Initial Impressions of BlizzCon's WoW 5v5

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The first round of the BlizzCon 5v5 tournament has concluded offstage. The games have mostly played out as expected so far, with the healthy teams edging out the teams effected by disqualifications and travel issues. There has been one upset however; the European 3rd seed team Nashwan edged out over Team EG 3-1 in the first round.

Nashwan was very successful with aggressive mana burns. Nashwan's Paladin was able to heal the team alone with the time bought by the control of Polymorph, leaving the Priest open to play offense. This combination forced some early mistakes from Team EG.

In an attempt to avoid pressure in game one, EG's Shaman Nuvas leaped off the Blade's Edge Bridge. This was a miscommunication however and left EG at a significant disadvantage to respond. Once momentum is lost, it can be very hard to retake.

Team EGIn game 2, a similar situation arose where a Valsing Holy Light heal was moments from landing when it was "LOS'd" unintentionally while avoiding other pressure. The term "LOS" is used to explain when the direct line of sight is lost between the healer and his target, canceling an incoming spell. The opportunity to recover was lost and Nuvas died afterwards.

Positioning is everything. The threat of mana burns from the unpressured Nashwan Priest sent the casters of the EG team scrambling for cover. Proper positioning was given up in these frantic dives, which opened up very favorable opportunities for the Nashwan team.

In the final game for example, EG's Paladin Valsing and Priest Koorban were separated when avoiding the incoming mana burns. Valsing was Polymorphed around a Nagrand Pillar and Koorban had to make the long run around the pillar to remove the debuff. Nuvas died under pressure without heals in the meantime.

The other big games of the first round of the upper bracket played out mostly as expected. SK Gaming defeated Pandemic's weakened setup 3-0 and MoB TurtleBeach defeated the Asian D E R Tenacity team. D E R Tenacity was forced to break from it's traditional Double Warrior setup to play a Warrior/Feral Druid combo. Their second Warrior was unable to get a visa forcing the roster change.

D E R TenacityThe Tenacity combination of Polymorph and Cyclone were strong in stalling MoB's offense (MoB lacked a Priest to work against the Tenacity Mage) but it was not enough to turn the tide of the fight. TurtleBeach was hardly pressured, keeping offense easily for the majority of each game.

SK Gaming will move on to play against MoB Turtle Beach in the second round of the upper bracket. mYm will play against Nashwan. Team EG moves to play the Asian 3 player Notorious team in the lower bracket and Pandemic will play against D E R Tenacity.

So far the Europeans are on top!

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