One of Heroes of the Storm Global Championship’s biggest annual events has returned. The Mid-Season Brawl started on June 9 and runs until June 18, this time from the Monster Energy DreamHack Studio in Stockholm, Sweden. There, 12 of the best teams from around the world have gathered to assert their regional dominance and write their names in the HGC history book.
Here’s how some of the action has unfolded thus far, as well as some words from both Gen.G and Blizzard on the Mid-Season Brawl.
A big international event calls for big talent
As with every esport, certain regions of the world tend to perform better than others for whatever reason. Heroes of the Storm is no different, though there are powerhouse rosters hailing from every major region.
John Teymoorian is the Esports Product Lead for Heroes of the Storm at Blizzard Entertainment.
“Historically, Korea and EU tend to be the strongest regions,” says Teymoorian. “We have team Gen.G [from South Korea] who is arguably the strongest team in the world. They won the HGC finals at BlizzCon last year. Then we have the first and second seed teams from EU – Fnatic and Team Dignitas. They’re very competitive and have tons of fans and always perform well at LANs, so there’s going to be a lot of really cool matchups.” Teymoorian also mentioned that Tempo Storm is one of the best teams from North America.
Last year, South Korea’s MVP/KSV Black (now Gen.G) defeated Fnatic in the HGC Grand Finals at BlizzCon. Constantly exhibiting solid fundamentals, patience, and aggression at all times and through every meta, Gen.G has once again started the 2018 season as one of the best rosters in the world. At the time of this writing, they’re 6-0 in the groups stage of the Mid-Season Brawl, and have even implemented some off-meta strategies in the early going. In their match against Tempo Storm, they used an awkward composition that revolved around Sgt. Hammer, Junkrat, and Zeratul that somehow did the trick.
— Heroes Esports (@HeroesEsports) June 10, 2018
Coach Nobless from Gen.G tells me that they want to take this opportunity to win an international tournament in 2018. “We recently came very close at the Eastern Clash, so we want to prove our skill at this event.”
Regarding the competition, Nobless says, “Without a doubt, we are keeping our eyes on Team Dignitas because they are the best team in Europe. We know foreign press is already looking forward to seeing us playing against them.”
Team Dignitas is first in their group, but they’re currently 5-3. They have an easy match against Taiwan’s Luna Meow coming up next, but Gen.G should also do just fine in their upcoming match with Australia’s Mindfreak. Right now, it’s looking like these two teams are safe bets to advance through to the finals. As we’ve already seen with Tempo Storm’s upset over Dignitas, however, you shouldn’t be sleeping on any of these rosters.
Other possible spoilers
It would be very unwise to count South Korea’s Ballistix (4-2) and Sweden/EU’s Fnatic (5-3) out of the MSB. Ballistix is the team that defeated Gen.G at the Eastern Clash, and Fnatic has fielded impressive rosters since 2016. Both of these teams are very capable of taking important wins away from Gen.G and Team Dignitas, making the upcoming bracket stage very interesting.
We’ve already discussed Tempo Storm’s potential, but another wildcard team from North America is the relatively new HeroesHearth Esports (3-3). They’re an exciting roster that shows a lot of promise, though they did go down 2-0 to Team Dignitas. If they can build some momentum, we might see some fireworks from them come bracket time.
Teymoorian did mention that they will once again be doing the Team West versus Team East All Star series this year, and that voting will take place from June 16 to June 18. Be sure to visit the Heroes of the Storm Twitch channel during MSB games at that time to vote on a variety of criteria for the All Star festivities.