What You Missed – HGC NA Week 10

The 10th and final week of Phase 2 for HGC North America has come and gone, giving the 8 professional Heroes of the Storm teams one last chance to practice before the next step. Roll20 esports and Team Freedom are already moving on to HGC Finals at BlizzCon, while Lag Force and Even in Death must fight to stay in the HGC. For the four remaining teams, this weekend was a great warmup for the HGC Playoffs beginning on Friday, September 29th.

This is the third edition of “What You Missed”, a showcase of HGC North America. It features results, standout performances, and major events over the weekend. For those who are under a time crunch, I’ve selected one game from every series and included the VOD to give you a sense of how that series felt. Enjoy!

Gale Force Esports defeated Superstars 3-1

On paper, the first series of the weekend between Gale Force Esports and Superstars should not have been as close as it actually panned out to be. Despite the standings, Superstars showed a lot of life in Weeks 8 and 9 with victories over Tempo Storm and SpaceStation Gaming. On the flipside, Gale Force Esports has struggled lately, losing to the top two teams in North America and just scraping by against Lag Force. Combine recent history with two teams that can get fairly creative with their drafts (I’m looking at you The Lost Vikings), and HGC North America was treated with an entertaining series to start off Week 10. Gale Force Esports rode a few late game team fights to walk away with the win in four games.

If you only watch one game:

Watch Game 4, a back and forth brawl on Infernal Shrines that ultimately gave Gale Force Esports the series.

Roll20 esports defeated SpaceStation Gaming 3-0

Wanting to lock in the #1 seed for North America, Roll20 esports logged in on Friday as a confident team. They had only dropped one game in Phase 2, and their level of comfort was readily apparent in their drafts and the dominant way they won Game 1. Meanwhile, SpaceStation Gaming had substituted Daihuu for Equinox, forcing a shift not only in teamwork, but role assignments as well. Even with the role swaps, SpaceStation Gaming put up a fight in Games 2 in 3. They just couldn’t hold it together long enough to survive late game team wipes from Roll20’s aggression.

If you only watch one game:

Watch Game 3, where SpaceStation Gaming impressed with their map control during the midgame on Infernal Shrines, but Roll20’s team composition was just too strong to beat in the end.

Lag Force defeated Even in Death 3-0

Both of these teams are already headed to the HGC Crucible, but it seems like Lag Force will have a stronger chance at defending their HGC spot in October. Granted, the results of this matchup had no effect, so Even in Death busted out a full Orc team in Game 1 before swapping to more traditional drafts. Lag Force held a firm grip on each game using aggressive calls for teams fights. They secured kills early and often to win their final series 3-0.

If you only watch one game:

Watch Game 3 for another glimpse of Lag Force’s double reset team featuring E.T.C., Lúcio, Genji and Li-Ming (Dehaka was swapped out for Leoric for this game).

Team Freedom defeated Tempo Storm 3-2

If you only have enough time to watch one series from Week 10, it needs to be this one. Tempo Storm has clearly been putting in the work to recover from their recent stumbles in Phase 2. When they won in Games 2 and 4, they dominated Team Freedom in the early game and never took their foot off the gas. When they lost in Games 1 and 3, they lost later on over Boss control. Taking Team Freedom to 5 games, Tempo Storm looks very strong as they prepare for the HGC Playoffs this upcoming weekend.

Who to Watch:

Check out Psalm on Kel’Thuzad during Games 2 and 3. Available for the first time this weekend, the Archlich was picked 3 times and banned for another 4 games. Psalm’s ability to gain Blight stacks early to boost Spell Power made him a force to be reckoned with, and a preview for future games to feature the hero. Psalm’s skill even drew a Kel’Thuzad ban from Team Freedom in Game 5.

If you only watch one game:

Watch Game 5, a 30 minute nail-biter on Battlefield of Eternity. Tempo Storm held on with no Keeps and their Core at 44% for 16 minutes, but Team Freedom was able to finish the game off late.

HGC Playoffs

This weekend, the four “middle of the pack” teams will duke it out for one last chance to qualify for BlizzCon. On Friday, #6 Superstars will face off against #5 SpaceStation Gaming in a best of five series. The winner of Friday’s match will play #4 Tempo Storm on Saturday. Finally, Saturday’s winner will play against #3 Gale Force Esports on Sunday. The winner of that match will earn their ticket to compete at HGC Finals during BlizzCon.

Each of these matches will begin at 2 PM PDT on the Heroes of the Storm Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/blizzheroes

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