A Fight in Australia/New Zealand for the Western Clash

Blizzard Entertainment
February 15, 2017

Alongside all the action unfolding across HGC North America, HGC Europe, and HGC Korea, two of HGC’s other regions have also been involved in some intense competition to determine who among them will make it to the upcoming Western Clash in March. Read on for a quick breakdown of how things are shaping up for the Australia and New Zealand region, and how things played out in the Copa América 2017 Opening Pre-Season Championship in Latin America. 

The Last Ticket to Poland

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The Australia/New Zealand team in the Western Clash will have certainly earned it.

This portion of the HGC is broken up into four different “seasons” throughout 2017, up from three in 2016. Each season comes with a $20,000 prize pool and leads to a major HGC global event, with the winners of the current season earning the right to represent ANZ at said global event. 

This first and current season comes to a close on Saturday, February 18, and will determine who heads to the Western Clash on March 3. The format for the ANZ HGC season is double elimination with a best-of-3 upper and lower bracket, except for the grand finals, which are best-of-5. 

Kicking off the HGC season in Australia and New Zealand were the Gamestah Summer Qualifiers, which began January 15 and ran until February 7. These qualifiers served as the first point of entry to the final four bracket. Each participating team went through four rounds of competition a week for four weeks in a non-eliminating Swiss bracket, which awarded points to teams for successful victories. At the end of the 4 weeks of competition culminating on February 7, Nomia emerged as the Gamestah Supreme Champion, while Sweet Dreams took second place.

The two teams to make it into the February 18 finals from the second ANZ Heroes qualifier were Sassu and Plantronics Nv
Taken together, the two championships leave us with four remaining contenders for a spot at the HGC Western Clash: Sweet Dreams, Nomia, Sassu, and Plantronics.  

New Faces from South America

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Copa América, the Latin American region’s HGC qualifier series, began on January 31, 2017 with the Opening Pre-Season Championship. Latin America was divided into two sub-regions for the 2017 season: Copa América Norte and Copa América Sul. Eight teams participated in the tournament for a prize pool of $5,000 and a chance for one of the top two teams to attend the Western Clash in March. 

The group stage divided the teams into two groups of four, with each group playing in a dual tournament format. All the matches were best-of-3, and the top two teams from each group advanced to the playoffs, which were a single elimination bracket. 

The grand finals for the HGC Copa América 2017 Opening Pre-Season Championship came down to a face-off between Infamous Gaming and pontaL this past Sunday, February 12. After a close back-and-forth over the course of five games, Infamous emerged the victors following a boss call on the part of pontaL that lead to disaster and the latter team’s swift defeat. 

Interestingly enough, 2017’s Pre-Season marks the first time Rodrigo "Vieira" Lopes, pontaL’s support player, did not win a Copa América Grand Final. In 2016, he was a member of the Copa América winning team Burning Rage, that ultimately fell to Denial eSports in the 2016 HGC Fall Global Championship. 

You can watch the Grand Finals matches and more at the Blizzard Esports Latin America Twitch channel.