Posted by Shawn “PROlane” Ballard, Team Liquid on Heroes of the Storm
DreamHack Summer showcased the best of the best in Heroes of the Storm Esports as 12 teams from around the globe met in Jönköping, Sweden, each hoping to take the title of Global Champions home to their respective region. Four teams were eliminated ahead of the weekend’s competition, but the remaining eight put on an incredible show from the start of the Group Stages until the climax of the Grand Finals.
GROUP STAGE 2
|GROUP A TEAM||RECORD|
|MVP Black (KR)||2:0 – ADVANCED|
|eStar Gaming (CN)||2:1 – ADVANCED|
|Team Naventic (NA)||1:2 – ELIMINATED|
|Please Buff Arthas (TW)||0:2 – ELIMINATED|
Group A went as many expected, as two tournament favorites advanced into the Semifinals. Reigning World Champions MVP Black looked flawless throughout the tournament and took the group rather handily. The last hope for North America, Team Naventic, were able to eliminate Taiwan’s Please Buff Arthas, but came up short against both Korea’s MVP Black and China’s eStar Gaming.
|GROUP B TEAM||RECORD|
|Tempest (KR)||2:0 – ADVANCED|
|mYinsanity (EU)||2:1 – ADVANCED|
|Team Dignitas (EU)||1:2 – ELIMINATED|
|X-Team (CN)||0:2 – ELIMINATED|
Group B wasn’t as easy to predict as Group A. All of the casters expected the recently-crowned Korean Regional Champions, Tempest, to advance, but nobody was certain which of the European teams would join them in the Semifinals. mYinsanity answered that question in a decisive fashion by taking down their regional rivals Team Dignitas in a decisive 2:0 set.
Neither North America nor Europe were represented in the Championship Bracket during the Spring Global Championship, but with the recent team overhauls in the East, an opportunity finally presented itself for the West to stake its claim in the Nexus once more.
In a welcome departure from the shorter Spring format, the Semifinals and Grand Finals for the Summer Championship were both scheduled as best-of-five match-ups.
MVP Black vs. mYinsanity
|Sky Temple||MVP Black|
|Towers of Doom||MVP Black|
|Battlefield of Eternity||MVP Black|
In the first Championship Bracket appearance of a non-Korean or non-Chinese team since Blizzcon 2015, mYinsanity represented their region well. Eventually falling 3:1 to the reigning Champions MVP Black, the Europeans showed poise when competing at the highest level, but wavered beneath the coordinated aggression of their opponents. As mYinsanity were eliminated, so too was the hope of European fans as their last regional representative was taken down.
eStar Gaming vs. Tempest
|Tomb of the Spider Queen||eStar Gaming|
|Towers of Doom||Tempest|
Amidst rumors that members of eStar Gaming would be retiring after the Summer Championship, the Chinese team worked hard to play their best and have a strong final showing with this roster. Against Tempest, however, even the best from one of the strongest teams in the world was not enough. In the deciding fourth game, eStar Gaming led by a considerable amount of Core health at one point, but the Korean Champions never gave up. Tempest fought back, winning team fight after team fight until they destroyed eStar Gaming’s Core with just five health left on their own. As a result of eStar Gaming’s elimination, the Grand Finals would be an all-Korea affair and a rematch of the recent Korean Regional.
There was never any doubt that the Grand Finals between the two Korean powerhouse teams would feature some amazing play, but few expected MVP Black and Tempest to put on such a great show. Already being touted as one of the greatest series of Heroes of the Storm ever, the climax of the 2016 Heroes of the Storm Summer Championship was truly something special.
MVP Black vs. Tempest
|Battlefield of Eternity||Tempest|
|Infernal Shrines||MVP Black|
|Cursed Hollow||MVP Black|
|Towers of Doom||Tempest|
Battlefield of Eternity
The first battleground was expected to be a stomping ground for MVP Black just as it had been throughout the tournament. The reigning champions had already secured two wins within the eighth minute on Battlefield of Eternity, but things played out very differently against their regional rivals.
Both squads started the match extremely aggressively, but their experience and respect for each other was still apparent for much of the match. Realizing that even the smallest of mistakes could prove fatal, teams were as quick to disengage as they had been to engage on occasion.
Ultimately it was Tempest who took the upper hand in game one; they focused their burst onto MVP Black’s Merryday (Lt. Morales) and, when she fell, Tempest were able to secure a 16th-minute Immortal and push MVP Black’s core.
Going the distance in the second match of the set, both teams gained storm talents prior to the final team fight of the battleground. This epic back-and-forth battle, highlighted by plays from Tempest’s Dami and Hide, as well as MVP Black’s Sign and Sake, showcased the highest levels of both individual and team play. After the match, caster Wolf Schröder opined that Dami is current best single Heroes of the Storm player in the world.Tempest’s game two fate was sealed when MVP Black’s tank player, Sign, having selected Tour Bus as his Storm Talent on E.T.C., used it to great effect towards the end of the game to earn a triple-kill and a Punisher that ultimately resulted in a lethal bottom lane push.
A surprise last-pick Tracer built hype for this battleground from the start, and MVP Black’s KyoCha played the Overwatch agent masterfully, landing Pulse Bomb after Pulse Bomb in clutch situations. Like the previous game on Infernal Shrines, this one was closely contested all the way through level 20 when MVP Black’s boss control proved to be the catalyst for victory.Tempest were a bit overzealous with their aggression late in the game, which resulted in the loss of a 22-minute boss and a full team wipe. The defending champions were quick to pounce, and made a lethal push through the top lane to take a seemingly commanding 2-1 lead.
MVP Black had all the momentum going into the fourth and potentially final match of the set, and looked dominant throughout. Controlling the objectives and claiming four Dragon Knight spawns to their opponent’s one, MVP Black appeared to be making all the right plays, even gaining Storm Talents while Tempest were still level 18, but even with that significant advantage they were unable to force a lethal push.In the 24th minute, Tempest, who were on the back foot for the entire game, forced a team fight. Tempest’s Li-Ming player, Lockdown, was able to interrupt MVP Sign’s (E.T.C.) Mosh Pit and started gaining resets via Critical Mass. Kill after kill, resulting in a quadrakill, led to a thrilling turnaround and victory for Tempest.
Towers of Doom
Tempest saved their best for last, and Towers of Doom was a best-of-one, winner-takes-all brawlfest between the two biggest Heroes of the Storm juggernauts.The entire Tempest team played well, but it was Dami’s dominant performance on Greymane that proved to be too much for their opponents. Towers of Doom is the most team fight-oriented battleground in the Nexus, and after some exciting back and forth, Tempest’s team fight won the battleground, the series, and the tournament.
CONGRATULATIONS TO TEMPEST, THE NEW HEROES OF THE STORM CHAMPIONS!