published at 00:45 CET, Tuesday December 27 2016

Announcing the nominations for the 2016 Heroes of the Storm GosuAwards

Welcome to the 2nd annual GosuAwards for Heroes of the Storm! As 2016 comes to a close, we once again celebrate the best players, teams, stories, and moments from an action packed year of competitive Heroes of the Storm.

When the Heroes of the Storm section first started at GosuGamers, it was small but filled with excitement. The game was revealed in 2013 and no one was quite sure what to expect from it. Would our DOTA readership try a new MOBA? Would Hearthstone fans enjoy the casual appeal? And most importantly, could this game ever be competitive?

Then, during BlizzCon 2014, Blizzard announced the very first exhibition tournament. The questions of whether or not Blizzard would embrace their experiment as an eSport were finally laid to rest and our coverage of the emerging competitive scene began. Since those days, it is hard to fathom just how much our beloved game has grown. From a small exhibition tournament to an international league, we have arrived at the dawn of a new year of competitive Heroes.

That being said, let's relive some of the most entertaining, dramatic, and epic moments that 2016 had to offer. Our GosuAwards committee has chosen the following nominees and will vote on who wins. As usual, the community will vote on a winner as well, leaving us with two winners from each category.

- Nick "Dorazion'" D'Orazio
Heroes of the Storm section leader

GosuAwards committee: 

United States Nick "Dorazion" D'Orazio
Canada Justin "Fenix" Lee
Australia Matthew "GLPhoenix" Hunter 
United States Jason "Renofox" Renau
United States Jacob "ManMode" Godfrey
United States Scott Johnson, Jon Jagger, and Beau Schwartz of Core podcast
United States Garrett Weinzierl and Kyle Fergusson, of Into the Nexus Podcast

This prize is awarded to the most single most exciting and memorable moment of competitive Heroes. These are the tournament moments that stood out and will continue to be remembered and talked about well after the year has passed.

Fnatic upset vs MVP Black during BlizzCon 2016
for showing the west that titans can fall and for Fnatic playing the series of their lives when everything was on the line.

MVP Black vs Team No Limit 
during the OGN Super League for reminding us why Tyrael has the best trait in the game.

Dunktrain and Zoia's pepper cast during Arcane8's Bloodlust
for putting on a hilarious show during one of the best community run tournaments we have ever seen.

Fnatic vs. Misfits BlizzCon qualifier tie-breaker 
for showing Dreadnaught the best team fight ever and Misfits somehow coming back from a 2-0 disadvantage.

Murloc Geniuses vs. Team Naventic during NA Fall Regional #2
for showing us the most intense Towers of Doom match with an unbelievable 22-1 core HP comeback.

Murloc Geniuses vs. Team Naventic NA Fall Regional #2 
for the cheesiest strategy bringing us the silliest core race of 2016



This award is given to the most memorable series between two teams that represented the highest level of competitive play and entertainment. These are matches when tons were at stake and both teams showed no signs of going off quietly into the night.

Cloud9 vs. Bob Ross Fan Club (Naventic)
during Heroes Rising, for kicking off 2016 and creating a rivalry that would last for months.

Fnatic vs. Misfits during the EU fall qualifiers 
for giving the fans five games of incredibly close Heroes while the casters had heart attacks.

L5(Ballistix) vs. MVP Black 
during the OGN Super League for showcasing new strategies and giving MVP Black a true rival going into BlizzCon 2016

Dignitas vs. Fnatic during the Gamescom Grand Finals
for shaking up the meta and pitting two EU powerhouses against each other.

Fnatic vs. Ballistix during BlizzCon 2016
for showcasing Ballistix's dominance over 2016 and EU's noble attempt at stopping it.



This award is given to the player with the most advanced and consistently awesome control of their hero. Some call it micro, some call it mechanics, but everyone can agree you don't want to be stuck in a solo lane against these players:

Korea Ballistix Do Joon "Noblesse" Chae
for excellent warrior play and shot calling ability.

Korea MVPBlack Jae Won "Rich" Lee
for making us fear melee assassins and incredible hero diversity.

Europe Misfits Simon "Darkmok Tabin"
for playmaking ability and precise hero control.

Korea Ballistix Seung-Chul "sCsC" Kim
for superb ranged assassin control and the ability to deal tons of damage on whichever hero he plays.

Korea MVPMiracle Jin Woo "Reset" Im
for the deadliest assassin play that rarely ever loses a 1v1 skirmish.

Europe Dignitas Thomas "Mene" Cailleux
for patient and disciplined ranged assassin play, particular on Kael'Thas and Greymane.

Europe Fnatic Jonathan "Wubby" Gunnarsson
for mastering the bruiser / 2nd warrior position and skill-shot precision.

United States Naventic Christopher "Zuna" Buechter
for Jaina, Zeratul and other burst assassin play that is always explosive and a joy to watch.

United States GFE Fan "Fan" Yang
for an absurd Illidan win-rate and incredible depth as a player.

China eStar Kang "XingC" Lunhan 
for consistently remaining one of China's premiere ranged assassin players.



This award is given to the level-headed team captain who has consistently demonstrated their ability to lead a team to victory while also representing Heroes and their team professionally and respectfully. Win or lose, it's the team captain that has to make sure their team survives:

Korea Ballistix Do Joon "Noblesse" Chae 
for encouraging a culture of friendship and positive reinforcement while still maintaining the most competitive Heroes of the Storm team to date.

Korea MVPBlack Jung Hyuk "Sake" Lee
for calmly staying on top for nearly 2 years, emphasizing his respect for all teams at every opportunity

Europe Dignitas James "Bakery" Baker 
for actively engaging with the Heroes community and representing his team and EU Heroes on a global scale.

United States GFE Michael "MichaelUdall" Udall 
for leading is Heroes of the Dorm team to victory while simultaneously carrying the weight of excessive media attention and scrutiny.

China ZeroPanda Guo "Gemini" Jiayi
for turning a team that looked ready to disband into one that qualified and represented itself well during international competition.

Europe Fnatic Dob "Quackniix" Engström
for consistently leading his team through upset after upset and bringing raw passion and energy to the game.



The team of the year award goes to the Heroes team that in 2016, inspires both player and fan alike. These teams have one way or another, raised the communities expectations of what it means to compete in Heroes and what that looks like:

Europe Misfits 
for consistency while still showing the capability to reinvent playstyles and strategies to fit a developing game.

Korea MVP Black 
for single-handedly dominating the majority of 2016 and giving every other team in the world something to aspire to.

Korea Ballistix
 
for exemplifying Korean excellence in eSports, winning back to back major international tournaments, and dethroning MVP Black.

Europe Dignitas 
for putting in a tremendous amount of work boot camping in Korea and giving the world a reason to fear the EU Heroes scene.

Europe Fnatic 
for electrifying any tournament they compete in and being one of the few teams that can compete against Korea without playing scared.

Taiwan Please Buff Arthas 
for defying all expectations at BlizzCon 2016 and never letting their small region status stop them from seriously leveling up their game.

United StatesAstral Authority 
for making their eSports dreams a reality through sheer force of will and proving that any group of friends willing to practice and compete can make it big.



This award goes to the team you simply have to watch. These are the teams that always put on a show and electrify the crowd better than just about anyone else can:

Europe Fnatic
for wowing us with their synchronized play and their love of chaotic team fights.

Europe Dignitas
for advancing the EU meta every tournament and forcing teams to play out of their comfort zone and into their niche drafts.

United States Gale Force eSports
for having an entire lineup of playmakers and hero specialist that come together to create a unique style of play

China Zero Panda
for never being afraid to pick Li-Li, Artanis, or any other off-meta hero that they believe to be top tier.

Korea MVP Black
for showing us just how fast you can win a game of Heroes and every single Rich highlight reel on YouTube.

United States Naventic
for being the most unpredictable team that is always searching for the next undiscovered OP they can use with lethal efficiency

Europe Two Bees Determined
for all the Butcher, Cho'gall or Arthas drafts that seem insane but somehow work.



This award goes to the caster who best unpackages the games most nuanced and technical aspects in a manner that enlightens everyone watching. Whether it's before, during, or after the match, chances are you have learned something from these casters:

Wolf "Wolf" Schröder
for introducing western audiences to Korean strategies and knowing everything about their players.

Jared "Zoia" Eggleston
for always telling it straight, even when that means calling out bad play and poor drafts. Happy Birthday, buddy.

Manuel "Grubby" Schenkhuizen
for catching the nuances of a team's decision-making and spelling it out for the rest of us. 

Wade "Dreadnaught" Penfold
for unpackaging the mystery of the draft screen and providing incredible insight on a team's state of mind.

Derek "DunkTrain" Arabian
for diving into the individual decisions of players and predicting a draft with notable accuracy.



Your favorite tournament highlight reel probably has one of these casters in the background, giving the play-by-play with memorable excitement and hype. This award goes to the booming voices, silly jokes, and overall entertainment value a caster can bring to a tournament:

Thomas "Khaldor" Kilian
for bringing the hype and narrative backdrop behind some of the biggest Heroes moments of 2016

James "Kaelaris" Carrol
for puns, jokes, and otherwise hilarious witticisms throughout even the tensest of tournament moments.

Josh "JHow" Howard
for the decibels of excitement he brings to each cast and for each time he was left speechless.

Jaycie "Gillyweed" Gluck
for the hours and hours spent studying and preparing for each broadcast and the team storylines she explains each tournament.

Daniel "Artosis" Stemkoski
for each epic GG and that signature brand of dad humor mixed with play by play commentary.

Jacob "SolidJakeGG" Kulinski
for his fun and lighthearted style and simultaneously capability to reel it all in and provide top-tier commentary.



This award goes to the most reoccurring rivalry of 2016. Both in and out of the game, these rivalries presented themselves at every chance and created the narrative through which fans experienced competitive Heroes:

Dignitas vs. Korea
for being the top EU teams white whale and primary obstacle the entire year.

Gale Force eSports vs. Naventic
for bringing all of the NA drama possible into one matchup and all the BM that comes along with that.

MVP Black vs. Tempo Storm (Tempest)
for being the first team to put a dent in their powerhouses armor and squarely defeat them time and time again.

NA vs. Twitch chat
for every jeer, taunt, and meme that the online viewing organism known as Twitch chat has decided to fully embrace in the service of mocking NA Heroes.

Glaurung vs. Zuna 
for their passion and vocal excitement during LAN events and the entertainment that ensues when those two things meet.

Fnatic vs. Dignitas vs. Misfits
for consistently competing with each other on equal levels of play throughout the entire year for ever elusive title of "Best in EU"



This award goes to the strategy that dominated 2016. These strategies and Heroes transcended region, won major tournaments,
and left a lasting impression on the games competitive legacy:

Global Heroes
for keeping Falstad and Brightwing relevant throughout the year and always making Dehaka just a couple of balance changes away from being busted.

Solo Hero lanes
for setting the precedent of 4 man gank squads and making certain unviable heroes suddenly plausible.

Sanctification and Mighty Gust 
for being the most consistently impactful heroic abilities throughout the entire year.

Tyrande and the stun meta
for creating months where Tyrande, Raynor and Muradin were the most oppressive hero trio in the entire game.

Zeratul during international competition
for allowing individual players to showcase their incredible skill and for consistently becoming a top banned hero during LAN events.

The roller coaster power level of Rehgar
for punishing people who don't read patch notes every major patch.





The drama of the year award goes to the most talked about conflicts, upsets, or otherwise shocking story of 2016. If you didn't know about these stories, you probably weren't paying attention:

eStar visa issues at BlizzCon
for denying China's best chance to win BlizzCon two years in a row and creating a Frankenstein team between SPT and eStar that lacked a dedicated warrior player.

Arthelon's "One hour of practice and I could do that" claim
for creating the perfect ironic backdrop to an entire year of Korean domination

Lucifron and Vortix depart from Heroes 
for being the end of an era and the final departure of two of the games most strategically and mechanically gifted players.

King of Blades terrible player conditions
for reminding everyone to read their contract and reach out for help when an organization is abusing it's players

Harvard disqualified from Heroes of the Dorm 
for being something out of a Disney movie and enticing the rest of the outside world into paying attention to this headline.

Merryday sounding off on the frustrations of playing a support
for bringing to light serious design issues and making Blizzards balance team want to take the day off.

The time NA and EU failed to qualify
for giving both regions a wake-up call on what it takes to compete at the highest level.



This award goes to the community streamer that consistently provides their viewers with the most technical and competitively relevant information. These streams are ideal places for new and veteran players to learn something new about Heroes of the Storm:

 FollowGrubby 
for talent by talent examining every hero and using each game as an opportunity to learn and teach something about Heroes.

 CrisHeroes 
for awing us with his assassin player and commentating his own matches and immediately calling out any of his mistakes

 burninggirl 
for consistently streaming educationally focused content and grinding away at the master MMR the entire year

 McIntyrelol 
for producing videos and streams focused on individual improvement and the important lesson of critiquing his own play.

 Glaurungtv 
for pushing the boundaries of his hero pool on stream (while talking his learning process through) and streaming high-level scrims for his viewers.

 Sreylol 
for taking on the mission of educating the NA heroes community through his stream, written guides, and YouTube videos throughout the entire year.

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The most entertaining stream award goes to the streamer that consistently puts on a show with off-meta heroes, viewer submitted challenges or whatever else it takes to show their viewers a good time. These streamers are why we sometimes watch more than we play:

 chu8 
for the countless memes, inside jokes, and entertaining games of Heroes he has muscled through while still consistently climbing to the #1 spot on the GM leader boards.

 HORSEPANTS
for his love of under picked heroes and passionate delivery that makes every game feel like the most important defeat / victory of his life.

  mewnfarez 
for consistently bringing an understated style of humor and the occasional rage that brings viewers back again and again.

 Kaeyoh 
for finding the perfect balance between pro level gameplay, Nazeebo worship, friendly attitude and hyping up big plays, even when they involve his deaths.

 Trikslyr
for loving Artanis and Chromie before it was cool and providing the community with an all inclusive environment to sit back and bask in their love of Heroes.



This award goes to the hero that, on release, impacted the game in the most memorable and significant away. Whether they were absurdly overpowered or warped the meta completely, everyone can recall the first week of this heroes release:

Samuro Samuro
for, upon release, reminding us just how efficiently a stealth hero can terrorize pubs and quick match players.

Tracer Tracer
for making everyone freak out about an RNG talent that didn't really exist and creating a new style of composition based around her.

Li-Ming Li-Ming
for making every single hero released before her look like garbage and embedding the phrase "Ess of Johan" into our collective consciousness.

Auriel Auriel
for giving support players a true playmaking hero and immediately warping the competitive meta as soon as she was allowed to see play.

Zarya Zarya
for going from the weakest hero to the most laughably overpowered in record time and causing Blizzard to release their fastest patch in Heroes history.

Cho'GallCho'Gall
for causing headlines on various major gaming publications and creating a whole new way to feed.



Follow us on Twitter @GosuGamersHotS and on Facebook for more competitive Heroes of the Storm news and coverage from around the world

Nick “Dorazion” D'Orazio

I love games and love writing about them. Heroes of the Storm GosuCrew lead and foremost advocate of Jake Badlands entering the Nexus.