#12 Luna Meow
Within their own region Luna Meow has dominated the field, taking home the grand prize at every Major and Premier event. However, that has not translated well into international results. They haven’t looked strong going up against major regions and lost to other minor regions as well. It would be a shock to most if they were to come out higher than 5th in their group.
I place them here for two reasons. First, they finished higher than Luna Meow at the Mid-Season Brawl (5th in group A and 6th in group B respectively). Second, they have had a league format to compete weekly similar to that of the major regions this year. That gives them a slight edge over Luna Meow for me.
China enters the rankings at tenth. China has struggled internationally since spring 2016 where they placed third and fourth at the global championships there and especially since eStar left the scene last summer. They are always a bit of a moving target however. With their signature play style and consistent issues coming in the form of visas, you never know exactly what kind of team you will be facing.
#9 Beyond the Game
As with TheOne, BTG shares the same problems. However, I think if there is a team that will make a surprise entry past the Group Stage, it will be them. They rose from fourth place in Part 1 of Phase 2 to taking the #1 seed in Part 2. I don’t expect too much from them, but I wouldn’t be too surprised either if they cause a few upsets.
#8 HeroesHearth Esports
Now some might look at this and think I am crazy. Maybe I am. However, with what has happened over the past few months I’d say I’m about right. HHE looked quite dominant over the course of the year starting in Phase 1 Part 2 in the NA HGC. They will be replacing Arthelon with Homi, an NA veteran with HGC experience. However, it’s not the player but more the time that concerns me. We saw how long it took Tempo Storm to get back into their groove and Arthelon had arguably as strong an impact on his team as psalm did for Tempo. I expect HHE to make it out of groups, but I don’t know if they’ll get much past that.
What a story the Leftovers have been through all of Phase 2. Going from a Crucible team in Phase 1 to a 2nd place finish at the Western Clash in Phase 2, and now a BlizzCon appearance. These players have proven a lot over the last several months, but they have even more to do now. They are going up against the best in the world. Will they be able to continue their streak into the Bracket Stage or will they be stopped in groups?
#6 Team Liquid
When it comes to international experience, Liquid leaves some things to be desired. The team’s last successful LAN event was the second Western Clash in Kiev in 2017, where they took third place. Outside of that they have had a disappointing finish at the Western Clash in Burbank and scattered events in 2016 and 2015. With that said, they looked incredibly solid throughout Phase 2, just missing their shot at the Western Clash in Burbank. I see them claiming a 3rd or 4th seed easily in the Group Stage.
#5 Tempo Storm
Tempo’s history has been that of greatness in North America. The core of this team has been to three straight BlizzCons including this year. Fan won BlizzCon back in 2015. ViN has become an integral part of their success since joining after the Mid-Season Brawl. But with all that said, they looked weak at the Western Clash in Burbank, falling out on the first day. I think their experience will carry them through groups, but they will be hard pressed to take down any of the top 4.
It was nothing but shock when Miracle took down Ballistix in Game 5 to qualify for BlizzCon. Some of these players are no strangers to the big stage though. Both NaCHoJin and Sniper have BlizzCon experience under their belt. However the rest of the team will be first timers at a LAN. Korea has proven to be the dominant region, but I am unsure how much the two veterans can help the rookies. I expect them to easily make it out of groups, but an early exit in the bracket stage is likely for me.
The wild card of Korea is Tempest. As said many times over, they can look like the best team in the world but can also look like a team that doesn’t belong sometimes. The group has stuck together throughout the entire year and look poised to make a BlizzCon championship run. I think if they show up, no one can stop them. But that could be a big if.
#2 Team Dignitas
The titans of EU make the return to the big stage for the 4th year in a row. This year they look stronger than ever. Since their strong finish at GCWC last December, they have rarely struggled in any sense of the word. Snitch and his team will be gunning for nothing but a top place finish. Expect to see them in the finals once again with the next team on the list.
#1 Gen.G Esports
When it comes to sports there are two things that I have learned. First, never bet against Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers when they’re down in the 4th quarter. And second, never bet against Gen.G. This roster of champions has been together for the better part of two years. Smashing everything in their way. They look near perfect and I don’t expect anything less than a Grand Finals appearance from them.
Argy is the production manager here at HeroesHype with a long history of working in the background of competitive Heroes. He spends most of his weekends watching HGC and has worked as statistician for the 2017 HGC Finals.