Joining The Nerd Mentality and being part of its launch/redesign from the old site has afforded me an opportunity to branch out from just writing Blu-ray reviews and discuss some of the other hobbies I enjoy. Video gaming has always been a part of my childhood and adult life. Ever since we got that NES systems as kids I was hooked, like a lot of others. As a gamer in my 30’s I have certainly grown into what is considered a “casual” gamer by most and I accept that. I still certainly purchase a good number of games, but don’t always have the time to devote liked I used to, even though the desire is still there.
According to Newzoo, a games research and marketing company, their report predicts eSports revenue (already worth almost $200 million a year) is set to more than double that to approximately $465 million in the next two years. I might not be able to be a competitive gamer at my age, but it sure does fascinate me and makes me wonder how things would have been if it was as prevalent 20 years ago. Most gamers are familiar with big name eSports contests with games like Counter-Strike, League of Legends, Halo and Dota2. While I am sure those are interesting to watch, I have found one that I personally like even better. As you can tell by the title you clicked on, that would be Heroes of the Storm coming from Blizzard.
Heroes of the Storm is a MOBA (Multiplayer online battle arena) in its base form like Dota2 and League of Legends. These are games where you control one Hero type figure along with teammates and try to destroy your opponents’ core or base. There are usually defensive structures that have to be gone through first. Additionally, each team generates minions or small AI characters that players can farm for experience to help level up.
There are quite a few differences between the different MOBAs, as you might expect. Heroes of the Storm uses Blizzard characters from a large pool across their games. These include characters from such titles as Diablo, Warcraft, Starcraft, and even their new game Overwatch. Even classic games are in the mix: you can play as The Lost Vikings from their SNES days, which adds a wrinkle in that you play as three titular heroes (Erik, Baleog and Olaf) simultaneously. Another difference is that experience is shared between your team; there is no need to worry about last hits or kill-stealing (unlike certain other popular MOBAs). Instead of an item section, you get talents at levels 1,4,7,10,13,16, and 20 with level 10 being a heroic tier that gives you a 4th ability. The biggest perk that I feel makes it stand out over the other games in this genre is the variation in maps. While others have as little as only one map per mode, Heroes of the Storm has many variations of battlegrounds, all with different objectives. Obviously you can get much more info than what I have provided here from the official website or various YouTube videos, but I wanted to point out some reasons why I am choosing to cover this game over the others in the same genre.
Heroes of the Storm launched last Summer and had one big tournament with Blizzcon in the Fall. This year they have upped the stakes and included a Spring and Summer Championship as well. The Spring Championship was in South Korea and was won by the Korean home team MVP Black who took the world title moniker away from Cloud 9 (who were victorious at Blizzcon last year). The Summer Championship will be June 18-20 and will be held at DreamHack Summer in Sweden with a half million dollar prize pool and will feature 12 teams from around the world (including 2 teams from the North America region). For the first time ever, the World’s largest digital festival DreamHack is coming to North America. There will be many gaming tournaments played besides just Heroes, so if you are into eSports there is probably something for everyone. The eight teams competing this weekend were determined through three different open qualifiers. The following information given below was provided by the Blizzard Community Manager with permission to post here:
The North America Summer Regional – Dreamhack Austin is this weekend, May 6 and 7. Follow the tournament as eight North American teams clash for a $100k prize pool and a slot at the Summer Championship!
Stream A: Twitch.tv/dreamhackheroes
Stream B: Twitch.tv/khaldor
Date: May 6 – May 7
May 6: 1:00 p.m. PDT / 4:00 p.m. ET
May 7: 9:00 a.m. PDT / 12:00 p.m. ET
Prize: $100,000 prize pool. One team will qualify for the Heroes of the Storm Summer Championship.
Prize Breakdown: $100,000
- 1st – $25,000
- 2nd – $20,000
- 3rd-4th – $15,000
- 5th-6th – $7,500
- 7th-8th – $5,000
- Jake “SolidJakeGG” Kulinski
- Jaycie “Gillyweed” Gluck
- Wade “Dreadnaught” Penfold
- Jared “Zoia” Eggleston
- Josh “Jhow” Howard
- James “Kaelaris” Carrol
- Panda Global vs Team Naventic
- TNC vs Cloud9
- Tempo Storm vs Astral Authority
- COGnitive vs Gale Force
For a limited time, get 15% off HoTS merchandise in the Blizzard Gear store! Use the code: HGC2016NA1 at checkout on the Gear Store. This offer will last throughout May 6 – May 13 to celebrate the North America Summer Regional.
Heroes of the Storm is a small but passionate community that will only grow as tournaments get bigger and more numerous. I hope by writing this that those that have not heard about the game will check it out and give it a shot. I will be doing a results article for Sunday and then will also be covering the ESL tournament for the second regional to see what other team will get into the Summer Championship along with the winner from DreamHack. Please comment below if there are other eSports or gaming articles you would like to see as I know that some of the other writers are also big gamers.