Team Dignitas Western Clash Recap
Mon 13th Mar 2017 - 1:56pm
After 5 weeks of epic League play against the top teams in Europe, the Team Dignitas Heroes of the Storm roster bring home the win at the very first Western Clash, hosted at IEM in Katowice, Poland. The Western Clash had teams from Europe, North America, Latin America, and Australia/New Zealand all competing to be the Western Champion. It was a tough battle for Team Dignitas, seeing them drop from the Winner’s Bracket on the second day, only to come back through the Loser's Bracket to face their rivals, Fnatic, in the Grand Finals. Here is a recap of all the series Team Dignitas played, with some highlights on great teamplay, draft analysis, and player improvements.
TEAM DIGNITAS VS TEAM 8 2-1
This series was the very first showing of the well known, and well meme’d, clash between Europe and North America. The first game on Infernal Shrines showcased Team Dignitas on some of their favoured heroes, such as Jaina for Mene, Kharazim for Bakery, and Ragnaros for Zaelia. Team Dignitas drafted to their strength of a wombo-combo style with the synergy of their ultimates, which caught Team 8 off guard numerous times throughout the game. This well known strategy of Team Dignitas won them Game 1, but Game 2 on Battlefield of Eternity was where Team 8 were able to catch Dignitas off guard, drafting Glaurung’s favourite and well known hero, Zeratul. With Glaurung able to have constant pressure on Jaina, Team 8 were able to secure Game 2. Team Dignitas fought back in Game 3, showing no fear by allowing Glaurung to once again draft Zeratul. Instead, the team demonstrated their ability to adapt to Zeratul, by taking more defensive talents on Mene’s Jaina and having Zaelia on his trademark hero Tracer, which allowed constant pressure to whomever on Team 8 stepped out. The constant fear of the Team Dignitas wombo-combo potential from Malfurion and Jaina allowed them complete battleground control, and after many great team fights, in particular one 1v3 situation where Snitch on Dehaka outplayed 3 members of Team 8, Team Dignitas won the third game, closing out the series in their favour.
TEAM DIGNITAS VS MISFITS 0-3
This was a very difficult series for Team Dignitas. As always, Misfits and Team Dignitas have a strong rivalry, but Misfits were able to get a slight edge this series. In Game 1 Team Dignitas drafted Abathur, a favourite of theirs for Towers of Doom, and they were able to get some great teamfight wins on shrine objectives. Game 2 on Infernal Shrines was tough for the team, as their early game priority with drafting Kerrigan didn't work out in the end. With Game 3 on Battlefield of Eternity, Team Dignitas are able to defend their core against a push from Misfits, but with no structures down on Misfits side, they weren't able to get much of an advantage from the team wipe. Misfits eventually finished off the core, ending the series 0-3. Team Dignitas dropped to the loser’s bracket and faced elimination every series they play from here on out.
TEAM DIGNITAS VS GALE FORCE ESPORTS 3-0
Another face-off against North America proves in Team Dignitas’ favour, winning the series 3-0. The team was able to draft many of their stronger heroes, such as Jaina, Malfurion, Ragnaros, and a new love for Dehaka as a great solo laner with a global ability. Dehaka being picked up by Team Dignitas on both Towers of Doom in Game 1 and Cursed Hollow in Game 2 allowed them a steady soak in the off-lane and the constant threat of a Dehaka Burrow into a team fight. This battleground control really highlighted Team Dignitas’ ability to play the macro game very strongly in comparison to their North American rivals.
TEAM DIGNITAS VS TEAM 8 3-0
Day 3, the final day of the event, and Team Dignitas needs to win every series to pull themselves out of the Loser’s Bracket to get into the Grand Finals. Team Dignitas has a rematch against Team 8 and this time they win the series 3-0. In all three games, Team Dignitas are able to draft Malfurion, not only a hero Bakery is very skilled with, but the best support in the current meta. Team Dignitas have very similar drafts in all three games, prioritizing Arthas, Tyrael, and Falstad, while putting Mene on whichever mage best suits the battleground. In Game 1 on Battlefield of Eternity, Mene is able to pull out some amazingly timed Horrifies on Gul'dan that allow the rest of the team to follow up quickly with kills that win some key teamfights. Game 2 Team Dignitas are able to shut down Team 8’s Abathur/Zeratul combo by outplaying the Void Prison traps. In particular, one team fight at the top boss shows Team Dignitas’ ability to counter a Zeratul Void Prison and take the boss as well as kill 4 members of Team 8. Game 3 rectifies Zaelia’s Kerrigan, as Team Dignitas had drafted her in previous games on Infernal Shrines with mixed results. This victory allows Team Dignitas to move on to the Loser’s Bracket finals, with a chance of making it to the Grand Finals.
TEAM DIGNITAS VS MISFITS 3-2
Another showdown between two of Europe’s best teams definitely did not disappoint. Something within Team Dignitas clicked this series, as they appeared to be a different team. Game 1 on Towers of Doom was hard fought by both teams, with Team Dignitas drafting a familiar style for this battleground with Abathur, and Misfits showing off their power with Nazeebo and Medivh. Unfortunately Misfits would take Game 1, but Game 2 on Cursed Hollow proved to be a much closer game. Team Dignitas gave Misfits some trouble with their Chromie and Falstad picks, having a really great team fight in the late game over a boss. While they lose the boss to Misfits, Team Dignitas trap 3 members of Misfits in the boss pit and kill them all for a full team wipe in their favour. Misfits take Game 2, but the close nature of Game 2 is the beginning of the change Team Dignitas undergo during this series.
Game 3 on Infernal Shrines goes the way of Team Dignitas, as they are able to outplay Misfits with their draft of Tracer, Gul’dan, Tyrael, Malfurion, and Dehaka. With the momentum in their favour, Team Dignitas keep this winning streak going. With Game 4 on Sky Temple, they draft Chromie again, but this time, using her ultimate Temporal Loop, the team is able to burst down even the tankiest members of Misfits.
Game 5 on Battlefield of Eternity is where Team Dignitas surprises everyone with their draft, last picking Tyrande as their solo support. The rest of their composition is a rolling death squad, with Mene on Kael’thas, JayPL on E.T.C., Snitch on Medivh, and Zaelia on Ragnaros. Their stun and burst potential blow up any member of Misfits that steps out too far, and with Tyrande’s ability to increase the damage on Immortals during the objectives, Team Dignitas is able to gain huge control on the battleground. The most stand out moment of the game is initiated by Snitch on Medivh. With Misfits pushing in on Team Dignitas' Fort with an Immortal they won, Snitch makes the call to Leyline Seal and capture 4 members of Misfits in a stasis, where once they exit, all of Team Dignitas is waiting to unleash their ultimates. Zaelia Molten Cores with Ragnaros and the wombo-combo follow-up to Leyline Seal with Molten Swing, Sulfuras Smash, Phoenix, and Starfall, results in a 4 member wipe on Misfits, and Team Dignitas are able to move onto the enemy core and win the game. This reverse sweep puts Team Dignitas in the Grand Finals, a best-of-5 series against Fnatic, but the momentum is heavily on Team Dignitas’ side.
TEAM DIGNITAS VS FNATIC 3-2
Another epic series between two of Europe's best teams that goes all the way to a Game 5. Game 1 starts off on Tomb of the Spider Queen, a well known European favourite, which means this game can go either way. Team Dignitas pull out the surprises once again, drafting a Stitches, Kael’thas, and Tyrande to pair with their Tychus and Ragnaros. JayPL really shows his mastery on Stitches in this game. Already a well known Stitches player, JayPL lands many Hooks that capture members of Fnatic and pull them towards the rest of Team Dignitas. The best part is the complete faith in JayPL, as even if a Hook misses its target, either Bakery on Tyrande or Mene on Kael’thas are ready with the follow-up stun. One iconic Hook pulls the enemy Tyrael into the boss pit where Team Dignitas are currently engaging the boss. They blow up Tyrael so fast he has no time to pop any of his abilities. Game 1 goes decidedly to Team Dignitas.
Game 2 on Towers of Doom is another win for Team Dignitas. They once again draft Stitches, but instead of Tyrande, they pick up Malfurion, who is also a great follow-up to Stitches Hook with his Entangling Roots. Mene gets Kael’thas again, Zaelia is on Ragnaros, and Snitch is on one of his best heroes, Falstad. JayPL is outstanding with his hooks in this game as well, and the follow-up from the rest of the team allows them to win many team fights. Their improved team synergy and trust are really showcased in these Stitches games. They’ve come a long way since acquiring their new member Zaelia, and being able to take games away from prominent European teams is proof that their hard work at bootcamp has paid off.
Game 3 and Game 4 unfortunately go the way of Fnatic. Fnatic draft Lucio and Greymane in Game 3 on Internal Shrines, which enable them to have insanely fast initiations against Team Dignitas with Lucio’s speed boost. Pairing that with E.T.C.’s stuns, Team Dignitas end up falling even with their Tyrande, Kael’thas, Stitches composition.
It all comes down to Game 5, and both teams are so hungry for the win. The battleground is Dragon Shire, and Team Dignitas draft two global heroes with Dehaka and Falstad, and finish the rest of their composition off with Muradin, Chromie, and Tyrande once again. Muradin and Tyrande are a classic in the stun burst style, and they prove to be a strong duo for Team Dignitas. In this game, Team Dignitas really excel in their marco gameplay, able to out rotate Fnatic many times and gain steady control over the battleground objective. A close series in terms of levels, but Team Dignitas are ahead in structures when they win a decisive final team fight over the Dragon Knight. With the power of the Dragon Knight and two members down for Fnatic, Team Dignitas move onto the core. It almost feels like it could be a wipe on the core for Team Dignitas when JayPL on Muradin falls, but Snitch flies in on Falstad to use Mighty Gust on the enemy team and secure their damage onto the core. Team Dignitas win this series, 3-2, and claim the title of being the first Western Champion.
Team Dignitas’ journey through the Western Clash demonstrated the huge improvement in their team when comparing them in the first week of HGC League play. With Bakery claiming that the team was “only at 65% potential” during the Western Clash, we can definitely expect to see Team Dignitas rise in the standings during Phase 2 of HGC League play.
Week 6 starts up on Friday, April 14th. Stayed tuned for our previews on what to expect in the matchups Team Dignitas will face!