Mid-Season Brawl playoffs: Will Korea prevail or be over thrown?
The first week of the Mid-Season Brawl is complete and as we say goodbye to four teams from the group stages we look to the playoffs to decide the next Heroes esports world champion.
Latin America’s RED Canids were eliminated without picking up a single game, while Taiwan’s Deadlykittens were sent home as well with a 2-8 record. In the past China has been a strong contender for international competition, but this year as the top Chinese team, CE, could not travel third place team, Super Perfect Team stepped in but performed poorly, only winning one game in their round. Southeast Asia’s Soul Torturers have been impressive in the past as Please Buff Arthas and they held their own, tieing with Tempo Storm in their group but lost in their tiebreaker game.
Setting the “NA LUL” memes aside, North America has looked the strongest in this tournament than any other international competition. Roll20 took a game off of Koreans MVP Black in their first day, but looked fairly weak against their European counterparts, falling to Fnatic 2-0. Tempo Storm was in a much tougher group with opponents like eStar and L5, ending up tieing with Soul Torturers but barely slipping into the final four, winning their tiebreaker game.
It’s no secret that both of the European teams have a strong chance of finally dethroning Korea of their international titles. At the end of group stages they’re off to a good start, both ending second place of their group. While Dignitas fell 2-0 to eStar, they turned around and beat L5 2-0 not only in their group match, but in their single game tiebreaker as well. Dignitas has said their goal is to play MVP Black, and they’ll get their chance going into the upper bracket of the playoffs. Fnatic, however, goes into the playoffs with a better with 2-0 wins against all opponents except MVP Black.
Nomia has been the most impressive lower region this tournament, 2-0ing SPT, and even taking a game off Roll20. As they go to the playoffs in the lower bracket, they might need a miracle if they hope to advance further in the Phoenix Bracket while they're up against L5 first.
With SPT falling out, eStar is now the last hope for China and they’ve had a strong run 2-0ing Dignitas and Team Storm. They've held holding strong enough to end at the top of their group with 11 points.
While Korea is usually favored in any international tournament, this could be the tournament where Korea’s reign ends. L5 slipped into the playoffs third in their group with a 7-3 record, while MVP Black impressively leads their group and the tournament 9-1 with their only loss coming at the hands of Roll20. L5 is suspected to win the title (again) but they notably struggled against Dignitas and even lost a game versus Tempo Storm. While the playoff brackets are a whole new ball game, L5 will need to step it up if they hope to at least advance to the semi-finals.
Although some teams have most likely been hiding strategies up to this point, it's interesting to see the metas of various regions collide. Just in the groups alone we've seen 50-something heroes picked up and even play from newer Heroes like D.Va and Genji.
This international format is unlike any other Heroes esports has attempted before. So far the matches to watch coming up will definitely be MVP Black v. Dignitas in the upper bracket, and the North American clash between Roll20 and Tempo Storm.
The Mid-Season Brawl playoffs begin Saturday, June 17th at 1:00 a.m. PDT with the lower bracket games, L5 v. Nomia on twitch.tv/blizzheroes.
Follow us on Twitter @GosuGamersHotS for more Heroes of the Storm news and coverage from around the world.