HGC Welcomes Three New Teams
After six bloody best-of-seven matches, six teams stand tall with the rights to spots alongside the best Heroes of the Storm teams in their respective regions. The action unfolded this past weekend in Europe, North America, and Korea, with most of the HGC teams managing to hold their ground. That is not to say, however, that there were no casualties.
Survival of the fittest
There will be some new faces in Phase 2 of the HGC. In Europe, Synergy lost a hard fought series against Team Zealot 4-1. Synergy prioritized rotations, utilizing Dehaka, Falstad, Zagara, and Abathur to soak experience. Zealot drafted less unique compositions—other than a surprise Cho’gall pick in game two—and displayed exemplary team fight mechanics, keeping themselves on par with Synergy’s experience gain. The only Battleground Team Zealot lost was due to an unexpected Vikings pick on Sky Temple by Synergy. We welcome Team Zealot to the HGC with open arms.
Even after a turnaround in the latter half of Phase 1, beGenius was no match for the winners of the Open Division Playoffs: Team Good Guys (TGG). Showing pure coordination, TGG defeated beGenius 4-0 to claim their spot in the HGC. TGG’s drafts varied slightly from expectations, opting to prioritize the likes of Stiches and Kael’thas above some of the more typical Warriors and mages. On Cursed Hollow, TGG ran Illidan and Abathur together—a classic combination to boost the Betrayer’s attack speed and damage output.
No Changes to Korea, B-Step is no more
Try as they might, no Open Division teams could break into the HGC in North America or Korea—but there were some close calls! In North America, Imported Support took Naventic to a sixth Battleground, but Naventic’s in-your-face playstyle thwarted these challengers in the end. When it came to No Tomorrow fending off Even in Death, it was a similar story.
Outside of the Crucible, B-Step decided to dissolve their team, thus forfeiting their spot in the HGC. Replacing them will be the Open Division Playoff Champions, Even in Death. They will take up arms with the rest of the HGC teams in Phase 2.
|Joining HGC||Leaving HGC|
|EU: Team Good Guys||EU: Synergy|
|EU: Team Zealot||EU: beGenius|
|NA: Even in Death||NA: B-Step|
In Korea, Team BlossoM went 4-0 over team RRR, and Raven edged out the likes of Cluster Unbalanced 4-1. The Korean draft meta for the Korean Crucible matches closely resembled what we saw in the west with a few variations featuring Diablo, Li-Ming, and Sgt. Hammer.
Out of the 29 Battlegrounds played in the Crucible, Genji saw play in 16. The hybrid assassin has been right at home in high level play, and is especially popular with the Korean teams. Despite that, he currently has only a 37% win rate in Korean HGC play.
We now look ahead to the Mid-Season Brawl. Keep it tuned to playheroes.com/esports in the coming days as we reflect on Phase 1 of HGC’s inaugural year.