Mid-Season Brawl Preview
Sat 9th Jun 2018 - 12:22pm
A year ago at the HGC Mid-Season Brawl at DreamHack Sweden, Team Dignitas lost to the home country heroes, Fnatic, in a full seven-game Finals. To get there, Team Dignitas went through the Group stage, gaining second seed among six other teams. In the Playoffs bracket, they defeated two Korean giants, MVP Black and L5, now Ballistix and Gen.G, respectively. Although their run was impressive, they were unable to clinch the win in the Finals.
This time, Team Dignitas is back to prove they are the best in the world. Having had a very impressive run in Phase 1 with a 13-1 W-L record and then going on to win the Western Clash in Katowice, Team Dignitas is poised to take a World Championship.
The Mid-Season Brawl starts on June 9th with the Group Stages in Stockholm, Sweden. It will be a round-robin format with two-game sets. After Group A and Group B teams face off in their groups, the top two from each will be seeded into the Upper Bracket of the Finals Bracket. The mid-two teams of each group will be in the Lower Bracket, and the last two teams of each group will be eliminated. There are three teams from Korea, three from Europe, two from North America, two from China, one team from Australia-New Zealand, and one team from Taiwan.
The Playoffs will take place from June 16-18 at DreamHack in Jönköping, Sweden. Before we get to the Playoffs, Team Dignitas has to make it out of groups. Let’s break down the teams they will be facing in Group B.
June 9-13 - Group Stage in Stockholm
Saturday, June 9
8:00 AM PDT / - Team Dignitas VS Tempest
Tempest finished Phase 1 of Korean HGC League play with a 10-4 W-L, giving them third seed into the Korean Playoffs. Perhaps a rougher season for Tempest overall, they are still not a team to be taken lightly. The team was able to defeat both Ballistix and Team BlossoM to earn their spot at the Mid-Season Brawl as the 2nd seed. The most recent Tempest games from the Playoffs showed them favoring heroes such as Hanzo, Maiev, Genji, and Malfurion. Tank bans were also pretty common for Tempest, like Garrosh and E.T.C.
When comparing meta, one thing that really differs between Team Dignitas and Tempest is Junkrat. Team Dignitas makes good use of Junkrat’s ability to displace enemies, while Tempest hasn’t played much of the hero, preferring to go with the Shimada brothers when possible. Meta clashes are always uncertain, but if Team Dignitas’ victory at GCWC 2017 is any indication, they are comfortable clashing with Korea.
2:00 PM PDT / - Team Dignitas VS Method
Method earned their spot as third EU seed by defeating Zealots in the EU Playoffs, 3-2. Both times Team Dignitas faced Method in the EU League, they won convincingly, both times a 3-0. But, the fact that Method was able to stop the EU underdogs Zealots in the EU Playoffs means they have something to prove, especially after being knocked out of the Western Clash very early in the bracket by NA. EU vs EU meta involves a lot of Hanzo and a lot of Genji. For Supports, both Team Dignitas and Method have shown their ability to be versatile outside of the usual Malfurion. Rehgar, Stukov, Uther, and Kharazim all have their place in the draft, and MSB will show whether Malfurion will maintain his Support supremacy.
Sunday, June 10
9:30 AM PDT / - Team Dignitas VS CE
CE is the first seed of China, having had an impressive season in HGC China. China as a region has had their ups and downs, and most recently has been considered to be in a slump when compared to other regions. At GCWC 2017, we saw CE regain some strength by defeating teams such as Beyond the Game and Roll20 Esports. But they also went 1-1 with many teams from the group stage, even Team Dignitas. While CE fell to Team Dignitas later in the Playoffs bracket, they definitely earned some attention for their assertive play style. Some of the most recent games from CE during the HGC China Playoffs showed them with some aggressive drafts, utilizing heroes such as Tracer, Sonya, Diablo, and Varian. While they may have a very different meta than EU, Team Dignitas learned they cannot count CE out and need to make sure to respect their brute force methods.
Monday, June 11
8:00 AM PDT / - Team Dignitas VS HeroesHearth Esports
HeroesHearth Esports have had an explosive HGC season. They continually raise their own bar, exceeding expectations and are a strong force behind the rise of NA as a region. At the Western Clash, many were skeptical of the team fresh from Open Division. But, HeroesHearth has a strong roster of pro player veterans. The team defeated Method at the Western Clash and also took a game off of Team Dignitas. They went 7-0 in the second part of HGC NA and defeated Team Octalysis in the NA Playoffs to become NA’s second seed going into MSB. Like Team Dignitas, HeroesHearth is very versatile with their hero pools. Their Playoffs game against Team Octalysis showcased a wide variety, such as Abathur, Blaze, Cassia, Arthas, and Fenix, as well as more meta picks like Malfurion and the Shimada Brothers. This game will definitely be one of the most exciting of the Group Stage, as both teams are innovators with meta.
Tuesday, June 12
9:30 AM - Team Dignitas VS Luna Meow
Luna Meow is the top team in Taiwan. They duked it out with Resurgence at the Horizon Clash and won to claim their spot at MSB. In that series, Luna Meow played quite a bit of Gul’dan, a hero that has fallen off in popularity in other regions. Other Mage picks seemed to be quite common for Luna Meow as well. They also were able to play a coup of the games of the newest Support, Deckard Cain. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues, as Cain will be playable for all teams at MSB and it’s possible Team Dignitas may consider him to be a viable hero. While Taiwan might be considered a minor region, it’s always these regions that teams need to watch out for. Meta clashes can catch any team off guard, and Team Dignitas will have to make sure they play their best game, every game.
June 16-18 - Playoffs in Jönköping
After the Group Stages are done, the Playoffs will take place at the main DreamHack Sweden event. World clashes are always the most exciting tournaments for Heroes of the Storm, and Team Dignitas has a very strong shot at taking home the trophy this year.
You can tune into the BlizzHeroes Twitch to watch the action live
And of course, join us in the #DIGscord for the usual viewing parties. We’ll be there for the Team Dignitas games and we hope everyone else will come to hang out!