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HGC 2017 NA & EU Power Rankings: Post-Western Clash

Heroes Justin “Fenix2424” Lee

The first five weeks of HGC revealed where all the teams stand within their own regions. Now with the Western Clash in the books, we can combine the rankings of North America and Europe into one combined power rankings. 

My previous power rankings for NA and EU

Link to NA Power Rankings 

 

  1. Team 8
  2. Gale Force eSports
  3. Tempo Storm
  4. B Step
  5. Superstars
  6. Team Freedom
  7. Team Naventic
  8. No Tomorrow

 

Link to EU Power Rankings 

 

  1. Misfits
  2. Fnatic
  3. Team Dignitas
  4. Team Expert
  5. Playing Ducks
  6. Tricked eSports
  7. Synergy
  8. BeGenius ESC

 

General Observations

Well, I think the North America vs. Europe debate is officially over. North America managed to win just one map against Europe, leaving Europe to take the top 3 spots at the Western Clash. The biggest positive surprise was definitely Nomia out of the Australia and New Zealand region, who were able to take a game off of #1 overall seed Misfits and the best team in North America. We should definitely see Nomia again in the Midseason Brawl, and it'll be exciting to see if they'll even be better there.

Finally, Tyrande made a massive comeback in the Grand Finals of the Western Clash, with both Team Dignitas and Fnatic daring to pick her. With more baseline armor buffs on the way for multiple heroes, is Tyrande about to become a top tier hero again? Has the dreaded stun meta returned? I guess we'll find out when weekly HGC matches are a thing again, starting April 14.

My Post-Western Clash Combined Power Rankings

1. Team Dignitas (5-2) (Previously EU #3)

Results at the Western Clash: 1st place (Defeated Team 8 2-1; Lost to Misfits 0-3; Defeated Gale Force eSports 3-0; Defeated Team 8 3-0; Defeated Misfits 3-2; Defeated Fnatic 3-2)

Well that came out of nowhere. Team Dignitas looked like the most beatable of the 3 European powerhouses during the first five weeks of HGC, and that continued for most of the Western Clash. And then after falling into an 0-2 hole against Misfits in the Losers' Finals, a light came on. Suddenly we were seeing picks like Tyrande, Stitches, Kael'thas and Chromie...and the crazy picks were WORKING! They were able to reverse sweep their way out of a 2-0 deficit in the Losers' Finals and outlasted Fnatic 3-2 in the Grand Finals to claim the Western Clash, all behind these unorthodox heroes.

Special accolades has to go out to Bakery on his Malfurion, which was amazing. Also what a debut for new coach Dunktrain, whose team wound up winning an event no one expected them to on his first try. The scary thing is, Bakery claims that this team is nowhere near its final form.

2. Fnatic (6-1) (Previously EU #2)

Results at the Western Clash: 2nd place (Defeated Gale Force eSports 2-0; Defeated Tempo Storm 3-0; Defeated Misfits 3-1; Lost to Team Dignitas 2-3)

For most of the tournament, it looked like we were seeing the Fnatic from BlizzCon. They showed incredible synergy and drafts, dominating all their opponents regardless of whether they were from North America or were as celebrated as Misfits.

And then the Grand Finals happened. Whether it be from rust or fatigue, Fnatic players were picked off alarmingly frequently by Team Dignitas kill compositions, and they just couldn't quite recover from the massive deficits they found themselves in when that happened. This was an incredibly disappointing end to an otherwise stellar tournament, but I have no doubt that they'll come back stronger than ever.

3. Misfits (7-0) (Previously EU #1)

Results at the Western Clash: 3rd Place (Defeated Nomia 2-1; Defeated Team Dignitas 3-0; Lost to Fnatic 1-3; Lost to Team Dignitas 2-3)

For the first 4 weeks of HGC, Misfits looked unassailable. They secured the #1 seed for the Western Clash and were considered big favorites to win the entire event. And then Week #5 happened, where Misfits suffered back to back losses in their 3-2 win over Tricked eSports after taking an easy 2-0 lead, all to the same Triple Warrior composition with Tyrande and Dehaka. All of us wondered at the time whether that was just a blip or whether it was indicative of what was to come at the Western Clash.

Unfortunately for the Misfits, it was clearly the latter, as they surprisingly dropped a map to Nomia, got outclassed by Fnatic, and then suffered a reverse sweep loss to Team Dignitas in the Losers' Finals after beating them 3-0 earlier in the tournament (and in Week 1 of HGC). Misfits is going to need to go over their matches in the past few weeks, figure out what went wrong, and fix it quickly.

While this disappointing finish at the Western Clash doesn't matter that much in the grand scheme of things, securing the #1 EU seed in HGC so they can get an automatic bid to the Midseason Brawl is definitely important - and they won't get it playing like they did at the Western Clash.

4. Team Expert (4-3) (Previously EU #4)

Results at the Western Clash: None, as Team Expert didn't qualify for the Western Clash as the fourth best European team.

Team Expert is ranked ahead of all the North American teams despite not making it to the Western Clash because they won 3 maps against the Top 3 European teams, which is more than all of the North American teams combined at the Western Clash. I feel pretty confident in saying that I don't think any of the top 3 North American teams qualify for the Western Clash if they played in Europe.

5. Team 8 (6-1) (Previously NA #1)

Results at the Western Clash: 4th place Finish (Lost to Team Dignitas 1-2; Defeated Nomia 2-1; Defeated Tempo Storm 3-2; Lost to Team Dignitas 0-3)

It's hard to put into words just how quick and incredible Team 8's rise to prominence has been: Team 8 started off HGC 2017 widely expected to face relegation in the Crucible. Just a couple weeks later, they became the first North American team to win a map against a European Heroes of the Storm team since the 2016 Spring Global Championship. Yes, it's been that long.

Their 3-2 win punctuated by an epic Justing Mosh pit over Tempo Storm was also big, as it establishes them as the consensus #1 North American Heroes of the Storm team going into the 2nd part of Phase 1 in HGC North America. While the 0-3 loss to Team Dignitas in the Losers' semis will sting, they can take pride in their overall performance at the Western Clash, particularly since they were actually ahead for much of Games 1 & 2 against the eventual Western Clash champions. I can't wait to see how good this team will be at the Midseason Brawl.

A detailed discussion of a pivotal moment in Game 5 against Tempo Storm can be found here.

6. Gale Force eSports (5-2) (Previously NA #2)

Results this week: 5th/6th place (Lost 0-2 to Fnatic; Defeated Infamous 2-0; Lost 0-3 to Team Dignitas)

I mentioned in the North American Power Rankings that Gale Force eSports was going to have to play out of their mind at the Western Clash due to the superior warrior play of their competitors, particularly the Europeans. This proved extremely prescient, as Equinox struggled mightily, routinely getting picked off by their European opponents. We didn't see much Khroen playing Warrior due to him being repeatedly on Li Ming, but I think it's fair to say that Gale Force eSports is going to have a lot of trouble if they don't start fixing their warrior play problem.

Gale Force eSports is ranked ahead of Tempo Storm due to their 3-0 head to head win in HGC.

7. Tempo Storm (6-1) (Previously NA #3)

Results at the Western Clash: 5th/6th place (Defeated Infamous 2-0; Lost 0-3 to Fnatic and Team Dignitas)

Tempo Storm is at a bit of a crossroads right now. They are still clearly one of North America's best teams, but that's three international events now where they have been unable to be a serious threat against teams from other regions. With the youthful Team 8 having wrested away the title as Best North American team at the Western Clash as well, this leaves this roster with two choices: they can use this as motivation to redouble their efforts and take their game to new heights, or they can allow this to be the beginning of a gradual decline in stature, both abroad and in North America.

A detailed discussion of a pivotal moment in Game 5 against Tempo Storm can be found here.

8. Playing Ducks (3-4) (Previously EU #5)

Results at the Western Clash: None

9. Tricked eSports (2-5) (Previously EU #6)

Results at the Western Clash: None

Yes, I'm well aware B Step has more wins than either Playing Ducks or Tricked eSports. However, the results of the Western Clash make it unequivocally clear that Playing Ducks & Tricked eSports face significantly better competition on a week to week basis, and taking that into consideration, both Playing Ducks & Tricked eSports overall performance has been more impressive.

10. B Step (4-3) (Previously NA #4)

Results at the Western Clash: None

11. Superstars (3-4) (Previously NA #5)

Results at the Western Clash: None

12. Team Freedom (2-5) (Previously NA #6)

Results at the Western Clash: None

13. Synergy (1-6) (Previously EU #7)

Results at the Western Clash: None

14. Team Naventic (1-6) (Prevously NA #7)

Results at the Western Clash: None

15. No Tomorrow (1-6) (Previously NA #8)

Results at the Western Clash: None

16. BeGenius ESC (0-7) (Previously EU #8)

Results at the Western Clash: None

Not even the stronger European competition excuses an 0-7 match record with just 2 map wins.


The Eastern Clash begins on March 17 and ends on March 19.

Eight teams (3 from South Korea, 3 from China, 1 from Southeast Asia and 1 from Taiwan) will be playing in a Double Elimination Bracket to reveal which team and region is the best in the East.

HGC weekly play resumes on Friday, April 14 @ 18:00 CET / 9:00 am PST.

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

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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.

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