Now that we know the teams that will be competing in the refreshed HGC league structure, it’s time to take a closer look at those changes and get you caught up on some additional enhancements to the 2018 HGC program. Week 1 of the 2018 HGC season begins on January 19.
Clash Winners Advantage
The winners of the Eastern and Western Clashes won’t just have figurative bragging rights over half of the HGC, they’ll be bringing another team with them to the Mid-Season Brawl (and HGC Finals) as proof of their conquest. The additional team from a Clash-winning team’s region will still come from that region’s playoff system. However, instead of that region sending just the playoff winner to the Mid-Season Brawl as the region’s second team, the playoff runner-up will also advance. In the run-up to the HGC Finals, where the top two playoff teams advance to the championship tournament, it would be the third-place playoff team advancing via the Clash-winning team’s “buddy pass.”
The races for third and fourth place in Phase 1 will certainly heat up in the HGC regions boasting a Clash winner.
Intercontinental Clash and Horizon Clash
For HGC teams not competing in the Eastern and Western Clashes, the introduction of the Intercontinental Clash and Horizon Clash represents a new opportunity for distinction. These additional layers of competition will give teams from Latin America, Australia & New Zealand, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia the chance to prove themselves on a big regional stage before advancing to the biggest events on the HGC calendar: the Mid-Season Brawl and HGC Finals.
In one epic live event, the HGC Intercontinental Clash will see the best teams from Latin America and the best from Australia & New Zealand’s Premier Division settle their differences and send one team to the Mid-Season Brawl (and HGC Finals later in the year).
Similarly, the HGC Horizon Clash will show off the best from Taiwan and Southeast Asia do battle with the same prize on the line: a trip to the Mid-Season Brawl in June or a trip to the HGC Finals in late 2018.
Assemble Your Five
With the updated team ownership guidelines, there’s an opportunity for more dynamic rosters in 2018. During designated release and acquisition windows, HGC teams can relinquish rights to any player on their rosters and sign any available player to their rosters. While a wholesale overhaul of a full five-player active roster will likely be uncommon, it’ll add a new wrinkle to player and team dynamics in the season to come.
And Still to Come
The roll out of 2018 HGC info continues all the way up to kickoff on January 19. In the intervening weeks we’ll share more updates including the season schedule (Fnatic versus Dignitas anyone?), new announcers (fresh language streams, amigos?), and the future of pro player support programs like HGC Cheer (returning in mid-2018) and Play Like a Pro. Look for all that news and more on playheroes.com/esports.