ETS Qualifier #6 proclaims loudly: Don't grab that Dragon Knight!
Team Blaze seeks to prove it can crack tier 1 vs. Cloud9. Rehgar, Jaina, and Zeratul matter while Zagara may not. Is there a new Li Ming build on the competitive horizon?
In our first NA tournament since the February 17th balance update, the focus of Qualifier #6 would center on Team Blaze vs. Cloud9. Nerfed again, Rehgar shows no signs of slowing down in terms of popularity and effectiveness. Jaina is definitely the mage of choice in the current meta.
As expected, Cloud9 would face Team Blaze in the finals. Team Blaze would give Cloud9 all they could handle for an exciting three game series. It was a gutsy call by Cloud9 in game 3 that would decide Qualifier #6 in favor of Cloud9.
Draft Stats and Trends
- Jaina is the mage of choice and saw action in 13 games going 8-5.
- Rehgar is still in a good place post back-to-back balance nerfs going 7-3.
- Zeratul seems to be the most impactful melee assassin in a world of Li-Ming, Jaina, and Zagara comps going 7-1 and playing a large role in Cloud9 and Team Blaze wins. Head-to-Head Zeratul would go 4-0 against Zagara comps and 2-0 against Li Ming comps.
- Zagara comps were ineffective on the day going 2-9.
- Muradin top tank pick, Jaina top mage pick, Rehgar top support pick.
In their two matches leading up to the finals Cloud9 rolled out two variants on Li-Ming built around her magic missiles ability. In round 2 Arthelon would use a build consisting of Force Armor (1), Charged Blast (4), Seeker (7), Glass Cannon (13), Mirror Ball (16). In round 3 k1pro went with Force Armor (1), Charged Blast (4), Calamity (7), Illusionist (13), and Mirror Ball (16). Cloud9 would boast the only 2 Li-Ming wins today. Both were effective as can be seen below. Arthelon's numbers suffering from a pre level 20 victory.
The finals showed off a collision of draft strategies:
- Cloud9 would focus their drafts on team fight comps vs. comps that take advantage of map objectives and mechanics.
- Cloud9 banned heroes they did not want to deal with instead of the standard tier 1 counter bans.
- Team Blaze went with high risk/high reward comps that focused on taking advantage of their heroes abilities and the synergies of those abilities synergized with map objectives.
Key finals moments:
- A risky Cho'Gall pick would ended up back firing on Team Blaze in game 1 as he would get picked off late game leaving too much pressure for the three remaining heroes to reckon with.
- In game 2 Team Blaze shocked even the casters with a risky comp centered around double melee assassin and double global presence that came on late game to control the Battlefield of Eternity map for the win.
- Kladeous' Zeratul play was outstanding throughout the finals.
- Game 3 is a must watch. Team Blaze controlled the entire game until a late push for core by Cloud9. Team Blaze would chose to defend with three and send one of their members off to claim the Dragon Knight. Note to self, Dragon Knights are slow. Instead of returning to defend core Team Blaze chose to base race with the Dragon Knight and it would prove costly as the remaining three Blaze heroes could not provide enough resistance to the Cloud9 push.
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