KR vs. CN at WCA 2015: An analysis of Team AsiaStardust vs OMG
OMG needed to seriously outdraft Team AsiaStarDust because, mechanically, the Koreans are on a different level.
OMG and Asia StarDust were fighting in the third place decider of the WCA 2015 Main Event to decide who gets to walk away with the Bronze Medal and twice the amount of prize money over the other. OMG made it to round 2 of the playoffs with a surprising upset against Team Liquid, and Asia StarDust made quick work of Brave Heart. However, both teams were sent to the third place decider by the Finalists: Asia Stardust lost 2-0 to MVP Black and OMG lost 2-0 to eStar.
The chance for redemption was this set:
Game 1 on Sky Temple.
Team Asia StarDust:
- OMG attempts to control team fights and isolate single targets by drafting Thrall and Falstad. Scaling changes have buffed Thrall in a big way and he wins a 1v1 against almost every hero. This is a good pick on the Skirmish heavy Sky Temple and pressures Asia Stardust's Jaina and Kael'thas.
- Zagara and Leoric were a good choice against the multi warrior lineup that Asia StarDust brought. Multiple Targets for skeletal swing and Zagara's devouring maw and strong wave clear on Sky Temple.
- Mighty Gust makes playing Thrall very safe. Many times Thrall was out of position and saved by Falstad. Sometimes, a careful Mighty Gust both saved Thrall and net hero kills, as Thrall uses Sundering to further isolate one target. It is an extremely flexible combo to control a team fight, even if it starts off poorly.
- Team OMG’s lineup needs to skirmish. They start to lose once they attempt to face Asia StarDust head on. What hope do they have in a no-tricks , head to head team fight? E.T.C and Johanna stunning multiple targets and huge AoE burst by the mages make this an unwinnable mid game.
- When running Falstad / Thrall, you need to be creating pressure elsewhere. Zagara should be split pushing or providing some sort of passive pressure. I would even consider The Lost Vikings, Abathur, or anyone who can provide passive pushing power to encourage skirmishes or at least punish Asia StarDust’s reliant on team fights.
- Kael’thas is walking around with full HP in these fights. The E.T.C + Johanna defensive linebacker strategy is strong. Asia Stardust takes game 1.
In short: OMG forgets the point of their composition at the level 12 mark and immediately starts losing once Asia StarDust is allowed to take team fight after team fight in a 5v5 scenario.
Team Asia StarDust:
- You can immediately sense a difference in this game because Kael’thas is facing pressure. Sonya and Muradin are hard to escape from and Johanna alone can’t control the both of them.
- However Tasssadar shields are proving very useful. At level 16 Kael'Thas has access to both Mana Shield and Tassadar shields making him extremely resiliant.
- Uther is having a hard time deciding who to keep alive, as Falstad, Valla, and Sonya demand his attention against the littany of poke damage Thrall, Tassadar and Kael'Thas can do.
- Johanna, Kharazim, Kael’thas seem to be the core of ASD’s success in this set. It’s very difficult to stop these heroes when they want to be somewhere or chase someone. The initiation isn’t quick, but it is gradual and inevitable.
- OMG should avoid trying to contest a shrine object when Team Asia StarDust got their first and only needs 4 more skeleton kills. They will almost always be able to pick up 4 kills in the middle of the fight, and when they do they immediately win thanks to the presence of the Punisher.
- Thrall feels very safe in this line up. Tassadar shields make him hard to burst down and the moment you start focusing Thrall, you leave Kael'thas free to do damage.
- I don’t think Uther is working against Kael’thas in these matches. He may be a comfort pick for OMG but late game Kael’thas needs to be pressured more or outhealed. Team Asia StarDust wins game 2.
In Short: Kael’thas is too powerful to let your opponent have without some sort of hard counter or game plan against him. Uther is good, but what about Rehgar in this situation? AoE heals are needed to survive this poke damage. Team Asia StarDust is now 2-0 vs OMG
Team Asia StarDust:
- Noteworthy: OMG finally bans Kael'thas allowing Team Asia Stardust to first pick Tyrande. OMG has to now surely ban Diablo (which they eventually do) lest they risk the deadly Diablo + Tyrande combo at the hands of the surgically precise Team Asia StarDust
- OMG spent a long time on the last pick Raynor and they probably believe it will help them against E.T.C and the late game tendency stalls that happen on Tomb of the Spider Queen.
- This feels like an insurmountable mechanical advantage that Asia StarDust has over OMG. In theory OMG has a workable lineup against them but the warrior play by Asia StarDust is top notch.
- Sometimes you can make the mistake in thinking OMG keeps getting out of position but that is only half of it. Asia StarDust is doing a fantastic job of aggressively placing their warriors, making it very hard to be safe.
- Jaina, E.T.C and Tyrande are working together perfectly. The Diablo ban wasn’t necessary, as E.T.C Tyrande is already doing the same lethal combo. Not a very close game.
In Short: I think OMG adapted too late to the Kael'Thas strategy that Asia StarDust deployed. This meant on game 3 Asia StarDust could transition into an entirely different style of play that OMG wasn't ready for. OMG needs to expand their support diversity, Uther isn't always the best pick in the current meta.
Asia StarDust defeats OMG 3-0
This article is part of a series of GosuGamers at Yinchuang, China for WCA 2015. Check out our coverage hub for full event coverage.