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MVP Black Returns To The Top With Eastern Clash Victory

by - 1 year ago

Korea has long been considered the best region in the game and based on the results of the Eastern Clash that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon. Much like the Western Clash, one region was clearly favored going into the event. Although eStar from China was considered a threat to break into the Top 3, L5 and MVP Black from Korea were thought to be a clear step above the other teams.

Early play was dominated by the favorites. The first seven matches were all sweeps, putting a quick end to any hopes of a Cinderella story.

While L5 comfortably advanced to the Winners Final, eStar and MVP Black battled in an epic five-game series with a spot in the Winner’s Final on the line. eStar jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, but MVP Black was able to pull off a thrilling reverse sweep and steal the win from eStar.

Play on the final day began with L5 and MVP Black squaring off in the Winner’s Final for the right to advance to the Grand Final. Clearly the best in the world, these two teams have a long history against each other with L5 getting the better of the action in the recent months. Game 1 was everything a Heroes fan could hope for. MVP Black held strong in the face of an aggressive Core push from L5, and was able to kill off the last member of L5 as their Core dropped to 9%. With no clear path to victory, MVP Black could only use the time available to regain some map presence. After respawning, L5 moved to finish off the MVP Black’s weakened Core, but the result was another five-man team wipe in favor of Black. This time Black was able to make a counter push for the win. Four more amazing games followed with MVP Black eventually moving on to the Grand Finals in what many people would call an upset.

With the Winners Bracket concluded, attention shifted to the Losers Bracket. The next match pitted China’s best against the Korean team that was almost an afterthought. Given the expectations for eStar coming into the event and the lack of expectations for Tempest, few would have predicted the resulting 3-0 sweep by Tempest. This match was yet another sobering reminder that even the top teams in other regions would only be mid-tier at best in Korea. The next match saw L5 face off against Tempest for the right to challenge MVP Black in the Grand Final.  To followers of the Korean HGC the resulting 3-0 in favor of L5 was no surprise.

Anticipation was high for the L5/MVP Black rematch in the Grand Final. If L5 was the favorite in their first matchup, public sentiment had shifted when the two teams met for the second time.

Game 1 went in favor of MVP Black’s Varian comp. Game 2 saw MVP Black opt for a last pick Murky on Sky Temple. Despite how excited this made the casters and the fans, L5 was not impressed and took the win in Game 2. Game 3 was a back and forth affair that eventually went in favor of MVP Black. MVP Black took control of Game 4 early and cruised to the title with a decisive win.

While it might sound odd to call an MVP Black victory an upset, that term is appropriate given their recent roster changes and the dominance of L5. This is a team that was once virtually unbeatable so it is nice to see them reclaim the mantle of best of the best by beating the reigning Blizzcon champions twice in the same day.

The Eastern Clash featured several great matches. eStar versus MVP Black from Day 2, L5 versus MVP Black in the Winner’s Final, and L5 vs MVP Black in the Grand Final are especially good series to watch. VODs for all of the matches and much more information can be found at the official HGC site.

Lee Vaughn

Lee has been playing Blizzard games since the 90's and Heroes of the Storm since the Tech Alpha. If he isn't playing a Blizzard game he is probably tweeting about one.