2017 Rewind: Memories from the Tournament Realm

Dylan Walker, Blizzard Entertainment | December 21, 2017

With the 2018 season on the horizon it’s prime time to reflect on the competition that’s unfolded over the past year.


Cybernetic Ninjas and Firelords

While all fifteen Heroes released in the past year have had an impact on the competitive meta, two heroes specifically turned the tides of the draft completely.

First came Ragnaros, who was seen in nearly every draft when the HGC kicked off in January. The Fire Lord received high prioritization thanks to his playmaking potential and the new level of anti-siege that Molten Core provides.

Teams eventually learned how to play around Ragnaros, but only after a few weeks of explosive team wipes that came off the back of a well-timed Sulfuras Smash.  

Genji would be the second Hero that has had a significant impact on the meta, rising to the rank of first pick for much of Phase 2 and playing an integral part of team compositions in the LAN environment specifically. Without input lag, a professional player can single-handedly dismantle an entire enemy team.

More recently the Cybernetic Ninja played a pivotal role in Ballistix victory over Fnatic in the group stage of the Gold Club World Championship. The Hero has been incredibly popular in the Korean region in particular, after debuting with a 100% rate of draft involvement in the first week despite posting dismal results early on.


The Moshpits Heard Around the World

Of course, no end of the year round up would be complete without a few savory moshpits. Thankfully over the course of the season we’ve had plenty of impressive ones. In fact, our very first weekend featured what would be the first of many five-man dance parties.

A value moshpit can change the course of an entire game and series. Even if you’re down and out, landing a mosh on multiple targets can flip the script in a matter of seconds.

For more examples of how a Mosh can alter the future, look no further than the first Western Clash when Roll20’s Justin ‘Justing’ Gapp took Tempo Storm for a ride on his Tour Bus.

Justing has seemingly perfected the art of making his opponents dance. The internet is chock full of highlight clips featuring the warrior player rocking out.


The Mid-Season Shocker

In a time when Korean’s were seemingly dominating every international event, the hopes and prayers of the western world rested on the shoulders of Fnatic and Team Dignitas. These two European goliaths made waves this year after meeting in the grand finals of the first Western Clash and again at the Mid-Season Brawl.

Team Dignitas had the tougher road to the finals at the Mid-Season Brawl, beating out both Korean teams in attendance; showing that they can go toe to toe with the best teams in the world when the occasion calls for it. While Team Dignitas fell off a bit in terms of results in Phase 2, the 2017 version of the roster left us with countless memories; including their infamous Stitches shenanigans at IEM Katowice.

While Team Dignitas won the first Western Clash, Fnatic would go onto win the Mid-Season Brawl. Between these events and the Eastern Clashes it was safe to say that Ballistix, KSV Black, Fnatic, and Team Dignitas were the favorites headed into the HGC Finals at the end of the year.


KSV Reclaim the Throne

So, what happened in the final chapter of the story for 2017? The old gods returned. MVP Black were the only team remaining at the conclusion of the HGC Finals bracket, dropping only a single battleground along the way.

KSV Black have been a pleasure to watch all year. In Phase 1 they managed to down L5 (now Ballistix) in the grand finals of the Eastern Clash. In Phase 2 they went undefeated, going 14-0 before their BlizzCon win.

This group of players are simply terrifying when given the opportunity to play Heroes they are comfortable on. It’s unfortunate for the rest of the world because, well, they seem pretty comfortable on all of them.


Caster Appreciation

We would like to take the time to thank our casters for helping us to steer the ship this year week-in and week-out.

This group of professionals are some of our most passionate fans at the end of the day. 

They have left us with many priceless memories and have been there when we've needed them the most, which includes their gracious stalling when the inevitable tech issue arrises.

When the broadcast days grew long (as they often do in esports) they kept us sane, even if it meant losing a bit of their own sanity in the process.

As we move toward the 2018 season we also want to give thanks to you, the fans of Heroes Esports and our readers. Without you none of this would be possible. We would look to thank you for your continued support and we will see you in the Nexus next year.

We will leave you with one final clip.