The stage is set and the brackets have been filled for the first international competition for Heroes of the Storm in 2017. Of the competing teams, Nomia, have proved themselves worthy in the ANZ circuit yet again and secured themselves a dominant seat at the HGC Western Clash this coming weekend. I took some time this week to sit down with team captain, Robadobah, to pick his brain on the competition and see how he and his team feel coming into this challenging competition.
First and foremost congratulations on your win in the ANZ Grand Final. How did you and the team feel coming into the competition?
Very confident honestly, the other teams kind of imploded this time… It was a little disappointing.
How do you think the ANZ meta compares to the other regions?
This is tricky because, we don’t really have a meta in that people usually revolve their picks around their comfort Heroes. Where as I think in other regions they generally pick more for comp, so we’ll just play against teams in this region and we’ll pick and ban a few Heroes we know the other team can run decently, and then they just sort of unravel generally.
How have you prepared for the Western Clash? I’m assuming you can’t really scrim any of the international teams due to lag/ping.
Yeah so we’ve just had to scrim ANZ, which has been OK in that a few teams are just trying to form and they’ve played trial rosters against us. But it’s not ideal preparation for us obviously because most of them aren’t real teams or have real expectations of beating us in scrims.
Are there any regions close by that you can scrim?
You can vaguely scrim South East Asia but it’s really not ideal. I have done it in the past on other teams I’ve been in and it just generally goes, whoever has the server wins.
Which team do you think will be the biggest challenge in the Western Clash?
Probably Misfits, they just look so good generally. I think just their consistency is really good, they just don’t drop sets.
Speaking of Misfits, you guys have been seeded in to face them in the very first round. How do you guys feel about that?
I think its reasonable enough the way they’ve done it. It obviously doesn’t help us at all having to play the best first, but if they’re going to do a double elimination bracket I guess it makes sense to seed it like they have. So I cant really complain.
Round of Eight
Misfits – EU (1) vs. Nomia – ANZ (8)
Team 8 – NA (4) vs. Team Dignitas – EU (5)
Tempo Storm – NA (2) vs. Infamous – LATAM (7)
Fnatic – EU (3) vs. Gale Force eSports – NA (6)
I’d like for the readers to get to know you a little more personally, what was your gaming background before playing HotS?
Well I played League of Legends for a year or two and I picked up Heroes of the Storm as kind of a side game, like I was just going to play it if I was tilting in LoL but then something about HotS I just fell in love with so I just grinded that out. I’ve been playing it competitively since early 2015 or so.
Tell us a bit about your experience of competitive Heroes of the Storm in ANZ.
I guess to some extent we take it for granted that we are always at the top, but it’s nice that we feel some security in that we will get opportunities to play over seas. I guess the curse is that it gets kind of boring at the top sometimes. It feels like teams have given up, to some extent, to try to beat us. It’s just weird that there are so many beefs within the competitive player base in ANZ, so people just really limit themselves. There are certain decent players who could team together but they have some kind of hatred towards each other so it just doesn’t materialise. So instead of one strong competitive team that could maybe challenge us, it always breaks off into multiple lesser talented teams.
What are you most excited about going into Poland for the Western Clash?
Well this will be my first time playing a European team on stage so I think that will be quite fun. It will be fun to play Misfits because back in Negative Synergy, in our first international LAN in Korea, the other teams generally wouldn’t scrim us. They just thought ANZ region isn’t very good but then Misfits, who were MyInsanity at the time, they gave us scrims so that was quite nice of them so i quite like them.
Yourself and Ben have both been apart of teams that have successively won every single ANZ tournament, what sort of advantage do you think that gives you and your team going through the qualifiers and going into international tournaments?
I don’t even know if it gives us an advantage because we face so little competition domestically that its a pretty crazy experience when you go from a region, where you win every single scrim and every competition, to an environment where the teams are as good or better than you.
It seems the competition in ANZ is not entirely up to the standard of the rest of the world, what do you think could help with this?
I have no idea at this point, I wish I had an answer for that. I think too much money goes to teams for not coming first. I don’t want to sound greedy but it seems like teams don’t really care about winning, they’re just content with getting the second or third place prize money.
Do you think the constant player swapping is negatively impacting the ANZ scene?
Yeah its not great that teams don’t stick together, it is hard though because if you’re constantly losing its hard to not make swaps if you want to improve. I think generally players don’t push themselves hard enough in this region. No one really tries to grind Hero League enough, no one tries to take control of the scene and try to carry games. They’re just all OK with casually playing HotS and not winning, I don’t know. I feel like a lot of people have just accepted defeat for some reason.
Is there anything you’d like to say to the readers? Any shout outs you’d like to make?
Yeah just a shout out to my team Nomia, hopefully we can do something great this time. I’m optimistic.
Thank you to Robadobah for taking the time to give our readers some insight into the trials and tribulations of the ANZ scene. Keep your eye out for him and his team at the first Western Clash of 2017. Make sure you cheer them on as they first come up against the strongest team in Europe at the moment, Team Misfits. You can catch Team Nomia here on 3-5 of March.