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.

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.

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.

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 4th, 2017

HGC Open Division Cup 7:

For the third Open Division tournament in a row, LFM eSports and Imported Support qualified for the Grand Finals of Cup 7 on Tuesday night. This was the final chance for teams to earn points and lock in a position for the Phase 1 Playoffs, meaning LFM and Imported Support had already earned 1st and 2nd seeds respectively. This led to a rather entertaining final matchup as the only thing at stake was the prize pool: $600 versus $300.

Game 1 on Cursed Hollow featured creative drafting picks on both sides (Stitches, Nova) as well as some playfully aggressive positioning. Some non-standard heroic abilities were also in play with Tyrael choosing Judgment and Sylvanas opting for Mind Control. Using better priority on structure damage and the map objective, Imported Support walked away with a victory in Game 1. The team compositions were closer to standard in Game 2 on Infernal Shrines, where LFM eSports pulled off a victory using superior firepower between HecarimJ on Alarak and SoyYossarian on Kael’thas. Imported Support ended the series with a dominating performance in Game 3 on Dragon Shire.   

Imported Support won the HGC Open Division Cup 7, snapping LFM eSports 3-cup winning streak. This was Imported Support’s second HGC Open Division championship.

The HGC Open Division Cup 7 Semifinals and Finals can be seen here: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/139716987

The HGC Open Division Playoffs will begin on May 15th at 6 PM CDT. Full standings from the Phase 1 can be seen here. Once the bracket is available, it can be viewed here.

Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series 1 – Week 3:

Wednesday night brought Week 3 of the Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series, a six-week amateur Heroes of the Storm tournament. Earning their spot in the Week 3 Grand Finals was Firm Handshake (FH) and Blank, who placed 2nd in Week 1.

Game 1 – Infernal Shrines

Firm Handshake: Gul’dan, Falstad, Malfurion, Varian, Kerrigan

Blank: Lúcio, Valla, Zarya, Li Li, Anub’arak

 

Blank drafted a strong Li Li secondary support, something Heroes of the Storm players have seen quite a bit lately. Firm Handshake used a burst composition to try and eat through the healthy lineup from Blank. Using the bursting queen Kerrigan and a Corruption build Gul’dan, FH could chew through even Anub’arak’s health pool in a flash when the combination worked.

Blank earned the first Punisher after a close skirmish. Securing two kills after the Punisher died allowed Blank to play aggressively until the second shrine appeared. Blank gave the second Punisher to take the bottom Fort, which was oddly timed because they were not able to take a fight with their heroic ability advantage.

A great sacrificial Twilight Dream by Coby21 allowed Firm Handshake to kill two heroes, giving them enough time to win the third Punisher and weaken the top Keep’s defenses. On the fourth shrine, Hayyoo dropped a perfectly timed Sound Barrier to keep Blank’s team alive and win a 3-0 teamfight. Using the Punisher, Blank was able to destroy FH’s middle Keep, but FH had a great answer. They sent Dsteves on Falstad to the bottom lane, destroying Blank’s Keep and keeping the game very close.

In fact, the game was stunningly close during the fifth shrine, as a very prolonged team fight allowed catapults on both Cores to lose plenty of health. FH sent Falstad back to clear out the catapults while Blank sent both Lúcio and Li Li, allowing FH to secure two kills on a split up Blank. FH took this advantage and decided to rush on Blank’s Core, whittling it down to 3% before Blank was able to successfully fend them off to win Game 1.

Game 2 – Dragon Shire

Firm Handshake: Falstad, Zeratul, Muradin, Kael’thas, Uther

Blank: Dehaka, Malfurion, Anub’arak, Cassia, Li-Ming

 

Firm Handshake went with a full damage composition for Game 2, leaving Uther to solo support. Once the game began, both teams played very conservatively, attempting to outpoke one another. Both teams earned level 10 at the same time and the shrines traded hands like a revolving door.

Ten minutes into the game, Blank was able to secure the first Dragon Knight of the game when Araragi snuck into the middle lane to capture it. This allowed Blank to destroy FH’s bottom Fort and opened up the map with mercenary pressure. With level 16 advantage, Blank took the second Dragon Knight, destroying FH’s bottom Keep along with it.

Keeping the pressure up, Blank turned their eyes on level 20 while staying a solid one and a half levels ahead in experience. Before level 20, FH found an opportunity by killing an aggressive Dehaka as well as Cassia, giving them a chance to take the third Dragon Knight for themselves and work on closing the experience gap. The opportunities kept appearing and FH took a great fight in a narrow location for a 2-0 fight.

However, this was where FH’s luck ran out. 24 minutes in, Blank took the Dragon Knight and pushed into the open bottom lane to destroy the Core, taking Game 2 and the series.

While not highlighted above, Grizz on Anub’arak in this series was a treat to watch with solid crowd control throughout.

 Blank won the Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series Week 3 tournament by defeating Firm Handshake 2-0.

 

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

  • Blank – 13 points
  • 7th Empire – 11 points
  • Team Naas – 10 points
  • The New Guys – 8 points
  • Players Unknown – 7 points
  • Four Guys and a Legend – 7 points
  • Firm Handshake – 7 points
  • Full Standings can be seen here.

If you missed Week 3, the videos can be viewed here.

Amateur teams can register now for the Week 4 via Battlefly here.

 

Amateur Events for Next Week:

Wednesday 5/10/17 6 PM PDT Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series 1 – Week 4 https://www.twitch.tv/heroes_hype