The rise of Team League

Heroes Gosu “GosuGamers” Gamers

With voice chat coming to Heroes, will Team League become the go to play mode?  Let’s look at what’s on the horizon for Team League.

While solo is convenient, it’s the least fulfilling experience

I’m sure every gamer can recall the experience of grinding out a game.  

You boot it up, learn the basics, master it, beat it, then? That’s usually it. It’s like binge eating ice-cream; instantaneous and short-lived gratification.

When looking back though, what gaming experiences stand out as fun or impactful?  

If I had to wager a guess, the memories that stand out would involve playing with a friend, or friends. While it’s convenient to play Heroes alone, trying to grind up the Hero League ladder as a solo-Q is probably going to be a miserable experience no matter how great of a game Blizzard makes.  Here’s why:

•    Team games make you dependent on other’s actions.
•    People that do not value cooperation end up in Hero League Solo.
•    Low or poor communication makes learning and coordination nearly impossible.  
•    Your success relies on assuming everyone thinks the same and plays the same way.

Something that is commonly overlooked in our society is that we evolved from social primates, and like the social primates that we are, we still have emotional wiring that tells us, “group acceptance = good = survival”.  Our limbic system loves to communicate and be recognized as acceptable to the group.  

The whole reason a leader board system exists is because we care about our standing in the group.  

Does it really make sense to climb to the top of a leaderboard and have no meaningful friendships that helped you get there?

The Team League experience is the place to be

In the past few months, people have been getting exposed to Team League through Reddit and other small communities.  I'll let people's experiences speak for themselves.

 We were able to get three games in and even when we lost we felt as though they simply played better.”  -hotstickywaffle

I was able to get two games in tonight. A win and a loss, but both matches were fun. Thanks for doing this kind of organization.” -CaleKnight

 This is fantastic.  edit: there are always people willing to team up, have fun, and not get upset over things. Just test out what works and what doesn't, and it's been a learning experience for me." –professionalevilstar

My wife and I joined the channel and had several games. More losses than wins, but we were on Discord with the group and everyone was laughing. More fun than any Quick Play or Hero League we've tried.” -posts_no_comments

Why Team League isn’t a thing. Yet.

The above examples show what’s possible in Heroes, but still, there’s currently two major factors keeping Team League from taking off:

•    No built-in groups or guilds
•    No built-in voice comms

So what hope do we have of solving these hurdles?

Comms are coming to Heroes.

Currently, battle.net beta has voice comms baked into the client. It’s super easy to make a group with your friends and chat on voice. Once voice rolls out, being able to communicate on comms will be effortless, assuming you have a mic. 

As far as guilds go, there's no word on any new system yet, but, there are plenty of small channels dedicated to playing Team Leauge out there at all ranges of skill.  Not to mention, BlizzCon is right around the corner bringing any number of cool features for the Nexus.

Wrapping up

Dustin Browder has made it clear that they feel Team League is the way to play.

It will be easier than ever to communicate with friends and enjoy the game to its fullest.  People are catching on; Team League is more likely to create those magical video game moments. 
With voice chat just around the corner, fun and teamwork in Team League may just replace that lonely Hero League grind for good.

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What do you think? Will comms make a difference to Team League?

It will always be too much work to do Team League.
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Voice chat will make Team League the place to be!
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