Team Dignitas SPL Masters LAN Recap
Wed 10th May 2017 - 1:07pm
After a very successful Spring Split, Team Dignitas' Smite team qualified for the Masters LAN and was fully expected to be one of the best teams there. Considering it was their first LAN performance, their play was spectacular. Let's go over each of their matches.
Team Dignitas vs Soar Gaming, 2:0
Team Dignitas first went up against the best team out of the North American gauntlet, Soar Gaming. Team Dignitas swept the set 2:0, making easy work of Soar.
Game 1 was won in 25 minutes with no real resistance from Soar. Team Dignitas showed off their prowess at objective control and initiative, as they secured many free gold furies throughout the game. The highlight player in game 1 was QvoFred, playing Ravana in the jungle and truly showing the potential of this god in the early game. Game 1 was a testament to Team Dignitas' ability to win games without getting too many kills, finishing with only 11.
Game 2 was almost an exact repeat of Game 1, as Soar allowed Team Dignitas to control the entire map, getting objectives and map pressure for free. While QvoFred, continued to dominate, Arkkyl also showed what he was capable of in a LAN setting, playing Hou Yi to his maximum potential. While Game 2 lasted longer than Game 1 at 29 minutes, it still set a powerful precedent: Team Dignitas were here to play.
Team Dignitas vs Team Eager, 3:0
While Team Dignitas was fully expected to win their set against Soar Gaming, the way they absolutely dominated Team Eager surprised even the most dedicated Team Dignitas fans. The last bastion of North America at the LAN, Eager was known for having unique strategies and many expected them to give Team Dignitas their first challenge.
Game 1 was a rude awakening for all Team Eager fans. Faced against a classic Eager composition which featured Guan Yu in the jungle and Fenrir in the solo lane, Team Dignitas showed no fear and wiped the floor with Eager. Eager's early game composition required them to be extremely aggressive in the early stages of the game, but they were weirdly tame. This allowed QvoFred to once again control the early game on Ravana and Arkkyl to carry Team Dignitas through the late game on his staple Hou Yi. The last hope for North America were completely shut out, only achieving 3 kills the entire game.
However, Game 2 was the real disappointment for Eager fans. Deciding that the problem in Game 1 was their play and not their composition, they drafted the same composition and allowed Team Dignitas to basically do the same. This time, they attempted to apply more pressure in the early game and almost succeeded. Their true failing was that, while Guan Yu had pressure out of the jungle, he had no damage, and their mid and support also could not overcome this damage deficiency. Meanwhile, Team Dignitas once again had damage to spare, with the Ravana out of the jungle and Hou Yi as the ADC. This combination dominated Eager and they finished with only 3 kills once more.
Game 3 saw Team Eager finally attempt to switch up their strategy, doing away with the Guan Yu jungle. However, even their change could not stop Team Dignitas. Riding on the momentum of a 4-game winning streak, Team Dignitas effectively shut down every member of Team Eager, controlling the map for the entire game and crushing North America's chances of LAN victory in 28 minutes.
Team Dignitas vs Obey Alliance, 2:3
Team Dignitas' set against Obey Alliance truly showed the extent of the snowball meta which was present throughout the entire LAN. Even though they eventually lost, Team Dignitas' play was exceptional throughout all 5 games.
Game 1 started off strong for Team Dignitas as they secured first blood on Obey's Ravana jungle using their niche counter pick, QvoFred on Nemesis. With Obey's early game carry shut down, Team Dignitas dominated for the rest of the game, winning in 37 minutes and with 17 kills to Obey's 4.
Game 2, on the other hand, was the complete opposite. Obey's midlaner PrettyPriMe pulled out an extremely rare pick in The Morrigan and Team Dignitas' lack of experience against this god showed. The Morrigan punished players who went Aegis instead of Purification as their first relic, turning QvoFred's Serqet against him and his team, securing an early game lead that they then exploited into a full win. After only managing to secure 1 kill to Obey's 12 in 20 minutes, Team Dignitas surrendered. While this may seem like a cowardly move, it showed a lot of LAN strategy and smart thinking from Team Dignitas. Had they tried to continue the game in their current state, victory would have been almost impossible and they would have tired themselves out trying to win. This way, they left the game still fresh and prepared to keep fighting.
Team Dignitas' decision to surrender in the previous game immediately had a positive outcome, as they absolutely smashed Game 3. Picking up the Ravana jungle for themselves, they took advantage of the weak defensive options on the side of Obey. Fighting at full form for the entire game, they shut out Obey in 23 minutes, only dropping 1 kill. While essentially giving up Game 2 for free was risky, it obviously paid off, as Team Dignitas took the lead in the set.
The pattern continued and Obey Alliance took Game 4 with ease. Once again, PrettyPriMe was a big part of their victory, playing another non-meta god in Nox. However, Ataraxia also contributed heavily on Rama, although mostly due to some uncharacteristic mistakes from Arkkyl. For instance, Arkkyl attempted to fight Ataraxia in the early game while he still had most of his wave and his ultimate available. As good as Cernnunos' pressure is, the combined firepower of Ataraxia’s ultimate and the masses of minion poke Arkkyl took meant that he dropped for free. While Game 4 was more competitive than any of the previous games, it was still fairly one sided, ending in 30 minutes and with only 8 kills to Team Dignitas compared to Obey's 25.
The set came down to a Game 5 and it was an explosive one but sadly in all the wrong ways for Team Dignitas. Continuing the meta of the set, the early game was extremely volatile and saw both teams jockeying for pressure and map control. PrettyPriMe playing his signature Vulcan, as well as Team Dignitas having some of their pressure picks taken away from them contributed to a draft which heavily favored Obey Alliance. This, combined with a few key misplays made by Team Dignitas near objectives, meant that Obey Alliance controlled the game from the 30-minute mark all the way to the end.
While not managing to secure the win, Team Dignitas still put on an incredible show, bringing the fight to both Eager and Obey, two well established teams. If this is any indication of their future performance, Team Dignitas are a top tier team and they're here to stay.