This week, Trait Value, EiD, Team Nightcare and Rouge et Au returned to the Top 4. Rouge et Au and EiD would claim the same prizes of fourth and third respectively and Trait Value finds a return to the Grand Finals after being eliminated early in last week’s cup. Our second place finishers from last week, Team Nightcare, also return seeking that tournament ‘W’.
This week, we turn our eyes to Trait Value vs. Team Nightcare in the HGC North America Open Division Cup #5!
Game 1 – Battlefield of Eternity
Trait Value Bans – Abathur, Samuro
Team Nightcare Bans – Blaze (1st), Tyrande
Trait Value Composition – Greymane, E.T.C., Kharazim, Li-Ming, Arthas
Team Nightcare Composition – Malfurion, Johanna, Hanzo, Dehaka, Thrall
Before the Immortal had even started its countdown to arrive on the battlefield, Trait Value decided to take an early Shaman camp and to also grab both Khazra camps. They didn’t yield much lane pressure as Team Nightcare cleaned them up in due time for the battle over the Immortals. They may have been able to create an experience lead had they stayed with the camps, but they let Team Nightcare deal with them as they wanted, denying any value from the camps. Trait Value may have been forcing pieces off the board in case Hanzo, Thrall or Dehaka decided to split off during the Immortal or invading the Shaman camp before claiming the Immortal.
Similar to the first Immortal, Team Nightcare would claim three more takedowns and a half-health Immortal to shove down the top fort’s gate and towers. A drawn out, back and forth team fight would last just long enough for the next Immortal to spawn and a three-to-two trade in Team Nightcare’s favor. With Li-Ming being the last to die on the side of Trait Value, they were missing a big component to their poke for the Immortal as the Immortal event started.
A tight corridor near the bottom Khazra camp provided a great advocate for Kharazim’s healing off of his ‘W’ as his team crashed onto Team Nightcare and killed them two more times.
Seventeen minutes in, the Immortal fight started off quite cautiously. Trait Value was able to take the fight they needed and took the three-for-nothing exchange and a three-quarter health Immortal to race down the top lane. The post-level thirteen match had swung in Trait Value’s favor with removing a Keep and the structures in front of the bottom lane’s Keep. But it wouldn’t last long.
The boomerang comes back for Team Nightcare
Trait Value asked for a team fight and Team Nightcare was more than happy to oblige under their Immortal.
Game 1 celebrates Team Nightcare as victors!
Game 2 – Dragon Shire
Trait Value Bans – Tyrael, Blaze
Team Nightcare Bans – Kerrigan(1st), Cho
Trait Value Composition – E.T.C., Greymane, Junkrat, Stukov, Thrall
Team Nightcare Composition – Malfurion, Johanna, Hanzo, Tracer, Dehaka
Quickly into the match we had an invade from Team Nightcare which resulted in the first blood of the match on Stukov. Trait Value would return the favor plus one over the bottom shrine with a great combo of the Lurking Arm and a Power Slide. Down two, Team Nightcare would still take the first Dragon Knight but Trait Value showed a good defense; not allowing Team Nightcare to get much value from it.
SSSSrey played the match perfectly against Dehaka with his use of the global ability in Stage Dive. Every time I feel like E.T.C made the call to join the team fight at the critical time and Glogan on Dehaka was forced to play reactive or entirely pre-emptively by sticking with his team. Don’t get me wrong, Glogan did what Dehaka does and exceptionally well in the lane soak and even being in on the team fights. But, the Stage Dive and E.T.C. presence had a much bigger impact on the team fights.
Team Nightcare recognized that they needed Level 20 and after losing a Keep, they needed to make a play and boy was it a doozy.
If this party bush happened in the morning, it would have been an A.M.bush.
What a filthy party bush! It was such an obscure trap that there was no way for Trait Value to have suspected that. Anyone watching VODs of Team Nightcare to prepare for the next cup are going to have to be on their toes at all time.
Though Team Nightcare would secure more kills for the majority of the game, they could not match the poke of Junkrat, the global impact of E.T.C. and the solid support from Stukov in the team fights. The composition of Trait Value was just able to disengage well enough when things didn’t go their way that they staunched the bleeding and prevented Team Nightcare from making any significant pushes even with the Dragon Knight. Otherwise team fight after team fight, Trait Value just chipped away at their opponent’s heroes and structures to a point where the death timers were too many and far enough apart that there was nothing Team Nightcare could do.
Game 2 goes the way of Trait Value. Ladies and gentlemen, we are privy to a game 3 showdown!
Game 3 – Volkskaya Foundry
Trait Value Bans – Hanzo (1st). Blaze
Team Nightcare Bans – Gall, Tyrande
Trait Value Composition – Malfurion, Muradin, Greymane, Tracer, Tyrael
Team Nightcare Composition – E.T.C., Li-Ming, Malthael, Alexstrasza, Cassia
Remember when Team Nightcare invaded the Giant camp in Game 2? Well, Trait Value decided not once, but twice to try and invade the Fortification camp. Neither time was successful in getting a kill or the turret, but clearly Trait Value was riding their momentum off of their win and did not want to be pushed around. Team Nightcare attempted to return in kind by abandoning the objective and tried to deny Trait Value the Support Camp; this decision would come back to haunt them as not only did they lose the camp but also the Triglav Protector. From that one objective, Trait Value snagged first and second blood as well as two gates and two sets of towers; boosting them a level and a half ahead of Team Nightcare and acquiring their heroic abilities first.
Nothing came of that level lead for Trait Value, but Team Nightcare did not care about a single level and snagged three kills and the next objective. They weren’t able to get as much value out of the objective as Trait Value. As this match swung back and forth, the value from the Triglav Protector singlehandedly decided this match.
Team Nightcare’s second Protector was completely nullified and had no chance of gaining much ground after Alexstrasza was killed and Greymane pushed in on their top Keep. Continually, Team Nightcare lost all exchanges on the value scale. Troy1010 did a superb job on Greymane in picking up the camps constantly on this map and shoving in that top lane.
Hungry for blood, Team Nightcare would force Trait Value off of the objective with a show of force as five team members charged into the zone and claimed Tracer’s life. For the third time, they also claimed the twenty-four minute Triglav Protector! But even then, with the lane pushed, they could not equalize the Keep count. Trait Value would chase Team Nightcare all the way back to their base and not let up.
The explosive killing power of a coordinated attack
The snap kill on Malthael and then Cassia sealed the deal. Even though Malthael would revive, Cassia’s absence spelled disaster for Team Nightcare.
Trait Value would reposition and push on to the Core; ending the series as Cup #5 Champions!
The Baton has been Passed
The Era of SMV and XD is over for now. We look toward the future as EID, Trait Value, Team Nightcare and Rouge et Au are clamboring over each other for points and to see who can top the ladder. The HGC Open Division will be off for a couple of weeks, but will return on March 19th! Be sure to watch the HGC Western Clash this weekend from Katowice starting Friday at 2 a.m. PST on twitch.tv/blizzheroes. Once we return we’ll have to see if SMV can hold that #1 spot and who will claim the #2 seed.
For a breakdown of points following Cup #5 visit https://heroeshype.com/naopen/ and click the “Standings” tab.