Teams Prepare to Defend Their HGC Spots in the Crucible
Are you ready for some best-of-seven? The Crucible is just around the corner, with the best teams from the Open Division giving it their all against the teams at the bottom of the HGC standings. Loaded with emotions, you do not want to miss these marquee matches ahead of the 2018 season.
Diamond Skin vs. Polska Pamieta—Saturday, October 7, 9:00 a.m. PDT / 6:00 p.m. CEST
Diamond Skin (formerly known as the Playing Ducks) are favored to maintain their spot in the European Crucible. While they’ve had poor performances in Phase 2, they unexpectedly upset Fnatic and have taken Battlegrounds off Team Dignitas, Team expert, and Team Liquid over the course of the past year. While this team has a high, if elusive, skill ceiling, Diamond Skin could not catch a break in Phase 2 and ended the year in seventh place.
Their spot among the best teams in the region is being challenged now by Polska Pamieta, the runners-up in the European Open Division Playoffs. "Our start in Phase 2 was really lackluster and it got into people's heads,” said Christoph ‘Cris’ Gowitzke. “I think we definitely lost some of our confidence early on. That being said, we are feeling better going into the Crucible after some promising results over the past few weeks."
Lag Force vs. Imported Support—Saturday, October 7, 12:00 p.m. PDT / 9:00 p.m. CEST
In a strange twist of fate, we have a rematch from the Phase 1 Crucible between Lag Force and Imported Support thanks to HeroesHearth's choice to play Even in Death. Lag Force (formerly Naventic) have had a rough go of it this year, and they've found themselves defending their spot in the HGC yet again. Admittedly, they’ve shown more life in Phase 2 than they did in Phase 1. In the Phase 1 Crucible, Lag Force saved their hide with a 4-2 win.
Imported Support have placed well in the Open Division and have evolved in the last year and a half from a rookie roster to the formidable opponents they are now in North America. Between Imported Support and Lag Force, it’s difficult at the moment to know which team is playing the role of gatekeeper. One thing is for certain, Imported Support will be hungry for revenge.
Team Good Guys vs. Leftovers—Sunday, October 8, 9:00 a.m. PDT / 6:00 p.m. CEST
The Leftovers have been the hottest team in the European HGC, winning a number of Open Division cups before conquering the Open Division Playoffs, only dropping one Battleground along the way. While the Leftovers roster has posted impressive results, these are relatively unknown players with the exception of Mark ‘Linked’ Sepec, who has attended a number of LAN events including 2016’s IEM Katowice, DreamHack Tours 2016, and Gamescom 2016. He is joined by Arkadiusz ‘Bl3kitny’ Czarnecki who has competed in Heroes for some time and attended the ESL Leicester regional LAN in 2016.
Between Kai ‘Antihero’ Oset, Arturs ‘bkbgrnrjefek’ Hlibovx, and Tobias ‘RaiDbawZ’ Podeszwa, Team Good Guys have a strong core roster. These three players have competed with various teams at LAN events since Heroes esports was in early beta. Forgeting all of that for a moment, Team Good Guys have spent the last ten weeks playing against the best teams in Europe, a region that is regarded at the moment as the strongest in the world. While this is considered the closer of the two Crucible matches in Europe, the Leftovers have their work cut out for them. Expect these two teams to trade a handful of maps before a winner is crowned on Sunday.
Even in Death vs. HeroesHearth—Sunday, October 8, 12:00 p.m. PDT / 9:00 p.m. CEST
Possibly the biggest barn-burner of the weekend, Even in Death will have to put on the show of their lives to stop the seemingly unstoppable HeroesHearth, who have been unfaltering in their rampage through the Open Division in Phase 2.
Even in Death has gone 8-40 in terms of Battleground wins in the North American HGC. Veteran players Marty ‘Batterry’ Nivinski, Damian ‘FrozenX’ Nagel, and Hao ‘HaoNguyen’ Nguyen must dig deep to reverse the trend against HeroesHearth, who are now the most favored team from the Open Division to make it into the HGC.
All the action from the Crucible will be live this weekend right here at playheroes.com/esports. Make sure you check back next week as we review what we’ve learned from the Crucible and begin our look-ahead coverage of the HGC Finals at BlizzCon.