The First Premier of LotV
Brackets and standings on Liquipedia
The First Premier of LotV
DreamHack Winter—sponsored by ROCCAT—will be the very first Premier tournament in Legacy of the Void's history, but it won't be the first event running the new expansion. As far back as the start of beta, small tournaments have been taking place, giving us a glimpse of who may or may not be ready for this wildly different game.
Before we get into Legacy of the Void’s first Premier, it's important to recap what has happened so far since release. Two major events (one offline, one online) have already been played, while two major online competitions are still going on. One of them, Legacy of the Ultras, started in the beta, while ESL Meisterschaft in Germany only recently switched from HotS. Several players from these tournaments will compete in Sweden. To that list BaseTradeTV has added a minor online tournament with a twist—a TvT only tournament that might be an accurate depiction of the match-up meta.
The two biggest tournaments played so far were SanDisk SHOUTcraft II and the GPL International Challenge. The online SHOUTcraft Invitational gave us our first taste of Korean LotV, resulting in mostly one sided series with only a few really good games. Four players from that event will also be present at DreamHack: Winner Solar, runner-up TY, 4th place Bomber, and PartinG (eliminated in the first round).
The only offline tournament so far was GPL in Shanghai, pitting a mix of Koreans, Chinese and Westerners against each other—with interesting results for sure. Lilbow (third place over Flash and Jaedong) is the one player who attended GPL who will also be at DreamHack, bringing important experience with him to Sweden.
The game is still evolving heavily before our eyes. No match-up has been figured out even remotely close and players are experimenting with builds, compositions and tactics. In such an environment the 50.000$ prize purse offered by DreamHack might not necessarily go to the very best player, but to the one adapting best to this situation. For the viewers, this tournament should not only bring entertainment, but also preview of how the next few weeks or months of LotV competition may play out.
The players are listed along with their qualification process and their last HotS game (since some players transitioned to LotV full time during beta). While it isn't exactly an accurate measure of how much they've been practicing, it does give a hint of how far ahead they might be compared to recent converts. The groups will be played in a round robin format, with all series Bo3.
Group A, 12:00 CET
YoeFW PartinG | Invite | Last HotS game: 1st of November
PartinG was one of the first Korean players to compete in LotV and dominated his opponents in Legacy of the Ultras. Recently he lost to ByuN in SHOUTcraft II after one of the best and closest series in the entire tournament. No matter how you look at it, this man is one the favourites to take home the title.
Acer Bly | Eastern Europe qualifier | Last HotS game: 1st of November
With already over 400 official games played in LotV, Bly is probably one of the most experienced competitors at the moment. This should help him deal with—and create—crazy scenarios. He recently carried his national team through the Nation Wars 3 qualifier, and he should be in high spirits.
Ecko Probe | Oceania qualifier | Last HotS game: 20th of October
Not much is known of iaguz’ replacement. He took second place in the Oceania qualifier, and this will be his first Premier tournament appearance. While he's one of the top Australian semi-pros in his region, there's no telling how he'll perform on his debut.
prOperty SortOf | Northern Europe qualifier | Last HotS game: 24th of September
SortOf had a solid performance in the qualifier for his region, but he hasn't had any other good showings in LotV so far. Even in HotS, SortOf sometimes popped up out of nowhere to impress in spurts, only to disappoint in the main tournament. We're still waiting for that moment he plays like a beast for an entire weekend.
Evil Geniuses HuK | Invite | Last HotS game: 24th of September
HuK was invited to the tournament despite losing in the NA qualifier. He hasn’t shown great performances so far as a solo-player, confirming that having success in archon-events really doesn’t say much about general skill in LotV. He has to prove himself alone now, without MC backing him up.
ShoWTimE | Western Europe qualifier | Last HotS game: 3rd of November
There isn’t much to say yet about ShoWTimE in LotV, with not many official games played. For what it’s worth his PvP seems to be good, defeating several protoss opponents in ESL Meisterschaft and in the qualifier for this tournament, Lilbow being one of his victims.
Favourites to advance: PartinG, Bly and ShoWTimE
Group B, 12:00 CET
Samsung Galaxy Solar | Invite | Last HotS game: 8th of November
From what we’ve seen Solar is one the best LotV players at the moment, as he has won several Korean online tournaments and only recently took home 10.000$ for his win in SHOUTcraft II. Since the official release of the game the zerg player has not lost a single series yet. He is definitely one of the favourites to take the title in Sweden, already giving us a taste of KeSPA power in LotV.
Extreme Supremacy Elazer | Eastern Europe qualifier | Last HotS game: 4th of November
The rising Polish hero from HotS has been continuing his ascendance in LotV, beating several Koreans in online cups in the last few days. His run through the qualifier for DreamHack was impressive as well. After being knocked down to the lower bracket early on, he went on a killing spree to secure his spot in Sweden, showing great mental strength.
Darkstar Avokado | Northern Europe qualifier | Last HotS game: 8th of July
The Swedish terran is the replacement for Serral, who couldn’t attend due to school. Similar to Probe we don’t know much about Avokado and what he is capable of. He beat Lillekanin in a best of 3 decider to earn this spot.
Gravity Semper | NA qualifier | Last HotS game: 9th of November
Semper was victorious in the NA qualifier and also showed good performances throughout Legacy of the Ultras so far. He might be the North American hope for this tournament.
mYinsanity Reynor | Southern Europe qualifier | Last HotS game: 8th of November
The young Italian Reynor hasn’t played many official games yet, but he was almost able to carry Italy through the Nation Wars 3 qualifier.
Invasion Lambo | Western Europe qualifier | Last HotS game: 3rd of November
Lambo was part of the German invasion of the first Western European qualifier, but he is also doing well in other places: he advanced into the semifinals of ESL Meisterschaft and had some good series in Legacy of the Ultras.
Favourites to advance: Solar, Elazer and Lambo
Group C, 18:00 CET
Sbenu Bomber | Invite | Last HotS game: 5th of September
SHOUTcraft II marked Bomber's only solo appearance in LotV so far. There he was able to defeat Zest—or help Zest commit suicide, whichever way you want to see it—before falling to Solar and ByuN. We really don’t know how strong the terran is right now, but that means he might surprise his opponents as much as the viewers.
Happy | Eastern Europe qualifier | Last HotS game: 6th of August
Normally a mainstay in online cups, Happy has played surprisingly few official LotV matches, maybe with the intention to hide certain strategies and tactics he has stumbled upon. Certainly this behavior is suspicious enough to expect a few tricks from the Russian machine.
prOperty Zanster | Northern Europe qualifier | Last HotS game: 6th of November
Zanster's only official LotV matches happened in the qualifier for this tournament. The zerg lost to his Finnish colleague Serral two times, but defeated every other opponent to secure this spot. However that really doesn’t tell us much unfortunately.
Flipsid3 puCK | NA qualifier | Last HotS game: 9th of November
The US protoss hasn’t showed anything out of the ordinary so far, but he was trusted enough by the US national team to act as ace player in Nation Wars—sadly for the Americans he fell to Bly. He also qualified for HomeStory Cup XII not losing a single map to his NA fellows.
mYinsanity PtitDrogo | Western Europe qualifier | Last HotS game: 24th of September
PtitDrogo only qualified for DreamHack in the second attempt, but went through the HSC XII qualifier without grave problems, so he looks solid overall. We can’t say much more however since the French hasn’t played a lot of games yet—however that might just be because he is busy training in Korea.
FireCake | Western Europe qualifier | Last HotS game: 14th of November
Similar to his countryman PtitDrogo, FireCake needed two attempts to qualify for the tournament in Sweden. Despite making his last HotS appearance only a few days ago, the zerg has a good deal of experience with LotV, even trying himself against Korean competitors in Leifeng Cup—with moderate success, as he was able to beat MyuNgSiK for example.
Favourites to advance: Bomber, Happy and puCK
Group D, 18:00 CET
KT Rolster TY | Invite | Last HotS game: 22nd of September
TY debuted in LotV at SHOUTcraft II, having a surprisingly strong run. Not only did he crush fellow KeSPA player Rogue convincingly, he also took out LotV monster ByuN in a very close series, before falling to Solar in the finals. His craftiness definitely does come in handy in this state of the game, making him one of the favourites to take the title.
Acer Nerchio | Eastern Europe qualifier | Last HotS game: 27th of September
Nerchio has been playing LotV continuously since the beta started, having moderate online success. So far he has been doing well in qualifiers, not only taking a spot in DreamHack, but also HomeStory Cup. His experience might be key to show a good performance in Sweden and once again make international impact.
Liquid Bunny | Northern Europe qualifier | Last HotS game: 8th of August
Bunny needed two attempts to qualify for the event, but did well in other theatres of war. He took the runner-up position in BaseTrade’s TvT tournament, eliminating Journey and MarineLorD before he had to concede to ByuN. Unfortunately the collected knowledge will only be useful against TY and no other player in his group.
Invasion Majestic | Southern Europe qualifier | Last HotS game: 16th of July
Majestic played his only matches in LotV so far in the Southern European qualifier, one of the weakest regional qualifiers for sure. He took a loss at the hands of Reynor, but recovered and went on to secure the second spot for himself.
Millenium Lilbow | Western Europe qualifier | Last HotS game: 1st of November
All the drama around Lilbow’s decision to neglect BlizzCon in favour of practicing LotV certainly leads to his performances being spectated closer than the results of anyone else—and so far this practice of his did not yield any extraordinary victories. The Frenchman took a prestigious win against Jaedong, but was defeated two times at the hands of iAsonu at GPL. Only qualifying for DreamHack at the second attempt was an average result at best.
His result in Sweden will certainly have influence on public opinion. The question is: Will Lilbow’s controversial decision play out favourably for him in the end, or will the mocking haunt him into 2016?
Liquid TLO | Western Europe qualifier | Last HotS game: 28th of August
What goes for TY also goes for TLO: His craftiness and the skill to deal with chaotic scenarios make him a force to be reckoned with in the early stages of the expansion. The Liquid zerg managed to put together an impressive qualifier run, taking out six French players after falling into the lower bracket in the first series. Otherwise TLO didn’t have much success in the online cups he played, mostly losing after two or three rounds. The fans will watch out for the German though—if there is a time for #creativity, it is now.
Favourites to advance: TY, Nerchio and TLO
Editor's note: Once again we were unable to stop Destructicon from getting high and hallucinating. So you get a fanfic.
A cold wind swept across the land of ancient Germanica, through the black forests and the hills, the rivers, the plains and the blades of grass. The sun shone but could not comfort the land with its warmth; the leaves turned yellow, then orange, before being caught by the wind. All the critters of the woods were busy preparing for the long winter to come.
However the tranquility was soon broken by the thunderous sound of hundreds of feet marching across the land. Creatures dove out of the way of the foreign rhythmic presence. The first of the intruders became visible, clad in armor from top to bottom and protected by massive rectangular shields. At first a single centurion was visible, then a cohort, and then several more cohorts marched until it became clear that a entire legion was on the move. The Roman Empire was now here. And they continued their unrelenting march, across the plains, the rivers and the hills into the great dark forests, and they marched until darkness itself put a stop to it.
The legions wasted no time in establishing a secure camp atop a hill, sentries took point, and scouts roamed as the rest of the legion huddled around the camp fires, spinning tales of glorious battle. In the middle of the camp, around the biggest fire, feasting on the finest meats and wine, clad in the most elaborate furs and armor stood the great generals, Solar Maximus, PartinGus Perfectus, Taeius Yangus and Explosivus Bomber.
As soon as the four finished their long and bountiful meal they wasted no time getting right to business and started discussing war.
Solar: "I want a full report on the condition of our troops and weapons as well as those of the natives."
PartinGus: "My scouts have caught wind that several chieftains of different tribes have converged upon Jokongpingia, bringing with them their hosts. We were also able to intercept several of their ravens and have discovered that they are sending messages to the rest of their tribes to rally."
Taeius: "It appears they are attempting to unite."
Solar: "Don't be ridiculous, those uncouth sloths couldn't cram 40 of their kind into one Vila if their lives depended on it, much less unite."
PartinGus: "But all the recent troop movements in the area basically confirm the report, apart from a few small tribes, the majority seem to be uniting and one chieftain in particular has made the greatest strides towards that end."
Solar: "Who is it?"
Solar let out a hearty laugh from the depths of his belly and soon the rest of the generals followed suit. As the laughing slowly subsided Solar had to take the time to wipe away the tears that had streamed down his cheeks. Once they were all composed Solar responded again:
"Ah, I thought he was dead, how did he ever escape Rome after his glorious campaign?"
PartinGus: "There are rumors he hid in a wine barrel and rolled all the way back here."
The others let out another small burst of laughter.
Solar: "Last time Life managed to single-handedly defeat him with just a band of Auxiliary, so why does he believe he can win now?"
PartinGus: "Because if he is successful in rallying all the tribes he could outnumber us five to one."
Solar: "Yes, all very well, but what we Romans lack in numbers we make up for with superior intellect and good looks. Now I want you all to come up with some plans for taking them out."
PartinGus: "I suggest we send some soldiers under the cover of darkness to sow chaos in their ranks."
Taeius: "I suggest we use siege weapons. If we can find the proper high ground to abuse, we can whittle them away until they are tired and scared, then we break them."
Solar: "Why not siege their main encampment?"
Taeius: "It will take too long, they are well supplied and we the risk getting pincered from two sides, their camp and our rear."
Bomber: "What if we make them come to us?"
Bomber: "We hit them where it hurts, we attack their supply of cheese."
Solar: "Go on."
Bomber sketched on the map as he explained: "Most of their shipments pass along these roads and across this river. Between them is a big hill covered in oaks. If we setup camp there we can hit their supply line, making them come to us. While they sleep we can infiltrate their camp, sow some chaos and reduce morale. The next day we harass them relentlessly, and lure them towards us, setting up traps along the way and giving our siege weapons a chance to lay waste to them. Their morale should be at an all time low, then and only then do we charge the line."
Solar: "Quite the plan there you have, and it will take quite a lot of deft army maneuvers."
Bomber: "I am confident in my ability to lead our legions."
Solar: "Yes, but, what if something goes wrong, what if we end up stranded here, in the middle of the wilderness with hardly any supplies to last us through winter?"
Bomber: "If the worst comes, we can unleash our secret weapon, Mvp's gambit!"
They all fixated on Bomber with wide eyes.
PartinGus: "That maneuver hasn't been executed in hundreds of years, how could you possibly expect to do it?"
Bomber: "I know all the strategies by heart!"
They all pondered in silence for a few moments before Solar spoke up and said: "This plan has the most merit, brief your legions and get some rest, tomorrow we march again."
Solar Maximus was now alone in his tent, pondering. "If this campaign proves to be a success, I can return to Rome in glory and make a case for myself in the senate, perhaps even Emperor sOs will look kindly upon me. One against five odds, heh, I'll show him who's Biggus Dickus!"
In his tent PartinGus was also contemplating. "What if in tomorrow's clash, a sword, or several happens to find its way towards Solar? I could then lead the legion on the final thrust for glory and return to Rome to party like a true hero!"
He wasn't the only one though as Taeius Yangus was also plotting something as he approached the amphora of wine in the supply tent. He slipped a concoction of his own into the wine then left as he slowly muttered to himself. "If we serve these drinks to the rest of the generals I can lie and say they drank themselves into unconsciousness on the eve of battle, then I can take charge and prove to be the champion that Rome needs!"
In his quarters Bomber was fiddling around with his own concoction, a strange black powder, imported from the far east. Rumors had it that a single spark could ignite it to devastating effect. It would be so unfortunate if one of the siege machines accidentally killed his fellow generals, leaving him, the old grizzled war veteran alone to lead the legion to a glorious victory and well deserved retirement.
In the great Germanic city of Jokongpingia, fires were raging, people were screaming and bones were cracking. The annual mead festival was well on its way and everybody was having a great time. This year tribes from far and wide had come to bask in its drunken reverie. However, not everything was fun and games, for around the hall of the chieftains the great three were in heated debate. They were TLO, Lilbow and Avokado.
Lilbow: "I tell you all, we aren't ready to go to war, we need more time to train and prepare."
TLO: "Oh really? Where was that attitude of yours when you embarked on your glorious campaign into Rome?"
Lilbow: "Attacking the Romans on their home soil was a suicide attack from the beginning, I didn't even try..."
TLO: "Oh, then why did you turn down or help? Or better yet why didn't you give the chance to someone more worthy to go? Like MaNastix or Zansteratrix?"
Lilbow: "Don't be silly, I'm the wisest and strongest of us all!"
TLO: "If you are, then why did iA so easily dispatch you in your latest attempt to rally his tribe under your banner?"
Lilbow: "I told you already, he had more practice!"
TLO: "All you ever do is whine?!"
Suddenly a strong thick voice broke into the conversation: Wine?!
The two turned towards Avokado.
Avokado: "Did someone say wine? Me loves wine!"
Lilbow: "No we were talking about the Romans."
Avokado: "Do the Romans have wine?"
Lilbow: "Yes but what does it mat..."
Suddenly Avokado's loud and thunderous voice drowned out all other sounds: "Hey, everyone, get in here!"
All the tribesmen gathered around the chieftain's fire.
Avokado: "Who else here loves wine?"
The crowd roared a eager "me".
Avokado: "The Romans have wine, let's go get it!"
The natives screamed and cheered almost entering a berzerk like trance. They all marched towards the gate at the behest of Avokado's command and out into the wilderness, heading in the general direction of the Romans with Avokado leading the front.
Lilbow just stood there, wide-eyed before saying: "What the hell just happened?"
TLO: "I dunno, but we need to go after them."
He deftly mounted his nearby warhorse, grabbed his broadsword and asked?
TLO: "Are you coming, or do you need more practice?"
Writers: TheOneAboveU, Destructicon.
Writers: TheOneAboveU, Destructicon.