No Tomorrow and BeGenius Called Out for Crucible
With their HGC lives on the line, the teams at the bottom of the standings in North America and Europe will be duking it out with the best Heroes of the Storm teams that the Open Division has to offer this weekend.
Even in Death won the Open Division Playoffs in North America, and they have chosen to play No Tomorrow, who placed seventh in the regular season. This means that Naventic will now play Imported Support, who came in second in the Open Division Playoffs. In Europe, Playoff winners Team Gangang (TGG) have chosen to take on BeGenius, leaving Synergy to play the Open Division runners-up, Team Zealot.
With the matchups locked in, these four pairings will go head-to-head in a best-of-seven series this weekend, battling on every map in the HGC rotation minus two bans. With this format, there should be no doubt as to which team deserves to move on to, or back into, the HGC.
Naventic vs. Imported Support – Saturday 5/27 at 12:00 p.m. PDT/9:00 p.m. CET
At the beginning of the season, no-one expected to see Naventic in the Crucible, but here we are. Ten weeks have gone by and they have found themselves in last place, having won only two series out of fourteen. In 2016, Naventic won nearly $150,000 in prize money, placed in the top four at nearly every regional event, and played in both the Spring and Summer Championships. Surprisingly, 2017 has not been kind to them, and it’s unclear where the disconnect is for this team of seasoned veterans. Whether it’s draft, or communication, or simply mechanical missteps, one thing is clear: Naventic needs to make a change going forward if they do, in fact, survive the Crucible.
Imported Support are a team of smart players new to the Heroes of the Storm competitive circuit. This best-of-seven against Naventic is the most important match of their young careers thus far. Imported Support are hip to the meta, sticking with tried and true heroes that are currently performing well in the HGC, such as Greymane, Anubarak, and Gul’dan. They are also one of the few Open Division teams that can brag on an undefeated Cho’Gall. Some of their favorite maps include Infernal Shrines, Dragon Shire, and Cursed Hollow, while they struggle the most on Tomb of the Spider Queen.
No Tomorrow vs. Even in Death – Sunday, 5/28 at 12:00 p.m. PDT/9:00 p.m. CET
No Tomorrow has had a tumultuous Phase 1. When it comes to teams of similar skill level, they have only managed to narrowly defeat Naventic and Team Freedom in the first ten weeks. However, in Week 7, they punched way above their weight when they defeated Gale Force eSports in a best-of-five. No Tomorrow should look to draft Muradin, as they have a 61% win rate with the hero after playing him in 18 games. This is an astonishing statistic for a team that is currently 3-11.
Even in Death is a scary team that has plenty of experience online and on LAN. Marty ‘Batterry’ Nivinski and Damian ‘FrozenX’ Nagel have played together for some time now, championing the early Astral Authority/Gust or Bust roster of 2016. Even in Death will likely win out on Sky Temple and Battlefield of Eternity – their two best maps. However, they have been struggling on Tomb of the Spider Queen and Tower of Doom in the Open Division. Map bans will be critical for both teams in this series.
Synergy vs. Team Zealot – Saturday, 5/27 at 9:00 a.m. PDT/6:00 p.m. CET
Of all the existing HGC teams in the Crucible, Synergy are among the most likely to lose their spot in the HGC. In Phase 1 of the regular season, they only managed to win series against BeGenius. Their opponents have plenty of data to draw on, and will likely fully exploit the weaknesses of Synergy if given the chance. Synergy should avoid Sky Temple at all cost; they’re currently on a 10-game losing streak on the Battleground.
Team Zealot is a hodgepodge of former players from Team Liquid, Natus Vincere, and Team Dignitas. Matic ‘Zarmony’ Mikec competed with Dignitas at BlizzCon 2015, while Francisco Antonio ‘GranPkt’ Núñez Sorribas was a part of the fabled 2015 Team Liquid that went on a year-long tour de force in Europe thanks to the help of now retired brothers Juan ‘VortiX’ Moreno Durán and Pedro ‘LucifroN’ Moreno Durán. With this experience under their belts, Team Zealot are favoured to claim Synergy’s spot in the HGC.
BeGenius vs. TGG - Sunday, 5/28 at 9:00 a.m. PDT/ 6:00 p.m. CET
This is a tough one. BeGenius seemed to be dead on arrival in the HGC until Week 8, when they made a role swap. This led to upset victories over both Playing Ducks and Tricked esport . While not much can be discerned from their statistics over the first ten weeks, thanks to the number of losses they’ve incurred, we know that they fare the worst on Towers of Doom. Should they ban out this Battleground, they may be able to defend their spot in the HGC against TGG.
TGG is a mystery. They only played together in two Open Division Cups, winning one before moving on to the Open Division Playoffs. They won there in dominant fashion against Team Zealot, 3-1. Obviously, this is a team of talented players with the likes of Kai ‘Antihero’ Oset, Arturs ‘bkbgrnrjefek’ Hlibovs, and Tobias ‘mTwRaiDbawZ’ Podeszwa on the roster. You must wonder, however, with just three public appearances to speak of as a unit, if they have put in enough time to best BeGenius here.
The full roster of Open Division Casters will be on hand to give us their commentary and analysis in person:
The games will be live right here on playheroes.com/esports this weekend. Stay with us all week as we dive deeper into these crucial Crucible matchups.