A New Era for HGC ANZ Commences in 2018
Heroes of the Storm Esports in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) has progressed steadily over recent years with one team dominating the ANZ scene until recently. However, Heroes esports has steadily matured to the point where many teams may now be considered top contenders for HGC glory in the region and we've cheered on ANZ teams as they've battled the best in the world. With that said, we are revising the ANZ tournament system to reflect this growth and foster a flourishing local Heroes of the Storm esports ecosystem.
Introducing HGC ANZ Premier Division
Commencing in 2018, HGC ANZ will be the premier Heroes of the Storm league comprised of the top eight teams in the region. The premier division format will be double round robin with each series being a best of three. The top four teams that have retained at least three of the five players from their 2017 Phase 2 roster will automatically qualify for HGC ANZ.
The first three teams to be included in HGC ANZ will be Nomia, Crimson and NMD. The remaining five teams shall be decided via open qualifier which will kick off in the week commencing 22 January 2018. Viewsonic Darksided announced the departure of three players from their roster, and thus will not be automatically be included in the first phase of HGC ANZ Premier Division in 2018.
Heroes Open Division will be the developmental league available to all ANZ Heroes esports teams. Through the Open Division, two teams will have the opportunity to be promoted to the Premier Division in Phase 2 for 2018.
Premier Division Prizes and Benefits
In total, HGC ANZ will see an $80,000.00 prize pool with $40,000.00 going to players and teams in each phase.
The prize pool shall be distributed as follows:
1st - $16,000
2nd - $8,500
3rd - $5,000
4th - $3,500
5th - $2,500
6th - $2,000
7th - $1,500
8th - $1,000
The HGC Intercontinental Clash - ANZ vs LATAM
We are also pleased to announce the HGC Intercontinental Clash as a new initiative for 2018 that invites the best from Latin America and the best from Australia and New Zealand to finish off their domestic seasons and compete for international glory in one live event. The Phase 1 HGC ANZ Premier Division finals will actually be held in Latin America when the top two ANZ teams travel to a TBD location in the Americas to battle for the ANZ championship. At this event the top two teams from HGC Copa América league will also face off to determine the Latin America champion. The newly crowned HGC ANZ champion and the Latin America champion will then battle for a spot at the 2018 HGC Mid-Season Brawl.
In Phase 2, the HGC Intercontinental Clash will be hosted in Sydney, Australia where the winner of the LATAM vs ANZ series will claim a wildcard spot at the HGC Finals at BlizzCon 2018.
Building the HGC ANZ Ecosystem
The 2018 focus for Heroes of the Storm esports in ANZ will shift heavily towards building locally. This involves working closely with all parties to build team and player profiles and provide guidance and support to assist team organisations on their journey to success. We will continue to work closely with Gamestah TV to deliver a fantastic and compelling viewing experience.
Promotions and relegations
At the conclusion of Phase 1, the bottom two teams in HGC ANZ Premier Division will be relegated to the ANZ Heroes Open Division for Phase 2. As noted above, the top two teams in the Heroes Open Division at the conclusion of Phase 1 will be promoted to HGC ANZ Premier Division for Phase 2.
We understand that climbing to the top of the open division requires a significant investment in time and effort on both the part of players, coaches and even team managers who have worked to build and nurture a finely tuned Core-smashing machine. We want to ensure that there are no barriers to success to any teams that do manage to get promoted. Accordingly, existing Premier Division teams will be prohibited from acquiring players from a newly qualified Premier Division team for the duration of that season. This will ensure that the team which qualifies for the Premier Division is given a fair opportunity to compete and grow.
To assist with a smooth entry into the Premier division, we will also endeavour to provide guidance and support to these newly qualified teams on matters such as social promotion, sponsorships, and team management.
The key dates for the upcoming season:
January 22 to February 16 - Pre season qualifiers
February 26 - Season 1 HGC ANZ (Premier division) and Heroes Open Division Div kicks off
March 26 - Mid season break for season 1
April 2 - Season 1 recommences
April 27 - Regular Season 1 concludes
May 12 - Live Finals / Intercontinental Clash (ANZ vs LATAM)
June - Mid season brawl
June 18 - Season 2 HGC ANZ (Premier division) and Heroes Open Division Div kicks off
July 23 - Mid season break for regular season 2
July 30 - Regular Season 2 recommences
August 28 - Regular Season 2 concludes
September 15 - Live Finals / Intercontinental Clash (ANZ vs LATAM)
October/November - HGC Finals
2017 ANZ Heroes esports saw the emergence of new rivalries and some colourful personalities. We're excited about how these stories will continue in 2018 and we hope that the new format provides a solid platform from which our stories may be told.