In the aftermath of the mighty North American Rosterpocalyspe which occurred after the Summer Championship at Dreamhack Sweden, we will finally see if these roster changes are worth it at this Fall Regional. Even the top NA teams weren’t immune as both representatives from Sweden had some changes. Naventic released Stafford “McIntyre” McIntyre and added Thomas “Tomster” Maguire who will play the ranged Flex role moving Fan “Fan” Yang into his more dominating Melee Assassin role. Gale Force eSports were unhappy with their Warrior Manny “Fury” Medina and swapped for Josh “bkid” Choi. Both McIntyre and Fury qualified for this regional as well with other teams (GulDansGame & Murloc Geniuses respectively) but are in the opposite group from their former team and would have to advance to the playoffs for a chance at redemption.
Both Naventic and Gale Force eSports were awarded a spot in this regional based solely on the past performance of reaching Sweden. It has been a few months since we have seen them in any competitive action let alone with their new rosters. In that time other teams have been moving and shaking trying to get a stable roster in time for the qualifiers and to compete here at ESL in Burbank.
The most notable team to emerge could be Denial eSports starring former Blizzcon World Champions Keiwan “k1pro” Itakura and John “KingCaffeine” Lopez formerly of Cloud9 and adding perennial star Mike “Glaurung” Fisk. With a solid performance in the first qualifier some are even placing Denial as one of the favorites to win the regional and be the first NA team for this years Blizzcon. With a relatively small body of work to view from and not having to pass through either of the top teams to qualify this may be a slightly premature prediction.
My personal favorite (yes I can be biased and I love an underdog with a solid chance) is certainly GulDansGame. Their roster consists on players that have always been on the cusp of greatness. All of these players have shown the propensity for making the big plays and just need to tighten everything up. With the addition of the aforementioned McIntyre to the playmaking potential of Kayla “Faye” Murray and Jeffrey “iakona” Dolan and the aggressive decision making of Quinn “Srey” Fischer, this may be their best opportunity to finally qualify for a seasonal championship. They will have to contend with Gale Force eSports and surprising up and coming team Vox Nihili who they play in their very first game.
Rounding out the rest of the teams are the winners of the 2nd and 3rd qualifiers. They may not have technically hit prime-time yet, but their is certainly a possibility for a few upsets. Vox Nihili and Murloc Geniuses both have veteran rosters with solid players. After their performances in the 2nd qualifier each could make a splash but are relatively untested against the big name teams.
The true dark horses are of course the last ones to make it into the tournament. Team Name Change has been around for awhile now but like the rest of NA had some roster swaps and are once again looking to play spoiler. Astral Authority enters the Regional with a possible asterisk after being disqualified and then having the decision overturned by ESL a few days later hours before a makeup game was scheduled. The Heroes of the Storm subreddit can provide all the details for those interested.
Personally I am looking forward to a great weekend of games and seeing how the team changes have affected each. The winner of course gets to go to the Fall Global Championship at Blizzcon for a chance to win $500,000 plus the 1st regional winner gets what is essentially a first round bye and won’t have to play the first couple days at Blizzcon. Also the top two teams from this regional will get automatically qualified for the 2nd Fall NA regional at PAX next month.
Date: August 5 – August 7
August 5: 10:00 a.m. PDT / 1:00 p.m. ET
August 6: 10:00 a.m. PDT / 1:00 p.m. ET
August 7: 10:00 a.m. PDT / 1:00 p.m. ET
- $100,000 prize pool.
- One team will qualify for the Heroes of the Storm BlizzCon Championship
- Top two teams from the event will be invited to the NA Fall Regional #2 at PAX
Prize Breakdown: $100,000
- 1st – $25,000
- 2nd – $20,000
- 3rd-4th – $15,000
- 5th-6th – $7,500
- 7th-8th – $5,000
Casters & Talent:
- Jake “SolidJakeGG” Kulinski
- Jaycie “Gillyweed” Gluck
- Wade “Dreadnaught” Penfold
- Josh “Jhow” Howard
- Derek “Dunktrain” Arabian
- James “Kaelaris” Carrol
- TJ “Azumoh” Sanders
- Team Naventic vs Astral Authority
- Denial Esports vs Murloc Geniuses
- Gale Force Esports vs Team Name Change
- GulDansGame vs Vox Nihili