Captain’s Scouting Report: Katowice
Players from the top Heroes of the Storm teams from around the world are arriving in Katowice today. After some rest and relaxation, the practice area will start to fill up and here is where the mind games and sandbagging will begin. To kick things off we gathered the initial perspectives of a handful of HGC captains prior to Western Clash kickoff.
Team Freedom, Phillipe “Nazmas” Laberge: “LANs have always been good for Freedom, whether it was a question of results at the actual event or simply the improvement we got out of going there and working as a team. We’ve been boot camping at the Katowice Gaming House and, with the early preparation and just having everybody working together in the same room, we’ll be able to take our first series versus Fnatic and go all the way to the finals. We expect to see Team Dignitas there; they seem to be the overlord in Europe right now. It’s time for NA to take a trophy back home, and we believe we can fulfill that job here.”
Fnatic, Dob "Quackniix" Engström: “The NA player I respect the most is psalm. He clearly puts in a lot of work and shows off the results over and over again. It will be interesting to see how he matches up against Europe. We haven't really found our groove as a team yet, and it seems even more difficult for us since we have been so used to performing well with the old roster. Winning this Western Clash would mean a lot to us as a team. It would kind of feel like the real beginning of the season, where we can start beating everybody like Fnatic is supposed to do."
Zealots, Maksym “Mopsio” Szczypa: “Whenever my teammate Shad is saying ‘El Classico’ I always think about EU vs. NA—those are our first opponents, and I hope we won't be the first team losing to NA since 2016. Team Freedom’s roster looks stronger than before, but I don't think they'll make a big surprise (the force is strong in their master YoDa though). HeroesHearth are our unofficial siblings! The team created of veterans which managed to get to HGC through the Crucible, ending in Western Clash after some time! I hope they keep on this streak and use it in their favor for the event. Team Dignitas are obviously the favorites, but they still haven’t had a taste of our cheddar cheese.”
Method, Lawrence “Atheroangel” Harper: “Going into the clash, we feel like we for sure have good chances at taking the whole tournament, but a realistic goal for us is top two. I think Team Dignitas is still the favorites, but they lost to Zealots … and we beat Zealots, so that must mean we will beat Team Dignitas, right? In all seriousnesss, though, it will be a nice European-dominated clash to open the year.”
HeroesHearth, Khalif “Khroen” Hashim: “The team to beat at the Western Clash is definitely Dignitas. Based on their nearly flawless performance in the European HGC so far this season, they're easily one of the top teams in the world. That being said, I respect Quackniix the most. He has shot-called and drafted for Fnatic for years, leading the previous roster to win a major international competition. He's a strong player, genuine person, and a key factor in the success of Fnatic as a team. I believe when their current roster finds their stride, they will be as dominant as they were before.”
Team Twelve, Justin "Justing" Gapp: “Wubby is the player from Europe I respect the most; shot-calling from the offlane while still playing as well as he does is mostly unheard of. I don't have huge expectations for this event with the jet lag and North America's record versus Europe, but a win would prove that the gap is closing between the regions. I really want to get a rematch against Fnatic because our match in China didn't end the way I think it should have. I'd like to see which team has improved the most since GCWC.”
Team Dignitas, Joshua “Snitch” Bennett: “We can't be sure who will be the hardest opponent at the Western Clash. Every team attending has had very strong moments throughout the first half of the season, and I think all of them can put up a competitive series. We will practice hard and make sure we are prepared for the various metas that every team will bring, as they will all pose a different challenge. Winning this tournament would be a great accomplishment to us, as it would be proof of our hard work so far in the year, and would give us more confidence for the rest of the season to come.”
We have plenty more Western Clash event coverage coming at you, so be sure to keep it tuned right here at playheroes.com/esports.