What You Missed – HGC NA Playoffs

One last shot.

This past weekend four teams entered the HGC Playoffs for North America: Superstars, SpaceStation Gaming, Tempo Storm and Gale Force Esports. Competing in a ladder bracket, these teams fought to keep their HGC 2017 season alive. Once a team lost their best of five series, they were knocked out and their season concluded. The last team standing would earn their tickets to compete at HGC Finals at BlizzCon.   

This is the fourth 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!

SpaceStation Gaming defeated Superstars 3-1

A lot of the SpaceStation Gaming and Superstars series can be boiled down to execution. For Game 1, SpaceStation Gaming put all of their eggs in the wombo-combo basket and it simply paid off. During Game 2, Superstars couldn’t heal enough with Malfurion and Stukov to compensate for SpaceStation Gaming’s Gul’dan and Sonya. Superstars executed well to dominate Game 3 behind Erho’s precision Stitches hooks and Srey’s Entombs on Leoric. Ultimately, the series ended in an anticlimactic fashion during a 13 minute Boss fight on Warhead Junction. SpaceStation Gaming looked clean (except Game 3) and prepared to win this series.

If you only watch one game:

Watch Game 1 on Battlefield of Eternity. SpaceStation Gaming drafted a combo-centric team composition, but pulled it off to set the tone of the series.

Tempo Storm defeated SpaceStation Gaming 3-0

Timing their boot camp for the week leading up to the HGC Playoffs was the best possible route for Tempo Storm, a team that looked like they had lost their identity during the second half of Phase 2. Tempo Storm looked focused and their strategy for the entire weekend was calculated.

Overall, their goal to outlast SpaceStation Gaming using double Supports paid off, and they continued to outlive their opponents during team fights. Additionally, reserving nuclear warheads for just the right time gave Tempo Storm a quick victory in Game 2 on Warhead Junction. It is unfortunate that Equinox misclicked his Zeratul heroic during Game 3, because SpaceStation Gaming looked to be in control on Sky Temple.  

Who to Watch:

Pay close attention to Fury throughout the short series. His Garrosh flips in Game 1 were an integral part in Tempo Storm isolating kills. His crowd control as E.T.C. in Game 2 and Anub’arak in Game 3 were stunning to behold. Fury showcased why he is a (if not the) top Warrior in North America.

If you only watch one game:

Watch Game 1 on Braxis Holdout. The matchup was close prior to Level 10 and stayed that way due to Zerg rushes, but Tempo Storm prevailed in the end.

Tempo Storm defeated Gale Force Esports 3-0

As the longest standing roster in North America, Tempo Storm had a large burden to bear coming into the Playoffs. If they lost, BlizzCon would be the first Global tournament that they missed. To win, they would need to get past Gale Force Esports. Continuing their trend against SpaceStation Gaming, Tempo Storm relied heavily on psalm playing Valla with a double Support to back him up.

Throughout the series, Tempo Storm made a point to emphasize map control. Early in Games 1 and 2, the teams would have prolonged fights, but very few heroes would ultimately die. This left Tempo Storm to decide the fate of each map through stronger team compositions and overall execution of their plan. In the end, it felt like Tempo Storm was the better prepared team that also had more confidence.

Who to Watch:

There was a lot of fire and passion from psalm in the post series interviews on Saturday and Sunday, and for good reason. He demonstrated Tempo Storm’s hunger for victory both outside and during the games. He slung maximum damage on Valla in Games 1 and 2, and his Medivh portals set up invasion after invasion to secure kills in Game 3. For those reasons, keep a close eye on psalm.

If you only watch one game:

Watch Game 3 on Towers of Doom. Tempo Storm broke away from Valla and used psalm on Medivh to constantly control every part of the map through fast rotations.

What’s Next?

The top amateur Heroes of the Storm teams are currently competing to earn a place at the HGC Crucible on October 7th and 8th. Lag Force and Even in Death will be defending their HGC spots at 12 PM PDT on the Heroes of the Storm Twitch page: https://www.twitch.tv/blizzheroes.

Amateur Meta Trends: September 15th – 28th

The introduction of Ana to the Nexus this week brought quite a few changes to unpack, which only added to the host of adjustments brought by the September 20th balance patch. It looks like these changes are only slowing affecting the meta though. Overall, the top five heroes in the Warrior and Assassin roles have not changed much over the last month. The Support role is starting to see some more life though. Let’s see how the amateur Heroes of the Storm meta was shaped over the past two weeks!  

Note: The following statistics are based solely on the games streamed during the HGC Open Division and HeroesHype tournaments from September 15th through September 28th. 33 games were analyzed for this article, thus serving as a slice of the overall amateur meta.

Warriors:

E.T.C. remains the top Warrior for the entire month of September, showing up in a staggering 97% of the amateur games studied over the last two weeks. He’s a top priority in drafts, he never made it through the second ban phase. He was played in 21 games and banned in 11 others. It does seem that opposing teams are perfecting counters to him, as his win rate dropped from 63% two weeks ago to its current 52%.

The rest of the Warrior field is much more spread out compared to two weeks ago. Dehaka dropped quite a bit over this period, from 72% participation to 48%. He was played 5 times, banned 11 times, and holds a 40% win rate. Anub’arak and Arthas claimed the 3rd and 4th spots (39% and 30% respectively).

Finally, Garrosh was the 5th most popular Warrior over the last two weeks. He was played in only 3 games but banned in 5 others, winning 66% of the time.

Assassins:

Greymane continues to be the king of the Assassins in amateur Heroes of the Storm. Two weeks ago he was at 81% participation, a month ago he checked in at 68%. Over the last two weeks his numbers nearly topped out, he showed up in 97% of the games analyzed. He was played in 21 games and banned in 11 others. It also looks like players are truly utilizing the Worgen better, as his win rate bumped up 18 points to an impressive 63%.

The next three Assassins merely swapped places around a little bit. Valla showed up in 67% of the amateur games studied, while Malthael appeared in 55%. Malthael’s win rate is rising, it hit 69% over the last two weeks. Genji took the 4th place spot with 52% participation. He was played in 8 games and banned out in 9 others.

Support:

Reghar and Uther tied for the top Support spot over the last two weeks with an 88% participation rate. Rehgar was played in more games (24 compared to Uther’s 19) and had a much better win rate (58% to Uther’s 42%).

The third spot for Support is where things get a little interesting, as Lúcio has skated his way back into the spotlight. Played in 20 games and banned in 2 others, the Overwatch DJ/Freedom Fighter found success in both solo and double support team comps. He boasted a 55% win rate over the last two weeks as well.

Finally, Lt. Morales’ rework has given the medic some much needed love. She was the 4th most picked Support over this period, playing in 5 games and getting banned out in another 5. Her win rate isn’t as clean as Lúcio’s though, as her teams only won 40% of the time.

As always, Tassadar continues to hover around an 80% participation rate. This time he was played in 8 games and banned in 18 others.

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

What You Missed – HGC NA Week 9

Phase 2 of HGC North America is quickly wrapping up, and Week 9 finalized much of what will be right around the corner for our 8 professional Heroes of the Storm teams. The week was full of clean 3-0 sweeps, and even a few ever elusive and entertaining “reverse sweeps”. Week 9 also locked in the two teams automatically qualifying to BlizzCon in November, while also determining the bottom two teams that must defend their HGC spot during the Crucible in October.

This is the second 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!

Superstars defeated SpaceStation Gaming 3-2

Both Superstars and SpaceStation Gaming came into Week 9 with high hopes after causing some big upsets during Week 8. Superstars defeated Tempo Storm and SpaceStation Gaming swept Gale Force Esports last weekend, making this matchup an exciting one to watch. After strong wins during Games 1 and 2, SpaceStation Gaming made a risky gamble by choosing Nova during Game 3, which Superstars punished. With consistent control during Game 4, Superstars forced a final close map, where they won to complete the reverse sweep.

If you only watch one game:

Watch Game 5, which ended up being the closest game between these two teams on Dragon Shire.

Team Freedom defeated Even in Death
3-0

Hungry for an automatic bid to BlizzCon, Team Freedom showed no signs of letting up on their opponents this weekend. They started with fast wins over Even in Death in Games 1 and 3, but struggled to put anything together in Game 2 until late in the game.  

If you only watch one game:

Watch Game 2 where Even in Death handedly controlled the first 14 minutes of the game, but Team Freedom put together an excellent comeback.

Team Freedom defeated SpaceStation Gaming 3-0

Team Freedom has been a force to be reckoned with during Phase 2 of HCG North America. With this 3-0 sweep of SpaceStation Gaming, Team Freedom improved their Phase 2 record to 15-4. By utilizing double support team compositions in Games 1 and 2, they drew out team fights by simply out-surviving SpaceStation Gaming.

Who to Watch:

Focus on Nazmas during this series, specifically when he played Valla in Games 1 and 2. Nazmas demonstrated just how much damage can be dished out from the Demon Hunter, especially when you land a well-timed Rain of Vengance.

If you only watch one game:

Watch Game 1, a close battle on Sky Temple that boiled down to one last team fight for the win.

Gale Force Esports defeated Lag Force
3-2

Last week’s HGC matches could be characterized by two upsets, but this week’s matches were all about the reverse sweep. Lag Force’s lethal team compositions in Games 1 and 2 were too much for Gale Force Esports to handle, but they couldn’t keep up with the map pressure Gale Force enforced in Game 4. The third and fifth maps of the series were much closer, so the rivalry between these two teams is still strong this late in the year. Despite the final results, Lag Force has demonstrated revitalized energy in the second half of Phase 2.

Who to Watch:

Pay attention to k1pro on Tassadar for his outstanding efforts to zone with Force Wall and interrupt altar channeling. Additionally, watch the level of comfort Fan has on Valla to risk himself securing late game kills.

If you only watch one game:

Watch Game 3, the turning point for Gale Force Esports on Towers of Doom.

Roll20 esports defeated Gale Force Esports 3-0

Serving as one of the marquee matchups for the weekend in North America, the actual competition between Roll20 and Gale Sports Esports was fairly one-sided. A demonstration of the disparity between these two teams can be seen with Roll20’s record-breaking 5:12 win on Warhead Junction for Game 2. Roll20 simply had better rotations and macro play in Game 1 and they won on team fights in Game 3. What’s even more impressive is that Roll20 was able to sweep Gale Force Esports without using two of their most game-changing heroes: Garrosh and Medivh.

If you only watch one game:

Watch Game 1 on Braxis Holdout, where Roll20 took down Gale Force Esports on Braxis Holdout with double Support and slick rotations. If you have an extra 5 minutes, go ahead and check out Game 2 as well for the fastest HGC win.

Tempo Storm defeated Even in Death 3-0

Relying on strong plays from Genji and Medivh, Tempo Storm took a quick 2-0 lead in their series against Even in Death. This prompted a smart shift from Even in Death to ban out both Medivh and Genji in Game 3, which gave them a fighting chance against Tempo Storm. It wasn’t enough, as Tempo Storm kept their wits about them during a long and tough final game to close out the series 3-0.  

If you only watch one game:

Watch Game 3, where Tempo Storm never gave up and recovered from Even in Death’s dominating early game pressure on Tomb of the Spider Queen.

BlizzCon & Crucible Notes

Roll20 esports and Team Freedom have clinched their automatic bids to BlizzCon after their wins this week, along with Gale Force Esports’ loss. The third North American qualifying team will need to outlast all of their opponents during the HGC Playoffs which are September 29th – October 2nd. Gale Force Esports, Tempo Storm, SpaceStation Gaming and Superstars will duke it out for the final spot. Final seeding for the Playoffs will be determined after Week 10’s results.

As for the Crucible, Lag Force and Even in Death sealed their fates with their losses during Week 9. They will defend their HGC spots from the top two HGC Open Division teams the following weekend, October 7th and 8th.

Amateur Meta Trends: August 31st – September 14th

September 5th brought the famous Archlich Kel’Thuzad to the Nexus, along with a plethora of changes to Jaina, Leoric, Chromie and Lt. Morales. While there is still another week before Kel’Thuzad becomes legal in amateur tournaments, his patch signals a major shift in the Warrior and Support fields for the amateur scene. Let’s see how the amateur Heroes of the Storm meta was shaped over the past two weeks!  

Note: The following statistics are based solely on the games streamed during the HGC Open Division and HeroesHype tournaments from August 31st until September 14th. 32 games were analyzed for this article, thus serving as a slice of the overall amateur meta.

Warriors:

Two weeks ago I mentioned a potential rise in the “staple” tanks: E.T.C. and Muradin. I’m happy to say I was right about E.T.C. (especially after the showing he had in HGC NA Week 8) but I was apparently dead wrong about Muradin in the amateur scene.  

E.T.C. stage dove his way to the top of the Warriors chart the last two weeks, showing up in 78% of the games (19 games played, 6 games banned) with a healthy 63% win rate. Muradin only appeared in 2 of the 32 games the last weeks, and he was on the losing side both times.

Dehaka took only a slight step back from 1st place two weeks ago, appearing in 72% of the drafts this time around. He was played 13 times, banned 10 times, and holds a fairly rough 38% win rate. Garrosh’s playmaking potential is clearly apparent to amateur players, as he crashed into the #3 spot with 69% participation (7 games played, 15 banned).

Finally, Arthas and Anub’arak continue to slip as the fourth and fifth most played Warriors respectively. Their win rates are falling just as much as their participation (44% win rate for Arthas, 38% for Anub’arak).  

Assassins:

Greymane is not only the King of Gilneas, but the reigning king of the Assassins here in the amateur scene. Climbing to 81% participation (up from 68% two weeks ago), the Worgen was played in 22 games and banned in 4 others. He’s still a somewhat risky hero to rely on with a 45% win rate.

The next highest Assassin over the last two weeks seemingly wasn’t happy with his recent death in the amateur scene. Malthael climbed his way to being a part of 50% of the drafts at held a 57% win rate. This is quite the climb considering the hero was only part of 15% of the drafts two weeks ago, and matches the recent focus placed on him in HGC.

Valla improved to 3rd place for the damage dealers after being played in 12 games and banned in 1 other. She boasted a 58% win rate and continues to be a major part of the amateur meta. The Assassins field was rounded out by Genji (37% participation) as well as Li-Ming and Lunara (34% participation).  

Support:

With the fall of the Paladin, a Shaman/Gladiator is here to take the Support crown. Rehgar appeared in 97% of the drafts over the last two weeks, missing only 1 game. Additionally, the hero holds a 70% win rate, making him a must-pick healer at this point.

Uther fell to the 2nd spot for Supports with 66% participation (down from 83% two weeks ago). He was picked 14 times, banned another 7 and held a 50% win rate. Malfurion is relatively in the same spot as he was during my last Meta Trends article with 13 games played and 1 game banned.

As always, Tassadar continues to be a major shielding choice with 12 picks and 14 bans, adding up to an 81% participation rate.

Other:

Cho’Gall decides to pop up as more of an influence every once in awhile in the amateur scene, and the last two weeks were no exception. Appearing in 31% of the games, Cho’Gall was played 3 times and banned for 7 games. However, 6 of these bans were against Team Numerics, meaning their opponents have been doing their research.

What You Missed – HGC NA Week 8

Heroes of the Storm fans wanting to keep up to date with all of the action in the Heroes Global Championship (HGC) must undertake a herculean effort. Each Friday, Saturday and Sunday during a Phase features two best-of-five series, creating a range of 18 to 30 games that could be viewed each weekend. Considering those six matchups are then doubled once you consider both Europe and North America are running during different parts of the day, it takes serious dedication to stay informed with all of the developments for HGC.

Don’t get me wrong, having too many Heroes of the Storm pro matches to watch is not a terrible problem to have. However, I feel like there should be an easier way to get a breakdown of the highlights from the previous weekend. This is the first 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!

SpaceStation Gaming defeated Gale Force Esports 3-0

With a weekend full of upsets and surprises, North America began Week 8 with SpaceStation Gaming handing Gale Force Esports their second loss of Phase 2. Even more surprising was the 3-0 fashion in which SpaceStation Gaming handled the series. Following an under-utilized Sylvanas in Game 1 and a devastating blow to Gale Force Esports on their home turf of Braxis Holdout, SpaceStation Gaming earned every bit of their victory.

If you only watch one game:

Watch Game 3, the closest game in the series on Battlefield of Eternity. Clocking in over 30 minutes long, the back-and-forth nature of Game 3 was a sight to see.

Team Freedom defeated Superstars 3-0

Team Freedom showed why they are one of the top teams in North America by making quick work of Superstars in all three games of the series. Using E.T.C. and Genji, Team Freedom looked extremely comfortable with their team compositions and overall synergy.

Who to Watch:

Daneski displayed excellent control and understanding of Genji’s Swift Strike, while KilluZiion supported Team Freedom extremely well by himself on Lúcio.

If you only watch one game:

Watch Game 2 to see Daneski’s Genji play as well as KilluZiion on Lúcio during Towers of Doom.

Tempo Storm defeated Lag Force 3-2

There seem to be some continued growing pains with the role swap that Tempo Storm has undergone, shifting Cattlepillar to the main Warrior role while moving Fury to the second Warrior and occasional Malthael slot. After a great two wins to begin the series, Tempo Storm seemed shaken by Lag Force’s odd team composition in Games 3 (utilizing Zagara and Abathur). Tempo Storm closed out the series by punishing Lag Force’s slow early game during Game 5 on Battlefield of Eternity.

Who to Watch:

Pay attention to Zuna’s sub for the series, Leonblack. This Warrior player’s confidence had them blending in well with veteran HGC players. They have a great feel for Garrosh’s Wrecking Ball and landed some solid Stitches Hooks in Games 3 and 4.

If you only watch one game:

Watch Game 3, where Lag Force turned the series around to force Games 4 and 5.

Roll20 esports defeated Even in Death 3-1

Roll20 esports has almost always been a terrifying foe to face in the regular season of HGC. Beginning the weekend with a 12 game win streak and facing the 8th place team in the standings, you could have expected Roll20 to dismantle Even in Death. However, Even in Death showed numerous signs of life in the series, despite having to play defensively for Games 1 and 3. Some of their success came from catching Glaurung out, which brought additional Roll20 members trickling in to their untimely deaths.

If you only watch one game:

Watch Game 2. Even in Death came back to end Roll20 esports’ 13-game winning streak on Sky Temple.  

Team Freedom defeated Gale Force Esports 3-1

Gale Force Esports knew they would have a tough opponent for Sunday’s matchup against Team Freedom. Prior to their Friday night loss, Gale Force Esports’ only previous loss in Phase 2 was to Team Freedom in the beginning of July. However, the July results mirrored Sunday’s, a 3-1 loss. In a surprising turn of events, it looks like Gale Force Esports is losing their “Home Turf” advantage over Braxis Holdout, suffering two defeats on the map this weekend alone.

If you only watch one game:

Watch Game 3 for the astonishing (Kaelaris inspired) Core defense, which gave Team Freedom their second victory and served as a turning point for the series.

Superstars defeated Tempo Storm 3-1

Superstars and Tempo Storm ended Week 8 for HGC North America, meaning there was just enough time for another upset. Although Superstars couldn’t get anything going against Team Freedom earlier in the weekend, they were firing on all cylinders against Tempo Storm on Sunday. Focusing hard on map control and taking an early lead set up Superstars on each of their 3 wins. Their use of Lúcio’s speed and overall game momentum brought one-upped the tempo of Tempo Storm.

If you only watch one game:

Watch Game 3. Even though Superstars won the series, this game on Tomb of the Spider Queen was close enough to provide an entertaining matchup between the two teams.

Meta Notes

Heavy emphasis was placed on E.T.C. during Week 8, as he was picked 14 times and banned 8 times with a 79% win rate. Malthael was also picked 14 times and banned 8 times but ended up with a 43% win rate. Finally, Abathur was played 6 times with a 50% win rate, while also getting banned out 7 different times.

Welcome to the Nexus, Garrosh!

Welcome to the Nexus, Garrosh!

Lok’tar Ogar (Victory or Death)

Unfortunately, Garrosh will likely experience death more than victory these first few weeks. He’s got all the right tools, they’re there. But his tools just aren’t quite sharpened enough to come together for that devastating impact you expect the former Horde Warchief to deliver. They’re also difficult to master. It’s strongly recommended playing him a few levels past 5 before entering ranked with him.

He’s a bruiser for sure and that sets up a risky proposition. Tanks either have weaker attacks and high health pools or lower health pools with hard hitting attacks. When your sustain is connected to damage dealt through an ability or his current health bar and damage received it becomes a precarious high wire act that’s one follow up stun away from a quick kill. Currently, he seems to be in a great spot as a bruiser. Some of his abilities are immensely strong that any tweaking makes him overpowered. I mean a warrior with a cleanse? Thank you, Blizzard. It’s an earned strength though. His abilities have a high skill floor and an even further ceiling.

Lok-Regar (Ready for Orders)

Garrosh is shaping up to have a primary build with some viable secondary talents. 

Level 1

Primary: Body Check seems to be the talent to take.

Secondary: Unrivaled Strength is possibly a good situational talent or while in the solo lane.

Level 4

Primary: Thirst for Battle can be a huge boon to his sustain.

Secondary: A self-cleanse!?! Whaaaat? Who needs supports anyway?

Level 7

Primary: Into the Fray. You all thought the self-cleanse was the cleanse! Nope! Actually, cleanse other heroes out of CC! 

A Hero League cleanse is like a cicada. It’ll happen once every 17 games.

Other options at 7 are the 40% Attack Speed reduction for targets hit by Groundbreaker and a 50% Healing Received reduction for 4 seconds for targets of Body Check.

Level 10

It’s like Sonya and Lunara had a melee Heroic Talent! No, no it’s nothing like that. One can dream though? Right?

Primary: Decimate is a bit too much damage to enemies to pass up. Currently, his solo Q role as a bruiser only leaves one option here. Those of you in Team League might be able to utilize Warlord’s Challenge.

Level 13

He becomes frustratingly difficult to kill as his health gets lower. The bait potential is high in this one.

Primary: Without Thirst or Battle (4) Double Up is the first real talent at survivability, take it. The enemy DPS power spikes only get more brutal from 13 and up. 

Secondary: Armor (preventing damage) is better than receiving healing after it’s dealt. The potential here is situations without heals, Quickmatch (hopefully),

Level 16

Primary: Earthshaker adds a stun to an already CC’ed target and then stuns additional targets. It’s hard to make a better argument.

Secondary: Mortal Combat obviously has benefits in the combo by reducing Wrecking Ball’s cooldown to 6 seconds.

Level 20


Primary: Maximizing targets with Decimate is going to open Garrosh up to back line damage. This lets him come out of the heroic swinging.

Lohn’goron (Hero’s Sojourn)

Garrosh has a bunch of awesome tools. They don’t quite mesh together seamlessly and he definitely has some talent flexibility. He even has a reset talent at Level 4, In for the Kill, that will certainly earn him a place on Infernal Shrine. The nature of his CC doesn’t quite have the same impact as most main tanks and his survivability really kicks in when he’s low on health. It makes for a high skill floor hero that doesn’t it all too well into the nature of random 5 man teams.

Let’s see how he plays out over the coming week though. Initial impressions are a bit mixed. He’s definitely useful in a more coordinated scenario like Team League. Off tanking, solo laning, and the bruiser slot finds him at his most impactful. He’s creatively and well designed packing the most unique CC ability yet released. It’ll be interesting to see how he develops as a part of the future meta.

Gauntlet Season 1 Pre Finals Hype

The Gauntlet Season 1 Finals are just around the corner, and there is plenty to be excited about for the end of this six week tournament. The Top 8 teams from Weeks 1-5 will be battling it out for a $500+ prize pool which includes a set of HyperX keyboards for the 1st place team, a set of HyperX Cloud headsets for 2nd place, HyperX mousepads for 3rd place in addition to cash for 1st-3rd. If that’s not enough to get you pumped, the Finals will be casted by Grizz as well as Michael Udall from Gale Force eSports in his Heroes of the Storm casting debut!

hhype_casters_tweet

 

In preparation for the Finals tomorrow, we wanted to know a little more about the teams participating in the tournament, so we asked members from 3 of the Top 8 teams about their strengths, pre-tournament rituals, and anticipated matchups. Thank you to Ethix of Miasma eSports, Hoss of HecarimJ from UTA and AyyLMAO of AwwOooLeedleLeedleLeedleLee for their responses.

 

Going into the Season 1 Finals, what is your biggest strength as a team?

 

Ethix, Miasma eSports: “I think our biggest strength is our flexibility. Rather than committing to one play style, we tend to exploit our opponents’ weaknesses and play to the strength of our drafts.”

 

Hoss, HecarimJ from UTA: “The main strength is that we have our eyes on a task ahead of us and we’re determined to get there. $500,000 is a hell of a lot of money and Heroes Hype is part of that journey to get there. Vengeful from LSU deserves a big shoutout too.

 

Knowing that we are a Dorm team and that everyone wants to improve without feeling like their spot is a risk is a huge thing. Too many times amateur teams form and change rosters. It’s been 5 weeks of HH and NewTeamNewMe went through changes, Miasma has gone through changes and so have other teams. We can’t change. So we improve.”

 

AyyLMAO, AwwOooLeedleLeedleLeedleLee: “Our experience is probably our biggest strength. We have all been playing this game since the beginning, and have been around the competitive scene for awhile. Our roster is fairly new, and we have not had much time to practice as a group, but having 5 players who can all make plays and decisions on their own makes things a lot easier.”

 

Do you have any specific rituals you perform before every tournament?

 

Ethix, Miasma eSports: “I don’t have any specific rituals, but one thing I do before the start of any tournament is consciously raise the energy level of my team in comms. From the outside, it probably looks like me just being obnoxious and yelling in Discord, but my goal is to get people out of their own heads and engaged in the present. We reel it all in with our unofficial phrase “Let’s F** Go” and focus all that energy and excitement on the coming match.”

 

Hoss, HecarimJ from UTA: “Just warm up scrims. Nothing special.”

 

AyyLMAO, AwwOooLeedleLeedleLeedleLee: “Listening to at least 20 minutes of Dimmadubstep.”

 

 

Is there a matchup in the Season 1 Finals that you are looking forward to?

 

Ethix, Miasma eSports: “I am definitely looking forward to playing AwwOooLeedleLeedleLeedleLee the most. Needham, Percival, and Skullkid are all friends and ex teammates of mine (R.I.P. RFS). I have a lot of love and respect for those guys. That being said, we are going to give them a quick exit from this tournament in the first round.”

 

Hoss, HecarimJ from UTA: “Looking forward to the Miasma game. We lost 2-1 to them in
Week 2 so getting some revenge would be nice. The Ninjahood game should be pretty easy, and the same for the semifinal. The final should be a good match and we hope that we win. Winds needs a keyboard for Dorm finals.“

 

AyyLMAO, AwwOooLeedleLeedleLeedleLee: “Can’t say we are exactly looking forward to any matchup in particular. There are a few decent teams in the tournament, but we are confident that if we play and execute that we will come out on top versus any of the teams.”

 

 

On Wednesday March 15th at 6pm Pacific, 8 teams will enter The Gauntlet for the final time in Season 1. Who will emerge as the Season 1 champion and claim their set of HyperX keyboards? Tune in to https://www.twitch.tv/heroes_hype to find out!

 heroeshype_twitter_launcher_2

 

Heroes Hype Weekly Amateur Recap- March 9, 2017

Heroes Hype – The Gauntlet Season 1 Week 5:

 

Week 5 for Season 1 of The Gauntlet was the final chance for teams to earn points in pursuit of qualifying for the Finals on March 15th. While most of the Top 8 spots had been secured from previous weeks, 7th Empire’s 4th place finish in Week 5 solidified their entry into the Finals.

 

The final weekly champion for The Gauntlet would be decided by a clash of titans: Team No Sleep and Miasma eSports. Of the four previous weeks, Miasma eSports had been crowned champion twice (Week 2 and 4) and Team No Sleep placed 1st in Week 1.

 

Game 1

Tomb of the Spider Queen would be the site for Game 1, where Miasma prioritized strong heroes for the map like Johanna and Jaina, whereas Team No Sleep drafted a team that lacked a solid way to reach Lt. Morales in the backline. Additionally, for Week 5 Miasma had a few roster swaps with two different players as well as a role swap with Ethix playing Support.

 

Prior to level 10, Miasma pulled off a triple kill, causing Team No Sleep to lose a lot of gems and giving Miasma a chance to get their first WebWeaver turn in. This allowed Miasma to attain level 10 first, with a 1 level lead.

 

After reaching level 10 themselves, Team No Sleep engaged in a fight by dividing Miasma in two with ETC’s Stage Dive, played by Dayun. Miasma turned the tide of this fight with a well-placed Ring of Frost by Fox’s Jaina and Miasma walked away with a 2-1 team fight victory. They took this chance to push with their second WebWeavers, securing the rest of Team No Sleep’s Forts.

 

Nearly 13 minutes into the game, Team No Sleep had not turned in a single gem. Following a tense battle where each team lost 1 hero, Team No Sleep’s Tychus, played by haeun, was able to turn in exactly 50 gems to start their first set of WebWeavers. Trailing behind in both structures as well as 1 level of experience, Team No Sleep needed a strong push with the WebWeavers to catch up in the game. By balancing playing it safe and pushing hard, Team No Sleep was able to clear out all 3 of Miasma’s Forts with back-to-back WebWeavers.

 

Unfortunately, the comeback would end prematurely for Team No Sleep, after losing 2 heroes at the tail-end of their 2nd WebWeaver push. Miasma used this hero advantage to take the Boss as well as initiate their own WebWeaver turn-in. With a strong top-lane push, Miasma eSports destroyed Team No Sleep’s Keep, as well as their Core to win Game 1.

 

Game 2

For Game 2 on Battlefield of Eternity, Miasma eSports chose to use Lunara again, while Team No Sleep continued to prioritize E.T.C. and Malfurion for their first two picks. Vestige played the Warrior role again for Miasma while Ethix showed flexibility by playing Support on Kharazim.

 

Miasma was able to walk away with the first Immortal due to their superior ranged damage on Li-Ming, Lunara and Zarya. However, Team No Sleep aggressively chased Miasma as the Immortal slowly spawned, killing Ethix and minimizing the impact for the early Immortal.

 

That fast decision showed how quick Team No Sleep was on their feet for Game 2. They continued to demonstrate this after defending the Immortal with a rotation to push the top lane, forcing Miasma to slowly respond after they lost their front wall. Team No Sleep repeated this play in the bottom lane, showing faster rotations and dictating the pace of the game.

 

An aggressive defense by Team No Sleep on the second Immortal was led by a misplaced Kerrigan combo from haeun, which allowed Miasma to secure 3 kills on Team No Sleep and earn the second immortal at nearly full shields.  The Immortal helped Miasma destroy the bottom Fort as well as earn level 10 first.

 

Team No Sleep was firing on all cylinders for the fight over the third Immortal, winning a team fight 3-1 and earning their first Immortal of the map. This Immortal led Team No Sleep to destroy Miasma’s remaining Fort in the top lane as well as whittle the top Keep down to around 50%.

 

Team No Sleep’s momentum would momentarily grind to a halt after picking two separate fights prior to the level 16 talent tier, and losing both. They were able to salvage the next Immortal and take it for themselves after killing 2 of Miasma’s heroes on the objective while losing none of their own.

 

Team No Sleep pushed with their Immortal, destroying Miasma’s bottom Keep. Looking for an isolation outside of the Core, haeun found redemption with a great Kerrigan combo on Tantro’s Lunara, claiming Team No Sleep’s first necessary kill on the road to a victory. They continued the march of kills on Zarya, Kharazim and finally Muradin. Running off of isolation kills, Team No Sleep won Game 2, forcing a Game 3 to decide Week 5 of The Gauntlet.

 

Game 3

In the Game 3 draft for Sky Temple, Miasma eSports chose to deny E.T.C. from Team No Sleep by banning the hero first, while Team No Sleep decided to take Tassadar rather than banning him out as they did in the first two maps. Additionally, Team No Sleep banned Malfurion after taking Rehgar. Warriors and Support heroes were not the only difference for Game 3, as Miasma made an interesting choice in Sgt. Hammer.

 

During the first temple phase, Team No Sleep coordinated a quick 2-hero kill, allowing them to take an early map and experience lead. Team No Sleep maintained this lead going into the second temple phase, where they won the majority of the temple shots and earned their heroic abilities a level and a half before Miasma could.

 

Team No Sleep wanted to push their advantage, so they engaged the Boss while Miasma struggled to hit level 10 and defend. In a stunning turn of events, Miasma earned level 10 just as they initiated a fight over the open Boss. Using Zarya’s Expulsion Zone, Falstad’s Mighty Gust and Johanna’s inability to die, Miasma was able to not only steal the boss, but kill all 5 members of Team No Sleep as well.

 

Game 3 was defined by Boss steals, and Team No Sleep made a gutsy call for their own heist. They sent haeun on Kerrigan in alone to simply stand on the Boss point and Miasma’s Falstad reacted too slowly to use Mighty Gust. Team No Sleep’s new Boss had an easy task at hand, as Miasma’s bottom Keep was already at half health.

 

Outside of the Core, Team No Sleep postured for the isolation kills that worked so well to end Game 2. They ultimately decided to retreat once they lost their solo Warrior in Tyrael, with Miasma in hot pursuit. This aggressive chase would prove fatal for Miasma, as Team No Sleep was able to burst down Miasma’s Falstad and turn the tides to finish of the rest of Miasma’s defenses. Team No Sleep was able to come back from losing the first map to win Game 3 and Week 5 of The Gauntlet.

 

The Gauntlet is a 6 week tournament series running every Wednesday night beginning at 6pm PST and is hosted by Heroes Hype. Be sure to tune in for The Gauntlet Season 1 Finals on Wednesday March 15th!

 

If you missed The Gauntlet Week 5, the video can be seen here:

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/127382059

 

 

Amateur Events for Next Week:

 

 

Saturday 3/11 6pm PST Heroes of the Dorm Bracket Reveal Show https://www.heroesofthedorm.com/watch
Tuesday 3/14 5pm PST The Arcanum Week #4 https://www.twitch.tv/arcane8
Wednesday 3/15 6pm PST Heroes Hype, The Gauntlet Season 1 Finals https://www.twitch.tv/heroes_hype

Community Roundup 8/1

Twitch channels

Eye on the Storm

Eye on the Storm explores topics from every corner of the Nexus, hosted on MissCliks by @GillyweedSC2 and @AnnaProsser.  Episode 40 features a guest from Cognitive Gaming and discusses the NA Open. Tune in Thursdays at 7:15pm PST on twitch.tv/misscliks.

Metallica Performing Live at BlizzCon® 2014

Town Hall Heroes

Town Hall Heroes gathers @SolidJakeGG, @TheCooby, @schamtoo, and @TempoZoia. Episode 73 features @GillyweedSC2 and discusses Leoric, the July NA Open, and EU Road to Blizzcon. Town Hall also has videos available from their recent Invitational Tournament finals: game 1, game 2, game 3, game 4, and game 5. Tune in Wednesdays at 6pm PST on twitch.tv/solidjakegg.
powerhour

Heroes Power Hour

Heroes Power Hour brings together @TwizzBP @BalrogfanBP @DJTyrant and @Eldorian to help equip players with the knowledge to succeed in battle. Last week’s episode goes in depth into the build possibilities of The Butcher.  Tune in Tuesdays at 7pm PST on twitch.tv/TwizzCast.

Podcasts

Metallica Performing Live at BlizzCon® 2014

Stormcast

Stormcast podcast discusses different topics with @mickmontgomery and @notchplaysgames. Episode 52: No Leoric Murky! features speculation on Gamescon 2015, a discussion of Sylvanas, and some listener questions.
intoTheNexus

 

Into The Nexus

Into the Nexus is a podcast hosted by Garrett Weinzierl and Kyle Fergusson. Episode 60: “The King Doesn’t Walk”  talks about Leoric, his potential playstyles, new rules in Quick Match and Team League, and what it takes to get to rank 1.

lordsOfTheStorm

Lords of the Storm

Lords of the Storm hosts a weekly show to discuss all things Heroes. Episode 23 – “#DyingAsLeoricIsNotOkay” covers Store sales, the weekly hero rotation, Gamescom, and features Leoric as Hero of the Week.

 

Youtube videos

Epic Plays of the Week

Heroes of the Storm: Epic Plays Of The Week – Episode #40 by @kendricswish features some of the craziest HotS moments of the week.

Heroes Hottest Plays

Heroes Hottest Plays by HeroesForecast had their 40th episode this week, featuring some of the craziest and most impressive HotS moments of the last week.

 

Reddit Resources 

Beginning and new players can find tips, guides, and information on how to get started with HotS on r/NexusNewbies

Players who are looking for groups to play with, competitively or casually, can be found on The Looking For Group Page

More information, resources, funny clips, and other content can be found on r/HeroesoftheStorm

Clip of the Week

This week, our Clip of the Week shows an elusive Johanna keeping her entire team alive and changing the momentum of a fight. Click the link for the full video.

 

 

Heroes Hype’s Community Roundup is written weekly by Jeff “goliath” Light.
If you have comments, suggestions, contributions, feedback, or something you’d like to see included in future Community Roundups and on HeroesHype.com, contact jal.goliath@gmail.com.

goliath
Twitch.tv/goliathxgaming
goliathxgaming.BlogSpot.com
Twitter: @goliath_Jeff

Community Roundup 7/25

Twitch channels

Eye on the Storm

Eye on the Storm explores topics from every corner of the Nexus, hosted on MissCliks by @GillyweedSC2 and @AnnaProsser.  Episode 39 covers the Heroes NA Open and meta changes following recent patches. Tune in Thursdays at 7:15pm PST on twitch.tv/misscliks.

Metallica Performing Live at BlizzCon® 2014

Town Hall Heroes

Town Hall Heroes gathers @SolidJakeGG, @TheCooby, @schamtoo, and @TempoZoia. Episode 73 features @GillyweedSC2 and discusses Leoric, the July NA Open, and EU Road to Blizzcon. Tune in Wednesdays at 6pm PST on twitch.tv/solidjakegg.
powerhour

Heroes Power Hour

Heroes Power Hour brings together @TwizzBP @BalrogfanBP @DJTyrant and @Eldorian to help equip players with the knowledge to succeed in battle. This week’s episode goes in depth into the build possibilities of The Butcher. Tune in Tuesdays at 7pm PST on twitch.tv/TwizzCast.

Podcasts

Metallica Performing Live at BlizzCon® 2014

Stormcast

Stormcast podcast discusses different topics with @mickmontgomery and @notchplaysgames. Episode 51: Paint Your Face With War focuses on Leoric, current tournament action, melee warrior Sonya, and the Starcraft 2 Legacy of the Void cross-promotional event.
intoTheNexus

 

Into The Nexus

Into the Nexus is a podcast hosted by Garrett Weinzierl and Kyle Fergusson. Episode 59 ” All the Mail!”  features a a lot of fan emails and answers questions from listeners.

lordsOfTheStorm

Lords of the Storm

Lords of the Storm hosts a weekly show to discuss all things Heroes. Episode 22 – “Gizmo Gets Rekdt by Nazeebu” covers changes to matchmaking, Road to Blizzcon, a discussion of the Haunted Mines map, and features Nazeebo as the hero of the week.

 

Youtube videos

Epic Plays of the Week

Heroes of the Storm: Epic Plays Of The Week – Episode #40 by @kendricswish features some of the craziest HotS moments of the week.

Heroes Hottest Plays

Heroes Hottest Plays by HeroesForecast had A Special Episode this week, featuring a compilation of clips, including crazy combos, big plays, and great commentary.

 

Reddit Resources 

Beginning and new players can find tips, guides, and information on how to get started with HotS on r/NexusNewbies

Players who are looking for groups to play with, competitively or casually, can be found on The Looking For Group Page

More information, resources, funny clips, and other content can be found on r/HeroesoftheStorm

Clip of the Week

This week, our Clip of the Week goes to a very tricky Gazlowe dancing in and out of danger.

Credit for Clip of the Week goes to reddit user Jarredos