Focus Down Week 4: Approaching the Crescendo
Just two weeks remain before we’ll know which teams will attend the Eastern and Western Clashes. While major players—Team Dignitas, Tempest, and Team Freedom—are already dusting off their luggage, the rest of the field is still wide open.
The Battle for Clash Seeding
World class teams are finally set to collide in Week 4, beginning with Saturday’s series between Fnatic and Team Dignitas. Team Dignitas currently enjoy a lofty lead in the standings, thanks in part to synergies born with the additions of Vilhelm “POILK” Flennmark and Jonathan "Wubby" Gunnarsson. POILK made a name for himself on Tracer, but has also been known to flex on to Heroes including Gul’dan, Greymane, and Chromie. A rookie who spent most of 2017 trying to break into the HGC with Zealots, POILK has made all the difference for Team Dignitas this year.
Opposing them, Fnatic look stronger every weekend—and, but for a loss to Zealots, are undefeated. While they may not be at the same level they were during the HGC Finals, Fnatic is still one of the best teams in the world. They always seem to have Team Dignitas’ number in online matches, and it’s naïve to think that Dob "Quackniix" Engström and team haven’t been preparing for this specific matchup for weeks.
Nine time zones to the East, the two most recent BlizzCon champions—KSV Black and Ballistix, respectively—will duke it out the following day. Both teams have had respectable showings this season, defeating everyone except Tempest (who remain the only undefeated team in Korea). The last time Ballistix played KSV Black was the semifinals of the Gold Club World Championship (GCWC), where KSV walked away with a convincing 3-0 win. Now that Ballistix have had more time with their new support player Jin Hwan "Magi" Kim, this matchup is a must watch.
A Simple Test
This is a make or break weekend for both HeroesHearth and Simplicity, who are both looking to clinch a spot at the first Western Clash of the year. HeroesHearth had an impressive win over Team Twelve last weekend in a stunning series, and a win this weekend would solidify them as one of the stronger teams in the region—an impressive feat, considering they just made it through the Crucible at the end of 2017.
Being that this is Week 4, we finally have some qualification scenarios! Please keep in mind that this is just a look at qualifying opportunities this weekend—some scenarios could qualify many of these teams outside of what is listed here.
- Team Dignitas will qualify to the Western Clash if they win two Battlegrounds across their two matches.
- Fnatic will qualify to the Western Clash if they win two Battlegrounds against Team Dignitas. They will also qualify if they only win one Battleground against Team Dignitas and Zealots lose one Battleground. If Fnatic loses to Team Dignitas 0-3, Zealots must drop two Battlegrounds for Fnatic to qualify.
- Team Freedom will qualify to the Western Clash if they win their series against either SpaceStation Gaming or Team Twelve.
- Tempo Storm will qualify to the Western Clash if they beat LFM Esports.
- HeroesHearth must win against both Simplicity and Gale Force Esports, and LFM Esports must lose to either Tempo Storm or Simplicity for HeroesHearth to qualify to the Western Clash.
As a reminder, HGC China is currently on break for Lunar New Year, and will return Feb. 26. Keep it tuned right here to playheroes.com/esports for all the action when the games go live this weekend.