eSports team Cloud 9 won the Heroes of the Storm Americas World Championships Regional in Las Vegas today, beating favorite Tempo Storm 3-2 in the final match-up on Sunday. Both teams advance to the final World Championship at BlizzCon in Anaheim this November.
It wasn’t completely locked in that Cloud 9 would win the finals, though they came out strong against rival Tempo Storm, taking the first two games and putting all the pressure on the perennial Heroes of the Storm North American team.
Many, though, felt that Tempo Storm might have been looking ahead to Anaheim having qualified earlier Sunday. However, Tempo Storm, going into the weekend 42-1 and the most dominant team in the region, may have a chance at redemption as Cloud 9 and Tempo Storm could face off at BlizzCon.
“This is what eSports is all about: high class competition from world class players,” Mike Morhaime, CEO of Blizzard Entertainment said following the Cloud 9 Heroes of the Storm win.
Throughout the match each game followed a significant theme: the team playing Uther, one of the strongest support Heroes in Heroes of the Storm, won the match. However, in the Hero Draft leading up to game five, Uther was banned by Tempo Storm, forcing both teams to follow different team composition strategies. The map in the final, deciding game plays extremely different than other maps: Blackheart’s Bay. Cloud 9 decided to take Jaina, Tyrande, Muradin, Zagara and Malfurion to counter Tempo Storm’s Johanna, Leoric, Kael’Thas, Abathur and Rehgar.
Cloud 9 smashed their way through the entire Heroes of the Storm Americas Regional, losing their only match against Tempo Storm the day before to knock them into the lower bracket of the tournament.
As with most Heroes of the Storm maps, Blackheart’s Bay has a map objective to add some more layers of strategy to the hero-brawler. Blackheart’s Bay forces players to collect coins and turn them in in order to activate a ship in the middle of the map which when activated will shoot down some of your opponent’s defenses. One of the keys to Cloud 9’s victory against the Heroes favorites was how they controlled the map, denying any substantial turn-ins by their opponents.
The top two teams from the Heroes of the Storm Americas tournament will advance on to the World Championships at BlizzCon in November, competing against teams all over the world for their chance at a $200,000 Grand Prize. So far, besides Cloud 9 and Tempo Storm, China Regional Qualifiers eStar Gaming and Team YL making it last month.
Heroes of the Storm brings together top characters across Blizzard’s franchises such as World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo, creating one of the more unique “Hero-Brawler” eSports on the market.
What did you think of the Heroes of the Storm Americas Championship? Excited for BlizzCon and the World Championships? Comment below with your thoughts.
[Image via Blizzard, Twitch.tv Screengrab]