What You Missed – HGC NA Week 8

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

Don’t get me wrong, having too many Heroes of the Storm pro matches to watch is not a terrible problem to have. However, I feel like there should be an easier way to get a breakdown of the highlights from the previous weekend. This is the first edition of “What You Missed”, a showcase of HGC North America. It features results, standout performances, and major events over the weekend. For those who are under a time crunch, I’ve selected one game from every series and included the VOD to give you a sense of how that series felt. Enjoy!

SpaceStation Gaming defeated Gale Force Esports 3-0

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

If you only watch one game:

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

Team Freedom defeated Superstars 3-0

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

Who to Watch:

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

If you only watch one game:

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

Tempo Storm defeated Lag Force 3-2

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

Who to Watch:

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

If you only watch one game:

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

Roll20 esports defeated Even in Death 3-1

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

If you only watch one game:

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

Team Freedom defeated Gale Force Esports 3-1

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

If you only watch one game:

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

Superstars defeated Tempo Storm 3-1

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

If you only watch one game:

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

Meta Notes

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