by Sascha “Yiska” Heinsich
The All-star tournament came to an end and fortunately for you radicoLs the team consisting of coL.Red’s Venruki & Snutz plus coL.Black’s Toez took home the $1000 cash price.
The tournament started out really slow and the quality of games really weren’t all that impressive, until the finals. Toez‘ team had the advantage of having played together as that comp on liveservers before and that really showed through out the whole tournament as they got progressively better and were without a doubt the team with the best synergy. The big advantage of this team of course also was that all of them were able to play their main classes because while the Wizard cleave version with a Paladin instead of a Shaman is surely a little worse, but it’s still a pretty good comp and pretty much the closest thing we got to the cookie cutter comps (Beast Cleave, RMP, MLS, Shadowcleave, you name it) we saw at the event.
Generally speaking I felt that Toez had the best strategy out of all team captain’s when he was picking his team. While it really seemed like other team captains were just picking people so it would destroy possible cookie cutter comps Toez picked Snutz as his first choice, knowing that he would have the chance to pick out of 3 Mages to run a pretty good comp. The arguably most awkward choice came from the Korean team captain Numberone who picked first our very own Reckful only to add a second Rogue player,cRealz. Whether he thought it would be a pretty good comp to run because he theorycrafted that they could just train one target to death or if he mistook which classes realz could play is currently unknown. What we do know is that the comp seemed to be about more than just dispelltraining and damage spamming into one target and the lack of good CC chains, decent tactics and communication clearly showed as the team was the first one to get thrown out of the tournament.
The next team that would be eliminated was coL.Red’s Priest Sodah’s team and while he really showed the world that he still plays quite a mean Druid, the team just didn’t find their working comp and player lineup. They had been trying quite a couple of comps, but even though the community opinion about counter comping and playing lots of classes is that it’s cheap as it’s easy to win; I think at least this tournament showed that there is more to it than just picking up a counter comp and rolling your face over the keyboard. Snutz truely shined in these games against Sodah’s Get some as the amount of damage he was able to put out while still kiting really well against cleaves like Enhancement/Warrior/Druid was still very competitive.
It took some time for Kollektiv’s team to find their sweet spot comp and I’m sure Kollektiv was speculating to run Beast Cleave with him picking Twixz as the very first choice at the tournament. It is pretty save to assume that he wanted to pick Realz who is also well known for his Priest skills which he showed so often during this entire MLG Season. If you have the HD stream you should rewind to the moment when numberone picks Realz and look at Kollektiv’s face. “Oh man, now I can’t have Realz…Wait, are you seriously running double Rogue now?“ was written accross his face. Nevertheless he was able to get quite a good team rolling with both Orangemarmalade and Hiren on his team. While I’m sure it is still a problem if the healer is kind of disconnected communcation-wise because of the language barrier from the team, having a Rogue/Mage that is used to each other and plays at the level these Koreans do was still a very good pick. While RMS surely isn’t as strong as RMP because of the lack of defensive dispell, the offensive power because of Bloodlust can be quite overwhelming especially in a tournament where people are running off-classes and easily go into „panic-mode“ when pressured.
The finals were over fairly quickly as Toez‘ team played really well together and they beat Don’t train me 7-1 in the best of 13 series.
What do we take from this to today?
Some might argue not much but I beg to differ. While surely not every player was taking this tournament seriously, it was still very interesting to see in which form these players are. Would I have to pick an MVP of yesterday’s tournament even when I lay all my love for this organization aside, I would have to go with Snutz. Why this is so important for today is that he comes in helping out coL.Red and it’s easy to get alienated from the team in such a situation but despite my concerns, the synergy between him and Venruki was great.
On the other hand we have Sodah who made an appearance on Druid for the first time since arena season 5 (let’s count out the games against Beast Cleave in Anaheim shall we?) and he really felt strong. This is also relevant because some people argue that Rogue/Lock/Druid is still quite a decent comp. Even if they end up only running some kind of Wizard cleave, the performance of the DPS duo Snutz-Venruki was still pretty convincing. Add in that their RMP is still among the best in North America (they almost beat Button Bashers in Anaheim even though the team wasn’t quite on top of their game) things looking good for the team.
As for coL.Black, I think there is really nothing much to say than that they are easily the most feared team not only at the tournament, but in the entire world.