Team Dignitas came into Phase 2 of HGC’s Western Clash as a massive favorite. The team has done nothing since then to disprove that. One of the more dominant series from Day 2 of games was Dignitas’ display against fellow European squad, Team Method. Let’s quickly recap exactly what went down and how the series played out.
Game 1 was exactly what you would expect from Team Dignitas at this point: a methodical stomping of their opponents. Stacking small advantages here and there, Dignitas forced an early push that would give them a cushy three level lead.
Having such a deficit at such an early point in the match against such a strong team gave Method too much of a mountain to climb. Dignitas’ advantage would never be relinquished, as they’d dispatch of their European counterparts in just 16 minutes.
In the pre-match interviews, Dignitas’ Wubby had called Method a wild card, referring to their unpredictability. Sure enough, the team stayed true to their billing in the Game 2 draft.
Method made several strange choices, banning E.T.C, a hero Dignitas was not expected to pick up, and locking in Zarya and Sonya with their final picks. These moves left both casters and viewers confused. As caster Tetcher so eloquently put it at the beginning of the game: “It’s a weird comp!”
However, the action on the map began with a wildly different look to Game 1. Both teams kept incredibly close in experience throughout the early stages of the game, with Method actually spawning the first Arcane Punisher. Despite Method beating Dig to the punch on the Punisher, Dignitas maintained map pressure, and secured the first kill of the game.
The seesaw would continue throughout the match, with Method pushing into a 1 level lead, that quickly reversed when Dignitas spawned an Arcane Punisher of their own. Dignitas would get a second Arcane Punisher a few minutes later but with a “methodical” defense, Method would hold them off yet again.
After such a close bout, it seems only fitting that Game 2 came down to a base race. Method spawned a Frozen Punisher and moved into the Dignitas base, an unlikely victory suddenly in their sites. Unfortunately for Method, while they focused on melting the Dignitas core, their own base was suddenly overrun by Dignitas mercenaries. A battalion of catapults was enough to drain Method’s core, as well as their hopes for a Game 2 victory.
Method began Game 3 with another interesting draft. They elected to go with five melee heroes and drew a huge cheer from the crowd after locking in Tyrael and Illidan with their final picks. Unfortunately, this would not translate to anywhere near the team’s fortitude in Game 2.
Dignitas would get out to another strong lead and quickly cascade that into a stifling of Method’s chances. Besides one hiccup along the way, a fight where Method out-traded them for a 2-0 fight win, Dignitas would complete the much-prophesied 3-0 series sweep with relative ease.
So far nobody has been able to truly challenge Dignitas. Will they see any resistance throughout the rest of the competition? Or will they sweep their way to the championship that most HGC followers have already assumed for them?
The rest of the weekend should be interesting as we watch how it all plays out.