HGC Weekly Digest: First Finals Team Locked
Join us in catching up on the big headlines from Week 7 and looking ahead to the action this coming weekend. This month our HGC Digest will be expanded to cover all of the important news out of Latin America; Taiwan; Southeast Asia; and Australia and New Zealand, as each of these regions are in the process of determining who will be worthy of competing on their behalf at the HGC Finals in November.
The First to Crown a Contender
The first team to qualify to the HGC Finals are the Deadlykittens from Southeast Asia, with their triumphant win over regional rivals Resurgence this past weekend. In SEA, teams completed in two separate single-elimination open qualifiers to determine the top eight teams that would play in the SEA Finals. After a shaky start in the upper bracket, the Deadlykittens rallied through the lower to the grand finals where they dominated Resurgence 4-0. More info about the SEA Finals can be found here. Congratulations to Deadlykittens for earning their spot at BlizzCon!
Team Dignitas Have Regained Their Footing
After missing out on qualification to the last Western Clash, Team Dignitas now seem back in form, going 2-0 this past weekend against Team Good Guys and Team expert. James ‘Bakery’ Baker & Co. are currently 7-4 and safely leading the pack in pursuit of the second auto-bid to BlizzCon (behind Fnatic, who are all but certain to clench the No. 1 seed). Defeating Team expert 3-2 was enough to reestablish Team Dignitas' resurgence in the European region. Interestingly, Dignitas had Joshua ‘Snitch’ Bennett on Genij for four out of the five battlegrounds, revealing their current draft priority.
“Genji is very often a Hero that sets the pace of the game,” Bakery said. “That's something that we value a lot as team. High priority on Genji also forces the enemy team to draft around him, which is something we like to use to give the rest of our draft more space and flexibility.”
Like a Rolling Stone
Roll20 brick-walled both Lag Force and Superstars this weekend, continuing a 12-battleground win streak into Week 8, the longest streak across every HGC region currently. Gale Force Esports seems to be the only North American team on the same level as Roll20 right now. With these two squads set to square off in Week 9, it’s clear that GFE and R2E are on track for two of the three spots at the HGC Finals.
HGC Taiwan is Underway
We will have our second team locked in for the HGC Finals by the time the weekend rolls around, as HGC Taiwan is nearing the end of its Season 4 bracket. The semi-finals will be held Sept. 6 with Team Face Check vs. Loli Meow, and Soul Torturers vs. DeathFinallyFront. The winners of these two matches will play each other in the grand finals on Sept. 7, with an HGC Finals spot on the line. You can find more information on HGC Taiwan here.
Latin America Heats Up
The format has changed for many of our non-league regions. For Latin America, teams competing to qualify for the HGC Finals are split into four groups, with two belonging to the northern region (Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Central America) and two for the southern (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia).
Group play for the North will take place Sept. 5–6, and the South from Sept. 7–8. The top teams from each will compete in a sub-regional over Sept. 9–10. The final four remaining teams will travel to São Paulo, Brazil, on Sept. 30 to duke it out on LAN for a single spot at the HGC Finals in November. More information on Copa America can be found here.
Australia & New Zealand Culminates in Sydney
The ANZ Season 4 finals are currently underway. Teams in the region have been playing each other weekly since the division kicked off in early August. Teams NMD, Crimson Esports, Dark Sided, and fan favorites Nomia have qualified to attend the ANZ Lan Finals in Sydney, Australia, on the 30th of this month. You can find more information on the ANZ finals here.
L5 vs. Tempest– Saturday, Sept. 9, 2:00 a.m. PDT / 11:00 a.m. CEST
L5 sits in second place now behind MVP Black, with Tempest in third. This important matchup between these two teams will play a key role in determining who will have an auto-bid to BlizzCon and who will have to fight through the HGC Playoffs' stepladder bracket against three other hungry South Korean teams. The last time these two teams met, at the Eastern Clash, L5 walked away with a narrow 3-2 win.
Team expert vs. Fnatic – Sunday, Sept. 10, 11:00 a.m. PDT / 8:00 p.m. CEST
This is a rematch between our first- and second-place teams from the most recent Western Clash. Fnatic looked dominant in their play against Tricked esport this past weekend, while Team expert have been in recovery mode since losing to Team Good Guys in Week 6, and Team Dignitas this past weekend. At the Western Clash, Fnatic defeated Team expert 3-0 in the semi-finals, and 4-0 in the grand finals. It’s safe to say that Fnatic is still the favorite to take first seed in Europe at the HGC Finals.
Gale Force vs. Team Freedom – Sunday, Sept. 10, 2:00 p.m. PDT / 11:00 p.m. CEST
Our top two North American teams from the most recent Western Clash will square off as well this weekend. Team Freedom have managed to hang onto the third-place spot since returning home from Ukraine, despite a 3-0 loss to Roll20 in Week 6. On the other hand, Gale Force Esports sit safely at the top of the standings after seven weeks of play. The only loss that Gale Force Esports has suffered this season was at the hands of Team Freedom, 3-1 in Week 3 of Phase 2.
Will history repeat itself? Make sure to tune into the games this weekend at playheroes.com/esports—and check back tomorrow for a feature story on one of the HGC's most infamous melee assassin players.