published at 00:00 CEST, Tuesday October 18 2016

Beyond the Nexus Episode 17 reveals BlizzCon Groups

The groups for BlizzCon have been annouced in Blizzard's official Heroes talkshow hosted by Gillyweed and Dreadnaught.

Coverage hub

Group Stage #1

Group A

MVP Black is one of the best teams in the entire tournament, so they should have no problems making it out of this group in first place.  

So who will join MVP Black in advancing from Group A to the 2nd Group Stage? Will it be Denial eSports, the 2nd NA seed who has struggled for much of the Fall Season, but features 3 members of 2015 BlizzCon champions C9? Or will Latin America Regional Champions Burning Rage (formerly known as Big Gods) or Australia and New Zealand Regional Champions Reborn (formerly known as Negative Synergy) break through and book their tickets to the next round?

Group B

This group is wide open.  Any of the teams here could conceivably finish first, but they could just as easily finish 3rd or 4th.  

Super Perfect Team from China will be the most talented team of the four, since they have 3 eStar members on the roster attending BlizzCon after visa issues prevented most of the qualifying roster from attending.  However, team synergy will not be a strong suit of this team as a result of this last minute putting together of the roster.  This means that Fnatic and Please Buff Arthas have significant advantages over them in this area.

Fnatic is one of the 3 major European Heroes of the Storm teams, so on paper they should be a formidable challenger for 1st place in the groups.  Keep in mind though, that this is the first international tournament that Fnatic has qualified for and played in.  All of their opponents have much more experience playing globally, even Imperium Pro Gaming from Southeast Asia.

Please Buff Arthas shocked the world at the Summer Global Championship by taking out the NA #2 seed and advancing to the 2nd Group Stage.  If they are as strong of a team now as they were then, this team has an excellent chance to advance as neither of the above two teams are unassailable locks for the next round.  However, they did struggle during their regional event, barely surviving Team Face Check's spirited challenge in order to return to the global stage.

Imperium Pro Gaming is probably the biggest wild card of this group.  They dominated their regional, but this hybrid team has yet to play a match as a team against more formidable competition.  That being said, 4 out of the 5 members do have experience playing against tougher international foes, so we will see if this Southeast Asian "super team" is able to surprise the above 3 teams and advance.  

Group Stage #2

Group A
 

 

Since MVP Black is a virtual lock for this group, Team Dignitas is about to get their wish: they are finally going to play a competitive Heroes of the Storm match against MVP Black.  

Also prepare yourself for the epic NA vs. EU rivalry - with MVP Black again a near lock to make it to the playoffs, only one spot in the playoffs will be available, along with the "final" say in the NA vs. EU feud in twitch chat.  The Astral Authority - Team Dignitas matches will likely decide the 2nd playoff team, unless the 2nd place in Group B plays the ultimate spoiler and ruins the NA/EU fun (if it isn't Fnatic).

Group B
 

  • Ballistix (qualified as Team L5)
  • ZeroPanda
  • Winner of Group B in last stage
  • 2nd place in Group A in last stage

 

Let's be honest here - every team would prefer going to Group A instead of this one. Ballistix and ZeroPanda are two of the best three teams in the entire tournament, with MVP Black being the other.  Making it out of this group against those two will be a formidable, almost insurmountable challenge for the other two teams in this group.

Opening Week for BlizzCon is Oct.26-Oct.28 starting at 9 am PDT.  Group Stage 2 and the Playoffs will be played at BlizzCon itself on November 4 and 5.  Catch all the action on BlizzHeroes twitch channel.

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

QUICKPOLL

Will the minor regions once again pull off a major upset or two and advance to the next Group Stage?

Of course - it happened last time.
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Minor regions are at too much of a disadvantage to consistently beat NA/EU/CN/KR
Thank you for voting!
Justin “Fenix2424” Lee
I have played Heroes of the Storm for over a year now with over 3000 games played. Although this is the first MOBA that I have played, I have been playing strategy games for years and always loved the thinking/theory side of games as much if not more so than the actual gameplay.