The Road to Blizzcon for our HotS Team will have the next stop in Korea: Bootcamp with the best of the best!
Team Expert has finally qualified for the Blizzcon and will participate at the HGC finals, competing against the best Heroes of the Storm teams from all over the world. During the Playoffs they were able to win against Team Wish and secure the 3rd spot from Europe at the annual Blizzcon! And already this weekend the team will fly to South Korea having a boot camp to prepare for the best of the best. Time to grab our players before they leave for some quick interview!
How were your expectations for the Playoffs? Did you expect moving on or merely hoping for? Which one was your most feared opponent?
In the playoffs we expected to qualify for blizzcon but we were unsure about the difficulty we would face going into it. We were pretty confident against all of the teams, however we felt Team Liquid would be our hardest opponents when it came to tournament play because of their weird strategies they've bought to specifically winning against a specific team.
We expected to qualify, but it was still a nervous day/series. Wish (which we played) were the team that we feared the most.
We expected to qualify and we were confident we will make it, but we didn't expect to face Team Wish. The team that we were prepared best was Team Liquid, we were worried about facing Team Wish as they are the least consistent team from the ones we could face, even though we didn't lose any maps in regular season while playing them.
You are going to Korea for bootcamp! Are you excited to practice there with other teams? Don't you think that lot of travelling and jet-lagging will be stressing?
I'm excited to go to Korea again as it was very helpful last time I went and it will for sure be helpful for us too. Not only play against the Koreans in scrims but also to play Dignitas and Fnatic as they are also bootcamping there. Of course travelling even at the best of times isn't fun but it is a necessary price to pay for success which in the end will be worth it.
Super excited to go personally, but from a purely winning mentality I think it would be better if all European teams stayed in Europe and played, instead of going to Korea and teaching them the game. Travel is annoying but I don't think either that or jet lag will impact our performance at blizzcon.
With Fnatic and Dignitas going to Korea it is clear that the worlds best teams are going to practice there and as soon as we qualified we knew we want to go to Korea. It is great opportunity for us to get good preparation for Blizzcon and we are thankful to Team Expert for making it possible, even on such a short notice.
Next stop: Blizzcon! Which is the opponent/region you are most concerned about? What is your estimated outcome/placement?
When it comes to teams at Blizzcon we think that Europe is the strongest region and we should be preparing to play them. But if we want to win the whole thing we also cannot sleep on Korea, they've shown before that they can be the best and they will be working to redeem their performance at Mid Season Brawl. I would like to predict that we can get top 4 in this tournament. However we will be taking every team as they come and not slacking in preparation for any of them.
First and foremost concern is making it out of group as seed #1. For that to happen we need to beat L5 (Korea), so I guess Korea first of all, then we take it as it comes.
Current state I think we can be at least top 4, will see during bootcamp how strong the Koreans look. If we manage to get on the same page completely as a team I think we have a realistic chance of going all the way.
China is the only region except minor regions that we will not play before our matches at Blizzcon. They are unknown to us. It is hard to say how good they are with recent changes that happened in their region and their meta is different from others, so they are the team that we are concerned about. Other than that every region has some really strong teams, but we are more familiar with them. We expect to get out of groups and from there on it will depend on the bracket, but if we step it up for the tournament we have a good shot at even taking 1st place.
Yesterday Blizzard announced that the HGC Finals will be played on the Junkrat Patch.What do you think about this? (a) in terms of a new hero (b) in terms of reworks/buffs/nerfs?*
I disliked the amount of time given on this new patch because the community doesn't seem to know that we have to travel and play around multiple new heroes and reworks. I think the new hero will be strong but not sure about how comfortable teams will be with him come opening week. On first inspections it looks as if Zul'jin will be very powerful and muradin is roughly the same in strength but in different areas.
The problem is not the patch itself, it is that it does not go live until one week before the tournament start. If it went live earlier this week no one would complain, but I don't think anyone would mind playing on the Ana patch for blizzcon since it is the culmination of a year of work for the teams. Playing that on a relatively new patch is not necessary and is more likely to paint an inaccurate representation of skills in my opinion.
With a new announcement Blizzard changed their decision and Junkrat will not be allowed, but we played a few games with him and he seems to be in a weaker spot. If there was any team that would make Junkrat work it would be us. As for other changes it's still hard to say and I expect that teams will be still figuring out how the changes affect other heroes during group stage, but Zul'jin changes are the most interesting and might bring a hero that was not played before into competition.
*Blizzard yesterday announced that the HGC finals will be played on the Junkrat patch without Junkrat being allowed. The questions were asked before this decision was made but we still wanted to include it
Thank you guys for the answers and good luck in South Korea for bootcamping as well as in California for the Blizzcon!