This weekend marks the next stage in the 2015 Road to BlizzCon Heroes of the Storm World Championship. China already punched in their two tickets to BlizzCon for eStar Gaming and Team YL, it’s now time to focus on the Americas Championship. The 2015 Americas Championship is being held September 19-20 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Teams from all over North America, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Australia & New Zealand will come together to battle it out in the Nexus for top glory and a trip to BlizzCon.
The group stage of the tournament is different than most group stages out there. According to Reddit User eSportsMatt (Blizzard eSports Coordinator) the group stage can be considered “a double elimination bracket with a twist”. Reddit user TheBrillo made a chart that gives a nice breakdown here:
In Group A, the first matches will consist of Tempo Storm vs Murloc Geniuses and Immunity vs Cloud 9. The winner of each match will move onto the “Winner’s Finals” of Group A and the losers go to the “Elimination Game” with the loser exiting the tournament. The winner of “Winner’s Finals” moves onto one side of the playoff bracket, loser drops to the “Lower Finals” where they will face the winner of the “Elimination Game” with the loser taking their exit. Winner of the “Lower Finals” moves onto the complete other side of the playoff bracket from their group-mate.
The same format takes place in Group B with the first matches taking place after the Group A elimination game. The matchups for Group B are Relics vs COGnitive and Furious Gaming vs Complexity. Saturday ends with both Group A and Group B Winner’s Finals taking place. Sunday begins with both group’s Lower Finals, with the Grand Final taking place the same day. The tournament will be a Best of 3 format throughout with the exception of the Grand Finals which will be a Best of 5.
Winner takes home a share of the $100,000 USD prize purse; $40,000 to first place, $24,000 to second place, and 3rd-4th taking home $12,000 each. Along with the prize money the top two teams will get their tickets punched to BlizzCon on November 6-7th. Action starts Saturday, 10am Pacific Time on the official Blizzard Heroes of the Storm Twitch Channel (link).
Let's meet the teams competing this weekend, starting with Group A.
Tempo Storm (North America)
Dreadnaught - Support (Captain)
Arthelon - Carry
So1dier - Tank
Kaeyoh - Carry
Zuna - Flex
Tempo Storm are the unofficial powerhouse of the North America region. They qualified for the HWC Americas Championship back in June with their first place finish but then went on to finish first in the next two opens in July and August as well. As a matter of fact in the last 10 majors/minors Tempo Storm has gone on to place first in 8 of them and only dropped to 2nd place for the ones they didn't place first, pretty impressive stuff. You can thank the "star-studded" roster that Tempo Storm has managed to gather over the course of the young esports' life. Some of you may remember Arthelon as a solo queue monster in League of Legends. Some of the older players might remember him from a time before LCS when he played on teams like Monomaniac Esports and Meat Playground. Although Arthelon's League career did not amount to much, he is not unfamiliar with the idea of professionalism that is needed in an infant esport like Heroes of the Storm.
As for more star-power a lot of people will look at Zuna and ask "Hey, is that the guy from...." yes, it is. Zuna, former AD Carry of team Vulcan and XDG is no stranger either when it comes to esports. Playing on Vulcan, a team who finished 3rd in both the 2013 League of Legends LCS Spring and Summer splits, and later on XDG before the team was ultimately relegated only to never return. Despite this, Zuna showed that he can be a big time player in big time situations. Tempo Storm's victorious run can be credited to him. After Zuna joined the team on May 21st, Tempo Storm began their NA domination.
It isn’t all about the star power though. Dreadnaught, captain of the team, has shown a top notch Pick/Ban phase in almost all of their matchups. So1dier and Kaeyoh are also extremely talented and this team as a whole seems to be the favorite going into this weekend’s tournament.
Cloud 9 (North America)
DunkTrain – Support (Captain)
KingCaffeine – Tank
iDream – Carry
K1pro – Flex
Fan – Carry
Cloud 9 is another North American power that has shown some consistency in their lifetime. Although, usually taking 2nd place while Tempo Storm takes first, they are still a force to be reckoned with. Consisting of the roster formerly known as Cloud 9 Maelstrom, who after qualifying in July, dissolved Cloud 9 Vortex and unified under the singular Cloud 9 banner.
Boasting a roster of Heroes veterans, they are no strangers to the tournament scene as well. After placing first in last year’s BlizzCon exhibition tournament, Cloud 9 had a lot to replace after the departure of Zuna, Jintae, and Kenma. On July 30th, Cloud 9 settled on the roster (shown above) and has shown promise since. After the team changes, Cloud 9 has been a consistent top 3 threat in North America, winning the latest Heroes Major League hosted by ESL.
With this young and promising roster, Cloud 9 is looking to secure one of the two spots for BlizzCon in hopes of accomplishing their championship dreams.
Murloc Geniuses (North America)
Faye – Carry
CauthonLuck – Carry
MadTiimmy – Support (Captain)
Equinox – Flex
Fury - Tank
Formerly of the team Evil Geniuses in the 2014 BlizzCon Heroes of the Storm show match, MG has gone through a lot of changes since April 1st. Coined “The Challengers” by Josh Bury of theScore eSports (http://www.thescoreesports.com/news/2383) the roster was acquired by Zeveron before the June/July/August NA Open events. Before the August Open, Zeveron disbanded and once again took up the name Murloc Geniuses. Although one of the top 5 teams in North America, MG have not had much in the way of success as of late. More or less “backing into” the America Qualifiers as the last NA spot because the teams ahead of them had already placed; first place Tempo Storm, second place Cloud 9, and Complexity finishing 3rd.
Despite the team changes and struggles throughout 2015, MG are looking to have a strong showing and hopefully make it out of Group A.
Team Immunity (Australia)
Shy – Carry (Captain)
Robadobah – Tank
Sashin – Flex
Naeiou – Flex
Enalgon - Support
Team Immunity, unifying after their victory in the AU & NZ qualifiers (formerly Immunity White), are the champions of the AU & NZ region and are looking to represent the two Pacific Island nations in Las Vegas. While the team itself is fairly new, and the region itself is substantially weaker than the world as a whole, Team Immunity bring a fairly interesting playstyle to the Storm. Having two preferred Flex players versus the standard two carries that we see from other western teams brings an interesting element to their game. Being able to rotate roles of a Specialist/Carry on two members means Team Immunity can adapt quickly in a Best of 3 scenario.
Can the Aussies make it out of groups and shock North America?
COGnitive Gaming (North America)
Scylol – Tank
Hospital – Carry (Captain)
Iakona – Support
Glaurung – Flex
iVSlime – Carry
COGnitive Gaming (also known as COG) are no strangers to esports as an organization but are definitely new to the Heroes of the Storm scene. Having only acquired a roster in May, formerly known as “Shot and the Bullets: Reloaded”, the squad showed immediate promise finishing no worse than 3rd in their first 2 months together. Unfortunately after the MSI MGA 2015 Americas Qualifier the team has fallen off in terms of performance, finishing no better than 3rd. With the roster moving to San Jose, CA with apartments close by and a practice area in between them, the team has an easier way to build in-person communication which can be huge for any new lineup. The team’s hyper-aggressive style has been a treat to viewers while sometimes being a detriment to the team as well. Despite their shortcomings, the team is looking to be a favorite coming out of Group B due to their style and their practice regiment.
Is this the tournament that COG makes a resurgence and takes a top spot to prove they are among NA’s elite?
compLexity (North America)
Blinks – Support (Captain)
Trummel – Carry
CattlePillar – Tank
H0ns – Flex
Jaximus - Carry
compLexity Gaming. Another name that is very well known in the esports scene that jumps on the early HotS bandwagon. compLexity acquired the roster of “Barrel Boys” and saw a lot of success in the ESL weekly tournaments but failed to materialize any meaningful results in any monthly, minor, or major tournaments. After the departure of Erho to Stellar Lotus, the team took to Reddit to search for a replacement. Jaximus contacted the team for a tryout and was immediately a great fit for the squad.
With the addition of Jaximus the coL squad is looking stronger than ever. They are looking to make a big splash at this weekend’s event.
Revenant – Flex
Mirr – Flex
Trinity – Flex
Relyzer – Flex
Zeys – Support
The Southeast Asian qualifier, coming out of Singapore, is Relics. They are a relatively unknown name in the Western scene, pulled off an impressive performance in the SEA Qualifiers by not dropping a single game until the Grand Finals, taking out Philippines Champion Bibingka 2-1. The squad also has a lot of interesting play styles. According to GosuGamers, all players not named Zeys played some combination of a Carry, Specialist, Warrior, or Tank hero in their 6 tournament wins. So what does this mean? Well it means Relics are an unpredictable squad with an obvious amount of talent. Will their wild playstyle result in a spot at BlizzCon?
Furious Gaming (Argentina)
Nittt – Flex
Megalomaniac – Tank (Captain)
Kobu – Support
Malheven – Carry
DEUS – Carry
Furious Gaming have a very interesting story on how they got to the Americas Championship. They actually finished 3rd at the Copa America Championships last month, Brave Ozone took the top spot for the Latin America region. Unfortunately, Brave Ozone had visa issues and could not attend. In steps Furious Gaming, known for their Starcraft II clan, to try to grab a spot at BlizzCon.
Unlike North America teams, Furious Gaming love their specialists and will focus on hard pushing and gaining an early lead to stomp out their opponent.
For me, it’s an easy decision who is going to make it out of group stages in Group A. While Murloc Geniuses and Team Immunity are strong in their own right, I do not think they can hold a candle to Tempo Storm’s impressive Pick/Ban and Cloud 9’s team play.
Winner’s FInals: Tempo Storm vs Cloud 9
In the North America July Open Tempo Storm showed to be very strong, beating Cloud 9 2-0. Cloud 9, at the time Cloud 9 Maelstrom, was able to first pick away Zuna’s Zeratul in game 1 but unfortunately the “Double Mage” comp of Tempo Storm was too much to handle. Game 2 saw Cloud 9 ban out Zeratul and Tempo Storm ban out Jaina, but again Tempo Storm was too much to handle. I expect Tempo Storm to be the Group A first seed.
Elimination Game: Immunity vs Murloc Geniuses
Despite Immunity’s promise as a squad, MG just have too much experience under their belt to worry much about Immunity. MG moves on 2-1 to the Lower Finals.
Lower Finals: Cloud 9 vs Murloc Geniuses
The last time these two teams met in tournament play only once before back when MG was known as Zeveron and C9 as C9 Maelstrom. It was a close set in the opening round of the tournament and both teams have shown improvement since then. I give the favorable edge to Cloud 9 in this one based off of player skill alone. Cloud 9 grabs the second seed out of Group A with a 2-1 victory.
This one is a bit closer. COGnititve is an impressive team. They had a lot of time to prepare so I expect them to come out guns blazing in their opening group game versus Relics. Furious Gaming is a bit of an unknown, and for what it’s worth, shouldn’t technically be here anyways. There is also the big question mark about compLexity’s new carry in Jaximus. Will he be able to bring is League of Legends skill into Heroes or is there still a lot of learning to do?
Winner’s Finals: COGnitive vs compLexity
These teams have met twice before this tournament, the NA July Open and the NA August Open with both teams winning a game. Expect this to be one of the closest games of the group stage by far as both teams are fairly close in skill level and strategy. coL still has a new lineup at the end of the day and because of this I give COG the win in this very close series 2-1 and matching up against Cloud 9 in the bottom half of the playoff bracket.
Elimination Game: Relics vs Furious Gaming
Poor Furious Gaming. I mean, they were able to go to Las Vegas which is awesome. Unfortunately, the best finish they had was 3rd in a relatively weak region. Being that Relics is a bit of a wild card, I expect FG to bow out of the tournament in this game. Relic takes this series 2-0 and moves on to play compLexity in the Lower Finals.
Lower Finals: Relics vs compLexity
Relics has the potential to pull an upset here. Being a relatively unknown team they have the element of surprise with their line-up of mostly flex position players. Expect a closer series than the experts think. At the end of the day though, I have to pick coL winning 2-1 and facing Tempo Storm in the upper part of the playoff bracket.
Tempo Storm vs Cloud 9
Another rematch for these two teams. I mean, it’s hard to pick against consistency and these two teams have it. Tempo Storm consistently finished in first place with Cloud 9 consistently in second place. At this point, it’s almost irrelevant who to pick as a winner here as both teams get to go to BlizzCon on November 6-7th. For the sake of potentially being right and getting to brag (and potentially being wrong and sulking) I will have to go with Tempo Storm 3-1. Cloud 9 will make the first 2 games close, actually taking game 1. However, i think Tempo Storm is just the better team and that will show after their second series of this weekend.
Hey guys, so I have received a lot of questions and feedback from the community so far about the Inhouse structure changing a bit and I wanted to make this thread for any information about the upcoming Inhouse changes, why we are doing them, and to answer any more questions you guys may have about it.
EDIT: I put this in my blog as opposed to the forums because these are my personal answers and SB or anyone else may of other ones to give you.
First of all, the question I have gotten a lot has been "Why Inhouses every night?". It is a great question, why do Inhouses every night? Well, it was kind of an obvious reason really, bottom line is not everyone can make Tuesday and Thursday nights. I think it works especially well for applicants if they cannot make the Tuesday and Thursday night slots, this gives them (as well as members) more of an opportunity to participate and get to know our community better.
The follow up question is always "Well that makes sense, but why Dominion, TT, and ARAM?". Again, another great question. A majority of members and applicants play Summoner's Rift 5v5 as that is the most competitive and favored map for the entire LoL community. It is the only competitive (and by that I mean tournament status) map that is played. With that being said though, not everyone is always looking for a competitive game type to play. We are keeping the competitive Inhouse structure in our Tuesday and Thursday night slots, just like it always has been, but now we are adding other maps and game types to appeal to those that aren't necessarily as competitive as others. Of course that's not to say that non-competitive members don't like playing Summoner's Rift, but in the interest of fun, playing other game types brings in a "stress free" environment to play in on a daily basis. The way I look at it is this: you had a crummy Monday at work, just a bad day and wanna hop on Mumble and play some League. You play some ranked games and they go bad, now you're stressed out and irritable, why not play a fun dominion with the community members? Have fun, kick back, and enjoy time spent with others here in vVv Gaming. Now that is an exaggerated circumstance, but it could happen to some of you.
Last question that I have been getting, "Won't having inhouses 5 nights a week burn people out?". So this question to me is an interesting one and I will preface my answer by saying this; Inhouses have never been mandatory. They are strongly encouraged, but never mandatory. I have no plans of changing it. If you do not want to participate every night, then you do not have to. I will completely understand if you have other things you want to do, don't want to play a game of Dominion or TT, I get it. For the people that are on everyday/every night as it is, if they aren't burnt out now then I don't see how putting an Inhouse up every night changes their feelings about it.
For those of you that may be confused as to why the Inhouses are going in this direction as opposed to a strictly competitve one goes back to one of my points I made earlier, not everyone is as competitive as others. We are going to stay with the competitive Tuesday and Thursday nights, that is 100% guaranteed, but now we are going to sprinkle some fun on the week as well. In the even that we get no one showing up for a couple of weeks on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, then changes will be considered.
As for our competitive side, don't worry, I have plans for Monthly tournaments and competitions that you will know about soon enough. As for right now though, the Inhouse structure will be seeing changes.
Remember, these changes start Monday July 1st at 8pm Eastern (5pm Pacific). If you are looking to be apart of some fun Dominion Mondays then show up and lets make this a good time. The new schedule of Inhouses with times and game types is in the original Inhouse thread and can be found here: http://www.vvv-gaming.com/forum/topic/59549-league-of-legends-in-house-games/
I am hoping this brings our community even closer together and gives new applicants (or to-be-applicants) a taste of what we are all about.
If you need to get into contact with me:
League IGN: vVv Magicmooch
Hey guys! I told you that I would do my best to have the VODs of the vVv Gaming Community Draft Tournament that we held last Tuesday and I finally got them completed. Be warned though, for some reason when you record in OBS there tends to be audio problems when making highlights, so you have have to refresh the video once or twice in order to watch it with audio. I tried fixing it but apparently as of right now this is the only problem. Next time I will try to record it and have it as a file on my PC that I will just throw up onto YouTube for your viewing pleasure.
So here it is guys! Game 1: Team YaaaaAAAAP vs Team No Show/Beast
Game 2: Team No Show/Beast vs Team YaaaAAP
Game 3: Team YaaaAAAP vs Team No Show/Beast
Thanks to everyone who was in the stream hanging out and watching! On Tuesday, June 4th we will be having Team No Practice vs Team Ron Mock at 8pm Eastern (5pm Pacific). The action can be found on twitch.tv/livevvvcommunity. Hope to see you guys there!
The North American LCS Summer Relegation tournament concluded this past weekend with some amazing games. There were two challenger teams that made their way into the LCS, while two of the more noticeable and popular LCS teams remained in the summer split. Quantic Gaming, Velocity eSports, Counter Logic Gaming, and Team Dignitas will all be in the LCS Summer Split along with Team Solo Mid, Good Game University, Vulcan Techbargains, and Curse Gaming. Here is a recap of this past weekends exciting results.
Quantic Gaming came out on fire and they never cooled down throughout the entire weekend. Quantic showed up in the Challenger round beating a well rounded Team Astral Poke handily giving them a quick 2-0 loss and their dreams dashed in games that lasted no more than 25 minutes. In the Promotion round Quantic did not let up, beating a compLexity team that had been coming on strong towards the end of the Spring split, 3-0 in 3 games that again were quick and ended under 30 minutes. The most impressive part about Quantic Gaming was how dominant they looked as a team, even better than some of the LCS teams that were not bottom four. Quantic Gaming's jungler was the only person the entire weekend that did not have a single death in 5 games. William "Meteos" Hartman had a mind blowing KDA of 45 at the end of the weekend, playing junglers such as Zac and Elise (he played Zac 4 times that weekend) made his presence known in the lanes early and often with ganks that led his team to victory. It was not all Meteos though, the entire Quantic squad played amazingly. The squad boasted an average combined KDA of 15.3, while Spring Split Champions TSM only had a combined KDA of 4.7. The team gathered an average of 1.8k gold per min with an average gold total of 44k per game. Quantic Gaming looks to be one of the more fierce competitors going into the Summer Split, and I sure look forward to seeing what they can bring to the table next split.
Velocity eSports did not have as commanding of a weekend as Quantic had, but they definitely showed they are going to be a tough competitor going into the next split. In the Challenger round, Velocity started off shaky, losing their first game to Team Salad Bar. The team bounced back though, dominating the next two games against TSB to secure their spot in the promotional round. In the only series in the promotion round to go to 5 games, Velocity vs Team MRN proved to be an instant classic. The wins went back and forth, Team MRN securing the first game win behind impressive play by Nientonsoh boasting a 15/1/3 KDA at the end of the game. Velocity fired right back in game one as they threw the meta book and everything you have ever known about League of Legends out the window as Velocity played Ezreal jungle, with a Janna mid lane. The "double support, double ADC" push comp proved to be too much to handle for Team MRN as Velocity jungler Nk Inc showed that Ezreal's utility can be used for more than just laning as he pulled off an ever so smooth Arcane Shift, Smite Dragon steal, Flash out on an early dragon attempt by Team MRN. Split pushing with Janna and good team fighting secured Velocity eSports the game two victory. Game 3 was an epic clash of two teams not wanting to see their last moments of LCS promise be dashed before them as this game would thrust the losing team one loss away from the dream ending. Team MRN started off winning most of the team fights but a Baron grab by Velocity secured the next fight for them an inhibitor. Velocity secured a second Baron attempt rather easily as Super Minions were rushing towards MRN's base, forcing them to defend. As Velocity went for the next fight Nientonsoh had other plans picking up a double kill to that forced Velocity out of the base, relinquishing an inhibitor in MRN's favor. As MRN was looking for the killing blow Velocity's support, Evaniskus, held off a seemingly impossible push from MRN by getting a kill and forcing the team to fall back as Velocity respawned and immediately shot down mid lane for victory. However, Nientonsoh had other plans as he cancelled his recall and went in for the last nexus turret and the nexus itself in a thrilling base race that Team MRN has been known for. With 75hp left, Nientonsoh secured the victory for Team MRN and in the words of LCS caster "Kobe" put it, "Velocity just got MRNed". Despite the heart wrenching loss for Velocity they never gave up the passion, having their dreams be so close within their grasp, taking the next two games off of Team MRN and making their way into the LCS Summer Split.
One of the story lines that everyone wanted to see happened as Team Summon faced off against Team Dignitas in the promotion round of the LCS tournament Locust went up against his former team, but unfortunately could not pull it through and was relegated out of the tournament. Dignitas was a team that had extremely high expectations in the Spring Split. Not only that though, but they were number two in the standings up until the last week when they dropped down to number three. Losing in the first round of the Spring Split playoffs to GGU forced them into the Summer LCS Relegation tournament. Facing a very strong Team Summon squad, Dignitas looked to be back to their old form. Using such champions such as Rammus and Evelynn secured them the series in four games. Alberto "Crumbzz" Rengifo played brilliantly in the four games as he brought out the jungle Rammus and played it to perfection, securing the match MVP with his stellar played that through Team Summon into a tilt after game three. William "Scarra" Li also had an amazing performance on his Evelynn, going 11/1/12 in the first game of the series. Dignitas played like the team they showed they were throughout the first 9 weeks of the Spring Split.
Counter Logic Gaming
The other story line that everyone wanted to see, bigfatlp and Azure Cats going up against CLG, the team that he was on since the creation. CLG swept Azure Cats with a 3-0 series score that put CLG back into the LCS. Austin "Link" Shin boasted an almost Meteos-like KDA, having a very impressive 34 KDA, which helped propel his team in the series. Strong play by Aphromoo's Blitzcrank in game two set the tone for a very convincing CLG victory, as well as Doublelift displaying that he is meant to be the NA All-Star pick. HotShotGG went to his old standby as he brought back out his top lane Nidalee which proved to be useful in game one, and playing another non-tank champion in Diana in game two, getting rid of their old "protect the Doublelift" comp. All in all CLG had a very solid display against Azure Cats and it looks like CLG will stay together for a long time, so no worries CLG fans, your team is safe.
The teams for the Summer Split are as follows:
- Curse Gaming
- Quantic Gaming
- Velocity eSports
So there you have it folks, your North American Summer LCS Split! It is looking to be an exciting set up for the next split, I know that I am really excited for it!
Hey guys! vVv Magicmooch here bringing you the last two games of the King of the Summoner's Hill X Grand Final!
So I am doing this for you guys that didn't get to catch it or just want to watch the games for funsies. If you guys have any tips feel free to leave them below as well as any additional comments.
Also, be on the lookout for the full KOTSH X recap that vVv Paradise will have on the forums sometime in the next week or so. For all of you that were with me today during the live stream thanks a ton and I appreciate the support!
Also I totally forgot to record the first game of the grand finals please forgive me.
This is game #2 of the Grand Final between vVv Snow and An Obese Panda!
This is game #3 of the Grand Final between vVv Snow and An Obese Panda!