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Cloud 9 becomes first Heroes of the Storm World Champions

Heroes Robert “hexagrams” Kirkbride

The stage is set for Dignitas versus Cloud9

After team Dignitas beat their European rival, Na'Vi, and after Cloud9 soundly beat Korean titans Team DK, the stage was set for a European vs Americas finals.  Would Cloud9 bring out their innovative strats against a solid and creative Dignitas team?  The Blizzcon Championship is on the line and only one team can be crowned kings of the Nexus.

Match Summary:

Map 1: Dragon Shire

Team Dignitas first picked Jaina, effectively taking it away from Cloud9.  They then added a Sonya and Tassadar, giving them strong damage and clear.  Dignitas then added a Johanna to their double warrior composition, and finished off the team with somewhat unconventialize Lt. Morales pick.  Cloud9 began their draft with a Muradin and a Kharazim.  They then added damage in the form of Falstad, a specialist in Sylvannas, and finished the composition with Rexxar, a hero they also picked in the semi-finals.

Cloud9 took the early elimination lead, as well as structure lead, and reached level 16 at eleven minutes into the match, while Dignitas was at level 14.  Diginitas's Tassadar dying to an Unstable Poison minion allowed Cloud9 to push through bottom keep and then rotate and take out middle keep as well by the twelve minute mark.  Cloud9 reached level 20 at the fourteen minute mark, an entire three levels above Dignitas, and picked up the Dragon Knight for good measure as well.  The level advantage was too much too overcome for Dignitas, as Cloud9 simply walked to their core and destroyed it.

Map 2:  Cursed Hollow

Team Dignitas banned Jaina, and Cloud9 banned Tyreal (again).  With their first pick, Dignitas took Abathur, a strong hero on Cursed Hollow's large battlefield.  Kharazim and Kael'Thas were then added to the Dignitas composition.  Zeratul then was added to team Dignitas, and they rounded out their composition with an Arthas.

Cloud9 first picked Muradin, and added another hammer in Uther.  With their third pick, they added Sonya into the composition, and once again added a Falstad to their team.  Cloud9 then added a secondary support in Tassadar to both shield Sonya and deal with the invisible aspects (Zeratul, Mines) of Dignitas's composition.

A relatively even game up to level six as the first tribute spawned.  Cloud9 used Sonya's brusing damage to push Dignitas out of the tribute and pick it up for themselves.  Just priot to the twelve minute mark, Dignitas gave up the third tribute to Cloud9 in favor of taking their boss.  Cloud9 then responded by taking a boss of their own.  Cloud nine ended the curse with two forts destroyed while only losing one fort to Dignitas's boss.  A relatively even and stable game for much of the midgame stretch, twenty-two minutes in saw both teams reach level 21, and both comfortably take their bosses.  A mistake by Dignitas's Abathur left him dead, and Cloud9 capitalized on the advantage, wiping two more heroes and pushing down the core to take a 2-0 series lead.

Map 3: Garden of Terror

Jaina and Tyreal were both banned again, as Dignitas began the draft by picking Muradin, and then selected The Lost Vikings, a great hero selection on Garden of Terror.  They then added damage and a stun in the form of Kael'Thas.  Brightwing was next to join the roster and the composition was rounded out with E.T.C.  Cloud9 first picked Abathur, setting up a possible Abathur and Murky combination, and then chose the safe healer pick in Uther. The second ban was Kharazim, as his synergy with the Vikings is too strong.  Cloud9 then added Sonya as an Abathur target, and then added a proper warrior in Leoric.  With the final pick in the draft Cloud9 added Valla as a steady damage dealer.

The first phase of seeds on Garden Terror went to Dignitas 104 to 76, granting Dignitas the first terror while both teams were even at level ten a little over six minutes into the game. During Dignitas's plant push, which netted the team one fort, Cloud9's Sonya took down a fort of her own, keeping the game extremely close.  Using the Plant Terror to zone out, Cloud9 took a two for nothing fight and denied Dignitas enough seeds to get a second Terror.  The game stalled out, which is exactly what Cloud9 wanted.  They kept slow and steady pressure, tanking camps with Sonya, split pushing to Abathur, and eventually strangling their opponent.

Dignitas put up a great fight, but Cloud9 went 5-0 on all maps through the semi-finals to the grand finals.  They're innovative picks and perfect execution left their opponents without options or answers.  Cloud9 are your first ever World Champions in Heroes of the Storm.

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Robert “hexagrams” Kirkbride
<p>Writer and Gamer living in Chicago, IL. Follow @hexagrams&nbsp;</p>

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