HGC Weekly Digest: Nail-biters and Triumphs
Between North America, Europe, and Korea there were no fewer than six series that went the distance to the fifth map over the weekend, proving that the competition has become cutthroat across the board as teams in the HGC vie for spots at their respective regions’ upcoming Clashes. There were plenty of series in Week 2 that could have easily gone either way, and a few that ended with upsets. In case you weren’t watching, here’s what you missed during Phase 2 Week 2:
Team expert pull off the upset against Team Dignitas
After losing to Tricked esport in Week 1, Team expert showed up big time this weekend. They rolled over Zealots 3-0 and pulled off a calculated upset win over Mid-Season Brawl runners up, Team Dignitas. On the second Battleground, Towers of Doom, Team expert left the hero-select screen with a slippery composition, with Heroes such as Anub’arak and Li-Ming, who can close gaps and escape bad fights on a whim. Thanks to some clutch Portals from Adrian ‘adrd’ Wojcik’s signature Medivh, Team expert maintained control from start to finish. Team Dignitas have fallen to #5 in the current standings with this loss, and Team expert moves up to #3.
Gale Force eSports continue to impress, No Tomorrow take down Tempo Storm
With Gale Force eSports sitting undefeated at the top of the standings, it’s safe to say adding Keiwan ‘k1pro’ Itakura and John Paul ‘KingCaffiene’ Lopez was the right move for Michael ‘MichaelUdall’ Udall and the rest of the team. In another climactic five-game series, Gale Force eSports managed to dethrone Tempo Storm just one week after their 3-1 result over Roll20 esports. In the final game on Tomb of the Spider Queen, everything seemed to click for GFE. While defending against what could have been Tempo’s final push, Gale Force caught out Manny ‘Fury’ Medina on Chen and snowballed the team fight from this one kill, wiping Tempo Storm and opening up the Core for the win.
Success also followed Jon ‘Equinox’ Peterson, who was removed from Gale Force eSports and joined No Tomorrow during the transfer window. No Tomorrow stunned Tempo Storm with a 3-2 victory on Sunday night on the back of Equinox’s Tracer play on both Warhead Junction and Towers of Doom. No Tomorrow are currently undefeated in Phase 2. Next week they will collide with Gale Force eSports in what promises to be a must-watch series.
MVP Black run circles around L5
Jae Won ‘Rich’ Lee’s Maltheal is the stuff of nightmares for opposing teams. The team captain of MVP Black brought out the Aspect of Death in their final Battleground against L5 on Sky Temple this Sunday. This is the third time MVP Black has played Maltheal in the HGC, and the third time they’ve won with him. MVP Black and Mighty are the only two undefeated teams remaining in the Korean HGC. They will face off this coming Saturday.
Gale Force eSports vs. No Tomorrow – Friday July 7, 2:00 p.m. PDT / 11:00 p.m. CEST
From the Crucible to the top of the standings, No Tomorrow have been impressive in their first few weeks back in the HGC. After their win over Tempo Storm, Gale Force eSports’ Michael Udall had some words for Equinox, his former Warrior player:
@EquinoxHotS CONGRATZ baby I have always said you're an amazing player, GFE just wasn't the right place. I am happy you found a good home <3— MichaelUdall (@Michael_Udall) July 3, 2017
It’s hard to know where the skill ceiling ends for these teams after roster changes. Gale Force eSports have managed to defeat both Tempo Storm and Roll20 in their first two weeks playing together! Unexpected to say the least. No Tomorrow will have to prove that their win against Tempo Storm was no fluke this weekend. A win here for them would mean a much easier road to the Western Clash, and to the HGC Finals beyond that. It’s hard to believe that a team that was in the Crucible just a short time ago, fighting for their HGC life, would become a contender for representing North America on the international stage, yet here we are.
Zealots vs. Team Dignitas – Saturday July 8, 11:00 a.m. PDT / 8:00 p.m. CEST
After Zealots’ 3-0 win against the Playing Ducks in Week 1, and Team Dignitas’ loss to Team expert in Week 2, this matchup may be much closer than it appears. On the Zealots roster is Slovenian Flex player Matic ‘Zarmony’ Mikec, who played with Team Dignitas during their monumental run at BlizzCon 2015. While he’s had opportunities to play against his former teammates since then, the stakes have never been quite as high. A win here for Zealots would significantly help their chances of attending a LAN event this year, and would significantly hurt Team Dignitas’ chances of making it to the Western Clash. The win seems rather unlikely for the team fresh from the Crucible, but with the form Team Dignitas has been in, stranger things have certainly happened in the HGC.
Tempest vs. Mighty – Sunday July 9, 4:00 a.m. PDT / 1:00 p.m. CEST
Mighty will use their series against MVP Black on Saturday as practice for their outing against Tempest on Sunday. In Phase 1, Tempest and Mighty went even in terms of series, and they didn’t have a chance to meet in the HGC Playoffs. Both teams have gone through two roster changes apiece since then, with the brothers of Gyeong Hwan ‘Hide’ Jin and Jae Hoon ‘Lockdown’ Jin still firmly in the driver’s seat for Tempest in the aftermath. This series will tell us which of the two teams came out on top with the changes they’ve made to their rosters, and it could very well determine which of them makes it to the Eastern Clash in Taiwan next month.
Make sure you check out the calendar for Phase 2 on our updated schedule page, and tune in for the broadcast this weekend right here on playheroes.com/esports!