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Lessons From The HGC Week 5

by Alebeard on

It is that time of the week again, where we look at how the professionals play and think to ourselves, “That looks easy, I think I’ll do it too!” It is important to keep in mind that while the rest of us have moved on to a new patch and a new Hero, the players in the HGC are still on the Valeera patch. This means no one is breaking it down and no one is impossibly hard to kill and only counts as a quarter of a Hero even if you do manage to kill him. Those are topics for another day. Today it is all about fetishes, the kids who never get picked for dodge ball, and knowing when to move on. Shaking With Excitement I think we can all agree that there is something wrong with Nazeebo. No, I don’t mean he is OP or bad for

The ANZ HGC Competition came to an explosive conclusion this weekend with the Grand Final Series. Over the past few weeks the Qualifiers have seen the best of the best duke it out for the honour of competing in this event. The four teams that managed to achieve this were Nomia, Sweet Dreams, Plantronics NV and Sassu. The production value of these online matches were impeccable, aside from the odd connection issue, and the talented Disconcur and Skimmy cast the event live from ESL studios in Sydney. One of the most enjoyable facets of the production was the minimal downtime between games having few breaks last longer than 5 minutes. More entertaining portions of the day came from the banter between teams in the Drafting Phase showing the larrikin nature of the ANZ players. Going into the competition the favourites for sure were Nomia. However, eagle eye punters believed Plantronics

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

 

Patch Notes For February 14, 2017

by Alebeard on

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

 

EU And NA Field Set For Western Clash

by Alebeard on

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

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

 

Ten Thousand Kicks

by Alebeard on

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

 

Lessons From The HGC Week 3

by Alebeard on

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 another fine example of Blizzard cross-promoting their games the Heroes of the Storm team announced an upcoming promotion with ties to the home of many Nexus heroes: Azeroth. During the For Azeroth! event beginning February 14th and running through March 14th players can earn two epic in-game mounts, one for World of Warcraft and the other for Heroes of the Storm (along with a few other in-game goodies).

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