HGC Update 5-9-17

Week 9 is in the books and with that, we now have the 1st place team and the Crucible, decided in three regions. China, because of only having a single round robin, is still a little bit uncertain in places.

World Elo Ratings

Quite a bit of movement this week as L-5 retakes the number 1 slot and ce jumps over E-Star to become the top team in China.

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North America

First Place - Tempo Storm finished with an impressive 13-1. Their only loss came back in Week 4 where they dropped to Gale Force eSports in three games. While they additionally lost to Team 8 in the Western Clash, they haven’t dropped a single match since, going 7-0 in the second half of Phase 1.

Crucible - Despite showing signs of life early in the second half, No Tomorrow and Team Naventic were unable to escape the Crucible. Naventic dominated B-Step in Week 6 to the tune of 3-0, while No Tomorrow then beat Naventic and Gale Force eSports. However, neither could get critical wins over Team Freedom to get over the hump. Both teams have comparable Elos. The winner of the NA Open Division will get to choose from two comparable options, though going off play of late it seems likely Naventic would be the desired competitor.

Playoff

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Gale Force benefits greatly from the 2 seed here. Gale Force will only need to win a single set to go to the playoffs. Despite being the 5 seed, B-Step enters the playoff with the lowest Elo, and has the lowest chance of going to the clash. While Superstars has a close-ish Elo to Team 8, it is worth noting that Team 8 and Gale Force both went 6-0 against Superstars in Phase 1. So while the Elo says it’s close, both games appear to be a significant match-up struggle for Superstars.

Europe

First Place - Fnatic jumped up to first place in the second leg off a 7-0 record. Fnatic has looked dominant in Europe, and will look to carry that into international play. Remember: this team beat MVP Black at Blizzcon. Fnatic’s Elo suggests they have a chance to do it again.

Crucible - beGenius was likely headed to the Crucible even at the start of the second leg. However, they have made strides, winning against Tricked eSports and Playing Ducks. Synergy meanwhile, limped down the stretch, being able only to beat beGenius. With the Open Division winners set, with Team Gangang getting their choice of opponent, it will be interesting to see if they go for Synergy instead of beGenius given the recent surge. Given that both Zealot and Gangang have several former pros, these could be the new HGC teams.

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Europe has a huge gap between 4th and 5th place. Team Expert has arisen, finally knocking off one of Europe’s Big Three in Team Liquid. This makes the top 4 very interesting. Team Expert has the lowest odds of the top 3 purely because they would have to win 3 sets instead of Team Dignitas (2) and Team Liquid (1). Team Liquid is the least favored 2 Seed across all 4 major regions. Team Dignitas has looked the best coming into the tournament, but beating Team Expert and Team Liquid back to back is going to be tough. The Saturday and Sunday games are must watch HGC action.

Korea

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First Place - In the battle between MVP Black and L-5, L-5 claimed the upperhand in the regular season to claim first place. Not surprisingly, this made L-5 the number one team in the world, while MVP Black dropped to number two. L-5 is a favorite heading into the Brawl.

Crucible - Team Blossom and Raven both head to Korea’s Crucible. Raven, in total, went a dismal 5-40, but upset Tempest 3-1 in Week 10 to get a match win before facing the Crucible. Team Blossom faired better in maps, but ultimately heads to the Crucible at 2-12, with their only wins over Raven.

MVP Black sits at a dominant 77.29% chance, with the inside track of needing to only win one game. They’ll likely have to avoid an upset bid by Tempest. However, Tempest has limped into the playoffs losing their last two matches against Mighty and, of all teams, Raven. The loss to Raven is, by FAR, the biggest Elo upset yet in HGC. Don’t count out Mighty; they just upset Tempest in Week 9. Despite their recent resurgence, MVP Miracle wasn’t able to climb out of the hole they dug to move off the bottom run of the playoff ladder.

China

In China, there is no playoff or Crucible. Rather, the top two advance to the mid-season brawl (which is ce and E-Star), while the bottom two (Start Over Again and Keep it Simple) are kicked to China’s open division and will have to win there to get back into HGC. The remaining 4 teams (Super Perfect Team, X-Team, Hots Lady, and RPG) will be in Phase 2 of HGC China.


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