If you have been watching any of the games from HGC Korea you may have noticed something different. No, I am not talking about the crisp rotations or remarkable mechanical skills. I am talking about the appearance of the game itself. This is because the stream is being broadcast in Color Blind Mode. As you can see, the blues are a little bit lighter and the reds are more towards the yellow end of the spectrum.* This change is not only reflected in things like Hero name plates, Structures, and the Mini-Map, but it is also affects how various Abilities are displayed. There are also other subtle differences, like how the neutral Mercenary Camps are displayed on the Mini-Map. Rather than the familiar yellow color, they show up as white in Color Blind Mode. While broadcasting competitive Heroes in this mode is something new, there has long been a subset of players
What a weekend of HGC action! We found out which six teams will be representing Europe and North America at the Western Clash and we got our first look at professional play on the Valeera patch. Although Valeera herself only made a brief cameo (3 games), there was a noticeable change in the Meta as a result of the patch change. For starters, Tassadar was played or banned in 77% of the games played over the weekend. While this may sound high, he had been at 94% on the old patch. Malfurion continued to be a fixture in every game. Literally every game! Of the 75 games played over the weekend Malfurion was either picked or banned in every single one. Although his win rate was only 47% it still goes to show how much value the top players feel he has. Of Heroes who were played in at least
The Lucio patch has been released on the live server, which means it is time to rock out to the soothing sounds of futuristic Overwatch EDM. Check out this guide for tips on how to play this latest Support Hero. The other big Heroes related news in this patch is the rework to Murky. Based on early PTR feedback, the general consensus seems to be that this new iteration of Murky is crazy OP. One of the more interesting Talent additions is Egg Hunt, which allows Murky to place several fake Eggs which cast slime when destroyed. To help make it harder to tell which is the real Egg. Murky has 5 seconds of Stealth after emerging from his Egg. Murky may even be able to function as a tank now thanks to Talents like the reworked Fish Tank, Egg Shell, and Big Tuna Kahuna. Even if you don’t play
Lucio has arrived in the Nexus and he is ready to get the party started. Whether you need a body moving bass line or a spirit soothing melody, this freedom fighting DJ knows just what song to play. Lucio is a mobile Support Hero who provides sustained AOE healing. What he lacks in damage he more than makes up for in utility. In this guide will go over Lucio’s kit as well as a solid all around Lucio Build that will put your enemies into a trance and have your teammates cheering your name. Basic Abilities Soundwave (Q): Deal moderate damage to enemies in a cone shaped area and knock them back. Crossfade (W): Play either a Healing Boost track (yellow circle) to heal nearby Heroes or a Speed Boost track (green circle) to increase the movement of nearby Heroes. Amp It Up (E): Increase the volume of Lucio’s Crossfade track and increase its benefit
There is still one more week of league play before the HGC officially takes a break for the Western Clash, but we already know which teams will be representing Europe and North America. As expected, Europe will be sending Misfits, Fnatics, and Team Dignitas to Katowice. The North American representatives are much more surprising. Most people expected to see Tempo Storm and Gale Force eSports qualify, but no one would have predicted that Team 8 would advance, let alone how convincingly they would do so. Left on the outside looking in are well known teams like B-Step (Formerly Denial) and Team Naventic. Still to be determined are which teams will advance from the Latin America and Australia/New Zealand regions. Image courtesy of ESL The Western Clash will take place at the Intel Extreme Masters in Katowice, Poland. Games will get under way on March 3rd, with eight teams battling it
I was fortunate enough to be a guest recently on the Nexus Trolls podcast. I had a great time doing it and one of the topics we discussed really stuck with me. The show features a weekly strategy segment entitled Mystic’s Shakedown. In this particular episode the topic of discussion was One-Trick Ponies, or players who specialize in one particular Hero. It was inspired by the following quote from Bruce Lee. The point is clear. It is better to be a master of one thing than to be mediocre at many. While this makes perfect sense in the real world, does it hold true in the Nexus? Is it better to be great at one Hero or to be average at many Heroes? I don’t think the answer is quite as obvious. On the show, Mystic gave his thoughts which you can hear in the video below (there is also an awesome
Another weekend of intense HGC action means another opportunity to look to the pros for ways that we can improve our own games. One of the greatest parts of the HGC is that each region has its own distinct style of play and Hero prioritization. In addition to games from NA and EU, this weekend also brought us our first look at the Korean HGC. Considering that every Global HGC event with the exception of Blizzcon 2015 has been won by a Korean team, there is a lot to be learned from watching how our Korean Overlords play. Long Live the King! Varian saw a notable uptick in play this last weekend. North America had already been featuring a fair amount of Varian, but several Korean teams also drafted comps featuring the Alliance King. EU even got in on the action by picking Varian four times over the weekend after
The PTR is live and everyone’s favorite upbeat DJ is ready to turn in up. The PTR will be available until February 13th, with Lucio expected to hit the live servers the following day. In addition to a new Support Hero, this patch will also bring with it the For Azeroth! event, which you can read more about here. While players will not be able to compete this event on the PTR, they may encounter elements in the course of play. This patch also includes quite a few Hero changes. Notable changes include buffs to Valeera, a Murky rework, and a swap of Varian’s Level 13 and 16 Talents. Read all about these changes and everything else currently included in this PTR build below.
In a response on the Reddit thread announcing this week’s Hero Brawl, Hammer Time, it was revealed that individual Hero XP will eventually be coming to Brawls. Here is the official comment from Game Designer John DeShazer: While the post itself is light on details, it is good to know that this often requested feature is in the works. It would make sense that this feature might accompany the upcoming rework to Account and Hero leveling, which there is also no ETA for. I don’t know about you, but I for one would play a lot more Brawls if they included Hero XP. If you would like to join the discussion, simply click here to visit the official Reddit thread.
Welcome back to Lessons from the HGC, where we study the competitive scene to look for ways that we can improve our own games. It is important to note that HGC games are currently being played on the Zul’jin patch, which means none of the reworks, buffs, or nerfs that were a part of the Valeera patch are in the build they are playing on. This is relevant because Tassadar continues to be a highly valued Hero, with an incredibly high ban and win rate. It also explains why no one is riding around on the sweet Golden Rooster mount. His Time Has Come Artanis has long had a loyal following of devoted players patiently waiting for him to rise to the top of the Meta. That day has finally arrived, at least in North America. What makes Artanis such a threat is the playmaking potential of Phase Prism, especially