After a first phase of HGC full of upsets and plot twists, the strongest teams in Korea, Europe, North America, China, ANZ, and Brazil will all be travelling to Jönköping, Sweden, to battle in the first major Heroes of the Storm event of 2017, the Mid-Season Brawl.
In order to bring you up to speed, we will cover the most important details. Starting with the format and general information about the tournament, we will then have a brief overview of each team that managed to qualify for the event, discussing where they come from, what their strengths are, and what is at stake for them.
Date: June 10th – June 20th
Event start: 2:00pm CEST / 5:00am PST
Total cash prize: $250,000
Location: Elmia Convention Center – Jönköping, Sweden
The Mid-Season Brawl is a two phase event. The first part will be a Round-Robin, meaning that each team will be playing against each other the same amount of times. Teams will be divided in two groups of six. Matches will be played in a Best of two format, meaning ties will be possible. Three Points will be awarded per victory, one point per tie, 0 points for a loss.
When the round robin ends, the two teams sitting at the top of their group will qualify and move to the Upper Bracket of the Playoffs. The 3rd and 4th of each group will move to the Lower Bracket. At this point, the 5th and 6th rosters of each group will be eliminated from the tournament.
Playoffs will then be played in a double elimination format, with teams defeated dropping from Upper bracket to Lower bracket, for a chance of redemption. Each series will be a Best of 5.
As a special treat for us viewers, all finals will be Best of 7 series. We can expect very close games in these last moments, with teams and players being pushed to their limits.
Team L5 is the number one seed from Korea. Going into the tournament, most would agree that they are the favorite of this year’s Mid-Season Brawl. Their roster is composed of Noblesse, ScSc, nachojin, Swoy and Jeongha. By dominating the Korean HGC, with a current record of 14 wins and 0 losses and their near-perfect team play and macro game, L5 will be the team to beat in Sweden.
MVP Black used to be known as the best team in the world. Lately, they have slightly fallen off, having difficult series versus Tempest and L5. While they are sitting in second place of HGC Korea with a score of 12-2, MVP Black is by no means a team to underestimate, especially since their performance at the Eastern Clash. Their roster (Sake, Merryday, KyoCha, reset and ttsst) is known for their impressive mechanical outplays that they are able to execute. Look for flashy combos, and light speed rotations!
Fnatic managed to qualify for the Mid-Season Brawl by being number one in the European region with a stellar record of 13-1. Their roster is composed of Schwimpi, Breeze, Quacknix, SMX and Wubby. They were able to beat MVP Black in the Semifinals of Blizzcon, proving to the world that the best Korean team was not invincible. This team heavily driven by momentum could very well surprise us and perhaps take it all.
Team Dignitas will most probably be seen as the wildcard going into this tournament. While they experienced some difficulty during the first phase of the Western Clash, they managed to turn it around and take the trophy, showing their dominance in the European region. Dig is known to perform exceptionally well at live events. Watch out for very innovative drafts, and quality team synergy from Mene, Bakery, JayPL, Snitch and Zaelia
Underestimated for a long time, Tempo Storm has progressively made its way to the top of the NA standings. Their performance at MSB is important. They are coming to show that the North American Heroes scene is still competitive enough to be relevant internationally. The team of CauthonLuck, Psalm, Cattlepillar, Fury and Jun will do everything to avoid a repeat of their experience in the Western Clash where they lost their first two series and eliminated.
Formerly playing under the label Team 8, Roll20 Esports picked up Glaurung’s team along with Justing, Prismaticism, Buds and YoDa. Similarly to Team Dignitas, Roll20 could very well be the surprise of this tournament on the NA side of things. While some of their players have very limited experience at large events, we just can’t ignore the playmaking potential of this formation. We can expect bans targeted at Glaurung (especially Medivh and Zeratul) and game changing moves from Justing.
eStar Gaming, representing China HGC as their 2nd seed, is a very hit or miss team. They are able to beat top Korean teams, but sometimes show very underwhelming performances. This is mainly due to their playstyle. eStar Gaming is VERY aggressive. It will be no surprise if the Chinese powerhouse picks very damage oriented heroes, and abuse ganks, not to mentioned the infamous “Chinese bush meta”.
Team CE is the Chinese first seed. While this team has not been around for very long unlike the other big contenders in the tournament, they definitely made a reputation for themselves in the Chinese HGC league. The roster composed mostly of former players from big Chinese teams such as Zero Panda and EDG (Wind, Alooffool, Paradise, canjian and xuyu) will have to translate their success in HGC into a large offline event.
Team Nomia is the first and only seed from the ANZ region. This all Australian roster (Robadobah, Arcaner, FAT94, john and Vanilla) will have a lot to prove in Jönköping. They surprised everyone at the Western Clash by taking one map from Team Liquid (at the time 1st in the European HGC). We will have to see if the little experience they got from last event has allowed them to improve and reach a competitive international level.
Deadly Kittens comes to Mid-Season Brawl as the Southeast Asian representative. The team experienced some difficulties in the past, disbanding the roster, only to reunite a few months later to prepare for this event. Deadly Kittens are one of the underdogs in this tournament, but with their dedication (currently boot camping for the event), who know what they will achieve. The roster is composed of veteran Heroes player Mirr, and his teammates Enavir, Nsj, Stronger and Zeys.
Soul Torturers are one of the lesser known teams to really watch out for. This team was born from the ashes of Please Buff Arthas, a team that managed to gain the affection of the public by performing well against all expectations, and finishing 2nd of their group, over eStar Gaming at the 2016 Blizzcon. Will Soul Torturers live up to their name and show us some painfully dominant games?
The RED Canids roster consists of three members who formerly played together with Burning Rage at the Fall Championship, and before that as Big Gods at DreamHack Summer. The Latin American representatives find themselves in a difficult group at the Mid-Season Brawl, tasked with the likes of taking down L5, Tempo Storm, Team Dignitas, eStar, and Soul Torturers. They however managed to get decent results with their former teams, so a strong showing from them is a possibility.
This retrospective of all participants promises a Mid-Season Brawl full of action. With the outcome of series, at least in the Playoffs stage, is incredibly hard to predict. Between regions rising in mechanical and macro level such as Europe, and others full of determination like NA, the Korean Overlords and their all-in playstyle, the Chinese underdog region tryharding for the event, the competition will be fierce. Ideal for the very first major tournament since the release of Heroes 2.0!