Once again ladies and gentlemen it is time for a Heroes of the Storm Regional Tournament. Just like the previous regional, I wanted to give a quick preview to our readers about the North American Heroes of the Storm scene. We saw Team Naventic qualify during the first regional at Dreamhack Austin last month. After dropping to the lower bracket, they were able come back and defeat Cloud 9 in the finals. They are the first North American team to punch their ticket for a trip to the Summer Championship at Dreamhack in Sweden later this month. The Summer Championship includes teams from 8 different regions competing for a half million dollar prize pool. Luckily for the other Heroes of the Storm teams in North America they will have one more chance to qualify this weekend to also take their place in Sweden and have a chance at the prize.
This Summer Regional 2 takes place in the ESL Studios in Burbank, CA, and fields 8 teams that won the right to be there from 4 earlier qualifiers. This tournament has its own $100k prize pool, so of course Team Naventic was sure to qualify and attempt to duplicate their winning ways against an arguably tougher field than they saw just last month. If they do pull out the win, it sets up an interesting tie breaking scenario. If Cloud 9 gets second again, they would automatically get the berth, but if any other team grabs it then they will face Cloud 9 in a separate playoff, since both teams would have come in second during the regionals,with the winner advancing to Sweden.
If there was ever a tournament to have upsets and status quo shaking moments, this would be it. It took until the 4th qualifier for both Cloud 9 and Tempo Storm to earn theirs spots for this event. That would have been unheard of a few months ago, since every tournament in 2015 was dominated by one of these two teams. Both have had some recent roster changes. Cloud 9 was able to entice Ben “Cattlepillar” Bunk away from the Brain Power (formerly Team Cognitive) roster after dropping Taylor “Arthelon” Eder for performance/attitude reasons. The move seemed to come as a surprise, but somewhat understandable move as Cattlepillar will now be on a roster with a steady sponsor and support, where as his former team Brain Power just parted ways with theirs. Tempo Storm also sees a small shift in roster as their support player Brian “Zixz” Skarda takes over the warrior role and they bring in Ed “TigerJK” Hong to fill the support vacancy. It is just one in a seemingly long line of roster changes that Tempo Storm has had since their Blizzcon run last year, with only one remaining player from that tournament still on the team. While still talented, it seems like they are in a much tougher spot to return to their former glory; however, there is always a chance they could surprise a few teams.
With Brain Power losing their warrior player and parting with their sponsor, it will be interesting to see which team shows up: the one that punched their ticket by winning alongside Naventic in the very first qualifier, or the one that has consistently placed 3rd or 4th in many of the Heroes of the Storm tournaments this year. Other than the recent change to their warrior position (bringing in Quinn “Srey” Fischer, formerly of Tempo Storm, as a last minute replacement), this team’s core group has been together for quite some time and can certainly bring some big plays and interesting comps to the fight. They are usually one of the more flashy teams to watch, and having their first round match-up against Cloud 9 brings an extra level of excitement as they square off against their former teammate.
Rounding out the lineup are four up-and-coming teams: Gale Force eSports, Panda Global, Team Name Change, and Astral Authority. They may not be household names like some of the others quite yet, but each has a very good chance to prove otherwise. Gale Force eSports and Panda Global both advanced from the second qualifier and defeated other teams in this regional to get here. Their roster includes longtime players and veterans, and if either makes a deep run into this tournament I don’t think many would be surprised. While Team Name Change (formerly THC) and Astral Authority took until the 3rd qualifier to advance to this regional, they both won the right by beating Cloud 9 and Tempo Storm, respectively. They both put together some deep strategy comps, and are improving their teamwork and technical skills every tournament. Personally, I will be overjoyed if Astral Authority pulls out a Butcher/Tyrael comp like they did to pull out the win over Tempo.
Even though these are the same teams that were in the DreamHack regional last month, there seems to be much more parity between all of them not named Naventic. The qualifiers were hard fought and had some great games. We will see if Cloud 9 is still the “king” of the LAN tournament, and whether not qualifying until the very last one was a fluke. Maybe one of the other teams can knock them off, once and for all. This has been the most excited I have been for a regional, and can’t wait to get into the games. All the info is below, and was provided by the Blizzard community manager on Reddit.
The North America Summer Regional 2 – Los Angeles is this weekend, June 3, 4 and 5. Follow the tournament as eight North American teams clash for a $100k prize pool and a slot at the Summer Championship in Sweden!
Main Stream: Twitch.tv/esl_heroes
Community Stream: Twitch.tv/gillyweedsc2
Date: June 3 – June 5
June 3: 10:00 a.m. PDT / 1:00 p.m. ET
June 4: 10:00 a.m. PDT / 1:00 p.m. ET
June 5: 10:00 a.m. PDT / 1:00 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
- Josh “Jhow” Howard
- James “Kaelaris” Carrol
- Team Naventic vs Tempo Storm
- Panda Global vs Astral Authority
- Brain Power vs Cloud9
- Gale Force Esports vs Team Name Change
For a limited time, get 15% off HoTS merchandise in the Blizzard Gear store! Use the code: HGC2016NA2 at checkout on the Gear Store. This offer will last throughout June 3 – June 10 to celebrate the North America Summer Regional.