Aaron Blackman – Blizzard Entertainment
Emerging from the Crucible in 2017, HeroesHearth Esports became the first North American team to successfully fight their way from the HGC Open Division into the league itself. After a rocky beginning to the season, HeroesHearth competed at the Western Clash and has only lost one match in North America out of their last eight. Now sitting at 7-3, HeroesHearth is ranked third in North America, trailing Team Freedom by only three games as they set their sights on the Mid-Season Brawl.
Kills From Chaos
Leading the pack at HeroesHearth is Khalif “Khroen” Hashim, who is undefeated in 16 games with Hanzo. The Shimada brother has played a part in 66% of HeroesHearth’s wins, and has been banned by their opponents 11 times. Additionally, Taylor “Arthelon” Eder has an 80% win rate with Tassadar over 10 games, a hero the team prioritizes more than their North American counterparts. These helpful statistics and more can be found on the newly added team pages right here on the Heroes Esports website.
“I think our team’s greatest strengths in team fighting comes from our ability to take advantage of chaotic situations,” Chris “ishb00” Martin explained. “Most of our players, especially McIntyre and Arthelon, have a kind of a killer instinct when the fights break out and are always looking to make that big play. Honestly, our biggest struggle as a team has been just trying to rein that back enough so that we can sync our engages up.”
As their main Warrior player, ishb00 has a vested interest in how and when their team engages for team fights. With added experience throughout Phase 1 and their international experience at the Western Clash, HeroesHearth’s coordination has looked cleaner week after week. There were numerous instances of synchronized team fights during their match with Team Twelve this week, but the patience they showed on Infernal Shrines demonstrated cool heads against a tough opponent:
“Everyone on our team can step up and make that big play happen which makes it dangerous for the opponent to try and focus any one of us,” ishb00 added.
Keeping Their Opponents Guessing
Through seven weeks of HGC League Play, HeroesHearth has used 44 different heroes, one of the most diverse hero pools in North America. A major contributing factor here has been Arthelon as a flex player using 18 different heroes so far in Phase 1. Playing off-meta heroes and uncommon team compositions have been a focus for the team ever since they worked their way through the HGC Open Division.
“Pulling out unique comps from time to time just always puts that little fear in the back of the enemy team’s mind during draft that maybe they need to change up their drafting from what they normally do, and that little bit of doubt can go a long way towards winning draft.” said ishb00.
Balancing the potential for risk or reward, the team is somewhat hit-or-miss when using unique heroes and team compositions. While they are 2-0 with LiLi and 1-0 with Thrall, they are also 0-2 with Rexxar and 0-1 with Azmodan.
The team certainly has some important matches in the upcoming weeks that will directly influence seeding for the HGC Playoffs at the end of April. HeroesHearth squares off against the current second-place Team Freedom on April 6 and top-ranked Tempo Storm on April 14. Be sure to tune into https://www.twitch.tv/blizzheroes to catch all of the action!
Other Notable Highlights from Week 7
- On two separate occasions this weekend, Abathur was used in a team composition without a traditional Support hero. While using the unique composition HeroesHearth Esports dropped their only map to Team Twelve, but Method utilized Samuro without a healer to finish off Zealots in their 3-0 victory.
- Team BlossoM pulled off an astonishing comeback against Ballistix after saving their Core with 7% of its health remaining. NaSang gave Ana’s rework her competitive debut and showcased the hero’s burst healing potential with pinpoint precision, an essential part of Team BlossoM’s win.