treated to an even, Level 12 fight on Singularity’s side of the map:

Laranas came within an inch of losing his life but he was able to tap a well and the cerebral positioning of karci and clutch Ancestral Heal from Henn1ng gave Singularity a moment to breathe and reset the fight. The 5 for 0 bloodbath and Curse netted Singularity a commanding 2-level lead despite failing to take down the bottom Keep during their Curse. Singularity and ManticOre then traded bosses (each taking down the other’s Boss). ManticOre did an admirable job of defending the top-pushing Boss but while they were desperately trying to reach even talent tiers at Level 16, Singularity committed and finally took down the bottom keep. With another tribute spawn incoming, ManticOre attempted to get a pick on Lunara:

Singularity was unable to finish off the Core but with only 46% left and Level 20 obtained by Singularity, ManticOre’s chances to make a comeback were on life-support. As another Curse-giving tribute spawned, ManticOre had no options left and took a fight with a talent disadvantage:

Unlike the first match, Singularity grabbed an advantage and never let go. ManticOre stood strong in the face of mounting odds but the lost fight over the first Curse and a failed pick on Lunara proved to be their downfall. Luckily for the viewers, we were blessed with an equalizer match.

Game 3 – Battlefield of Eternity

1st Ban – ManticOre – Hanzo & E.T.C.

2nd Ban – Team Singularity – Genji & Malthael

ManticOre – Greymane (Toon), Tyrael (valbeatbox), Lúcio (BananaH), Tassadar (Mascarade) , Sonya (Venobili)

Team Singularity – Arthas (zwHydra), Malfurion (Henn1ng), Li-Ming (Knuutti), Anub’arak (Lanaras), Tychus (karci)

 

If it was up to me, every game 3 in Open Division Finals would be played on Battlefield of Eternity. It’s one of my favorite maps to watch in competitive play due to the multitude of team fights. Singularity started the match by sending Tychus to the top with Arthas and within 45 seconds confirmed first blood on Sonya. Shortly after, ManticOre attempted to capture the bottom Impaler mercenaries, however, a quick response from Singularity netted them a second kill and successful camp steal. A race commenced after the first objective spawned:

After the Immortal phase, Singularity smartly waited for ManticOre to attempt the bottom mercenary camp and once again find a pick and steal the camp. Things were getting out of hand quickly for ManticOre but they got the perfect fight on the top Shaman camp as Singularity again attempted to invade but the brawl turned into picks on Lanaras and Hydra while almost fully catching ManticOre up in XP. Unfortunately, the fast death timers were working against ManticOre and Singularity defended:

After ManticOre’s Immortal was finished both teams opted to trade forts. In rotation, three of ManticOre’s players showed in lane while capturing the top Shaman camp and Singularity wisely moved in for the backside flank. The teamfight resulted in 3 kills to 1 death in favor of Singularity and the Level 13 talent advantage as the third objective spawned. ManticOre was forced to defend the Immortal after reaching Level 13 but Simplicity landed a quick pick on Mascarade off of a perfect Twilight Dream from Henn1ng and Toon also fell in the retreat. The Immortal easily allowed Singularity to demolish the bottom Keep and a Level 16 talent advantage. Singularity wisely spent their time between objective spawns taking their opponents Shaman camp and pressuring the top-lane Keep. When the 4th Immortal spawned, ManticOre was once again on defense:

Team Singularity was victorious with a dominating performance. GGs and Well Played to both sides.

Team Singularity entered this tournament as a heavy favorite, therefore, no surprises in their tournament win. Despite some early missteps in Game 1, they kept composure and the 5-0 team wipe on Cursed Hollow in Game 2 set the pace for the rest of the series.

ManticOre entered the series as relative unknowns (at least in comparison to Team Singularity) and as such their performance was very promising. Their patience on Infernal Shrines and execution upon gaining a lead shows that this team is ready to compete. Had the big team fight on Cursed Hollow gone their way (and it was a sliver of Lanaras’ health away from doing so) this could have been a 2-0 finish in their favor. If they clean up their early-game macro decisions, don’t be surprised to see this team back in the finals for future Cups.

Ladies and Gentlemen, our first Cup of HGC EU Open Division is now complete and we’re already gearing up for Cup #2 on February 5th. For a full listing of the current points standings, visit https://heroeshype.com/euopen and click the “Standings” tab.