Sleeping Giant: Will North America Realize Its Potential?
After trailing behind Europe and Korea for the better half of the last two years, North America finally is poised to make an impact at the HGC Finals at BlizzCon. All three teams are currently boot-camping in preparation. For these rosters, there will be no jetlag, no unfamiliar cuisine, no excuses. North America has the ideal conditions to make a run at BlizzCon.
First seed from North America, Roll20 had a rough group draw and will be playing Team Dignitas, Tempest, and RED Canids to get out of Group C. They have fared better than the rest of the North American teams internationally, though, taking Battlegrounds off of MVP Black and Team Dignitas this year. Yet like Team Dignitas, Roll20 also failed to qualify for the most recent Western Clash.
Kyle 'Prismaticism' Belaiche and Mike ‘Glaurung’ Fisk are currently joined by the rest of Roll20 esports at the Downtown Grand Hotel in Las Vegas where they are boot-camping. Roll20 have some tried-and-true strategies that they have surprised teams with in the past. But they will likely need to develop something new in terms of draft if they want to make it out of groups, such as utilizing the newest support hero on the tournament realm, Ana Amari.
After their first taste of offline play at the most recent Western Clash in Kiev, Team Freedom are headed to the HGC Finals to show off what they’ve learned over the past year. In Kiev, Team Freedom did fairly well, defeating Nomia 2-1 before taking Team Liquid to a fifth map.
Team Freedom are currently boot-camping at Esports Arena in Santa Ana, California, ahead of their appearance at Opening Week. Group B compliments Freedom, and they are favored to make it out of groups over ANZ’s Dark Sided and China’s Beyond the Game. They will also have an opportunity to prove themselves against Fnatic before the playoffs begin.
Tempo Storm have one of the more interesting paths to the playoff bracket in Anaheim. During Opening Week, they will need to play against MVP Black, CE, and Deadlykittens. They are favored to defeat Deadlykittens and lose to MVP Black—but it’s the match against CE, only the second match of the tournament, that is shaping up to be one of the most interesting we will see.
Tempo Storm have returned to the Red Bull facility in Los Angeles after their successful boot camp there ahead of the HGC Playoffs. Tempo have struggled over the course of the past year at international events but will be looking to reverse the trend in Anaheim, assuming they can move past CE on Oct. 26.
Next up: A report on the teams from China. Keep it tuned to playheroes.com/esports for all the action.