I had the chance to talk to Snitch of Team Dignitas after their Western Clash match against Method. Surrounded by other press and his teammates, we spoke about the strength of Maiev, ineffective NA drafts, and why Leftovers is a surprising threat to Dignitas.
What's interesting is that the drafts in games 2 and 3, on their end, were straight wonky -- it's tough to predict against Method. Do you try to get in the mind of adrd or just see what they draft and roll with it?
It's kind of hard to prepare for the super weird strategies they do, but as I said on the desk before, as a team I think we are very flexible with our picks and our players. We are very good at adapting in the draft whatever they are doing. When we saw the end of their comps we were very confident going into it. We were like "we have everything we need to handle this".
The second draft, in particular, was the closest of the three matches and the triple warrior worked moderately well on Infernal Shrines. But, they were so focused on what they wanted to draft they just gave you Maiev back to back...
Yeah, the Yrel as well.
It seems that Maiev fell off a bit but now she is seeing a resurgence, why do you think that is?
I think people took too much into the nerfs that she got, the E cooldowns and stuff like that. But it was kind of placebo nerfs where it didn't really affect her, it just affected her if you were playing her badly. Like, if you weren't playing her well, it was a nerf. In some ways, she got even better. Like, her E wave clear change: she clears waves so fast now and I feel that is a big part of why we are using her. Her macro game is so strong.
A lot of our games you will see me split soaking two lanes at a time because she just does it so fastly, way faster than any other hero. And she is so safe as well! Between her trait and the E, it is very hard to pick her off. She clears the waves so fast and is gone by the time you get there. She fits quite nicely.
A lot of her nerfs were placebo nerfs over and over again. While she does less damage, the resurgence of Containment Disk, the lower cooldown, makes it a lot more effective. Especially against things like Diablo's Lighting Breath, Life Binder... a lot of heroes get punished by the Disk.
How have you been balancing the Disk vs. the Warden's Cage? How do you know when to pick which one?
It very much depends on the backline. Because Hanzo is in the game a lot less -- Hanzo was super punishable by Warden's Cage. For example, a lot of the current backliners don't really care about the cage. Fenix isn't super bothered by it, Raynor is just going to stand there and fight you, Hammer is not going to care because she is not going to move. Just the way things are right now, Warden's Cage doesn't feel super reliable.
There are definitely games where it is ok. Like, even games where you want to focus frontline for example -- Muradin and Yrel can get kind of punished by cage. We see Heroes Hearth playing Warden's Cage quite a bit and I like some of the games where they pick it. They engage on the front line, then they pop Cage and the frontline is stuck.
So, it still has a place, but Disk is definitely the go-to now.
How are you guys feeling mentally for the rest of the tournament? Tempo Storms gone, Liquid is gone, you just took care of Method with relative ease, HeroesHearth dropped to Leftovers and is now in the Losers bracket -- a lot of the big dogs are either struggling or out altogether.
Yeah, it has been a very weird feeling tournament. Like you said, a lot of the big dogs have randomly fallen off. We were very surprised by the Liquid results and very surprised that Leftovers won, sort of? Like, we have this feeling that Leftovers could really win this -- they are actually a really strong team for a fourth seed. Heroes Hearth, in practice, didn't feel like the best team in the world. We were always thinking there was a chance that Leftovers would win, but we really didn't believe it until they just literally smashed them.
How much of that feeling was influenced by the Bootcamp? A lot of people were really high on HeroesHearth going into this tournament.
Obviously, we didn't scrim Leftovers or Method because they weren't here, but as far as NA went, HeroesHearth was the best performing team. But they weren't performing super well. We were very reserved on if they were actually that good. We were always thinking Leftovers could take it, but we weren't 100 percent sure. But they really played out of their mind in that series especially.
We are almost scared of Leftovers I think. It's the Mopsio story again: he is always coming.
How much of that do you think is a testament to NA only generally practicing against other NA teams? If you are preparing against a weaker region, it may feel like a totally different game when you play against a stronger region.
It is definitely hard to improve if your region isn't strong, but that goes without saying. It could just be an inbred thing. We would see some of the weaker NA teams playing compositions that just didn't make sense. All we could think is "HeroesHearth must have played this and beat them with it and then they are like 'it's pretty good!'
And then they play against us and it is just useless -- we have no idea why they drafted these sort of things. I think yeah, it must be some sort of inbred thing with Heroes Hearth where they like to try a lot of stuff and it ends up making the region as a whole kind of weaker.
I don't know, I think if the teams sort out their rosters and have more time they could definitely become a force again.
Warcraft 3 is my one true love and I will challenge anyone to a game of Super Smash Brothers Melee.
Tim Rizzo is the editor and a reporter for Inven Global. He joined the company back in 2017.