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.

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.

HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3 Week 5 Recap – September 27th, 2017

Week 5 is over, and with it we now know our finalists for HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3! Team Numerics maintained their hold on first place and we have Animals and Five Musketeers tied for second.  You can check out the rest of the standings here to see all of our finalists. You can also watch this week’s Series here and the exciting finale to HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3 on our Twitch channel here.

Twenty-four teams competed this week. Team Numerics didn’t compete this week, so we didn’t see a possible five week win streak from them. Instead, we had two other great teams we’ve seen in the finals before: Animals and 6Sense. Animals was represented by: EKevin, Droplets, EToby, boris, and x420blazeitx. 6Sense was represented by: ETOMyX, betoGG, dBlaNk, Insecure, and rokblin.

Game 1 – Infernal Shrines

Animals – 1st Pick

Bans: Genji & Lúcio

Heroes: Tassadar, Greymane, Malthael, Johanna, Brightwing

6Sense – 2nd Pick

Bans: Auriel & Uther

Heroes: Rehgar, E.T.C., Sonya, Valla, Tyrande

Both teams started all-mid, but after staring at each other for a while, they split into lanes. Both teams maintained presence in top and mid while rotating in and out of bot. As the first Shrine activated, four Heroes from each team came head-to-head at the Shrine. E.T.C. caught the enemy Brightwing in a power-slide, and the rest of 6Sense took him down for First Blood.

The fight continued at the shrine that 6Sense won after killing Johanna, forcing Animals back. At the same time, Sonya killed Malthael on top. With the unanswered take-downs and continued lane pressure, 6Sense kept control of the early game.

After a devastating push on top, 6Sense held a two-level advantage. Animals answered right after with a two for three trade that slightly closed the gap. They lost the fight for the third Shrine though, and 6Sense destroyed a Keep during the push, once again gaining a two-level advantage. Catching Animals in bot lane soon after, 6Sense forced a team fight and destroyed the Core shortly after:

Game 2 – Dragon Shire

6Sense – 1st Pick

Bans: Auriel & Malthael

Heroes: Tassadar, Arthas, Valla, Stitches, Lt. Morales

Animals – 2nd Pick

Bans: E.T.C. & Brightwing

Heroes: Rehgar, Greymane, Abathur, Johanna, Falstad

Other than Abathur, all of Animals rushed to top and destroyed a Tower. 6Sense attempted to interfere, but were far too late. Both teams went to lanes after and did a 2-1-2 setup with plenty of rotations throughout. An injured Falstad was hooked before he could escape on bot, and was taken down for First Blood. The distraction his death caused allowed 6Sense to immediately capture the first Dragon Knight too.

The Dragon Knight didn’t accomplish much, but showed 6Sense’s continued domination of the early game. They continued their control by gaining the second Dragon Knight. Pushing bot, they picked up a kill and destroyed everything up to the Keep. They followed up with another push on bot two minutes later, but things went horribly wrong when Falstad flew in behind them:

Animals used the moment to destroy bot Fort, but lost the chance to easily secure the next Dragon Knight. That didn’t matter though, because both teams met in mid for another bloody team fight in Animals’ favor:

Animals finished up the rest of the enemy Forts and held a two-level advantage after their Dragon Knight push. Both teams kept their distance from each other after while looking for any advantage. Animals eventually found it when Falstad flew in for another great Gust:


Tassadar was the only Hero from 6Sense to survive, and he was powerless to stop Animals from destroying the Core.

Game 3 – Cursed Hollow

Animals – 1st Pick

Bans: Genji & Tassadar

Heroes: Abathur, Arthas, Malthael, Zeratul, Stukov

6Sense – 2nd Pick

Bans: E.T.C. & Uther

Heroes: Rehgar, Greymane, Falstad, Lúcio, Anub’arak

6Sense rushed to top and snuck in two Tower kills before Animals could react. Animals chased, but lost the fight and started to retreat. Zeratul was the focus of all the damage though, and he quickly dropped for First Blood. Afterwards, both teams setup with lane presence in bot and rotations through the other two lanes.

First Tribute saw both teams dancing around each other looking for an advantage. Being the final game of the match, both teams played defensively looking to make no mistakes. Animals ultimately won the Tribute after taking down Anub’arak. Animals gained the next Tribute as well, but lost two Heroes in the process. Shortly after they attempted to invade on a Camp, and lost another Hero. 6Sense slowly started to take the lead, especially with their continued Camp captures.

Their advantage allowed the capture of two Tributes and even more take-downs. At this point, both teams held two Tributes and the fight was on for the Curse:


Only Zeratul escaped and 6Sense picked up their Curse Tribute. They immediately secured Boss while their Falstad pushed bot. Although they had lost some time on the Curse, they still made the most of it by hard engaging on bot. Animals was forced to respond and a team fight broke out:


6Sense dominated the early game throughout the matches. Although Animals turned things around in Game 2,  6Sense just had too much of a head start in the other games that made all the difference.

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 the Finals of HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3 on October 11th!

Amateur Meta Trends: September 15th – 28th

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

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

Warriors:

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

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

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

Assassins:

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

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

Support:

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

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

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

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

What You Missed – HGC NA Week 10

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

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

Gale Force Esports defeated Superstars 3-1

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

If you only watch one game:

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

Roll20 esports defeated SpaceStation Gaming 3-0

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

If you only watch one game:

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

Lag Force defeated Even in Death 3-0

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

If you only watch one game:

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

Team Freedom defeated Tempo Storm 3-2

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

Who to Watch:

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

If you only watch one game:

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

HGC Playoffs

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

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

HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3 Week 4 Recap – September 20th, 2017

Week 4 has ended and we have only one more week left before the Finals! Team Numerics still holds the lead in the standings, but Five Musketeers overtook Animals for second place. The rest of the teams are still rather dead-locked, so next week will be all or nothing for them. If you or your team haven’t joined the Series yet, it’s too late to earn enough points to compete in the Finals, but you can still compete next week for practice. If you’re interested, take a look at our Battlefy here. Want to see the current standings? Check here. You can also watch this week’s Series here and all future matches on our Twitch channel here.

Nineteen teams competed this week. For the fourth week in a row, Team Numerics made it to the weekly Finals. Their competition for the night was Five Musketeers. Team Numerics was represented by: FlyestRaven, Caesarsalad, Quonzar, fasdfasdzzxx, and ViN. Five Musketeers was represented by: Necromongerz, Dsteves, Nintoril, Seryu, and Coby21.

Game 1 – Dragon Shire

Five Musketeers – 1st Pick

Bans: Tassadar & Cho’Gall

Heroes: Genji, Anub’arak,  Lúcio, Valla, Uther

Team Numerics – 2nd Pick

Bans: E.T.C. & Kel’Thuzad

Heroes: Rehgar, Malthael, Greymane, Arthas, Falstad

Both teams went mid for the age old beginning pokes at each other before breaking off into lane rotations. Team Numerics set up a 2-2-1 lane composition, while Five Musketeers kept Genji alone on top and the rest of the team rotating together. That strong, four-man rotation caught Arthas off-guard in mid, giving First Blood to the Musketeers.

First Blood in the bag, the Musketeers went with mixed rotations as Shrines activated. As usual, Musical Shrines kicked off in force. Eventually Numerics was able to sneak in a capture at the four and a half minute mark and  destroyed some Towers. They continued to put on the pressure with consecutive Siege Camp captures, and won the first team-fight, but there was only one take-down.

Musical Shrines round two kicked off, but with extreme prejudice. Trades occurred throughout the lanes, but Numerics picked up a Fort too. After dropping Anub’arak, Numerics was able to secure the second Dragon Knight. A take-down and two more Forts for Numerics put them ahead by two levels and holding a huge advantage over the Musketeers.

Dropping Anub’arak again right as the Shrines activated, Numerics easily secured the third Dragon Knight. Anub’arak was alive in time for Numeric’s push, but the Musketeers weren’t able to stop them:

Game 2 – Towers of Doom

Team Numerics – 1st Pick

Bans: Dehaka & Malthael

Heroes: Abathur, Cho’Gall, Arthas, Stukov

Five Musketeers – 2nd Pick

Bans: Tassadar & Rehgar

Heroes: E.T.C., Uther, Illidan, Greymane, Zagara

Five Musketeers started off as a 1-1-3 lane setup and played aggressive to gain a lead on siege damage. Team Numerics went all mid, but responded to Musketeer’s setup by going 1-2-1 (Abathur setup in mid). As Altars activated, Arthas invaded and killed Zagara, giving Numerics First Blood. He was immediately taken down after, but his distraction allowed Numerics to easily capture the other two Altars.

Cho’Gall dominated bot lane against all opponents. With a minor assist from Stukov, he even snuck in a kill against Greymane in what started as a 3vs1. His, or rather their, distraction allowed Numerics to double cap a double Shrine Phase, widening the gap even more to a twelve Core health difference.

Numerics slowly started racking up more and more take-downs, and always came out ahead on any trades. Musketeers countered by targeting Towers, but were quickly stopped when Numerics realized their strategy. With no other options to change the game in their favor, the Musketeers invaded during an Altar Phase:

Numerics took advantage of the situation and killed the Boss immediately after. About a minute later, a triple Altar Phase started. Zagara had been pushing top, but an Arthas and Stukov rotation ended with her death and Illidan’s as well when he came to help. That left the three remaining Musketeers on bot and not able to stop Numerics from capturing two Altars. With only three Core health remaining, it was do or die at bot for the Musketeers:

No one left to oppose them, Numerics captured the last Shrine. With that win, Numerics won the whole night and are Week 4’s Finals winners.

Numerics’ strategy of targeting Anub’arak during Shrine Phase in Game 1 was a game-winning idea. Without their Warrior, the Musketeers couldn’t stop them from constantly capturing the Dragon Knight. Cho’Gall’s relentless lane pressure combined with the rest of the team’s utility in Game 2 was likewise an unstoppable force for the Musketeers. Although they put up a valiant effort, Numerics put in more for the win.

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 next week for the continuation of HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3.

What You Missed – HGC NA Week 9

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

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

Superstars defeated SpaceStation Gaming 3-2

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

If you only watch one game:

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

Team Freedom defeated Even in Death
3-0

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

If you only watch one game:

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

Team Freedom defeated SpaceStation Gaming 3-0

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

Who to Watch:

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

If you only watch one game:

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

Gale Force Esports defeated Lag Force
3-2

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

Who to Watch:

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

If you only watch one game:

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

Roll20 esports defeated Gale Force Esports 3-0

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

If you only watch one game:

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

Tempo Storm defeated Even in Death 3-0

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

If you only watch one game:

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

BlizzCon & Crucible Notes

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

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

Amateur Meta Trends: August 31st – September 14th

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

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

Warriors:

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

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

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

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

Assassins:

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

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

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

Support:

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

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

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

Other:

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

HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3 Week 3 Recap – September 13th, 2017

Week 3 is over ladies and gentlemen! Teams are beginning to accrue points, especially our current front runners: Team Numerics and Animals.  The majority of the teams are deadlocked though, so the next two weeks will be extremely important for them. Up to eight points can be earned each week, so although it will put your skills to the test, it’s not too late for you or your team to join the Series. If you’re interested, take a look at our Battlefy here. Want to see the current standings? Check here. You can also watch this week’s Series here and all future matches on our Twitch channel here.

Twenty teams competed this week. In the end, it came down to a best-of-three match between Team Numerics and 6Sense. Team Numerics was represented by: FlyestRaven, Caesarsalad, Quonzar, fasdfasdzzxx, and ViN. 6Sense was represented by: ETOMyX, rokblin, LaBarbi, Insecure, and dBlaNk.

Game 1 – Infernal Shrine

Team Numerics – 1st Pick

Bans: E.T.C. & Diablo

Heroes: Sonya, Arthas, Gul’dan, Lúcio, Stukov

6Sense – 2nd Pick

Bans: Cho’Gall & Lt. Morales

Heroes: Tassadar, Rehgar, Johanna, Valla, Tychus

Initial setup for 6Sense was all-mid. Team Numerics went 2-1-2 and refused to adjust other than a few rotations to help when needed. 6Sense eventually split into 2-1-2 to ensure lane farm. 6Sense immediately forced Numerics out of the first Shrine. When Numerics countered back, Arthas took too much damage and had to retreat. This left Sonya by herself in the middle of the entire enemy team. 6Sense adjusted targets and Sonya quickly went down for First Blood.

6Sense secured the first Altar, but Numerics shut down the Punisher behind their Gates. Great lane rotations by both teams during the early game kept experience even. The first team fight happened when 6Sense secured and pushed with the second Punisher. Numerics barely pulled ahead in the fight, but lost some Towers in the process.

Numerics started pulling ahead when they secured the third Punisher and picked up a Fort and a takedown. That changed fast when they walked into a 3vs4 fight and lost two Heroes and the next Punisher. Great lane rotations during the Punisher push allowed 6Sense to start edging ahead. That advantage allowed them to gain level twenty first which had a huge impact in this team fight:

Wasting no chances, 6Sense chased down and killed Gul’dan after. With Numerics on the ropes, 6Sense rotated to bot and easily destroyed the Core.

Game 2 – Dragon Shire

Team Numerics – 1st Pick

Bans: E.T.C. & Malthael

Heroes: Dehaka, Falstad, Stukov, Stitches, Lunara

6Sense – 2nd Pick

Bans: Tassadar & Cho’Gall

Heroes: Rehgar, Greymane, Tyrael, Arthas, Probius

Numerics decided to go all-mid at the start. 6Sense only committed four Heroes to mid, which prompted an immediate attack by Numerics. Stitches hooked Greymane, who was immediately taken down for First Blood. After the dust settled, 6Sense kept Probius on bot while the rest of the team did constant rotations. Numerics had the same strategy, but kept lane presence on top instead.

Musical Shrines was the name of the early game. Constant lane rotations kept Shrines never in one team’s possession for long. Those rotations meant skirmishes everywhere too, but Numerics began to pull ahead in trades. Their advantage eventually allowed them to grab the first Dragon Knight.

Two Forts and a take-down was the toll incurred by Numerics during the Dragon Knight push. A counter-push by 6Sense gained them some traction, but they immediately lost it when Dehaka snuck in a Dragon Knight capture.

Numerics destroyed bot Keep with that Dragon Knight and picked up a kill shortly after thanks to a Stitches hook. Forced to retreat, 6Sense pushed back after securing some Camps. Their Greymane died though due to a Stitches hook early into the push. Falstad used a great Gust to throw their retreat into disarray and forced a team fight:

Numerics picked up the Dragon Knight after, and having already destroyed bot Keep, went straight for the enemy Core and tied the match.

Game 3 – Towers of Doom

Team Numerics – 2nd Pick

Bans: Rehgar & Abathur

Heroes: Arthas, Tassadar, Illidan, Tyrande, Malfurion

6Sense – 1st Pick

Bans: Dehaka & Stukov

Heroes: E.T.C., Uther, Greymane, Genji, Sonya

Numerics quickly established a 2-1-2 lane setup. 6Sense kept a constant presence on top, but rotated between the other lanes. During the first Shrine phase, their rotations allowed them to easily capture two Shrines. They then heavily committed to an invasion for the third. Not only did they capture the last Shrine, but they gained a double-kill First Blood with no losses of their own.

Holding an absolute iron-grip on the Camps, 6Sense destroyed a Tower and gained another take-down before capturing a Shrine. Experience was rather even at this point, but Core health was 40vs23 in 6Sense’s favor.

The third Shrine phase was an equal trade, but 6Sense won a team fight right after. Growing confident, they attempted a Camp invasion, but it backfired and they lost E.T.C. right as Shrines spawned in. Numerics captured both Shrines bringing Core health to 28vs19 in 6Sense’s favor. As a triple Shrine phase started, Numerics went on the offensive:

Winning that fight was a huge turn around for Numerics. They captured all three Shines and now led the game by three Core health. 6Sense took a solo Shrine after though, and at this point, it was anyone’s game. With the game so close, both teams committed to the next Shrine:

After securing the Altar, Numerics got an unopposed Boss kill. Numerics held the lead at 14vs7 in Core health. They lost a three for one trade at the next solo Shrine though, and enemy Camps did enough damage to tie the game. Attempting to regain Towers before the next Shrines activated, Numerics wasn’t ready for when 6Sense engaged them:

With Tassadar dying shortly after, 6Sense was unopposed to capture Shrines and won the final game of the match.

You could see in the first two games who the likely winner would be, but the third game was one hell of a brawl. Everything came down to that final team fight, and although that’s a horrible way to lose, it was fun as hell to watch.  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 next week for the continuation of HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3.

HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3 Week 2 Recap – September 6th, 2017

HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3 Week 2 has come and gone.  For anyone still interested in participating, time is running out before it’s too late! As a free agent, or a team, you can register on our Battlefy here. If you missed the Twitch stream of Week 2, you can watch it in entirety here. You can also watch all future games every Wednesday at 9pm PDT on our channel here.

Nineteen teams competed this week in the mad dash for points. The matches before the finals are single-elimination, so only the best make it to the end to earn the most points. The finalists this week were Team Numerics and Animals. This was the third week in a row we’ve seen the two teams face-off in the finals of different events. Team Numerics was represented by: FlyestRaven, Caesarsalad, Quonzar, fasdfasdzzxx, and ViN. Animals was represented by: Olecb, Droplets, EToby, Evandrinde, and EKevin.

Game 1 – Towers of Doom

Animals – 1st Pick

Bans: Gall & Tracer

Heroes: Dehaka, Garrosh, Rehgar, Tychus, Sylvanas

Team Numerics – 2nd Pick

Bans: E.T.C & Lúcio

Heroes: Tassadar, Arthas, Malfurion, Valla, Zeratul

The game kicked off with a 4v4 skirmish in mid, but with no real winner. Team Numerics split their Heroes from there into a 1-1-3 bot-heavy lane setup. Animals had been doing lane rotations, but quickly copied the lane setup. Garrosh was among those on bot and was able to throw Valla back into his team for a hopeful First Blood. Malfurion negated all damage done to Valla though, and Arthas had rotated down from mid to help. The tables turned on Garrosh, and he instead became First Blood.

The early game was dominated by skirmishes and trades. However, Animals slowly started taking the lead in kills. Their Sylvanas also chose the talent Mercenary Queen, which allowed them to do intense siege damage with Camps. Animals efforts gained them a level advantage leading into the first team fight:

Now with a bigger lead, Animals’ Garrosh taunt/throw combo continued to disrupt Arthas. Animals’ continued map control allowed them to kill boss, furthering their lead. Bot altar activated soon after though, and both teams converged on it. Losing the game, Team Numerics needed to turn the tides, so they eventually forced a team fight:

With an Ace in hand, a triple altar phase began shortly after with Team Numerics appearing more confident. Each team easily secured an altar but a team fight ensued over the third. Team Numerics won, and with it, tied up the Takedowns. Now holding a level advantage, they pushed with their momentum on Sapper Camps and Towers.

Dehaka was caught alone in mid at Tower and killed. The rest of Animals stepped in to defend, but couldn’t compete being down a Hero. Only Sylvanas survived and the Tower switched hands. A Boss kill for Team Numerics brought the game even closer before another Altar Phase. Team Numerics captured both and left Animals’ Core with only one health.

Both teams regrouped and did lane rotations attempting to find an advantage. Hidden near camps, Zeratul’s stealth allowed him to watch enemy movement. Caught unprepared, Animals had nowhere to go:

Team Numerics immediately split up around the map and converted Towers. With only one Core health, that meant an immediate win and Game 1 went to Team Numerics.

Game 2 – Tomb of the Spider Queen

Animals – 1st Pick

Bans: Gall & Malfurion

Heroes: Tassadar, Rehgar, E.T.C., Li-Ming, Sonya

Team Numerics – 2nd Pick

Bans: Garrosh & Illidan

Heroes: Uther, Stitches, Gul’dan, Stukov, Greymane

Both teams immediately went all-mid. The normal early pokes kicked things off, but devolved into a full blown team fight. When Animals tried to back off, their E.T.C. was hooked and found himself all alone. He immediately goes down for First Blood before the thirty second mark. After recovering from the early action, Animals attempted to setup a kind of lane composition, but Team Numerics’ constant lane rotation threw that out the window.

Early fights were dominated by Team Numerics. Whenever Animals would seem to be winning a fight, a Stukov silence stopped them in their tracks. Then in the ensuing retreat, an Uther stun or Stitches hook ensured their death.

With Animals unable to counter them, Team Numerics had almost total map control. Back-to-back Spider Queen turn ins and a Boss kill put the game deeply in their favor. No other way to turn the tide, Animals forced a team fight, but barely escaped with a one for one trade. That distraction allowed the Boss to destroy the last top Fort, which left only bot and mid last Forts still standing.

Team Numerics continued their campaign of whittling down the remaining enemy Forts. However, Animals was finally able to sneak in a turn in. Team Numerics had just captured Boss again though, leaving Animals with a tough decision on where to commit. They decided to defend their bot Spider and a team fight broke out:

Animals had left the Boss alive and attacking the Core though, so losing that team fight was the final nail in the coffin. Team Numerics swept in and assisted the Boss in destroying the Core to win Game 2, and with it, the Finals.

Despite Animals winning the last two times the teams met in the Finals, Team Numerics came away as the winners of HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3 Week 2. Although Team Numerics barely won the first game by the skin of their teeth, Game 2 was undeniably controlled by them.  Thanks to both of these teams 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 next week for the continuation of HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3.

You can see the points earned by each team this week on our standings page here.

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.

HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3 Week 1 Recap – August 30th, 2017

HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3 is upon us folks! Week 1 is already under wraps though, so if you’re interested in participating, join now before it’s too late! As a free agent, or a team, you can register on our Battlefy here. If you missed the Twitch stream of Week 1, you can watch it in entirety here. You can also watch all future games every Wednesday at 9pm PDT on our channel here.

Week 1 saw twenty teams compete for points and hopefully an early lead in the Series. In the end, it came down to Team Numerics and Animals in a best-of-three final match. These two teams were last week’s Amateur Series finalists as well, so we had a great rematch to watch for Week 1. Team Numerics was represented by: FlyestRaven, Caesarsalad, Quonzar, fasdfasdzzxx, and ViN. Animals was represented by: Olecb, Droplets, EToby, Evandrinde, and EKevin. I think I jinxed it last week by saying we haven’t seen a 3 game match in a while, because these two teams did it again:

Game 1 – Towers of Doom

Animals – 1st Pick

Bans: Gall & Cassia

Heroes: Illidan, Rehgar, Valla, E.T.C., Stukov

Team Numerics – 2nd Pick

Bans: Tassadar & Lúcio

Heroes: Uther, Arthas, Gul’dan, Malfurion, Garrosh

Animals started with a confident 2-1-2 lane setup, but most of them hid in brush. Due to the brush concealment, Team Numerics constantly rotated until they settled with a 2-1-2 setup as well. As their rotations finished, the first Altar Phase began. Team Numerics came out ahead with two captures, but almost lost an early team fight on bot to secure their last Altar.

First blood didn’t occur until the 4:15 mark when Garrosh and Arthas pursued the enemy Illidan too far. Animals’ E.T.C. and Uthur rotated up to assist, and they secured the kill.

Animals continued their streak of winning almost every skirmish in the early parts of the game, while Team Numerics pulled ahead on Altar captures. The lane pressure from Animals allowed them to pull ahead in shot count though, reducing the threat of Team Numeric’s Altars. They became too ambitious when a dive on bot turned out horribly wrong:

Team Numerics’ counter-attack picked up another kill, but they themselves were countered where they lost two Heroes. Garrosh continued to stay top during all of this, but rejoined his team shortly after. Finally all grouped up, Team Numerics went on the hunt. A team fight broke out on bot shortly after:

The two level advantage gained by Team Numerics spelled what looked to be the beginning of the end for Animals. Their immense lane pressure allowed Siege Camps to successfully deal Core damage while also picking up Altars. Animals started to recover, they even killed the Boss, but lost that momentum after this team fight:

With a death grip on bot lane, Team Numerics escorted a Siege Camp that successfully dealt Core damage. They invested so much effort into this because the last Altar was on bot. After the Camp did its job, Team Numerics secured the Altar and won the first game.

Game 2 – Dragon Shire

Animals – 1st Pick

Bans: Gall & Lúcio

Heroes: Sonya, Rehgar, Malfurion, Johanna, Li-Ming

Team Numerics – 2nd Pick

Bans: Tassadar & Valla

Heroes: Uther, Garrosh, Greymane, E.T.C., Chromie

Both teams used the same lane setups of 2-1-2 again. Skirmishes between the equal lanes were common, but there was no First Blood as Shrines activated. The early parts of the game were, as Halorin put it, “something of a game of musical Shrines.” The only highlight of the first six minutes of the game was a crazy escape by Uther in a 3vs1. First Blood finally occured at the 6:24 mark when Animals top lane pressure earned a kill against Chromie.

Musical Shrines continued, but with markedly more aggression from both teams. Trades and skirmishes occurred throughout the map and a few team fights only in mid. It took twelve and a half minutes, but the first Dragon Knight appeared after Garrosh died in mid, allowing Animals to capture.

The Dragon Knight only destroyed Gate and Towers on bot, but Animals started to pull ahead in experience. Not wanting to risk their lead, Animals played defensively between Shrine Phases. Musical Shrines didn’t happen this time though, because Animals put down the hurt against Team Numerics in a team fight. There were no deaths, but Animals easily secured the Dragon Knight.

Taking the Dragon Knight bot, the Keep there stood no chance. A stun-lock on Chromie led to her death immediately after. From there, Animals decided to go all-in for the win:

Game 3 – Infernal Shrines

Team Numerics – 1st Pick

Bans: Tassadar & E.T.C.

Heroes: Sonya, Uther, Lúcio, Arthas, Gul’dan

Animals – 2nd Pick

Bans: Gall & Malfurion

Heroes: Rehgar, Dehaka, Valla, Muradin, Brightwing

Breaking the trend, both teams went all mid. Valla kicked off a team fight and damage went out everywhere, but no kills. Animals did a 2-1-2 lane setup after, but Team Numerics rotated four Heroes to bot. They caught Gul’dan off guard and secured First Blood seconds before the first minute ended.

Team Numerics continued to play aggressively by rotating around, putting pressure wherever they went. Unfortunately for them, Animals escaped every attempt.

The first Shrine was an extremely prolonged fight, but Animals ultimately secured the Punisher. It destroyed the Walls in mid, but only did minor damage to the Fort.  After, both teams resumed their earlier strategies, but Animals began to come out on top of most skirmishes.

As the next Shrine activated, Sonya wasted no time in racking up kills. Abandoning the Shrine, Team Numerics caught Arthas in a 5v1. They secured the kill and mid Fort in the process, but had to retreat to deal with the Punisher on top. They weren’t able to stop it from destroying the top Fort, but they put up a defense at the Keep. Gul’dan’s well placed Horrify threw all of Team Numerics into disarray though:

Skirmishes and Camp captures led to the next Shrine activation. Surprisingly, Team Numerics doubled down on their strategy of ignoring the Shrine and pushed bot. All of Animals, minus Sonya, rotated down to stop their advance:

Team Numerics couldn’t afford to capture the shrine though, because the pressure from creeps was too great. After Animals’ team respawned, they secured the Punisher and pushed mid. The Keep dropped and a crazy team fight broke out:

Only Brightwing and Rehgar survived for Team Numerics, leaving only two supports in defense of the Core. The two put up a valiant defense, but weren’t even able to stop Sonya from killing Brightwing right as the Core fell.

After losing the first game, Animals bounced back with their two consecutive wins to become the winners of HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3 Week 1. All three games appeared to be anyone’s game until a few pivotal plays ultimately determined the winner. In my opinion, those are the best games to watch, and it’s great to see teams put in so much effort for these Series.  Thanks to both of these teams 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 next week for the continuation of HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3.

You can see the points earned by each team this week on our standings page here.

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 Tempo Storm Series 2 Finals Recap – August 2nd, 2017

Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series 2 has come and gone already. Wednesday saw five weeks of hard work for our eight finalist teams come to fruition as they met in the Nexus to do battle for the Community-Driven Prize Pool of $1012. Unfortunately, one of our original finalist teams, TQ, had to drop out of the tournament. To account for this, Bambooxuled, a team who had fought and lost for a spot in the finals through a tiebreaker, was brought back in for a second chance.

The finals deviated from how the weekly matches were played, in that every round was a best-of-three match. The eight competing teams were: Firm Handshake, Bambooxuled, Imported Support, East Coast Revolvers, Flame is Lame, 7th Empire, 101st North Umberland Fusiliers, and The New Guys. For a better look at how the Brackets for the Finals turned out, visit our Battlefy page here.

As usual, all rounds were played concurrently, so sadly not all matches were covered. Our great casters Halorin and Kala were there for play-by-play calls on the games that were covered, and you can rewatch those matches in their entirety here.

After a great effort by all the teams, Imported Support and 101st North Umberland Fusiliers fought their way to the finals. Imported Support had won every game so far and 101st  lost only one game to Flame is Lame. In the end, Imported Support won the Finals and remained undefeated throughout. Congratulations to them and all teams that participated, it was a pleasure to have you all compete in Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series 2 and we hope to see you all in the future. Without further ado, here’s the Finals Recap.

Game 1 – Sky Temple

Imported Support – 1st Pick

Bans: Uther & Malfurion

Heroes: Illidan, Rehgar, Auriel, Gul’dan, Stitches

 

101st North Umberland Fusiliers – 2nd Pick

Bans: Dehaka & Lunara

Heroes: Abathur, Genji, Brightwing, Arthas, Anub’arak

Initially, both teams split evenly across the map with one Hero in top and two each in mid and bot. 101st changed things quickly by becoming mobile and frequently changed lanes. Their strategy worked and allowed them a 5-1 Hero kill lead three minutes in. However, Imported Support stayed busy during this and focused on capturing Temples. After they captured both initial Temples, the teams were even in experience. Imported Support continued their focus on Temples when the third one activated. Although their Stitches was forced out at first, Imported Support regrouped and attacked in force with devastating effect:

The kills, structure damage, and winning the team fights in that hectic minute of play quickly turned the tide of the game. Using the boss and the remainder of the Temple shots, even more structure damage was dealt by Imported Support. Their efforts put them at a great advantage by placing them a level and a half above 101st. Continuing their almost single-minded effort at destroying structures, Imported Support gathered on bot with four Siege Giants where they destroyed even more structures, but weren’t able to reach the Keep.

The next few minutes saw both teams juggling control of the Temples and no fights other than minor pokes and harassments. 101st attempted to force a fight to regain momentum, but Imported Support simply walked away. Even with a push on top that resulted in the destruction of 101st’s Keep, no real fights broke out.

That all changed as both teams positioned themselves to fight the Boss again. Stitches walked off by himself and inadvertently started the fight:

Imported Support pushed straight from there for the Core and picked up the first win of the match.

Game 2 – The Cursed Hollow

101st North Umberland Fusiliers – 1st Pick

Bans: Auriel & Arthas

Heroes: Illidan, Abathur, Stitches, Genji, Malfurion

 

Imported Support – 2nd Pick

Bans: Tassadar & Rehgar

Heroes: Dehaka, Uther, Anub’arak, Greymane, Medivh

Whether it was momentum from the last game or a change of tactics, Imported Support immediately began the game on the offensive on top. Although they missed the hopeful kill on Malfurion, they knocked down a tower within the first minute, setting the pace of this game.

The aggressive plays picked up on both teams as they continuously harassed each other. Surprisingly, no takedowns occurred all the way to the first tribute phase. The only takedown was against Malfurion who became separated and killed, but much of the tribute was the same aggressive poking.

Imported Support continued last game’s strategy of applying pressure to lanes, thereby forcing 101st to come engage. A top push started taking a bad turn for Imported Support’s Uther, but with great protects and portals, they came out ahead:

Top Keep fell with that push as well, putting Imported Support a full level ahead of 101st. Both teams weren’t shy after their last fight and come into position as the next Tribute appeared. Stitches ran out to force Imported Support to engage in a team fight, and they replied in force:

Imported Support attempted to take Boss afterward for the scary combo of two tributes and an active boss, but were forced off. Uther was too slow to run away and gets taken down shortly after. Meanwhile, Dehaka almost gets taken down in mid as well, but Medivh saved him with a great portal.

With such a deficit already, 101st needed to win the next fight for tribute. As it appeared, both teams were quick to engage and an insanely long fight occurred where damage was thrown everywhere:

The game isn’t decided yet though. Imported Support pushed forward with the Curse, but found themselves on the receiving end this time:

Anub’arak continued his bot push during the Curse, but he also falls from being caught too far out. By then, Imported Support had respawned and immediately avenged Anub’arak with a Genji and Malfurion takedown. With the momentum back on their side, Imported Support quickly took down their Boss. 101st was aware of this and started fighting their boss. Imported Support was fast enough to intercept though, and gained a second Boss.

Using their stolen Boss, Imported Support dealt immense damage to top, but decided to retreat rather than risk a fight. That pressure allowed a free Tribute pick-up by Imported Support.

They go back to farm camps and looked for their next opportunity to strike. Imported Support found it when Stitches was a bit too far out from his teammates. After bursting him down, they attacked structures and had 101st pushed all the way to their last three Keeps.

With the fifth Tribute on the way, Imported pulled off their attack. Once again, they came together for a violent fight with deaths and insane damage on both sides, but Imported Support barely took the win because of Uther surviving with 60hp:

After that deadly bout, both teams stayed mobile looking for any opportunity to seal the deal. Nothing happened until the sixth Tribute appeared, where once again a fight broke out:

Imported Support immediately pushed top with their Curse. With two Heroes down, 101st was in an extremely bad position to defend. At full strength, Imported Support moved in and crushed the token defense. Illidan and Genji were able to respawn in time, but they too were easily taken down. Imported Support won the game, and with that, won the Finals for Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series 2.

 

Once again, thanks to all the teams who’ve competed throughout the entire Series and congratulations to Imported Support for their undefeated streak through the Finals. Another thanks especially goes out to the community for watching the Series and a special thanks to those that contributed to the Community Prize Pool through Matcherino. We hope to see your continued support in future events with many more exciting tournaments to come.

Pre-Finals Interview: Sliceblade from 101st North Umberland Fusiliers

With only five weeks in a season, teams must quickly adapt and prove their worth for the finals. 101st North Umberland Fusiliers, last seasons champions, have already proven before that they belong here. We recently spoke to one of their players, Sliceblade, to learn about the mentality and poise a team must pertain in order to succeed. Thank you to Sliceblade for taking the time to answer these questions!

Be sure to catch Sliceblade and the rest of 101st North Umberland Fusiliers compete in the Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series 2 Finals! The Finals are this Wednesday, August 2nd at 6 PM PDT and will be streamed on https://www.twitch.tv/heroeshype.


 

Halorin (H): How’s it going taliant, or should I say Sliceblade now.

Sliceblade (S): I think we’re going pretty permanently with the Sliceblade. I think it’s time. It started as a joke, it’s just been too much fun to give it up.

 

H: New name, same level of skill. To those who have not been introduced to you, do you want to say hello and tell us a little bit about your team?

S: Sure! I mean, anytime anyone talks about us, it always starts with 2ARC into NICE and now what is the most common or newest iteration, Donkeys R Us / 101st North Umberland Fusiliers. Which is only still the name because I had decided I had to click too many times to make a new team on Battlefy. So we were like whatever just let it ride. But we have a really, really good crew. Everyone is super dedicated both to being successful and to the team and everyone has a really good work ethic. So it’s a great group of guys to play with. Very amenable, rarely do people butt heads and if that happens we just say take it to the replay so we can figure out how to get on the same page and it’s just been a good process moving forward as a team so far.

 

H:Nice man, I think it’s really important to point out that you guys have been together for a long time. I’m sure there are people that are spectators and fans of the amateur scene and they see the names like 101st North Umberland Fusiliers or Donkeys R Us and they don’t really get the connection to NICE or 2ARC. So there’s definitely been something of a history or evolution for you guys. Last season for Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series you guys were the winners. At the time your name was 4 Guys and a Legend. Legend moved on to Flame is Lame. But you’ve picked up Pichante. We talked about this a little earlier in the season and you said he made a great addition. Since then, going into the finals now, how has he fit into the rest of the roster?

S: So, Legend and him had a very similar hero pool, and whenever you’re trying to plug and play someone like that it always helps, a lot. And then Pichante aka Drake brings such a high level of mechanical skill so that was great too. But I think why he’s been a better fit for our team and why i’m excited moving forward is he came in a little bit more of a blank slate. Like a lump of clay. We were more able to say we view this fight, in replay or whatever, this way. This is how we think we should handle this situation and next time it happens this is how we want to handle it next time so we don’t screw it up again. And I can remember often times Legend and I or Legend and Lz would not see eye to eye or have a common ground with things. But with Drake, he’s like, “Hey that sounds great”. We’ll do the dive and leave Gul’dan hanging in the winds in the back. So I think we’ve been able to become more synergistic as a team as a result of having him. Legend, a player of that skill level, is always missed but I think we’re doing just fine.

 

H: I’d have to agree with that. It’s something really cool that hasn’t been around for a long,like Drake, but has a vast amount of potential. And I think it’s kind of reinvigorated you guys and has opened you up to new strategies by having a newer perspective. I think it’s definitely something that’s helped you guys out. Would you agree with that?

S: Oh absolutely. His story was kind of funny. He was literally just sitting around. Legend told us he was leaving the team. We made a list and he was on the top of our list and no one had tried to pick him up. It was also a timing thing. It was a feeding frenzy with the next season of the open division just about to start and we got there a couple days earlier. He said people had been messaging him for days after we had just picked him up. So now I feel kind of lucky that we got there first. And it has been such a good fit so he hasn’t been disgruntled or anything like that.

 

H: Definitely man. So for you specifically, to have the roster change and to go under a new name, how would it feel to win series 2 of Heroes Hype Tempo Storm.

S: Oh of course anytime you can put weeks and weeks of effort into something like these seasonal leagues and come out on top it’s such a great feeling. It’s the payoff of all the hard work you know, the blood, the sweat, and the tears and the sacrifices you make every night where you’re grinding out those tournaments late into the AM. You’ve got work in four hours and you don’t have the best day the next day. But then to come in and be able to convert on what you’re trying to do obviously is a really good feeling. I’m really excited Imported Support is playing in this tournament as well because they didn’t play in the last one. I think that’ll up the level a fair amount for the overall tournament too.

 

H: Absolutely, I mean the North American amateur scene has definitely escalated a good degree in the overall level of play. Specifically in Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series there are some higher profile teams like yourself and Imported Support. I think the finals are going to be a stronger challenge than last go around but at the same time you guys specifically have made a name for yourself. One of the two amateur teams to make it into Bloodlust, you guys are top contenders in the open division. Do you guys think you are on the track to make it through the crucible and into the HGC?

S: I think, this is my feeling and I think it’s largely reflected by the team that we’re close but we’re not quite there yet. We’re performing at a decent enough level for the Open cups and Heroes Hype. Obviously we didn’t have a very good showing in Bloodlust. But I could make some pretty strong excuses there, like for the first series we found out five minutes beforehand that we were playing on west. I think i’ve played 14990 games of HotS on central and maybe 10 on west. That was a big blindside and that was the sixth day of tournaments in a row so everyone was grouchy. So I think the only thing we need to get to the level where I think I can give you an emphatic yes is we need everybody to play well at the same time. I think we often times, because of real life schedules, people come in and they’re dragging or whatever reason and we haven’t assumed our final form yet and watch out when we do.

 

H: I think that’s a really interesting point to make. Everyone has an off day in all things in life so finding that rhythm where everyone is firing on all cylinders. I definitely think that’s something to consider. One thing that I’m interested to see, and it’s something that we’ve seen a few times. You guys have played against Flame is Lame and it’s been some of the most inspiring, exciting games of Heroes that I can recall in recent memory. Is that a team you try to specifically show up for given that Legend is on the team or are there other teams where you’re like, “alright guys this is it. We got to make sure we’re doing well”?

S: So you know, Flame is Lame right? I want to be clear that in now way am I being disrespectful to anyone here but I think in the past month we’ve only lost one competitive game to Flame is Lame and our scrim track record is pretty similar to that. So we have pretty much set our sights up the ladder a little bit more. We have great camaraderie with the team, love all the players, great scrim partners, but I guess the answer is no we don’t get that hyped up to play them anymore. Like I said, we’ve set our sights to the next level. We’re still looking to take a big chunk out of Hold it Down sooner or later and again once we assume our final form we’ll be able to do that.  

 

H: That’s amazing man. I think it really speaks to the growth you guys have had as a team. In the early parts of this series you guys were definitely neck and neck. So now to have the track record to objectively say that I think it really speaks to your overall growth as a team. So would you say Imported Support is the biggest threat you’re looking out for in the finals?

S: Yes, I’d say they’re the favorite. Objectively I’d edge them out a little bit over us. Certainly within striking distance but going in they are the favorite right now.

 

H: So feeling that way, that they on paper are the favorite. Right before the finals goes on it comes down to you and them. What do you say to your team to rally the proverbial troops to say, “We can still win this”?

S: Everyone is so dedicated and motivated. It’s not motivation. It’s let’s go over the list of stupid stuff we’ve done to lose games we should win again and just check those off. There was a game, I can’t remember what tournament it was, but it was against Imported Support. They’re opening drat was Auriel, Anub’arak, and Greymane. And this was Imported Support. And herp derp we don’t second ban Cho’gall? Not only did we lose that game in embarrassing fashion. We know better and we deserve to lose that game in embarrassing fashion for making a draft mistake like that. So we’ve got the list of shame and we’re going to make sure we’re going to be in a position to come out and play and not beat ourselves by doing something dumb like that.

 

H: I think that’s a very cool insight to have because I was looking at the question thinking they are at a certain level and we should go above that. Where as with you guys it’s more lets minimize our mistakes as we’re already confident in our level of play. It comes down to the team that makes fewer mistakes. I think that’s a subtle but important distinction. Do you think minimizing mistakes has been your focus the last few weeks?

S: There’s a word I like to use in practice, and that’s poise. That is always what I’m trying to instill. I think the player that epitomizes that more than anyone in the scene is LzGaMeR. Who has been through the gambit of esports already. The guy has already had a full esports career if he wanted to just hang up the gloves. Nothing phases him. Sometimes we suffer a bad loss and he references this StarCraft 2 game from six years ago he lost so badly they dunked gatorade on him. And we are thinking okay that was rough but it wasn’t so bad. That is the level of poise we are trying to achieve. You look at the top end of mechanical skill I think it does come down to limiting mistakes more than the dramatic play. Usually the most dramatic plays are born of desperation when you’re kind of screwed already. Our goal is to not be desperate. Play our game and limit mistakes. If you’re going to fall behind, fall behind small and if you fall behind huge just throw it all to the wind and see what happens.

 

H: Poise, I like that word a lot. I think in a lot of ways it encapsulates your team because you have operated under pressure. I remember talking to you after the finals of the last series I asked about the Jaina pick because there were so many cutting edge moments where you were one health away from dying and you pull out the ring of frost on Battlefield of Eternity and turn the whole fight. Hearing that poise is something you emphasize I’m not surprised. Those were all the questions I had. To the fans that will be rooting on 101st North Umberland Fusiliers, what would you say to them to get them rallied and hyped for you guys in the finals.

S: Like I said we haven’t assumed our final form yet. Just wait we’re going to. Get you sticks and marshmallows out and be ready for a show. We’re going to make people shiver they’ll say, “Ooh that was so good”.

 

H: I like it man, confidence and rising potential, that’s definitely you guys. Best of luck to you in the finals, I can’t wait to see you guys in action.

S: Alright, thank you very much Halorin.

 

Argy: Do you have a favorite memory from this season of Heroes Hype Tempo Storm series?

S: There was a game on Infernal Shrines, I believe it was the week 1 finals. In the late game fighting over a shrine we had Jin on Diablo and LzGaMeR on D.Va. I mispositioned on the shrine and died early in the fight but then Jin and Lz hit a Massive apoc D.Va bomb wombo to wipe out the other team and win the game. It was super exciting

 

Argy: Do you have any advice for players looking to create and amateur team?

S: The most important thing is to get a group together and just play. Play things like Heroes Hype. The free agent stuff that Heroes Hype does is phenomenal. There will be a natural weeding out process. You find the one or two people that were with you and a few others. You work your way through until you can find a team you are excited to play with. You got to be ready to put the work in to become a contender. The game is so different in competitive that you have to have a good sense of that. Start playing, find some people. Don’t take things personally. Make changes where needed and always work to improve.

Pre-Finals Interview: Vestige from Firm Handshake

Consistency is key in a 5-week amateur Heroes of the Storm series, especially when every point counts toward qualifying for the Series Finals. Firm Handshake’s consistency can easily be seen by the number of points they earned each week, securing the first place seed for the Finals. We recently reached out to their team captain Vestige to learn more about their team synergy and mentality in games. Thank you to Vestige for taking the time to answer these questions!

Be sure to catch Vestige and the rest of Firm Handshake compete in the Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series 2 Finals! The Finals are this Wednesday, August 2nd at 6 PM PDT and will be streamed on https://www.twitch.tv/heroeshype.   


 

Halorin (H): How’s it going Vestige? Congratulations on making it into the Finals for Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series 2. You guys are in first place. How’s that feel?

Vestige (V): It feels really good. We’ve worked pretty hard in order to try and do really well so far in Heroes Hype and I’m glad it’s paid off, and I’m glad it’s showing in the rankings.

 

H: One thing that I think is really cool with you team is that like I consider you guys to be the workhorses of Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series, while we haven’t been able to speak with you at the end of the night during season, you’ve shown up almost every week and you’re always in the top three of four and that’s what’s led to you guys being in first place. Just consistently ranking high each week. In that I think you guys are dark horses in a lot of ways. We haven’t had a chance to interview you. So some players or some people that watch each week might not know who you guys are. Would you like to give an introduction to those viewers that may not know who you guys are? How long you’ve been together as a team? What do you feel some of your strengths are?    

V: Yeah for sure. So, we’re team Firm Handshake. It’s not the most creative name in the world but we do love it. We’ve been a team for a couple of months now, though when I say team I mean mostly the core roster. Dsteves, Necro and I have been playing for months. Hayyoo was a more recent addition. He is our Support player. He’s an excellent player and he does a very good job and he fits in really well. We’ve also had a very recent roster change. We wound up picking up Grizz on our roster now since LexUther sadly had leave us. So essentially lots of our strength we believe falls in our team fighting. We tend to fall a little short when it comes to macro playing we’ve kind of discovered. So we’re rather happy to try and take team fights whenever we can. We usually approach games in that sense. We try to play to our strengths and we try to play to get those team fights. And it doesn’t always happen but when it does we usually get positive results. Which is good.

 

H: And from the games I’ve been able to see of you guys I’d definitely agree the team fighting tends to be one of your strongest suits. So you’ve had the core 3 person part of the roster, you said Heyo came on short time after. Grizz is now the latest addition to your team. I think there’s always an interesting period of transition when a new player joins a roster because there’s something of a set chemistry with the existing players and then there’s this new element and you want to try and bring in their ideas and they also want to try in turn to meet you guys halfway and then just become part of the team. How has Grizz fit in so far? And you guys in this short amount of time will be ready for the finals?  

V: So Grizz has fit in really nicely actually and the point you brought up about having that core groups and that kind  of relationship and chemistry already set up has I think helped get Grizz onto a similar page as us but it also really helps that Hayyoo and Grizz are actually, really, rather close. They’ve been playing with each other for a while, they know each other quite well so there is that connection that is there already for them. So it’s kind of right now just make it all blend together and it’s so far going really well. We’ll have to see how it pans out particularly in tournaments because it does add a different level of stress and also like desire in order to perform well and at the level  we want to. So we’ll have to see how well it goes but so far it’s definitely looking really solid.  

 

H: Awesome, Heroes Hype and now HHTS Series has been a long standing tradition in the amateur scene. Heroes Hype has been around since the Alpha days at the very beginning. How would it feel to come away the winners of Series 2 and what do you think that would mean for yourself as far as your Heroes career?   

V: Coming away being the winner of Series 2 would be just so huge I feel for us. I know personally that it would probably be the biggest victory in my amateur career thus far. And Heroes Hype is such an amazing tournament and it does have very good  quality of play. And it always is competitive and it always makes you work for the reward which makes it all the better. Definitely as a team it would give us the confidence boost that we need because right now the Amateur scene is rather condensed with quite a few teams that seem to be neck and neck in terms of ranking. And so if we get that confidence boost it might just be enough to boost us over the top.

 

H: So speaking of that I do think that going into Phase 2 of HGC and Open Division that the NA scene is pretty competitive as far as high quality teams. What are you guys saying to yourselves when you go against these teams to keep yourselves focused and make sure you’re playing your best game possible? 

V: It really does depend on our mentality going into the day. Usually we are very sharp and focused and so there’s not very much that needs to be said. Sometimes when we face a team like “Hold it Down” which is in the Amateur scene but has some very big names on it we take a moment to remind ourselves that hey you know, Khroen and Mcintyre are amazing players but they can make mistakes too. They can make those errors we just need to capitalize against a team of such stature. Lots of times it’s just reinforcing are already solid mental state and going the extra mile saying okay these guys we can beat them. They are beatable. They aren’t indestructible and that can really help  make sure we approach the game with the best mindset possible.

 

H: I gotta say man, I really like that response. And I already respected you guys as a team and for you to have that mindset because a lesser team will say ‘You know, this is “Hold It Down” you know their reputation and name kind of precede them so a lesser team wouldn’t go into feeling like victory was even possible. But for you guys to say like these guys are notable names but they’re still human beings we just need to find the mistakes and capitalize on them. That to me,  says the most about your potential. As a team in anything we’ve seen. That’s really cool man.

V: Thank you.

 

H: Do you have anything you’d want to say to your fans that will be cheering you on at the finals?

V: To the fans out there, first of all, thank you so much  for following us in the first place. We really do appreciate it. We really do try to perform to a certain standard whenever we’re playing in a tournament, whenever we’re being streamed especially in order to try and make sure we don’t disappoint. Definitely just a shout out to the fans, stuff might get possibly rocky with this new roster but I have faith we will continue and strive for a standard I believe we’ve set so far and that will continue to grow high and higher as well as our team.  

  

H: Cool man, those are all the questions I have for you. Like I said, you guys have been the workhorses of the season, showing up putting out a consistent effort throughout. I know Grizz is a very strong player, can only be an asset to the team. So I’m really excited to see this newest lineup from you guys and I’m sure you will show up and really put yourselves out there.  

V: Thank you.

H: Flagg might have some questions for you, I believe.

V: Oh, pleased to meet you.  

 

Flagg: Do you have a favorite memory or game since the Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series 2?

V: Hmmm, ooo, that is a very, very solid question. Give me a second to dig through the good old memory banks here. I will have to say, so. I think particularly when it comes to probably some of the, one of the best memories I have from HH in particular is I believe we were in the finals against Flame Is Lame  and we wound up pulling out this extremely solid set against them actually. Comms were on point and we seemed to make very on point calls together and we wound up playing what I thought was one of our better games and it happened to be in the finals against a team such as Flame Is Lame which is extremely strong, very solid team and we respect them very much and we love facing off against them. And it just felt really nice to walk away with that victory just like that was a very good performance and we seemed to do pretty well there. So I think that would probably be it, my best memory from Heroes Hype.

Flagg: Do you have any advice for players who want to put together an amateur Heroes of the Storm team? 

V: Yeah, I do actually. This has been said a lot, by many people in the scene. I think Dreadnaught said something similar at one point, in like a Twitlonger or something like that. But it is very, very important that if you want to make a team or break into an amateur scene or the competitive scene that you really keep on trying. I’ve been on quite a few teams. I love and respect all of my team members that I’ve had. And I’ve had some pretty heartbreaking goodbyes with them but sometimes it can be hard to take the first step to find a team. Sometimes the best thing you can do is find some people who aren’t necessarily the best, the best at the game or aren’t grandmasters but ones that share a similar drive that you do and work with them and play with them and forge bonds with them and that will eventually work you into the scene. You might not realize it at first but forming a team with people who share your drive to just improve and try to be better than you already are can really help in helping starting those original teams and then moving upward ever so slowly. I haven’t made it all the way to the top just yet but I do definitely love the roster I’m on and i do really feel like that we have a shot at finally breaking into the competitive scene. That’s pretty much the advice I have, to really work at it and find those people who think like you do because you’re certainly not alone in that aspect. There’s so many people that want to show their talent and drive and I think you can definitely find them if you look hard enough.


Be on the lookout for another interview this week from SLICEBLADE of the 101st North Umberland Fusiliers!

  

 

Pre-Finals Interview: Redian from TQ

By competing every week of the second Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series, the amateur team TQ qualified for the Series Finals with an impressive 2nd seed placing. We recently reached out to their team captain Redian to learn more about their origin and goals. The following transcript has been edited for length. Thank you to Redian for taking the time to answer these questions!

Be sure to catch Redian and the rest of TQ compete in the Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series 2 Finals! The Finals are this Wednesday, August 2nd at 6 PM PDT and will be streamed on https://www.twitch.tv/heroeshype.   

 

Could you introduce yourself as well as your team? Basically, who are you and how did you form?

I’m Redian, the captain of TQ, and that’s just the name of our team. People have asked us if it stands for anything but it doesn’t. We got the 5-man roster together maybe, 3 months ago? 4 months ago. It started with me trying to join a couple of amateur teams that were forming because people were really excited about the changes that were coming to the Open Division and everybody wanted to jump in. I tried to join a bunch of teams and it didn’t work out, but through that I met my first teammate who was really on board with the idea: Renray who plays Support. Previously he had played World of Warcraft and was part of a top-level raiding guild. Shortly afterwards his friend Waddle who is really our true flex on the team, he signed up because they were both looking for the same thing that I was. A team that could get together and try to make it into the Open Division and just get some games in on the competitive scene in general.

At that point we just really wanted to play the game with a group of 5, people who liked the game and weren’t super salty. We realized of course we needed two more members, and I kept searching the forums. I searched the Battle.net forums, I searched numerous discords, I sent over 27 messages. Out of those 27 messages I got 6 responses. Out of those 6 responses, 3 people expressed actual interest in showing up. Out of those 3, only 1 did show up, and they shortly departed afterwards.

So we had to readjust our strategy. I went into Hero League and just started grinding games looking for anyone who A) had a baseline mechanical skill level and B) didn’t seem to get tilted. That’s where I met Fatal, our ranged DPS. The conversation was literally, “Hey, you seem like a good player. Want to join our team?” and he was like “Sure!”. Our last player Woven, who’s pretty much our Melee Flex, I messaged him through Battle.net. He posted in one of the amateur looking for team chats so I messaged him and he expressed interest in showing up. We got him in pretty quickly because he was pretty much exactly what we were looking for.

All of that took place over the span of several months. This didn’t happen in a day or a week, it was stretched out over a month. As far as our 5-man roster we’re not that old at all, but that’s the origin story of TQ.

 

I didn’t realize how long of a process that could be! That actually leads into my next question: do you have any advice for players who want to put together a competitive amateur team?

For other players looking to get into the scene through the Open Division or other tournaments like Heroes Hype, obviously you need 4 other players who can work together. What I quickly learned was that trying to find players based solely on Hotslogs MMR or ranking in Hero League or Team League is completely ineffective. Looking at somebody’s MMR is not the truest indicator of skill, you’ll need to sit down and play with them to understand where they are truly at. Find people who enjoy Heroes of the Storm and get people who are interested in playing as a group. Improving as a group. Then you can slowly inch your way to the competitive level.

I understand that some people are really stuck on the idea of “I need a team with all Grandmasters” and they must have had previous tournament experience and all of these other requirements. But more often than not, those are the teams that don’t last very long. Not because they aren’t good at the game, but because there’s no real synergy. They all like playing the game individually from that standpoint but they don’t really understand what it means to be on a team.

So ignore the MMR side of things, find players that enjoy the game and want to play it competitively. There’s a huge, huge difference between soloing in Hero League, the skill level and skillset required for that, and playing the game competitively as a 5-man, in comms, against another team that’s a 5-man, in comms. So that’s my spiel on that.

 

Could you describe that synergy for your team?

So we have another member of our team who’s kind of like our coach/analyst type of guy. Manager of sorts, Romedy. I got in contact with him when I had my first competitive HotS experience and we pretty much became friends. We followed each other around. Anyway, he’s our analyst and he did a really fantastic job of setting out how to achieve “cohesion”, is the word he would use. He’s very, very intelligent and that’s a massive understatement.  

Before I said “synergy” is like the buzz-word, what you hear the most if you watch SolidJake or JHow, or really anybody. Any caster, any major voice in the scene, they’ll talk about the synergy between the players. They’ll talk about the synergy between the Medivh and the Illidan, or whatever the case is.

We kind of threw synergy to the wayside because it didn’t communicate enough of what we wanted. So we settled on this idea of cohesion. Without trying to tell his story, Romedy is a Psych major and he’s working on his Doctorate if I’m not mistaken. He’s particularly interested in team psychology so the perspective he was able to provide was pretty invaluable. So we set forth, we came up with a number of elements that we wanted to keep within the team. I’ll just read verbatim what we have in our Discord:

“Couple of opening thoughts: psych and group therapy suggest that all groups of five to fifteen members requires the same four foundational elements: consistency, support, trust, and cohesion.”

Consistency is pretty much what it sounds like. If you have a schedule, adhering to that schedule. Showing up at the same time however many days that you decide to show up for and just continuing with that process and that pattern.  

Support is if somebody asks for help within the team environment make sure they can get that help and that you are not ridiculing them. That’s where the non-tilting, non-salty requirement that we had for the team came into play. Because if you are going to lose your cool, lose your temper, and you end up insulting or criticizing way more than edifying your teammates then that becomes an issue.

The third part, trust comes when are playing the game together. So for example, I play Warrior. I guess I didn’t say that before, I’m the main Warrior the main Tank for my team, I’m the main combat shotcaller for sure. I can’t be omniscient, I don’t think anybody can. When you are playing the front-line, let’s say I’m on E.T.C. and I call a Li-Ming who happened to teleport forward and attempt to get a reset and now she’s out of position. When I Powerslide in as E.T.C. that’s it, that’s your lifeline. So once you are in as E.T.C. you are in.  Trust is being able to call that target, Powerslide in and trust that your team is going to do everything they can within their role to facilitate pulling off a victory in that situation.

The last part, cohesion is a little more technical, but it’s the intragroup dynamics. The challenge with that is trying to make sure that all 6 members are able to communicate and mesh in a way that we can build on our strengths and minimize our weaknesses and moving forward as a group.

Being comfortable with each other is a big thing that perhaps isn’t talked about. Realize that if you have a goal, whether it’s for Heroes Hype or the Open Division you are going to be playing with that roster, that team for a very long amount of time. I think I spend the same amount of time with my team as I spend with members of my family. There’s a significant investment of time and resources as well as emotional energy that comes into that. Building up that cohesion and making sure there is some sort of baseline comfort around each other and we can communicate in a way that isn’t going to have people walking on eggshells or feel awkward.

That’s how we decided to construct the team, and we’ve been working on it. This wasn’t an overnight thing. Like I said it’s been months in the works. Every now and then we have to go back and re-evaluate. So that’s why I say it goes beyond the blanket term, the ambiguous term “synergy”. To keep a team together you’ve got to go a little bit deeper than that.

 

One of those pillars is something I’d like to talk about next. You are a team that has competed in every tournament for the Heroes Hype Tempo Storm Series 2. With that kind of consistency, what would a victory here in the Finals mean to you and your team?

We have never really measured success in terms of how far we made it in the bracket. We acknowledge any progress that’s made because we did improve over time. The first two tournaments we didn’t make it very far. We showed up and then we got bodied. We look at every game and try to assess what we did right and what we did wrong. The end goal is not to win the scrims or win the tournament, it’s to be a better team than we were before.

So a victory for us would more than likely constitute going up against a challenging team, and I think anybody in that bracket, by virtue of making it to the Finals is going to be a challenging team for us to face. Our team’s thought process is to always view ourselves as a challenger and we are never going to underestimate our opponents ever. A victory for us would simply be to play well. Even if we get 2-0’d by an opponent. If we played well and we can learn something from assessing that replay, then that’s a victory for us.

Don’t get me wrong, winning Heroes Hype would be phenomenal! I would be very, very excited and my team would be super excited. But we have to temper that excitement with knowing that this is just a milestone toward the ultimate goal of continuing on to the Open Division and making it to the Playoffs. Get into the top 2 and contend for the Crucible. That is the dream. The goal. The victory. Everything else along the way are just instances we can use to help get us there.

 

I have one last question, do you have anything that you may want to say to your fans?

Oh man, I’m sorry I wasn’t aware of your existence! If we do have fans that would be incredibly humbling. Perhaps to the few that do exist and may exist in the future, thank you for your support. Even if it’s just you are lurking and silently pulling for us to win in a tournament, we appreciate that. Even somebody saying “Man, TQ played well” in the chat, those sort of things go a long way because we are not used to hearing that at all.  

To the fans, we are definitely going to keep working super, super, super hard. If there’s one thing I can pride our team in, it’s that we work hard. So your trust in us may not be rewarded immediately, but stick with us down the line.  We will become a force to be reckoned with.         


Be on the lookout for additional interviews this week from SLICEBLADE of the 101st North Umberland Fusiliers as well as Vestige from Firm Handshake!