What a great week for viewers! There were some incredibly exciting matches to watch, and some great play within them. Unfortunately, there are winners and losers every week, and some players contribute more to both of those states than others. Who were the heroes this week, and who were those condemned to seek rebirth for another chance at glory?
Enshrined in Valhalla
In a shift from the normal format of this column, this week will feature four heroes worthy of Valhalla. The additional two heroes are on teams that suffered tough losses this weekend, but were instrumental in their teams staying so close throughout these fantastic games. While their teams might have lost, they would have been the heroes had their teams won. As such, the heroes enshrined in Valhalla this week are Vote (Team Rival – EU), Funballer (Eanix – EU), Wowy (Noble Esports – NA), and Khaos (eUnited – NA).
Vote and Funballer were absolutely phenomenal during their set. Vote had an 11/0/11 slash line across his two games, while Funballer went an equally impressive 13/2/9. That’s 84.6% and 95.6% kill participation, respectively. While Vote was a big part of his team’s dominance in game one of the set, Funballer did an admirable job providing avenues for Eanix to battle back into Team Rival early, and kept it close enough late that Team Rival had to play methodically or the game could have slipped away from them. While it wasn’t close in terms of numbers and outcome, the pacing was as it was thanks to the play of Funballer as the opposition, and Vote as the aggressor. Game two saw their roles reversed, with Funballer dictating the pace of the aggression, and turning a few crucial engagements the way of Eanix. However, after an engagement late in the game where Eanix had three remaining after a team fight around the fire giant, Vote managed to escape and retreat to base. Vote’s presence around the defenses was enough of a gamble for the battered Eanix to need to retreat to base less they face an untenable position. Without the play of either of these two players, the outcomes of these games would have been tremendously different.
The same is true over in North America. Khaos’s slash line of 13/10/18 isn’t quite as impressive as Wowy’s 16/5/20, but that doesn’t mean he had any less of an impact. Khaos was instrumental in both his team’s base defense through strong use of Sol’s zoning potential, and in securing team fight and objective victories in game two. In both cases, Khaos was relying on the ultimate burst and zoning abilities in order to provide the utility his team required. The pressure and control afforded his team through his use of these abilities was key to eUnited being able to maintain their presence in both of the games – despite their eventual losses. The same is true of Wowy on the side of Noble Esports. Wowy’s quiet excellence in game one is easily overshadowed by his late game heroics in game two, but it was in no way less meaningful. Wowy was able to utilize superb positioning and area control to secure objectives and team fight victories for his team in game one. In game two, he managed to survive the final onslaught of eUnited in Noble’s titan room and make them pay for their neglect. Wowy picked up a quadra kill in the final moments of a frantic team fight that would have ended the game had he not wiped eUnited. Even though the outcome was not as equally desirable for both of these players, the teams would not have been in the position to even hope to achieve victory without them.