Take a Chance: China Prepares for HGC Finals—and Beyond
The past two years have been a rollercoaster ride for pro Heroes teams from China, at least in the eyes of Western fandom. After YL and Brave Heart faded from glory in 2015, eStar rose up as a dominant force. We witnessed the rise (and fall) of team EDG in spring 2016, while here in 2017 the top talent in China ahead of the HGC Finals plays for Super Perfect Team and CE.
Chinese competitors often have issues securing visas from foreign governments, forcing teams to scramble for players and re-organize themselves around unforeseen travel restrictions. An unintended outcome of this is that China often develops an incredibly unique and incubated understanding of the current competitive trends, which makes teams from that region exciting to watch, especially when tasked with taking down the best teams from Europe, Korea, and North America. While some players on SPT, BTG and CE encountered difficulty securing visas, it's thrilling to welcome new faces to BlizzCon and HGC fans should look forward to seeing them compete against the rest of the field.
Beyond the HGC Finals, many of these players will compete at the Gold Club World Championship in Beijing this December. For now, all eyes are on the HGC China teams as they join the 13 other challengers in the HGC Finals in preparing for the pressure of Opening Week and BlizzCon in Anaheim.
Below are China’s full rosters, along with a synopsis of their journeys to the HGC Finals:
Super Perfect Team
- Qian 'Qianxiao' Li
- Lizhong 'Misaka' Zhou
- Jinlong 'soAp' Qu
- Zhan 'sa' Fang
- Xiangzhi 'MelodyC' Zhen
Super Perfect Team will only be missing Zhang ‘zZH’ Zhihao at the HGC Finals. In his place will be Fang ‘sa’ Zhan from RPG. While his team is currently tied for sixth in the standings, sa is an extremely talented support player who is best known for his time on Brave Heart in 2015. With a strong core, and a fifth player replacement coming from elsewhere in the HGC, SPT will challenge Team expert, L5, and Soul Torturers in Group D.
SPT went 23-5 in HGC China, proving twice now that they are the strongest team in the region over CE. At the first Eastern Clash, SPT fell to MVP Black in the opening round, defeating Taiwan’s Team Face Check in the lower bracket, before being eliminated by Tempest. At the second Eastern Clash, SPT did not fare as well, losing to Team Face Check and Soul Torturers before heading home. SPT have competed with a different roster at every event this year, so it is difficult to gauge where they sit amongst the rest of the Eastern teams.
- Jing 'Allooffool' Gu
- Junfeng 'Wind' Gu
- Chengwei 'Paradise' Wu
- Jiawei 'Kty' Zhang
- Jin 'Loktar' Yang
CE also has a nearly complete roster, with only xuyu missing from this elite group of Chinese players. In his place will be another member of RPG: loktar. Loktar will have big shoes to fill as an Assassin player, as xuyu was critical in helping CE achieve fourth place at the most recent Eastern Clash.
CE came in second to SPT in regular-season play, but placed ahead of them at the most recent Eastern Clash, narrowly losing to Tempest in the opening round (2-1) before falling to the lower bracket where they bested Deadlykittens (2-1) and Team Face Check (3-1) before getting knocked out by MVP Black (3-1). The fact that this team is able to take battlegrounds off the best Korean teams makes them an automatic threat at the HGC Finals.
Beyond the Game
- Shenyang 'st' Ye
- Huajian 'Ego' Zhang
- Zhuqi 'infinity' Dong
- Yiyang 'Moli' Gao
- Haiyu '365' Ling
The team most impacted by visa problems, BTG will be playing with only two original members, Warrior player Ego and Assassin player St. Filling in will be RPG’s infinifty, SoA’s moli, and Hots Lady’s 365. This mixed team will face Team Freedom, Fnatic, and Dark Sided in the opening round. With nothing to lose, these players will likely pull out all the stops to score an upset win during Opening Week.
Check back in later this week and next as we dive into the first-round matchups, power rankings, and unveil the captain’s scouting report for the HGC Finals.