HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3 Finals Recap – October 11th, 2017

The main event has come and gone already ladies and gentlemen! HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3 is over and we have our new reigning champions, Flame is Lame. Their competition in the final match-up was Team Numerics, the number one seed team for the Series. As such, they were the favored team to win, but Flame is Lame played a very decisive game three that earned them the Series. You can check out how the rest of the brackets played out on our Battlefy page here. You can also watch the entirety of the Series Finale here and all future HeroesHype events on our Twitch channel here.

Eight teams compete in the Series 3 Finals in best-of-three matches, including an extra match to determine the third place winners. Our two Finals teams of course were Flame is Lame and Team Numerics. Flame is Lame was represented by: MFoo, Jin, Legend, ElhayM, and Shot. Representing Team Numerics was: Caesarsalad, Quonzar, ViN, fasdfasdzzxx, and FlyestRaven.

Game 1 – Battlefield of Eternity

Team Numerics – 1st Pick

Bans: E.T.C & Brightwing

Heroes: Valla, Anub’arak, Lúcio, Tassadar, Illidan

Flame is Lame – 2nd Pick

Bans: Cho’gall & Genji

Heroes: Lt. Morales, Malthael, Tyrael, Uther, Cassia

Both teams started off in a 2-3 lane composition with plenty of pokes at each other. After taking some very minor damage, Team Numerics backed off on bot to their Gate. The enemy Cassia saw no threat from them and strayed closer under Tower range. A knock-up by Anub’arak along with the focused efforts of his teammates and those towers spelled a quick death for her. Her death gave First Blood to Team Numerics before the first minute.

Both teams took every possible chance to trade damage in the early moments of the game. Numerics was quick to jump on the Immortal in the first phase, but also attempted to keep map-wide presence. Their over-extension led to Illidan losing a bout against Malthael on bot followed by Tassadar being caught too far from the rest of his team. Flame is Lame quickly overcame Numerics’ lead after those take-downs and won the first Immortal.

Leading into the next Immortal phase, Illidan is killed again in a successful invasion. The man advantage helps Flame is Lame win the Immortal fight and they destroyed top Fort in an extended push. Numerics wasn’t sitting on their hands though, as they pushed bot where they also destroyed a Fort.  Flame is Lame counter-attacked immediately and destroyed their second Fort right as Immortals spawn.

The race for the Immortals was pretty even, but Illidan was caught in a failed flank attack. A team fight broke out after Illidan was taken-down, and Anub’arak followed his teammate to respawn. With the advantage, Flame is Lame won their third straight Immortal. The Immortal push just barely destroyed bot Keep as Flame is Lame retreated. Numerics attempted to force a team fight, but their Illidan was focused down and they were forced to call it off.

With full strength again, Numerics pushed bot to bring the game back in their favor. Illidan peeled off from the push to attempt to steal the Bruiser Camp, but was discovered by the enemy team and attacked. Forced to defend their teammate, all of Numerics went to the camp:

With a full shield Immortal and a tier advantage in the bag, Flame is Lame gathered on top to push with their Immortal. No other options left, Numerics forced a team fight, but they stood no chance. Only Tassadar survived and he was unable to stop his Core from being destroyed.

Game 2 – Infernal Shrines

Team Numerics – 1st Pick

Bans: Lt. Morales & E.T.C

Heroes: Sonya, Gul’dan, Lúcio, Brightwing, Varian

Flame is Lame – 2nd Pick

Bans: Cho’gall & Stukov

Heroes: Auriel, Valla, Malthael, Diablo, Malfurion

An all-mid brawl kicked off game two, but surprisingly no take-downs in a hectic first minute. After the first rotation, both teams went with a constant presence on top and rotations between bot and mid. Top lane was Sonya versus an aggressive Malthael. Brightwing noticed this and went to the aid of his Sonya. She came out of it a bit beaten, but they won First Blood for Team Numerics.

First Shrine activated on top shortly after. Both teams converged on it, but neither team wanted to force a team fight. They instead opted for a war of attrition through pokes which eventually led to Sonya’s death. With the man advantage, Flame is Lame won the first Punisher.

The Punisher did minor damage and Numerics was able to keep up on their lane rotations during the push. As the next Shrine activated, neither team held any real lead. Flame is Lame kept full control over the Shrine despite this though. That Punisher achieved very little though under the onslaught of Gul’dan and Sonya.

A team fight finally broke out at the third Shrine, but was in no ways a conventional one. The entire fight over the Shrine lasted almost two minutes and saw only two take-downs for Team Numerics. They eventually won the Punisher where they picked up another take-down and a Fort during the push.

As the next Shrine activated, Numerics came out swinging. They picked up two take-downs and quickly secured the Punisher for a bot push:

With the Punisher still alive, Numerics continued their onslaught. They picked off Flame is Lame one-by-one for an eventual Ace right as they finished off the Core.

Game 3 – Sky Temple

Team Numerics – 1st Pick

Bans: Lt. Morales & Cassia

Heroes: Valla, Lúcio, Tyrael, Falstad, Anub’arak

Flame is Lame – 2nd Pick

Bans: Cho’gall & Stukov

Heroes: Brightwing, Auriel, Lunara, E.T.C., Zarya

Both teams started the game rather aggressively by going for early siege damage. Numerics laid down the hurt on bot while Flame is Lame did the same on top. Falstad was the only defender on top, and the damage from pokes began to add up. Eventually caught with no Barrel Roll, Lunara stepped up to finish him off and secured First Blood for Flame is Lame.

As the first Temples activated, an early team fight broke out in mid. E.T.C. was the only casualty, but mid Shrine control went to Numerics while Flame is Lame kept top. So far, both teams kept rather equal trades throughout.

Flame is Lame aimed to change this by pushing bot. Since bot was the location of the next Temple, they immediately put the game in their favor with both a Fort kill and the Temple dishing out even more siege damage. The end result was the destruction of all of Numerics’ Forts and a level advantage.  Numerics knew they had to make a move at this point, so they forced a team fight as the next Temples activated:

Flame is Lame immediately killed boss after the fight while both of the Temples chipped away at Numerics’ Structures. Holding an almost three level advantage, they backed off for a moment to pick up Camps. E.T.C. finds himself alone during lane rotations but escapes all of Team Numerics. The near-death pays off for Flame is Lame though, because they snuck in even more Temple damage during the chase.

With only one Keep remaining, Numerics found themselves in a huge hole. They attempted to bring Flame is Lame into a team fight over the Boss, but only E.T.C. showed up to poke at them. The rest of his team chose to instead set up in preparation for two Temples. With those Temples chipping away at their final Keep, Numerics was forced to engage:


Falstad and Lúcio survived that fight, but both Temples continued their onslaught on Team Numerics’ structures. The final Keep was eventually destroyed and their damage alone was enough to finish off the Core for the win.

With that final game, Flame is Lame are our Series 3 winners! Flame is Lame consistently held control over objectives throughout the match. Losing that important team fight in game two eventually led to their loss, but only by a slim margin. They also consistently caught one of Team Numerics’ Heroes out of position in the first game for huge advantages, which we saw in the other games, but not as severely. Overall though, a very exciting finale to the Series and an outstanding performance by both teams to make it there.

Thanks to both of these teams for the great Finals match-up and all the others who competed. A special thanks goes out to Halorin and Kala for their great shot-by-shot game casting. Thanks to all those that tuned in to watch as well, we hope to see everyone again for future HeroesHype events.

Interview with Quonzar of Team Numerics

The intro weeks of HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3 have been exciting all-or-nothing brawls filled with both new teams and old. These teams are made of amateur players who put their heart and soul into the game to build a winning team. Each week is filled with scrim matches to practice and then watching replays to see where they can improve their play-style. As a viewer, all that is seen of that dedication comes down to matches that can last only fifteen minutes. We aim to change that with our series of interviews with various players from the Finals teams.

Today we have one of the members of the current first place team, Team Numerics. Quonzar usually plays Ranged Assassin, or when given the opportunity, plays as half of the fan favorite Cho’gall pick. Having placed in HGC Open, him and his team have quite a bit of experience in the competitive scene. Halorin talks to him about this experience and more:

Halorin: Hello everyone, my name is Halorin, and it is my pleasure to be joined by and sit down and have a few moments with Quonzar. The intellectual, the sophisticated gentlemen of Team Numerics (Q shakes his head). Oh yeah, oh yeah.

Quonzar: Absolutely not. Very flattering.

H: How are you doing?

Q: I’m doing alright, how about yourself?

H: I’m doing great man. I always enjoy any instance we get to sit down and chat.

Q: Likewise.

H: Thanks. For those that don’t know, you want to take a moment or two to just make an introduction of who you are, talk about Team Numerics, and give us a little insight and background to your team?

Q: So, I’m a player for Team Numerics. We’ve participated in all but one of the HeroesHypes. We had to cancel the last one because we had scrims, but we have been doing pretty well. We made Finals in the first four. We got top four in HGC Open. We lost to Donkeys 2-0 in the Losers’ Bracket Finals. What else did you ask us for, or just a background?

H: Yeah, just a little background on who you guys are.

Q: I got asked to join the team about a month and a half ago just kind of out of the blue. I didn’t really know any of the guys up until the point. Obviously I’d seen them a little bit on ladder, but I wasn’t super familiar with any of them, and I recently just found out why I got invited. Their fifth dropped for HGC Opens, and they were like “we need a fifth really badly.” Caeser was apparently the “talent scout” and he was just watching streams and he just saw a clip where I was Auriel and I dodged a ring of frost. But then I died immediately and I was horribly out of position beforehand, but he didn’t see that part. So he was just like “oh this guy must be alright.” Little did he know though, that I fed that whole game the whole time. But that one clip he did see, was a mediocre play, and he went “eh, good enough.” (H laughs) Ever since then, the rest is history, because I was the fifth person to join too. They were already sort of a group of players, and I just sort of walked into the team, but we got along immediately. It was pretty crazy. I didn’t know what to expect, but as soon as I sort of joined the team, there was sort of a chemistry. I mean, I think we all just really enjoy playing together, we enjoy spending time together, and I think that’s sort of why for such a short amount of time we were able to perform as well as we did. Obviously we were a little disappointed with how we did in HGC Open, but in HeroesHype we’ve been doing as good as we can hope. We dropped a couple Series that we would have liked to have won, but just going to happen some nights. But yeah, we just get along well and we enjoy spending time together. I think that’s a huge sort of component to our success so far.

H: I got to agree man. The whole secret about how you joined the team, the clip they saw (gestures OK), the secret’s safe with us Quonzar, don’t worry (both laugh). I feel Team Numerics is extremely lucky. I was actually thinking back in advance of our interview, after Heroes of the Dorm this year, I wrote a blog post about my personal thoughts on it. And you particularly were one of the stand-out players of the entire tournament. I was always impressed with how you conducted yourself in interviews and things like that, and I always knew you had potential for greatness. So when I found out that you were on Team Numerics, I was already because I was like “cool, I’m really glad to see this player’s evolution.” And I’m thinking, you haven’t disappointed at all. I was really happy to see you guys made top four. I think you guys really surprised people watching HGC Open. Particularly the Dragon Shire game, against HeroesHearth.

Q: Yeah.

H: I think that game showed you guys’ potential, because you guys run interesting compositions. You guys like to run a lot of Stitches, things like that. While there doesn’t always seem to be immediate chemistry between the composition, just how comfortable you guys are playing together accentuate and highlight all the strength of Heroes and turn it into a very unique synergy. Is that something you guys specifically shoot for?

Q: That’s actually funny you bring that up, because the Series against HeroesHearth where we lost 1-2, we were pretty happy to take a game, because we had dropped every single map before then. And then we beat Donkeys to place, so we finished off three in the final Cup. So we’re feeling good, but ever since then we’ve been sort of struggling a lot, and I think a lot of it comes down to our drafts. We do draft sort of these just almost seemingly random assortment of Heroes that we made work in the past really well, but we got a point where we were just facing people who sort of forced us to reconsider why we were doing that. A lot of the times we were drafting, we were putting heavy preference on Heroes where a lot of teams weren’t. And we were making it work because we had sort of played it enough that we understood how the composition worked, and we knew the strengths and weaknesses. We tried to play them as best as possible, but it came to a point where we were sort of doubting ourselves a little bit because you were not the only person to notice the sort of oddities of our drafts (H laughs). We were very aware of that at the time too, and a lot of it works for us. I think the Cho’gall ban against us in every single game we played (H laughs), in the HGC Open, it allowed us to sort of. Whenever we did get it, were able to run pretty successfully and we felt comfortable with it, but whenever it was taken away from us we could sort of use it as an advantage in draft to go “okay, if they are putting on the Cho’gall ban, then that means they aren’t banning some other high priority Heroes and we can kind of tailor some of our drafts and our draft preparations towards that.” But we almost had a sort of, I wouldn’t say identity crisis because that seems a little dramatic, but we sort of. The question that a lot of people when they watch our drafts: what kind of composition are they running? We started asking ourselves that too and it came down to a lot of reevaluation and I think we’re still kind of currently in the refiguring out. Obviously there are some picks that we do still like: Stitches, Cho’gall. There are some picks that still really work for us, but the meta shifted more and more, at least in the amateur scenes, towards just a high, high priority on double support. And that’s not to say that we don’t like, double support, but it doesn’t seem like we excel at it as much as other teams. So we’re kind of just still sifting through drafts, and figuring out what we like, what we don’t like, but we’re not committing ourselves to “well, the meta says you have to do this.” We’re still considering all our options regardless of it’s meta, if people think it’s good. I think we could care less, we couldn’t care less about what people think is meta. It’s just about what works for us. That’s the question we are really trying to answer currently.

H: I really like mindset a lot, “we don’t care about what other people think, we’re trying to find out what works for us particularly.” I think in a lot of ways that’s your biggest strength. I can see how it’s something of a double-edged sword. You guys are something I would consider to be innovators, going with compositions that like you said aren’t exactly norm, not exactly meta or what’s expected. That has a lot of strengths because you can take opponents off-guard or you can make non-meta Heroes like Cho’gall so much of a threat. It affords you stronger options that normally get banned out in the first rotation. That’s huge in drafts, but it can leave you in positions where you do have something of an identity crisis. It’s like “we play these non-standard things, we’re kind of out on an island, on a high-wire in a lot of ways.” If it succeeds, it feels great, but if you run into any struggles, what’s the second option? What’s the alternative? I think it’s been very interesting overall to see that development and growth for you guys, but with regards to the meta and the overall amateur scene like we said, you were part of a strong team in Heroes of the Dorm this year. I think there’s been a huge shift in overall competitive quality going from phase one of Open Division, HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 2, into Open Division in this current run of HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series. How have you noticed and increased in overall competitive play, or have you?

Q: I think there’s definitely been an increase, but I think it’s been concentrated a lot at the top. I think that’s just a sort of symptom of quality of just all tiers of play. I think the North American, the Open and the amateur scene, there’s just five or six really strong teams. At any night, any of them can take a game off any others, and then it falls off a bit. So, I think the gap between the top HGC players and the amateur scene is just another steep divide. So, I think there’s just these rungs of sort of, not skilled, but competitiveness where if you’re below it, it’s hard to compete with the people above it, and it’s sometimes unclear to what separates the different rungs or what makes a team better than another because there’s just a lot to it. But I do notice there a lot more of those teams sort of present you know? Before in the first Series even half a year ago, it felt like it was just a mess top to bottom. All amateur scenes are going “I don’t know what I’m doing or what I’m supposed to be doing,” but now you have a lot more firm of a grasp because as more and more professional plays develop, more and more people are studying it. So you sort of have this open pool of knowledge that everyone can access and everyone is studying from, and that’s a great resource, but the problem is it takes a lot of effort and it takes a lot of work. It’s a bit grueling. If you ever watch a professional game not for fun, but for comprehension, it can take hour, hour and a half, just to get through a single game all the decisions thrown in. That’s sort of what teams are doing though. Teams are analyzing a play just to make sure they understand what’s happening, and I think as time goes on, the hope is more and more teams develop. I think Europe has an amazing amateur scene where the top teams are very easily HGC teams. Leftovers, this season, they’re looking fantastic. This interview is happening before the Crucible, but they’re looking poised to take it, whereas in the North American team, we’re still getting there. It’s a slow process. You have the Imported Supports, the Donkeys “R” Us, and obviously the HeroesHearth, I think is a bit of the exception because they are sort of an amalgam of all the ex-professional players. I think they’re the exception, but all the other teams are striving towards that point and are getting closer and closer. I would like to think that we are getting to the point where you can throw our names in. The 6Senses, the Animals, there are a lot of teams where they are sort of getting to that point, and I wouldn’t say the scene is there where we are all ready to compete with the best of the best, but you are seeing a lot more teams approaching that point. I think that’s really good sign for the scene and I think if it continues in this sort of direction, I think the only place it can go is up. I think a strong amateur scene is important for the health of all Heroes though, because you need those people nibbling at the heels of the pro’s to keep them honest (H laughs). If there’s no incentive or threat of you falling out of HGC, I think the bottom teams are less incentivized, but if you have these teams like HeroesHearth and Imported Support, two fantastic teams, who are capable of sort of dethroning them. If they falter too much or if they slack too much, then I think the whole scene grows as a result. I think we just have more teams than before who are sort of bridging that gap.

H: I would definitely have to agree. HGC Open is obviously important for the amateur scene. It’s the on-ramp for professional play, the Crucible, which is coming up this weekend. It’s going to be a spectacle for everyone from top to bottom, but I also think things like HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series are very important and integral to the development of an amateur team. People may not know that Imported Support, they have played their fair share of HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series. We’ve been lucky enough to have Team Numerics show up and prove their stuff so to speak. Would you agree that efforts like HeroesHype and the partnership with Tempo Storm has been helpful for the amateur scene to develop it’s level of play. To have that exhibition level of, you know, “we can scrim and try these different things out, but this is an actual competitive venue.” Has that helped you guys in particular grow?

Q: I don’t think it can be stated enough sort of how important tournaments like HeroesHype are for the scene because it’s a realistic, achievable goal that gives you more opportunity to play in a tournament setting. Scrims are fantastic, team-league, and whatever. All that is good and necessary, but until you feel the pressure of “if I lose this game I’m out of the tournament,” you just don’t know how you’re going to perform. Having the opportunity to play in more of those, it can’t be described how important that is. So, tournaments like HeroesHype are one of the driving forces if not the driving forces to why the amateur scene is getting better because it’s one thing to say, HGC is fantastic, but it’s really hard to say “here’s HGC, now qualify for it.” You need those sort of tournaments like HeroesHype to go “here’s a tournament where the stakes are still high enough where you’ll get good practice. You’ll get good teams who are giving you their all, but it’s not the sort of insurmountable, daunting task of play with professional gamers now.” You have the people who are all working towards that goal so you are in that sort of same pool, but you don’t have this sort of impossibility. I think the achievable-ness of  a goal directly correlates to how much you’re willing to work towards it. So if I tell you, “you have to beat Michael Phelps in a race, a swimming competition (H laughs).” I say if you win I’ll give you a thousand dollars, you won’t do it, you never will. If I say “you beat the best person in your city in a race of swimming,” you might do that. That’ll lead to you going “I’m actually getting pretty good at this, maybe I should proceed even more.” I think those stepping stones, those almost sort of checkpoints, are what make people drawn to the scene. They draw more and more competition and that’s just better for everyone. The more people you have competing, the more talent you have out there, only elevates everyone else. So, something like HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series, I don’t think it can be stated enough of how much we appreciate the tournament as competitors and how much we appreciate it as just people who enjoy the North American amateur scene. And who want to see it grow.

H: I really appreciate that man. I think that’s going to put a huge smile on the face of all the people who work behind the scenes at HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series because this is very much an effort and object of passion. I can only speak for myself, but I’m sure a lot of folks on the staff agree that we do love the North American scene. We do want to see it grow and if we can help a promising team or individual like yourself, a team like Team Numerics, sharpen their skills and prepare for that professional stage, that world level stage, I feel like we’ve done our jobs. I’m really glad you feel that way. Going into the Finals, the first two weeks of HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3 were very exciting for me, because the matchup between your team and the Animals was, in my opinion, some of the most intense amateur competitive action we’ve been able to have at HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series. Now I know that the Animals have had a couple of roster changes going into the Finals, but do you feel in particular that they are a team to watch out for going into the Finals, or are there other teams that you have also taken notice of?

Q: I mean, there’s definitely always sort of for us, we’re always aware of Animals because they’re a team who on their best night can take a game off of almost anyone in the amateur scene. The E-bros have amazing strategies. They’ve been doing this for maybe longer than I’ve been alive (H laughs). I might be older than you Toby, but still they’ve been doing it that long. I think you can stick the E-bros on any team and that’s a team you have to be aware of. We do feel that we have been able to get the better of them the last couple of times, but we know that can sort of shift in a moment, so if we’re playing them we’re taking it as seriously as possible. Playing any team at the Series we take as serious as possible, but them in particular we sort of have laser focus set for. 6Sense as well. They did well in the Copa America, the Latin-America HGC. They took the Series off of Red Cannons, right? Then Red Cannons was actually able to eke out the win when they came back up through the loser’s bracket, but a performance like that, you have to take note of that. They took the Series off us when they played us in the Finals, so they’re definitely a team we’re looking out for. I mean all the teams in the top eight. Once you get to be sort of; in the weekly tournaments you get one or two rounds that may or not be super competitive just based on seeding and who enters that night, but the later rounds are always good. This tournament is from the get-go. Every team we play we’re going to be sort of looking out for. We’re probably going to do just a bit of “okay, who are these guys, what do they like to do beforehands?” The usual suspects are there, and we know about them and we’re taking them seriously, but everyone is sort of on our radar in terms of where the top eight is going.

H: Cool man. Well, I definitely think you guys are going to do well. Consistency has definitely been a hallmark  of Team Numerics anytime we’ve gotten the chance to see you guys in action. You always play at a high level, so I’m really excited to see how you fare in the Finals. Any shoutouts or things you want to say to those who don’t necessarily have a team yet to root for. Is there anything you want to say to them like, “hey, my Quonzar load is on that map.”

Q: I don’t know how you don’t cheer for a team that’s picked Abathur-Cho’gall. How is that not just a fan favorite immediately? I will say that we’re just trying our best. We’re not a team that’s sort of; all of us are new to the competitive scene. We’re just trying to figure it out as we go along and we hope that we give entertaining games and that we hope that you enjoy watching us play as much as we enjoy playing it. At the end of the day we’re just five people who love Heroes of the Storm and who enjoy each other’s company. We’re having fun  regardless, but the more people who are enjoying it as well, the more the merrier. As far as shoutouts to individuals, I have to give a shoutout to obviously all of my teammates. Everyone at HeroesHype Tempo Storm, I think all of you are doing a far better job than I can even comprehend, and I know you all are doing things. I don’t even know what’s happening. I know you all are doing it well. Then just a shoutout to I guess Faatz, our coach, who’s been with us for a little over a month now. Basically almost as long as the team has been a thing, he’s been helping us out. He’s in scrims, he’s always there, he’s giving insight, and it seems a pretty thankless job just to be the person in game watching but never actually playing. I don’t know how he does it because I’d get the itch immediately to play, and watching that many games I’d be like “okay, put me in coach, I’m ready to go.” So thank you to him. Thank you to the casters and thank you to everyone. Thank you to the viewers as well because without people who are passionate about Heroes of the Storm, I don’t think any of this would matter. So just a shoutout to everyone. If I missed someone in particular, I’m sorry, I’m not particularly great at this (H laughs).

H: No man, you’ve done a great job. Thanks for taking time to give us some insight to yourself as well as a team. Like I said, good luck. I know you guys are going to show up and have a heck of  performance, so good luck man.

Q: Thank you.

Interview with EKevin of the Animals


The intro weeks of HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3 have been exciting all-or-nothing brawls filled with both new teams and old. These teams are made of amateur players who put their heart and soul into the game to build a winning team. Each week is filled with scrim matches to practice and then watching replays to see where they can improve their play-style. As a viewer, all that is seen of that dedication comes down to matches that can last only fifteen minutes. We aim to change that with our series of interviews with various players from the Finals teams.

Today we sit down with one of a pair of brothers, none other than EKevin. He and his brother come from our current second place team, Animals. Starting off the Series with a bang, they won the first week Finals against Team Numerics and continued to accrue points through the following weeks. They’ve gone through quite a few changes to their roster during the Series but have still made it into the Finals. Halorin talks to EKevin about that and more:

Halorin: Hello everyone, my name is Halorin and it’s my pleasure to be joined by and sit down and have a few moments with the senior E-bro, EKevin of the Animals. How are you tonight good sir?

EKevin: I’m doing fine, thanks for having me.

H: Yeah man. I’m thankful for you to sit down and talk with us a little bit going into HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3. You and I had a chance to speak recently with EToby, your brother, on HeroesHype Live. But for those who haven’t yet seen, do you want to give a short introduction to yourself and also give a little background about Animals as a team?

E: Sure. Hi, I’m EKevin. Me and my brother play Heroes of the Storm. We’ve been around for a little bit. We played for UTA for 2017 Dorms and we won, so yeah.

H: That’s good.

E: (Laughs) For our team the Animals, it’s just a group of friends we put together and we were like “hey, it’s too late to do Open. We should do something.” We just got together and made Animals. We played in the last few Opens, but we didn’t have enough time to accrue points, but we made it for the HeroesHype Finals.

H: Cool man. Like you said, the Animals is largely a team that’s a group of friends, but in spite of that, you guys play at a consistently high level. We’re coming up on the end of the HGC Open Division with the Crucible taking place this weekend. One of your big rivals over the course of this season, Team Numerics, actually placed fourth in the Open Division. Has that affected your drive as a competitive player to see a team you consistently rumble with here at HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series make it to the top four? Does that fuel you to try and show up for the next Open Division and try to put together a more serious team?

E: Kind of. I’m really good friends with Quonzar, one of the players [of Team Numerics]. I met him at Heroes of the Dorm event, the LAN at Las Vegas. We got to meet up, hang, chill. We became really good friends there, so on the side I really support him, I really want him to do well. Whether it’s the Open, HeroesHype, or whether he plays in the next Dorm tournament, I’m there to root and cheer for him, but flip-side, it kind of makes me want to try hard and see if we can better them kind of.

H: No. I definitely get it. It’s cool to hear that you developed this friendship with Quonzar because like you said, you guys ran into each other at the Heroic Four this year, Heroes of the Dorm. I really like the idea that you guys have formed a friendship and that you’re there to support him for next year. I do believe Quonzar is looking to take part in next year’s Heroes of the Dorm, so having the 2017 Champion in your corner is never a bad thing in that situation I’d say. Before the Animals in particular, like you said, you guys clashed with Team Numerics in weeks one and two. Some of the most entertaining amateur action we’ve had so far at HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series. You go through a bit of a roster change and that affects a bit of the overall standings, but you had a really strong showing for week number five. Do you want to show us this newest iteration of the Animals, and how you guys have formed together for the Finals coming up?

E: So, a lot of things happened. I can’t say because of personal issues, but some of us had to depart, but overall we just asked around to see if anyone wanted to fill-in. We got boris and 420blazeit and basically we just asked them, right? We just whispered them “do you want to play with us?” And they said “sure why not, we’re free.”  It wasn’t anything too fantastic, but yeah.

H: Well, I mean to come together in such a short time, I think you guys have done really well from what we have been able to see. How has the dynamic changed with these new players coming in? You didn’t have much of a rapport with them before. Bringing in two new faces, new personalities, to a core structure already is always a challenge. How has that been for you guys?

E: I want to say it’s been too difficult. We all came in with the intentions of having fun. Playing together, have fun. We’re not too focused on winning. We still want to win, it’s just we’re trying to be lax about it, you know? We don’t want to hurt each other’s feelings over this. When they came in we were fairly friendly at the start, and we’ve been really nice to each other. The whole team dynamic is kind of weird. We’re just really good friends with each other and I don’t think anything is going to break us apart if that makes sense.

H: No, it definitely makes sense. Like you said, you and Toby in particular are Heroes of the Dorm winners. Didn’t drop a game in that entire tournament. You transitioned into the competitive scene, you were a strong contender in phase one of the Open Division with your roster. You made some waves in phase two, like you said you weren’t able to put together a roster in time.  How has the overall amateur scene, in your opinion, developed over the course of HeroesHype Tempo Storm’s inception, the first phase of HGC Open Division, to now? How do you think that’s changed?

E: I’m going to say this in comparison to what we played against in phase one, or the first Open Season Division. I think a lot of people grew as players. I’m trying to think of a good way to say this. I think the overall level of Open Division, even though there hasn’t been drastic increase of skill level, I think there was a noticeable difference in skill level. The player pool got a lot higher, the skill player pool got a lot higher. The meta changed where it’s like you have to actually be smart to play the game now (both laugh). I just think the overall amateur scene is continually evolving and I think that’s a good thing for the scene. It’s nice to see how much change is happening in HeroesHype, Open Division, etc. and so forth.

H: I’m really glad you mentioned HeroesHype because I have this working theory that phase one Open Division, it’s a wakeup call in a lot of ways I feel to the amateur players. To have a direct on-ramp to the pro level. Last year we had these Regionals. If you don’t win the Spring one, you can show up in a few months for the Summer, but there’s a more direct structure. On top of the HGC Open Division, I really like what the folks behind HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series in particular have really been able to bring to the amateur scene because it brings that sense of tournament level competition. It’s a far more serious endeavour than just scrimming. Would you agree that things like HeroesHype have helped to be part of that overall equation to grow that amateur scene?

E: It’s kind of hard because I haven’t been playing in amateur tournaments for the last x-amount of months. I just recently started going back into HeroesHype. I would say from my experience up until right now for the short amount of time that I’ve been in HeroesHype, I’d say yes. It’s a good way to experience tournament formatting. It’s a good way to experience this game matters, we can’t just screw around or throw this game off because we don’t feel like it. I think overall HeroesHype makes it a good experience for the players if they want to try and go into Open Division. The way I see it, if you’re a group of people that think you’re good at the game, I think HeroesHype is a good metric to use for yourself to see if you’re actually ready to play in a competitive setting. You have the right mentality to play in that competitive setting.

H: I agree. I definitely agree. It’s really cool to hear your insight on that. Going into this Series of HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3, we have eight very strong teams going into this. You’re in the top three, a deserved spot for sure. Are there any teams in particular going into the Finals that you’ve been looking out for, that you’ve done research on, that you’re preparing for? Do any team stick out for you?

E:  The only team that really puts a thorn in our sides is probably Team Numerics just because they have fasdfasd. (Sighs) If you watched Open Division, even HeroesHearth had to ban Cho’gall against him, and that just shows you how annoying their Cho’gall players are. It’s like, if you’re forced to have to ban Cho’gall because their Cho’gall is that good, it’s just like “what do you do?” But I feel like they are the only team that we both historically and right now feel like is the only trouble that we might face.

H: That’s fair. That’s definitely fair. I feel like for the Animals your biggest strengths are the core structure you have with your brother and Droplets. We’ve seen you guys act as a strong trio for a while here with the Animals roster, and you have two new folks coming on. What would you say is your personal, or your team’s biggest strength going into the Finals?

E: I think our biggest strength right now, a lot of people don’t recognize, is having a dependable solo-laner, which is Droplets. A lot of the meta right now revolves around having a double front-linee or double supportee kind of thing, but I feel it’s really necessary and really vital to have a dependable off-laner/solo-laner. In my point of view, he pretty much sets the pace of how the game should go. If you have a Malthael on top lane that straight up loses, your team has to make up so much for that. With a person like Droplets who doesn’t fail to deliver what he’s good at, it’s very refreshing and reassuring to have on the team.

H: I got to agree and that’s definitely a stand-out feature you guys have. I feel like in general the role of solo-laner can be something of an unsung hero. I agree with you, it opens up a lot of opportunities if they can even get a take-down and force out a rotation from the enemy team. That, if even passively, has a huge impact on the array of options a team has on how they can rotate things. I’m really glad that you see that as a strength as well. To anyone who doesn’t have a team that they’re backing, that they’re rooting for going into the Finals, I wanted to see if you had a few words on why someone should become an Animal’s fan going into the Finals?

E: I don’t know (both laugh). I don’t know how to self-promote myself, but I hope to the people who have been rooting for me and Toby for the past year, I hope they keep supporting for us and rooting for us even though we split ways with Evandrinde. Since we’re on Animals now, I hope they can continue to support us and support Animals. Even though this team was made for fun and just to play around with, I still believe that we are decent enough to be taken seriously. Just because I said we’re not try-harding doesn’t mean we don’t want to win. I hope people realize that and I hope people; like I’m no huge fan of Droplets. He’s been my friend for a while and I hope people see how good of a player he is. He’s a fantastic player. He’s a fantastic friend and I hope more and more people realize how good he is and I hope more people support him. But yeah.

H: I agree man. A big shoutout to Droplets. I’m going to self-promote for you for a little bit here EKevin.

E: (Laughs) Okay.

H: You’re one of the most humble, even-keeled people we have in the scene. I had a chance to speak to you at HeroesHype Live and you really went into detail on how alive your competitive endeavours is to help see to your brother’s success, Toby. I thought that was a really cool aspect, that part of your drive is to help see your brother succeed. So for you to also give a shoutout to Droplets and say I hope people support him and I want to hoist him up in some ways as well, I think is really cool. It’s a very selfless gesture and I think that’s very respectful. Something to be commended and something to root for. So I think you’re going to have a lot of fans in the audience come the Finals. People shouting “Los Animales” and everything else in the chat, so I’m looking forward to it man. I know you say you guys formed together for fun, but you’re a competitor. You have that want to win, so even if it’s your definition of for fun (both laugh), is a lot more serious than hearing that on the surface level. I know you guys are going to show up and put your best foot forward and definitely come out on top. I’m looking forward to it man, good luck.

E: Alright. Thanks dude, I appreciate it.

Interview with Necromongerz of Five Musketeers


The intro weeks of HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3 have been exciting all-or-nothing brawls filled with both new teams and old. These teams are made of amateur players who put their heart and soul into the game to build a winning team. Each week is filled with scrim matches to practice and then watching replays to see where they can improve their play-style. As a viewer, all that is seen of that dedication comes down to matches that can last only fifteen minutes. We aim to change that with our series of interviews with various players from the Finals teams.

Today we’re going into the nit and grit with Necromongerz from Five Musketeers. For those that have watched our past Series, you may recognize him from the team Firm Handshake. Typically playing Ranged Assassin, Halorin asked him about his role, team, and more:

Halorin: Hello everyone, my name is Halorin, and it’s my pleasure to have a chance to sit down and chat with one of the Five Musketeers. Necromongerz, how are you doing tonight?

Necromongerz: I’m quite well, quite well. Thank you so much, and thank you for asking. How about yourself?

H: I’m doing well man, thank you, really. A big thank you. We’ve seen you around in the scene for a while. I’ve seen your body work and always been impressed when I see you doing your thing in HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series. I’m not at all surprised to find the Five Musketeers, they’re in the top three right? You guys are number three seed?

N: Yes I believe so.

H: Okay. For those that may not be familiar, you want to give us a little background on yourself, your team, how long you’ve been in the Heroes’ scene, stuff like that?

N: Of course, yes. We originally started as Firm Handshake. You’ve might have seen some of the members of our team starting off on Firm Handshake. The inception of that team was basically to try and qualify for HGC Open. Then things got a little rough. We ran out of substitutions. Basically we decided to drop the team, and we didn’t feel like using the same name, so that’s why we got the name changed to Five Musketeers. Two core members are still in here: Dsteves and myself. And now we have a new squad, and we wanted to keep practicing, so that’s why we are doing HeroesHype.

H: Let’s talk a little about the concept of rebuilding a team. I always commend that effort, because what that says to me is that there is a lot of passion and drive to be a competitive Heroes of the Storm player. A lesser interested person might see that as too much of a setback and decide to step away, or take a more relaxed approach. When you and Dsteves started rebuilding the roster, what were some of the things you guys said to yourselves to maintain that drive and commitment.

N: Both of us knew that we just wanted to keep practicing, cause we have sort of a long-term goal where we’re playing to improve. My goal again is to try for HGC Open in the next phase. So we just want to keep practicing and that was our main goal, we want to rebuild our roster.

H: I would say your new roster has definitely found some success. There are no slouches in this go-around of HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series. To make it to top three with three new members is an accomplishment in of itself. You specifically play the assassin role right?

N: Correct. The Ranged Assassin, flex.

H: I really like the idea that you said that one of your personal goals is to improve. I think sometimes there can be a more relaxed, hands-off approach to playing competitive Heroes of the Storm. It’s like, “hey I show up and play scrims and stuff like that.” What specific aspects of the assassin role interested you when you walked into the Heroes of the Storm competitive scene and what are some of the more finer things you look to work on?

N: The reason I was attracted to the assassin-role was before I started Heroes of the Storm, I used to play a little bit of League of Legends, and I used to play the mid-role. Which was basically an assassin-type role. I would focus on mages, and so I translated that over into Heroes of the Storm. A kind of focus on mages, on the Ranged Assassins. Things I’m trying to improve on, I believe was the second part, was a consistency. I want to build consistent gameplay no matter which Hero I’m on, just always performing on any circumstances that show up.

H: Nice. Now you’ve mentioned you played League of Legends, how far back has your passion with competitive gaming go? What are some other games you’ve played?

N: So for League of Legends, I never intended or tried the competitive aspect. It was only once I started Heroes of the Storm where I found “okay, I can climb into the GM leaderboards.” Where I saw “okay, I actually have potential in this.” That’s where the competitive drive grew, when I saw that I might have a chance at this.

H: Cool, cool. From what we’ve seen here of you play, I definitely feel that you do. I’m really glad that you’re here and continuing to work on improvement. Some of the viewers, while the name Five Musketeers might be new, we actually saw you in the Finals Week 4 if memory serves.

N: I believe so (laughs).

H: My memory is rough around the edges about stuff like that. But I definitely remember you making some upsets and stuff, but then you know, you guys were Firm Handshake. It definitely adds a lot of context to make sense, but we do have some pretty established teams in the top eight this Series. Team Numerics, a team that was in top four of the Open Division just now, definitely starting to make a name for themselves. I guess the question I have for you, some might see your role as third-seed going into this as something of an underdog. How have you prepared for some of these known teams that have made a prominent stand and how do you feel about going up against them?

N: I definitely like being known as the underdog, because then any upset would just seem that much better (laughs). The way we’ve gone about it against trying to compete against some of these teams is we’re constantly scrimming. We’re scrimming the teams you just mentioned, Numerics, and we’re trying to build our own style, our own gameplay, instead of adhering to what some of the other teams are drafting. We want to build what we’re strong at, what we’re good at. I think just with constant practice and scrimming, we might put on a good show.

H: I think you will. Now, you’ve done a consistent amount of scrimming. You’ve faced a range of teams over the five weeks of HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3, and you mentioned that one of the things you want to try and do as a team is innovate. Would you say that there’s a sense of stagnation in the current meta of the amateur scene, and you find yourself as more of an outlier looking to shake things up a bit? Or have you found other teams try to find their own identity as well?

N: I feel like that there’s a very defined meta right now, and a lot of teams are playing it right now. But it’s for a reason, because it works. So we’re’ trying to find a way to fit into the current meta, but also figuring out ways to beat it. Because if that’s what everyone’s drafting, we want to be able to outperform the current meta. It’s always in scrims, it’s just current trial and error in drafts. We lose, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but we’re constantly learning from our mistakes.

H: That’s a really cool perspective. As a senior member of this core roster, I think there’s a lot of leadership that falls on your shoulders to maintain a sense of consistency. You go through one of these scrims and you have on these trial and error instances. You try out a different kind of composition. I’ve seen teams really struggle with lulls and low periods over scrims and things like that. How have you guys as a team pulled back together after any of those setbacks and scrims and maintained your focus on a long-term goal?

N: I think the biggest thing that helps with us, is that at the end of the day we’re actually all just really close friends. So we remind ourselves, cause it can be tilting  as you said, trying out and it’s not working, and maybe we feel we’re playing against a team that we should win. But when we hop on the next day ready for the scrims we’re just a bunch of friends, it’s okay whatever happens. Yesterday was yesterday, let’s focus on today. Let’s focus on the goal we set, that we want to try to achieve for these set of scrims, and I think that’s what helps the most is being friendly with each other.

H: (Laughs) Now we just had a very exciting conclusion to the Open Division Playoffs. We talked a little about that. How is seeing there are teams out there like HeroesHearth that have been for a long time in the amateur scene kind of destined for the Crucible? And I would say they’ve ran into some pitfalls going there. Imported Support, a team that is definitely no stranger to HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series, managed to actually beat them and make their way into the Grand Finals ahead of HeroesHearth. How do moments like that affect you as an aspiring amateur player? Does it give you more drive? Like, “hey that could be me if I just put in the hard work.” How is that an inspiration for you?

N: For me, from what I noticed, it felt that the set Imported won against HeroesHearth, they were more prepared. Then we saw the next day where HeroesHearth took it back, beat them 3-1. They showed up ready to win. So I think that’s what I take away from seeing something like that. If you do the work and you prepare for the match, all the teams can make mistakes. All the teams sometimes might look to you that you’re the underdog and might not prepare as well. So there’s always that chance of  hope almost, that if you do the work day-in day-out and prepare, that you have the chance to take some of the games off of these teams.

H: I really admire that man. That dedication, hardwork, and commitment because I one hundred percent agree. I think the amateur scene is a lot deeper as far as it’s viable talent than some may think and mindsets like that are how we prove that theory right. Now, if I’m a viewer and I go into the Finals, I’m not exactly sure who I’m rooting for. What’s your proverbial message to make me a fan of the Five Musketeers? Why should we cheer for you guys?

N: That’s uh, you’re asking one of the hard questions Hal (both laugh). A reason why you should cheer for us? You know we’ve been in this scene quite a while, we’re not going to give up, you’re going to see us in the future, so I think that’s one of the reasons. You’re going to be seeing a lot from us, so expect some hopefully big things in the future.

H: Work horses, stalwarts of consistency. I know I respect that a lot man, thanks a lot. I think that’s the main things I really wanted to go over. Like I said, I’ve seen you guys in the scene, you and Dsteves, for a long time. I’ve always been impressed anytime I got to see Firm Handshake. Once I saw who was on Five Musketeers, I was like “okay, I get it.” It was really cool to sit down and talk with you and get into your head a bit and understand your approach to competitive Heroes of the Storm, and I think you have the right mindset for greatness man. I’m looking forward to seeing how you guys show up. I guess the last question I have is: are you feeling any sense of pressure or intimidation going into the Finals, or are you, like you said, just focused on preparing for the moment?

N: I don’t think we have that much pressure going into it. We’re mainly going to show up and play our best and what happens, happens from there. Of course we would love to win. That’s always the goal. I don’t think we feel that much pressure in it, so I guess that’s a good thing for us. I just want to say, I do appreciate you taking the time for doing this as well. I think you’re awesome (H Laughs). Been wanting to have a nice little chat with you for a while, so yeah (laughs).

H: Thanks man, that means a lot. I really appreciate that. I’m looking forward to seeing you guys show up. Looking forward to big things coming from you Necromongerz. That’s it for me. I’m looking forward, I’m excited to see.

N: Awesome, awesome. Hopefully we deliver.

H: I think you will.

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.

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.

Amateur Meta Trends : August 11th – 30th

The last three weeks have brought plenty of balance changes to Heroes of the Storm, which will ultimately trickle down to affect the team compositions in amateur matchups. Along with the impending rework of Jaina, Leoric and Lt. Morales, we will see more shifts on the way once the Kel’thuzad patch goes live. There were some major changes to the amateur meta over the last few weeks as the Assassin and Support field balanced out, and the Warrior pool seemingly lost a major hero. Let’s check out the amateur Heroes of the Storm meta for the past three weeks!

Note: The following statistics are based solely on the games streamed during the HGC Open Division and HeroesHype tournaments from August 11th until August 30th. 40 games were analyzed for this article, thus serving as a slice of the overall amateur meta.

Warriors:

When I first started to track the amateur meta a few months ago, it was fun to watch the rise of Stitches and trace it back to HGC in Europe. The Terror of Darkshire has plummeted over the last month in participation, from 69% to 30%, shaking up the Warrior meta and bringing back some old favorites. In fact, the hooks just weren’t landing for Stitches as the hero held a miserable 22% win rate in the 9 games he appeared in.

The top-of-the-line tanks are relatively the same from three weeks ago: Dehaka took over the #1 spot with 88% participation (19 games played, 16 games banned), Arthas rose to 2nd with 70% (21 games played, 7 games banned), and Anub’arak slipped to 3rd with 58% (16 games played, 7 games banned).

Finally, I mentioned three weeks ago that we could see a rise in some of the “staple” tanks, and that’s exactly what we are seeing. E.T.C. claimed the 4th spot for Warriors with 35% participation (9 games played, 5 games banned) while Muradin was right behind at 13 games played with 0 bans. It was a good period for Dwarf, as he was on the winning team 61% of the time.

Assassins:

On the Assassins front, Greymane held onto the top spot at 68% participation (19 games played, 8 games banned), while Illidan took over the second-place spot with his own 19 picks. The famed Demon Hunter was only banned in 2 games and sported a 53% win rate, but didn’t see nearly as much action once the August 23rd Balance Patch went live, which increased The Hunt’s cooldown from 60 to 100 seconds. Genji continued to slip over the last three weeks, settling in at the 3rd highest Assassin choice with 9 games played and 11 games banned.

Valla is still a great choice for damage dealers, as she was played in 15 games and banned out in 2 other, ending the period with a 67% win rate. Finally, it looks like Cassia is on the rise with a 33% participation rate over the last three weeks, being played in 9 games and banned out in 4 others. She will be an interesting hero to watch over the next few weeks.

Support:

As Uther continues to be a focus for balance changes, his role in the Support meta continues its downward slope. The Paladin has dropped from 98% participation a month ago to his current 83% (25 games played, 8 games banned). Rehgar is quickly becoming a prominent healer again at 78% (27 games played, 4 games banned, and Auriel is still a solid choice for the banning phase. Over the last three weeks, Auriel was played 7 times and banned out 21 times.

Rounding out the top five healers was Malfurion at 48% participation (17 games played, 2 games banned) and Stukov with 35% (12 games played, 2 games banned). As always, Tassadar continues to be a major shielding choice with 19 picks and 16 bans, adding up to an 88% participation rate.

Announcing HeroesHype Latin America

HeroesHype is proud to announce an expansion into Latin America with new regional tournaments. In a continued effort to expand the amateur Heroes of the Storm scene, these tournaments will provide the LatAm region with opportunities for players to hone their competitive skills. The first tournament will be held on Thursday September 14th, 2017 at 5:00 PM PDT and is open to all Latin American players. Teams can register for the tournament on Battlefy.

Genre, the HeroesHype LatAm Tournament Manager is looking forward to the effect these tournaments will have on the region. “I’m really excited that HeroesHype decided to venture into the LatAm scene. The LatAm community is filled with many aspiring amateur players that desperately need support to develop their talents and we’ll be trying our hardest to make sure these players have a platform to practice their craft and eventually reach the upper echelons of the LatAm competitive scene.”

The LatAm tournaments will be streamed every Thursday night starting September 14th on the HeroesHype LatAm Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/heroeshype.

About Heroes Hype

HeroesHype is a premiere Heroes of the Storm organization that serves to foster growth in amateur players and teams. Their Amateur Series tournaments began in early 2015 with the goal of building and supporting the competitive community for Heroes of the Storm. Since then, HeroesHype has hosted amateur tournaments, charity matchups, and educational content to serve the community.

Contact

Facebook (Tournament Announcements): https://www.facebook.com/HeroesHypeLatAm/

Heroes Hype Discord (Tournament Administration): https://discord.gg/6br2TCZ  

Heroes Hype Website: http://heroeshype.com/     

Heroes Hype Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeroesHype

Announcing HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3

HeroesHype is thrilled to renew our continued partnership with Tempo Storm as we work to grow the amateur Heroes of the Storm scene. The HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3 is a six-week amateur Heroes of the Storm tournament beginning Wednesday August 30. Teams will earn season points for every round they play during the first five weeks of tournaments. The top 8 teams at the end of five weeks will be invited to compete in the Finals for a cash prize pool!

Join us over the next two months for a competitive, educational and entertaining tournament series aimed at making you a better Heroes of the Storm player!

Schedule

Click on each week to register your team on Battlefy!

Prizing

Your team will earn points for every week of the HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series that you play in:

  • 1st place: 4 points
  • 2nd place: 3 points
  • 3rd place: 2 points
  • 4th place: 1 point
  • Every round played: 1 point

The top 8 teams with the most points at the end of Week 5 will be invited to the Finals will be competing for cash.

Additionally, the HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series is community funded tournament, so check out our Matcherino page to see how you can donate as well as the variety of backer rewards that are available.

Finally, for just a moment of your time you can easily donate a free dollar to the tournament prize pool! On the Matcherino page, click Donate and enter in the code: hhtempo3 – this simple action raises the prize pool for our hard-working amateur teams.

How to watch

Watch all of the action every Wednesday night over on the HeroesHype Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/heroeshype! Be sure to follow us on Twitch to be notified when the tournament goes live!

Casters

The knowledgeable and fun casting duo of Halorin and Tempo Kala return in Series 3 to bring you the action each and every week! Halorin is a staple in the amateur Heroes of the Storm community, casting HeroesHype, Chair League and even the Heroes of the Dorm 2017 tournament. Casting alongside him is Tempo Storm’s coach Kala, otherwise known as the “fox of HotS”. Kala also serves as Tempo Storm’s manager and analyst, giving viewers valuable insight to the game.

Be sure to tune in every week to learn more about the strategies and mechanics of top level amateur competition from the ever entertaining Halorin and Kala!

Rules

Before registering, each team will need to read over the rules for the tournament series. The complete rules can be found here.

Contact

HeroesHype Discord (Tournament Announcements and Administration): https://discord.gg/6br2TCZ  

HeroesHype Website: http://heroeshype.com/     

HeroesHype Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeroesHype

 

Tempo Storm Website: https://tempostorm.com/

Tempo Storm Twitter: https://twitter.com/Tempo_Storm

Heroes Hype Weekly Amateur Recap – May 18th, 2017

HGC Open Division Playoffs

Monday and Tuesday were long nights for fans of amateur Heroes of the Storm competitive play, as the top 16 teams in the HGC Open Division duked it out in the Phase 1 Playoffs. As others have noted, there were some big surprises in the Semifinals as the #1 seed LFM eSports was knocked out of the tournament by Even in Death, while the remainder of the UTA Dorm team lost to Imported Supported.

In the Grand Finals, Even in Death won the best-of-five series 3-2, and will get to choose their HGC opponent. They will face either No Tomorrow (3-11) or Team Naventic (2-12) for chance at becoming a professional Heroes of the Storm team. Imported Support will play against the other HGC team in a bid to relegate them back down to the HGC Open Division.

The HGC Open Division Semifinals and Finals can be seen here.

The HGC Crucible will be May 27-28, and will decide if Even in Death and Imported Support can earn a spot as a Pro team, or if Team Naventic and No Tomorrow will retain their position in HGC.

 

Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series 1 – Week 5:

Week 5 was the final chance for amateur teams to score points and earn themselves a spot in the Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series 1 Finals, taking place on Wednesday May 24th. Breaking their way into the Grand Finals for the second week in a row was the Week 4 champion Scorpion Raccoon (SR), as well as an amateur staple: Miasma eSports.

 

Game 1 – Towers of Doom

Scorpion Raccoon: Muradin, Leoric, Malfurion, Genji, Greymane

Miasma eSports: Arthas, Anub’arak, Uther, Abathur, Cassia

 

Scorpion Raccoon did a nice job in the beginning of Game 1 to maintain even experience with Miasma’s Abathur soak, even getting a lucky trade off on the first blood when Miasma’s Anub’arak (played by Vestige) burrowed himself inside of SR’s wall. Right after both teams hit level 10, Miasma set up a clean trap on Malfurion, giving them a 2-0 team fight and a chance to secure two altars to take a lead on Core shots.

Scorpion Racoon found their groove during the next altar phase with Electromad on Genji tearing up Cassia, Miasma’s primary damage dealer. This snowballed into a 4-1 team fight victory and opened up the map for SR. LexUther positioned himself as Abathur quite aggressively throughout, leading to 4 deaths that could have been avoided, which held Miasma back from gaining the experience lead. Scorpion Raccoon was able to end the game by consistently holding onto 5 Keeps and staggering kills to limit Miasma’s full potential.

 

Game 2 – Sky Temple

Scorpion Raccoon: Muradin, Leoric, Malfurion, Greymane, Abathur

Miasma eSports: Arthas, Anub’arak, Kharazim, Li-Ming, Falstad

 

Game 2 featured a very similar team composition for Scorpion Raccoon, taking 4 out of the 5 same heroes, replacing the banned out Genji with Abathur. souray on Abathur maximized SR’s experience soaking, giving them a level advantage going into level 10. This allowed for SR to bully Miasma around, walking away with 2 easy kills in the bottom lane. Dsteves on Falstad was ready for revenge though, pushing Scorpion Raccoon into a tough position with Mighty Gust and setting up 3 kills of their own.

Miasma had caught up in experience, but souray’s choice of MULE at level 7 enabled Scorpion Raccoon to establish a healthy structure lead through sheer repairs on their own Forts. This is an obvious advantage on Sky Temple since Scorpion Raccoon could whittle down Miasma’s structures to establish a win condition.

Throughout Game 2, Miasma did a great job at locking down Malfurion early on in team fights to minimize the damage from Twilight Dream. Additionally, Vestige on Anub’arak chose excellent targets for Cocoon, often trapping the real or cloned Greymane for damage reduction. However, Miasma’s lack of structures doomed them in the end, as Scorpion Raccoon captured the Boss for a Week 5 victory.

 Scorpion Raccoon won the Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series Week 5 tournament by defeating Miasma eSports 2-0. This was Scorpion Raccoon’s second tournament win in a row.

 

The standings for the Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series are now:

  • Miasma eSports/Firm Handshake – 20 points
  • 7th Empire – 17 points
  • The New Guys – 16 points
  • Four Guys and a Legend – 15 points
  • Scorpion Raccoon – 15 points
  • Team Naas – 12 points
  • Blank – 12 points
  • East Coast Revolvers – 11 points
  • Full Standings can be seen here.

If you missed Week 5, the videos can be viewed here.

 

Amateur Events for Next Week:

 

Wednesday 5/24/17 6 PM PDT Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series 1 Finals https://www.twitch.tv/heroeshype

Heroes Hype Weekly Amateur Recap – May 11th, 2017

Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series 1 – Week 4:

This Wednesday was Week 4 of the Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series, a six-week amateur Heroes of the Storm tournament. With only two final chances for amateur teams to earn points to qualify for the Finals on May 24th, these matchups have certainly intensified! This week’s Grand Finals featured The New Guys (TNG), who placed 2nd during Week 2, as well as Scorpion Raccoon (SR), a Canadian team that formed two weeks ago.  

Game 1 – Dragon Shire

Scorpion Raccoon: Anub’arak, Leoric, Uther, Genji, Nazeebo

The New Guys: Johanna, Artanis, Malfurion, Greymane, Falstad

 

In Game 1, Scorpion Raccoons busted out the Genji in the first available tournament for Heroes Hype. After a rocky first kill and death, Electromad played Genji well, moving all over the map and providing the hero’s solid damage and chasing capabilities. After both teams attained their heroic abilities, SR grabbed the first Dragon Knight of the game. However, it was only useful for taking down outer defenses as no Forts fell.

SR took the second Dragon Knight as well, pushing more aggressively with it along with their level 16 talent tier advantage. TNG defended relatively well, only losing one Fort during the dragon’s reign. TNG then struck back with a clean 3-0 team fight in their own Siege Giant chokepoint. Although TNG was behind in structures, they led in experience and picked up level 20 talents first.

After carefully dancing around the shrines for awhile, SR found the beginning of the end with a great 4-0 team fight that used a very restricting Entomb and Divine Storm combo. After SR finished off Johanna for the full team wipe, they easily walked into TNG’s base to win Game 1.

 

Game 2 – Infernal Shrines

Scorpion Raccoon: Arthas, Dehaka, Auriel, Lunara, Greymane

The New Guys: Johanna, Tyrael, Malfurion, Kael’thas, Tychus

 

During the first shrine phase of Game 2, TNG was able to isolate and eliminate Lunara and then followed up with a quick kill on Dehaka from Tychus’ painful minigun. This freed up the shrine and let TNG pick up the first Punisher of the game to take out the SR’s outer wall of the top lane.

SR earned level 10 first at a crucial point during the second shrine phase, allowing for a kill and forcing TNG to retreat. Along with the second Punisher of the map, SR destroyed the bottom Fort and held onto a slim experience lead. The middle of Game 2 turned into an all-out brawl, with leads and advantages swapping back and forth by the minute.

This definition of a brawl was clearly demonstrated during the fourth shrine, as SC ultimately walked away with a 4-1 teamfight, but TNG’s StuManchu had a heads up play on Johanna to steal the Punisher right before dying. This Punisher denial was huge play, effectively keeping the game on even playing ground instead of giving SC a ridiculous map advantage.

SC found that advantage just a few moments later when they caught TNG way out of position and without their level 20 talents in the bottom lane. A quick four kills later and SC was able to sweep across the map to win Game 2.

 Scorpion Raccoon won the Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series Week 4 tournament by defeating The New Guys 2-0.

 

The standings for the Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series are now:

  • The New Guys – 14 points
  • Blank – 13 points
  • 7th Empire – 12 points
  • Team Naas – 11 points
  • Four Guys and a Legend – 11 points
  • East Coast Revolvers – 9 points
  • Scorpion Raccoon – 8 points
  • Full Standings can be seen here.

If you missed Week 4, the videos can be viewed here.

Amateur teams can register now for the Week 5 via Battlefly here. Week 5 is the last chance for teams to earn points and qualify for the Finals on May 24th!

 

Amateur Events for Next Week:

 

Monday 5/15/17 6 PM PDT HGC Open Division Playoffs  

https://www.twitch.tv/arcane8

 

Wednesday 5/17/17 6 PM PDT Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series 1 – Week 5 https://www.twitch.tv/heroeshype

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