Opening Moves: 5v5 Mid, Why Do We Do This to Ourselves?
We've covered the 4-1 Split, the level 1 fight, and how to properly cheese a tower so far in #OpeningMoves week—now we answer the age-old question: why does everyone run to the middle at the start of the game?!
Legendary flex player Simon “scHwimpi” Svensson, formerly of Fnatic fame, has found his place on Method for the upcoming 2018 season. When asked why people run mid at the start of Hero League games, the Swedish veteran gave as honest an answer as he could:
“I don’t understand why people go five mid. I hate it.”
Stack, Stack, Stack
So, why do teams run mid at the beginning of a game? It really is unclear. There are professional teams that will begin games like this, but often for a good reason—namely to get a solid head start for stacking Heroes such as Chromie or Gul’Dan.
“I think it all started when people were committing three heroes to mid regularly when it was unknown where the enemy team would show on the map,” scHwimpi said. “If they show in a side lane, you can push mid, if they don’t match mid you can get a kill, etc. In competitive I think the five-man mid strategy spawned out of necessity to counter this, although I’m not sure if there has ever been a real thought process behind it with the exception of getting level 1 stacks on big maps.”
With Heroes that have baseline quest or level 1 quest talent, sometimes you have to land a certain number of spells on enemy Heroes before you hit a power spike. This seems to be the only logical reason that our three-time BlizzCon competitor can name for brawling in mid right off the bat.
“If you’re looking for stacks and the other team can’t contest as five, then going five mid at the start will likely work out,” scHwimpi said. “It’s very dependent on team compositions. If one team has a strong push and the other team has split their resources between all lanes, then they will likely get demolished in mid.”
Although he may detest this strategy, scHwimpi is as guilty as the rest of the grandmasters in European Hero League. “I do run mid in Hero League just so I can help my teammates not mess up. If I have a strong 1v1 hero, I will likely trap a rotation to a sideline, meaning that I’ll stand in a bush or something between mid and bottom or top and wait for one of their heroes to rotate to the vacant lane for soak. When they walk by, I will either kill them or chunk them.”
Does this make more sense on any one Battleground in comparison to the rest of the pool?
“There are other options, but on Tomb of the Spider Queen this strategy likely has the most value,” scHwimpi said. “However, one team will always lose the level 1 fight. If there is any doubt of whether or not your team will win the level 1 fight, you should not run mid at the start. If you aren’t going to win the fight, you should obviously do something else.”
Check back tomorrow right here at playheroes.com/esports for the fifth and final installment of Opening Moves when we explore the history of the fabled Chinese Bush Meta and how the element of surprise can turn the tides of battle.