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ANZ HGC Season 1 Qualifier #2 Sees Two Teams Advance to Grand Finals

by - 1 year ago

The ANZ Heroes scene was rife with competition this weekend as it was the last chance for teams to qualify for the ANZ HGC Grand Final Tournament. Over the past few weeks the Gamestah ANZ Qualifier Series has been running and teams have battled it out for the first two seeds into the ANZ HGC Grand Final Tournament. Those first two spots went to favourites Nomia and Sweet Dreams, two of the strongest teams on the scene. This weekend, however, marked the final Qualifier where first and second place attained the last two seeds. Casters Disconcur and GLPhoenix performed an excellent job shoutcasting the games and analysing the drafts, especially through the difficult moments caused by the aggressive nature of ANZ players. One example of this was in Game 3 of the Losers Bracket Final, which saw NMD and Plantronics continuously fighting over the Beacons on Braxis Holdout. It was certainly a memorable moment and speaks volumes of how tight and action packed these games were.

The ANZ Meta was largely unaffected by the latest Valeera patch, though there were some interesting picks made. It seems Rehgar was highly contested as an alternative to Malfurion, who is by and large the most contested Support in the Meta. Artanis was also picked up more often than expected as the supplementary tank. The most anticipated hero, Valeera, saw little to no play which is not as surprising. Valeera has not seen much competitive play as she released with a fairly low win rate due to little game impact and being easily countered. Heroes like Ragnaros and Tassadar were either banned or picked almost every game, and of the Heroes that did eventually make it through the banning phase; Dehaka, Fastad, Varian, Li Ming, Tychus and of course Malfurion were by far the most popular picks.

Bracket courtesy of ESL

The First Round went as expected. Kanga eSports enjoyed a bye, seeding directly into the Semi Final Round. Veterans Sassu took on new comers Insect Overlords in a convincing 2-0 match. Plantronics were the next to move up the bracket with a one sided 2-0 victory over Hawaiian Supplyin. NMD was the final team to continue on with yet another 2-0 win against the newly reformed Team Onyx. The Winners Bracket Semi Final is where the first real competition started with Sassu narrowly defeating Plantronics in a 2-1 series. Plantronics then had to fight for their competition life down in the Losers Bracket. NMD took down Kanga eSports 2-0 bringing the Winners Bracket Final to Sassu vs. NMD.

The first game in the Winners Bracket Final saw NMD facing Sassu on Cursed Hollow. NMD seemed to prove themselves worthy opponents, but an epic Sulfurus Smash from AeternaNyx saw the final team fight end in a victory for Sassu.

Image courtesy of ANZHeroesTV

The second game went to Dragon Shire where globals were not heavily impactful. Instead, team fights were more of the focus which saw Sonya make her first appearance on the side of NMD. This game ended with NMD landing an incredible Tour Bus Mosh Pit bringing the score even to 1-1.

Image courtesy of ANZHeroesTV

In the end though, Sassu showed exactly why they are so highly regarded in ANZ with the final win on Infernal Shrines. This solidified their spot in the Qualifier Grand Final and also the first seed of the competition into the Grand Final Tournament.

The competition didn’t end there however, as the Losers Bracket Final started off looking promising for NMD again as they versed Plantronics. The first game was on Battlefield of Eternity, and it was a constant back and forth between the two teams. After barely managing to save their core at 13 percent, NMD managed to salvage the win in nail-biting fashion in the end. The second map was Cursed Hollow and after a failed Void Prison to Apocalypse to Stage Dive wombo-combo on the side of NMD, and some help from the bottom lane boss, Plantronics secured the win.

Image courtesy of ANZHeroesTV

The final game in the Losers Bracket Final saw us on Braxis Holdout. This map was highly contested with nonstop action throughout, but in the end Plantronics proved their prowess taking the map and the match.

The Grand Final found Sassu and Plantronics battling it out yet again. The odds were stacked against Plantronics as Sassu came into the Grand Final with a one game advantage due to their success in the Winners Bracket. This never deterred them as they picked up the victory on the first map of Dragon Shire after just 17 minutes. The final game of the day went to Infernal Shrines where Plantronics secured the ever important Ragnaros pick which gave them ultimate control over the Shrines. This then eventuated in the final win of the day and granting them the better seed into the Grand Final Tournament.

In all, this weekend saw some outstanding Heroes action showing just how competitive the ANZ community can be. The two final two teams progressing to the ANZ Grand Final event were decided and went to Plantronics and Sassu. Though these were the two favourite teams going into the competition, it was not an easy ride to get to with plenty of twists and turns nearly halting their progress. This now means that on Saturday February 18 Nomia, Sweet Dreams, Plantronics, and Sassu will all battle it out for that coveted chance to not only win the largest share of the $20,000 prize pool, but also make their way to the Western Brawl to fight it out against the other regions. This event is surely not one to miss, so make sure you tune into twitch.tv/anzheroestv and prepare for some entertaining Heroes of the Storm eSports.

If you would like to watch any or all of the matches in this Qualifier you can find them here.

Nick Fielder