Posts with tag RMP
Some of the teams didn't do so well despite expectations, such as two-time MLG winners Fnatic, who were playing without their Warrior, Rhaegyn. Fnatic did rather poorly, playing a Rogue/Warlock/Shaman comp that simply couldn't match up against the dominant RMPs or even eMG's Death Knight/Hunter/Paladin. Evil Geniuses also played below par, but there really have to be teams that occupy the bottom of the standings. The good news is that teams collect points through all MLG legs to tally at the end of the season, so we might see some changes in the next MLG stops.
All the matches were streamed through three different sites via Octoshape, but the streams were choppy and often stalled more than it did in the first two days of the tournament. It came to the point where the matches were simply unwatchable, which is a shame because there were some pretty good games on the last day. The shoutcasters did an excellent job commentating on the matches but camerawork and the pace of the games were just too fast at times to appreciate. Arena Tournaments could benefit greatly from instant replays, slow motion, and camera angles beyond the third person view. Replays should be available on GotFrag soon.
Of course, it's important to note that none of these rankings really matter at this point. As Serennia noted in the same blog entry, players only need their teams to be in the top 1000 to qualify for the invitational phase of the tournament. Standings right now are merely observational benchmarks and Aratil's regular updates are nothing more than that -- updates. Although the US Tournament Realms indicate a trend towards the Death Knight/ Paladin/ Warlock team comp, the European side has a fair share of Rogue/ Mage/ Priest teams. That said, the top team in Europe as of this writing is also a DK/Pally/Lock comp that wasn't in the Top 10 last week. In Korea, where teams are still working their way to crack 2000, the most popular comps are the expected RMP with the current top team being a Death Knight/ Paladin/ Hunter. Yep, it's almost the same dominant setup with a Survival Hunter instead of a Warlock.
Hate Arenas all you want, but I love it for the fact that you will sometimes see the grandest display of skill and mastery of the game in PvP and when those moments happen... it's magic. How appropriate then, that the most magical moment in quite possibly all professional Arena Tournament history was performed by none other than a Mage. It's a phenomenal comeback tale that ranks right up there with the greatest comebacks in sports -- and not just eSports.
Team H O N was down 1-2 against SK-Gaming Asia, better known as the Council of Mages, winners of the Worldwide Invitational in Paris. Both teams from Korea sported the same RMP comps, with some spec changes in between matches to keep everyone guessing. In the fourth match, played in the Ruins of Lordaeron, SK-Gaming showed superb control despite H O N going offensive in the first few minutes... so superb, in fact, that at one point the shoutcasters were already congratulating SK-Gaming. If you've kept abreast of the tiny bits of the ESL Global Finals here at WoW Insider, you'd already know that H O N won the tournament so it should be no spoiler that they escaped from being down 1-2 to tie and eventually win it all.
That's not the magical moment, though. You have to see it for yourself. Don't worry, the video might be long (that's just the first part of the match) but the most jawdropping moment happens right before the four minute mark. The movie may well be Moviewatch material if only because it's so unbelievable you're tempted to think it's all machinima. But the coolest thing about it is that it's not, and OrangeMarmalade will be celebrated as one of the greatest PvP Mages of all time.
The ESL global arena finals took place last weekend, pitting some of the best WoW players against each other in a battle for glory (and quite a bit of cash and prizes). After two days of close calls and amazing comebacks, the global roster of teams was reduced to two: team HON and team COM. Both of these teams play the traditional Rogue / Mage / Priest 3v3 composition, with one twist: nobody played with the same talents two games in a row.
The Mages fluctuated between Frost and Arcane specs every other game, making it difficult to predict just how much survivability or burst damage they were capable of until they showed their hand. The Rogues were also switching specs between games, from Mutilate to Shadow Dance, and back. This strategy was used to keep the enemy on their toes, and gave me the opportunity to watch Shadow Dance played at its absolute highest level. My report on this display of elegance and Ambush-spamming follows after the cut.
Selective Queuers ran a soft counter comp to Council of Mages' RMP by swapping in Rogue for Warrior, but otherwise performed as expected as RMP do not handle WLDs (or RLDs in this case) very well. Although the matches that managed to get streamed were fine examples of professional Arena play, the dominance of WLD teams showed just how strong the comp is in the 3v3 format. Despite brilliant play from Council of Mages, they simply couldn't get over the hump of a well-played WLD team.
Props must be given to Glick of Fnatic Orz, back-to-back winners of the MLG series, who played a Retribution Paladin in a double melee comp during one match against Made in Taiwan... and won. Hunters will also be pleased to know that Made in Taiwan skillfully fielded a Hunter against Fnatic Orz, splitting those matches 2-2. The remaining matches of the tournament will be played tomorrow, with the winner of the upper bracket match between Fnatic Orz and Nihilum Plasma heading straight to the Grand Finals. The loser of that matchup will face Selective Queuers in the semi-finals. With any luck, the matches will be streamed without hiccups on Blizzard's BlizzCon tournament coverage and maybe we'll see if Fnatic Orz truly is the best team in the world.
[UPDATE: Nihilum Plasma beat Fnatic Orz in the upper bracket finals, sending Nihilum to await the winner of the match between Fnatic Orz and Selective Queuers in the semis. This guarantees a Finals match versus Europe and the United States. Should be exciting to watch.]
Fnatic played their strongest comp of Warlock (Glick), Warrior (Rhaegyn), and Druid (Hafu) while Gravitas Gaming countered with a Warrior (Kesher), Mage (Celex), and Priest (Ely) instead of their usual RMP. Some viewers wrote Fnatic Orz off considering their uphill climb to win five games against Gravitas' three, but the defending Champions showed exactly what they were made of by winning three straight matches after falling behind 5-2, evening out the competition at 5-5. The Grand Finals all rested on a single, do-or-die match -- played in Nagrand Arena -- a nailbiter that exemplified the best of professional Arena play. In what was one of the best comebacks I've seen in an Arena tournament, Fnatic Orz pulled off four straight wins to win back-to-back MLG Championships and cement their place in pro circuit history.
It was the second time the two teams met in the Grand Finals, with Gravitas still under the Frag Dominant banner. The games were broadcast streaming through GotFrag TV, with excellent, spot-on commentating and incredible camera work that made it relatively easy to follow the extremely fast-paced matches, although the last match's stream was plagued with hiccups. The winners walked away with $12,000 and three HP Blackbird 002, while the runners-up won $6,000. Pro circuit mainstays Team Pandemic took third place with $3,000 after losing to Fnatic Orz in the Semi-Finals.
Fnatic Orz' storied rise from being dropped by MoB Gaming, winning MLG-Orlando without a sponsor, and being picked up by Fnatic and winning a spot at the World Championships at BlizzCon just before this fantastic win today makes them one of the most exciting and favored teams to watch in the pro Arena tournament scene. It will be a treat to see them compete against the world's best at the World Championships next weekend... except that you'll need a DirectTV subscription for that.
I don't follow every little motion in the WoW Arena community, but there is one team that jumped out at me immediately: Orz. They've won a few tournaments already, and in a way they're the 'face' of the Arena, if that makes any sense. As Zach Yonzon mentioned awhile back in one of his columns, every sport, no matter how big or small, has its stars. Even eSports. Here in the states, Orz is one of those star teams. Rhaegyn, Glick and Hafu are definitely the players to watch in this tournament. It looks like they've picked up a new sponsor since I last saw them in action, so I'd like to extend a belated congratulations to them on that.
Of course, this tournament also includes the Korean team Council of Mages, which won the tournament at WWI08. Pretty much every team on the bracket has done some great work in the Arena already, and the tourney should be really exciting no matter who walks away with the win and the grand prize of $25,000 per player.
A team comp (composition) consisting of an MS Warrior, a Discipline Priest, a Holy Paladin, an Elemental Shaman, and a Mage, usually Frost-specced.
This is a 2-healer 3-DPS cookie-cutter composition that supposedly originated from the Bloodlust Battlegroup (BG9). Unlike basketball, where the numbers refer to positions (or classes) on the team, 2345 actually refers to the head-rolling-on-keyboard reference of mashing the buttons 2, 3, 4, and 5 repeatedly throughout the match. Roughly, this translates to unloading all offensive abilities based on, or during, the Shaman's Bloodlust / Heroism.
The basic strategy is to assist off the Warrior who applies Mortal Strike on a target and burst damage coming from the Shaman and Mage with Shatter combo often with Nature's Swiftness, Elemental Mastery, and Chain Lightning. The Shaman and Priest also work off offensive dispels, removing shields and immunities, while the Paladin plays main healer. This composition can and does switch targets often throughout the course of a match.
Most of the finalists from both regions are Arena tournament veterans who have won or finished well in numerous LAN tournaments. The European Finals will take place in Madrid, Spain, at the Circulo de Bellas Artes and covered on live stream by ESL TV. The winning team will bag a $15,000 top prize, but two teams from each region will advance to the Global Finals, earning a chance to compete for the massive $75,000 grand prize.
Taiwan Regional Finals winners ??????????? (which translates roughly into 'Marine Corps') and Made in Taiwan, announced last August 6, are waiting for the rest of the Global Finalists alongside the Korean Finals winners H O N and Council of Mages (who won the Worldwide Invitational tournament) -- both Rogue, Mage, Priest teams -- who qualified last August 31.
PvP in its purest form is a beautiful thing. Amanda Dean, always obsessed with the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat brings you news you can use in the Arena.
Hailing from Korea
1. Council of Mages
2. Improved Clicks
3. SK Gaming
4. Millenium Dream
5-6. Kill EA
5-6. Made in Taiwan
7-8. SK Gaming
7-8. Pandemic Blue
9-12. aAa nawaK
9-12. MoB Gaming
9-12. Pandemic Black
13-16. Sapped Cows cant say moo
13-16. Team EG
In 3v3 matches, Rogue, Mage, Priest (RMP) teams have proven to be the ones to beat. Six of the top twenty Arena teams on live servers sport this composition. This team combines outstanding crowd control with abilities to survive until the end of combat. The team is not unbeatable, if caught without cooldowns available, this low-armor team falls prey to burst damage, especially if the Priest is dead or otherwise occupied.
The Priest's primary function in the group is dispelling both offensive and defensive abilities. It may also Mana Burn if there is no need for healing or dispelling. In practice, since the priest is often the first target, it spends a lot of time and mana staying alive with the Rogue and Mage work their magic (and stab things). The Priest is often the primary target in the composition because they are usually the only ones visible at the start of the fight and are the lone healer partnered with two pure DPSers. Pain Suppression is your friend and my enemy.
Bornakk recently provided some news on the official forums that may be of interest to Arena combatants. While not giving a release date for Patch 2.4.2, he indicated that the patch will affect the Tournament realms when it goes live. Buffs, nerfs and item changes may have an impact on composition and strategy. He also announced that there are currently no plans to add the Stormherald to the tournament server, as "We haven't added any items that require a profession to use them." (Unless you count Heavy Netherweave Banadages and ring enchantments.) He said that such items may be added in the future. Original poster, Zanyu of Malfurion, believes that adding this item would balance out the presence of Rogues and Warriors in the Tournament. I see it as very unlikely that a change would be made while the tournament is active.