After an exciting group stage, 8 of the best teams from Divisions 4 and 5 have earned the right to compete in the knockout stage of the Epic Cup.
The knockout stage is on Sunday 3rd of November starting at 13:00 CET. All of the action will be casted on the official Heroes Lounge channels https://www.twitch.tv/heroes_lounge and https://www.twitch.tv/heroes_lounge2
See the full bracket here https://heroeslounge.gg/euseason-10/playoff/Epic%Cup
Want to get involved in the action yourself next season? Signups for EU Season 11 are currently open, you can sign up as a team, partial team or as a free agent! https://heroeslounge.gg/euseason-11
In this blog post we take a look at how all the action went down in the group stage.
The first match in this group was an all Division 4 clash, between two teams who hadn’t come up against each other in the regular season in Dingsitas and Team!!! BabyRage. Lower seed Team!!! BabyRage was able to confirm a 2-0 victory with relative ease, a double support comp guiding them to victory on Infernal Shrines before closing out the series with a more typical comp on Dragon Shire.
The following match involved the two Division 5 teams Tactical Suicide and Treehouse Gaming. The first game went in favour of the Treehouse on Tomb of the Spider Queen, giving them an early advantage. The response from Tactical Suicide was a double support comprising of Tyrande and Kharazim over on Dragon Shire, and after a tightly contested affair which lasted almost 27 minutes with only 2 kills between the two teams, Tactical were able to draw the series level. This victory gave them a lot of faith in their comp and they proceeded to draft it again, albeit with a Qhira replacing the banned E.T.C. this time. Treehouse adapted well to this by drafting a melee heavy setup, the control of Johanna, Arthas and Thrall was enough to make sure this match was a lot more one sided and were able to close it out in their favour.
In what was their second match of the day Treehouse Gaming then entertained Dingsitas, and they started off by taking us to one of their favoured maps Tomb of the Spider Queen. In a game that only featured 8 deaths between the two teams Dingsitas was able to confirm a victory and win their first map of the cup. Treehouse adapted their draft to include Dehaka who helped them to make a comeback in the series with victories on Towers of Doom and Dragon Shire to put them in a favourable position for qualifying for the knockout stage.
The fate of the group was decided in the 4th tie of the group when Team!!! BabyRage played against Tactical Suicide. A dominant but patient performance on Infernal Shrines gave the advantage to BabyRage. The second map also went the way of BabyRage as Tactical's Tracer comp was unable to get them the win they needed on Cursed Hollow.
After the previous result we knew that BabyRage and Treehouse Gaming would be moving on, but it would take this match to decide who would progress as first and second seed. BabyRage took an early lead in the series with a dominant display on Towers of Doom with 9 kills to 1. This prompted a response from Treehouse who manage to level up the series on Tomb of the Spider Queen, doubling the amount of kills their opponent managed to achieve on the first map with 18 and only falling twice themselves. The third game happened on Dragon Shire and was more balanced than the previous two, but Treehouse were able to come out on top and confirm themselves as winners of Group A.
The last match was between two teams who had nothing to play for other than pride as we saw Tactical Suicide vs Dingsitas. Judging from the first draft Tactical were happy to have some fun as they drafted Nova and a Butcher on Alterac pass, but they only managed to last for 12 minutes against a much more serious composition from Dingsitas. The next map on Volskaya lasted just over 19 minutes but was equally as dominant from the Division 4 side who had no intention of bowing out of the Epic Cup without a win.
Winners: Treehouse Gaming
Runners Up: TEAM!!! BabyRage
Opening up group B was a match between one of the top seeds of Division 4 coming up against one of the top seeds from Division 5 as AFK For Cocoa took on Jaina The Frost Mage. The first map took place on Battlefield of Eternity, both teams played well and the kill count was close in the end but JTFM were able to be clinical in team fights when it mattered and were able to take an early lead in the series. AFK responded by choosing a map pick and were able to claw the series back to 1-1 with a victory on Infernal Shrines. For the deciding map AFK took the teams to Volskaya Foundry where they dominated the game with 20 kills to 2 and were able to take the series.
Match 2 saw a rematch between AFK For Cocoa and Magical Liopleurodon, and it was AFK who came out on top for a second time this season . Map 1 resulted in a flawless victory for AFK, with 13 kills and no deaths in a game that lasted just under 14 minutes on Tomb of the Spider Queen. Map 2 took us to Alterac Pass and also went in favour of AFK but this time Liopleurodon were able to put up more of a fight and achieve 9 kills to their opponents 25.
The third game of the group involved Magical Liopleurodon and FAT Bones. Liopleurodon managed to sneak one of their comfort heroes Alarak into the first game on Volskaya Foundry and this was the foundation for a fairly dominant victory with 17 kills to 5. Moving on to the second map we saw the teams square up to each other on Alterac Pass and we saw FAT Bones first pick Alarak themselves. This combined with a switch up of roles from the first map saw FAT Bones go toe to toe with their opponent and even managed to match the amount of kills they got as both teams died 16 times. Ultimately Liopleurodon was able to close out the game and secure their first win of the group stage.
Next we saw Jaina The Frost Mage vs FAT Bones. In the regular season this fixture produced a result of 2-1 in favour of JTFM but it was a back and forth encounter that suggested that this game would be competitive. And that it was, a closely fought contest on Towers of Doom just went in favour of FAT Bones but it could have gone either way. JTFM chose to have first pick in an attempt to save the series and their opponents decided this map would be played on the lesser seen Garden of Terror. Their choice proved to be a good one as they managed to confirm a somewhat easy map win with 8 kills to 2.
In the penultimate match Magical Liopleurodon faced off against Jaina The Frost Mage with a win for Liopleurodon likely to be enough to secure qualification for the knockout stage. They started with a double global comp on Dragon Shire but were unable to get the upper hand and fell behind in the series. The second map took us to Infernal Shrines and JTFM were once again able to defeat the Division 4 team with 13 kills to 4.
Going into their last match against AFK For Cocoa, FAT Bones knew they had to win a single map in order to qualify ahead of Jaina The Frost Mage. The first map saw Bones choose Garden of Terror which they had a 100% record on up until this point, but they were not able to replicate that success as AFK took the map with 22 kills to 6 in just under 19 minutes. Next up was Volskaya Foundry and it was somewhat closer as AFK confirmed the series with 13 kills to 5. With this result Jaina The Frost Mage qualified due to being the only team who won a map in defeat in this group.
Winners: AFK For Cocoa
Runners up: Jaina The Frost Mage
Getting us started in the group of death Group C was Cup favourites Gaming In The Rhythm who were clashing with Division 5 team Nexus’ Most Wanted. GITR showed no signs of taking it easy on the lower division team, it took them just over 11 minutes to win the first map of this series on Battlefield of Eternity and they managed 16 kills while only dying 3 times in the process. NMW chose first pick in the hopes of making their way back into the series but to no avail as GITR closed out the game and series in 12 minutes with 8 kills to 2.
Next up was the most hotly anticipated fixture of the cup as the top team of Division 4 Gaming In The Rhythm came up again Undefeated Division 5 team DiVeOrDeLeTe. On the first map Towers of Doom we saw the Division 5 side take an early advantage in the tie after a 25 minute game that was hotly contested and ended with 19 kills to 16 in favour of the victors. The second map saw Rhythm choose one of their more favoured maps Dragon Shire but they fell once more to lose their first series of the season as DiVeOrDeLeTe continued their dominance.
Hoping to bounce back from this defeat we saw Gaming In The Rhythm complete their 3 matches against fellow Division 4 side CoB Antimeta who they beat during the regular season. A dominant display on Dragon Shire gave them the first map in just under 13 minutes with 16 kills to 4. The second map lasted a bit longer and was slightly closer in kills with 20 to 8 in Rhythm’s favour, but their offlane Kerrigan proved to be too much for Antimeta to handle as the series ended 2-0.
CoB’s status in the Epic Cup was on the line in the fourth match of the group as they needed a win against DiVeOrDeLeTe to have a chance of qualifying for the knockout stage. Firstly we saw a game on Dragon Shire which DiVe were able to close out in just over 16 minutes. Infernal Shrines was next up and once more we saw DiVe move on to victory in a dominant fashion with 20 kills to 6.
Following this match 5 saw DiVeOrDeLetTe have the opportunity to confirm their place in the knockout stage, whereas their opponents Nexus’ Most Wanted had to win this and their final match to hope to qualify. First up was Infernal Shrines and there was a banquet of meat available for the Butcher on DiVe’s team as they stormed to a 20 kills to 1 victory. Map 2 was wrapped up by DiVe in around 15 minutes on Battlefield of Eternity to protect their perfect record so far. Will they drop a map in the knockout stage? Only time will tell.
The final match of the group was played purely for honour, as Nexus’s Most Wanted fought CoB Antimeta. Game 1 took place on Cursed Hollow and was packed full of heroes with globals, but Antimeta managed to come out on top a win their first map of the Epic Cup. Antimeta stepped it up a gear in map 2 on Dragon Shire as they dominated with 19 kills to 2, and winning in just under 15 minutes.
Runners Up: Gaming In The Rhythm
To begin Group D we saw Sloth Sanctuary of Division 4 come up against TSEA Link of Division 5. On the first map we saw Sloth Sanctuary come out on top on Sky Temple utilising a double global composition of Dehaka and Falstad. The second map on Tomb of the Spider Queen was comfortably won by the Sloths with 13 kills to 4, securing them a winning start in Group D.
The second match we were treated to was first seed Hokus Pocus, Morales gets Focus take on TSEA Link. First up we had a short game on Cursed hollow which lasted 13 and a half minutes, with 14 kills to 1 in Hokus Pocus’ favour which was enough to secure them the first map. Map 2 took place on Infernal Shrines and can be described as somewhat of a saga containing a whopping 49 kills. 37 of those takedowns were done by Hokus Pocus, who were unable to finish the game earlier despite the slaughter they were inflicting on their resilient opponents. After 33 minutes they finally managed to see the game out to a 2-0 victory.
Match 3 contained the two Division 4 teams Hokus Pocus, Morales gets Focus and Sloth Sanctuary. The first map was evenly fought with little between the two teams as both had killed each other 11 times, but Hokus Pocus were able to confirm the victory to give them the advantage in the series. We then saw the two teams go to Battlefield of Eternity where a spicy Samuro pick was influential in equalising the series for the Sloths in a game that they were able to control efficiently until they won in the 22nd minute. The decided took place on Tomb of the Spider Queen and was closely contested with both teams having a chance to seize the game for themselves. The Sloths were the ones to do that and won the game with 14 kills to 10 earning them a valuable victory over their main rivals in the group.
An all Div 5 clash was to follow as Killer Koalas played against TSEA Link, these two teams came up against each other in round 1 of the regular season where TSEA Link started their season off with a fine 2-0 victory. Here in the Epic Cup they started on Cursed Hollow where Killer Koalas were able to surprise their opponents with a well fought victory which took them just over 17 minutes. The second map on Infernal Shrines was very even and involved the best healer in the game Li Li on the side of the Koalas. The game lasted for 25 minutes but each team could only kill the other 10 times, which is rather low for such a long game. The Koalas were able to clutch it out in the end and confirm an essential win for their hopes of making the knockout stage.
Hokus Pocus, Morales gets Focus and Killer Koalas was on the menu for the penultimate game of the group, and Hokus Pocus were able to start off on the front foot with a routine victory on Battlefield of Eternity where they recorded 17 kills to their opponents 4. Map 2 on Towers of Doom saw an interesting Zagara pick from Killer Koalas, it certainly had an impact on the game but it wasn’t quite enough as Hokus Pocus confirmed their place in the knockout stage with a 2-0.
The final game was between Sloth Sanctuary and Killer Koalas, a battle to finally settle who would win a fight a sloth or a koala. A quick game on Dragon Shire got the Sloths off to a winning start as they achieved 12 kills to their opponents and managed to finish the game in just under 14 minutes. Map 2 only took around a minute longer as the Sloths asserted their dominance on Battlefield of Eternity against an unusual Koala double support comp of Lucio and Morales.
Winners: Sloth Sanctuary
Runners Up: Hokus Pocus, Morales gets Focus
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Don't forget to take a look at our Epic Cup page to see the groups and bracket for yourself https://heroeslounge.gg/euseason-10/playoff/Epic%20Cup