Heading into Week 4, the races for the Clashes are starting to get more clear.

As a major caveat in this article: this is still decently early in the season. New teams and new rosters make the Elo scores still somewhat unstable. These ratings will change throughout the season. This goes double for new HGC teams Even in Death (NA), Zealots, Team Good Guys(EU), Rrr (Korea), W.K. Gaming, and Kudos Top (China). These teams will have drastically unstable ratings for the first few weeks, and predictions will be potentially inaccurate until they settle.

World Elo Ratings

Note that teams with “-NEW” in their team name are new to HGC. They started at a rating of 1500, and their rating should be unstable for now.



North America

The two big games last week both centered on GFE who took on No Tomorrow and Team Freedom. GFE managed to come back against No Tomorrow in Game 5 but lost in 4 games to Team Freedom, falling for the first time this season. GFE is still very probable to make the Western Clash as their schedule was frontloaded.

Outside of the two GFE series, the weekend was fairly chalk as Tempo Storm won back-to-back to keep their narrow Clash hopes alive. Roll20 had a down week, playing only Even in Death and winning in three games. Naventic, Even in Death, and Superstars continued to struggle going collectively 0-4 in matches and 1-12 in games. There really seems to be a big gap between the top 5 and the bottom three at this point.


See the bottom of the article for “Reading this Table” if you are unfamiliar with the table structure.

At this point, it’s still up in the air who in North America is going to the Western Clash. GFE is still very likely to make it, leaving a four-way race for two spots between Roll 20, Team Freedom, Tempo Storm and No Tomorrow. Roll 20 will play all three of these teams over the next two weeks so all of these games will have dramatic effect on the outcome. Tempo Storm can prove they belong in the Clash by winning their final two outings against Roll20 and Team Freedom.

Western Clash Scenarios

Path to Clash that doesn’t involve winning out:

If No Tomorrow beats Roll 20 and beats EITHER Even in Death or Naventic, they go to the Western Clash even if they lose the other game.

Teams that get to the Western Clash if they win out:

GFE (plays Even in Death and Superstars)

Team Freedom (plays Roll20 and Tempo Storm)

Roll20 (plays Team Freedom, Tempo Storm, and No Tomorrow)

Note that these teams don’t HAVE to win out to get to the Western Clash. Just that, independent of what other teams do, it is the only 100% path.

Probably in if they win out:

Tempo Storm (plays Roll20, Team Freedom) clinches Clash with two 3-1s or better. Also, if they win one 3-1 and one 3-2 (it doesn’t matter which), they also clinch. Winning both sets 3-2 leaves the smallest window for them to miss out on the Clash (less than 3%) on tiebreakers. So almost certainly in if they win out and clinch if they win both with one series being 3-1 or better.

The bottom three (Superstars, Naventic, and Even in Death) are all mathematically locked out of the Western clash.

Elo projections for next week’s games: nagames.png

The biggest two games of the week feature Roll20, who will have to play Team Freedom and Tempo Storm on back-to-back days. Team Freedom is simply on fire, going 9-1 on maps over their last 3 matches. However, of the top 5 in NA, Team Freedom only has 1 match win, last week against Gale Force. If they are going to prove they are a clash-worthy team, it has to start here. The loser isn’t eliminated from clash contention, but they do lose control of their own destiny.

Tempo Storm is really in a do or die position on Saturday. If they lose to Roll 20, their hopes of the clash are more or less dashed. Tempo Storm has not missed international play since they came together as the 5-man roster of Murloc Geniuses at the end of last summer. Will Roll 20 be overtaxed having to prepare for two top opponents in less than 24 hours of each other?

The other match worth watching is Superstars vs. Naventic. Superstars has certainly struggled this season, while Naventic has been struggling the entire year. The loser of this game is going to have a much steeper road to avoid the Crucible, and both teams could desperately use some momentum at this point.


Despite an incredible upset to start the week, when Tricked eSports won 3-0 over Team Liquid, the rest of the weekend in Europe was fairly uneventful. Even Team Liquid only went from a prohibitive favorite for the clash to a probably favorite. Meanwhile, Fnatic continue to show their dominance, going 6-1 on map over the weekend, including an outright demolition of Team Expert on Sunday.


Fnatic has already clinched the clash. Playing Ducks is now eliminated. From there, it’s anyone’s guess. Here is the breakdown:

Teams that get to the Western Clash if they win out:

Team Liquid (playing Zealots, Team Expert)

Team Expert (playing The Good Guys, Team Liquid)

Team Dignitas (playing Playing Ducks, Fnatic, and Tricked Esports)

Tricked Esports (playing The Good Guys, Zealots, and Team Dignitas)

Teams barely alive:

Good Guys (playing Tricked Esports, Team Expert, and Zealots) - Even if they win out with all 3-0 victories, they would only have 17.9% chance of going to clash based on other games. They would lose out on tiebreakers to Dignitas and Liquid.

Zealots (playing Team Liquid, Tricked Esports, and The Good Guys) - Even if they win out with all 3-0 victories, they would only have a 30.6% chance of making the Western clash, based on other games. They would lose out on tiebreakers to Dignitas and Team Expert.

Elo projections for next week’s games:


All eyes will be on Fnatic vs. Dignitas. Fnatic has looked very strong this season, but Dignitas is in desperate need for a win to avoid dropping to 3 losses. Meanwhile, Tricked vs. Good Guys could be a sneakily good game, as Tricked has been playing very well this season. Tricked is in a position to make a run at the Western Clash. Zealots has to play back to back against Liquid and Tricked, and will try to rebound from now 9 straight map losses.


Week 3 was very by the book for Korea. Perhaps the only interesting note was Mighty going 0-2 against MVP Black and Tempest. Korea still remains top heavy, with the big three of Korea likely heading to the Eastern Clash.


Path to Clash that doesn’t involve winning out:

MVP Black (playing Tempest, Raven, and MVP Miracle) - MVP Black clinches with a match win over either Tempest or MVP Miracle, regardless what else happens. A win over Raven does not clinch.

L5 (playing MVP Miracle, Raven, and Mighty) - L5 clinches by beating MVP Miracle and Mighty, regardless what happens in the Raven game. Oddly, this also clinches for Tempest.

Teams that get to the Eastern Clash if they win out:

Tempest (playing MVP Black, Rrr) - the also clinch if Mighty and MVP Miracle lose at least one match each.

Probably in if they win out:

Mighty (playing Team BlossoM and L5) - If Mighty wins out on 3-0s, they go to the Eastern Clash. However, if they drop a single map, they will not control their own destiny.

Teams barely alive:

MVP Miracle (playing L5, MVP Black, and Team Blossom) If MVP Miracle wins out on 3-0s, they would have an 85.1% chance of going to the Clash. However, the 3-0s matter, because if they win out on 3-2s, they only have a 25.0% chance. I have this in this group because they have to play both MVP Black and L5, and the odds of winning both series are minimal. If they lose 2 matches, they are eliminated. If they lose 1 match, they are almost certainly eliminated by all tiebreakers.

Elo Projections for next week’s games:


The only “big game” on paper this week is Tempest vs. MVP Black. MVP Black has been on a tear this season and sits at 12-2 on map record, but Tempest has looked really strong as well. Tempest did lose to L5 earlier this season, who in turn lost to MVP Black, but at least it’s a top 3 matchup. No other matchup looks nearly as interesting at this point.


This section’s going to be short due to deadlines. Super Perfect Team has taken over the top of China with a 2-0 victory against CE last week, and will likely head to the Eastern Clash as the one seed. Since this clash will be in the east, hopefully they won’t have the visa issues that prevented Misaka, their captain and shotcaller, from attending the Mid-Season Brawl. Meanwhile, E-Star’s Tumi is likely out for the season, but the team will still very probably make the Eastern Clash.


Reading these tables

Team - pretty self explanatory. This is the name of the team.

Elo - the team’s current elo rating. A larger number suggests a better team.

Match W-L - The match record of the team. How many best of 5’s they won and how many they lost.

Map +/- - new to Phase 2, the next highest priority tiebreaker after head-to-head is Map +/-, that is, the number of GAMES (not matches) you won minus the number of games you lost. A negative number means a team lost more games than they won. This is a change made by Blizzard to make the standings and tiebreakers easier to understand.

3-[0,1,2] - While there is a higher priority tiebreaker, there are still tiebreaker conditions for number of 3-0s and then number of 3-1s if both head to head and Map +/- can’t break the tie. In this tuple, it’s [3-0 victories, 3-1 victories, 3-2 victories]. Example, No Tomorrow won a best of 5 3-1 and 3-2, but have no 3-0 wins. Therefore, their tuple is [0,1,1].

Clash % - This is the team’s current simulation odds of making it to the Western Clash. To get there, a team must finish top 3 in the first half of the phase. This means only the first 28 games of each phase are relevant. Note that “0.0” doesn’t mean eliminated. When a team is eliminated, I will use a red “X” to denote eliminated. Similarly, 100.0 doesn’t mean guaranteed. When the spot is guaranteed, I will use a green checkmark.

Blizzcon % (autobid) - This is the team’s current simulation odds of getting an automatic bid to Blizzcon. Because each major region will have 3 teams this season, the top 2 from each region get an automatic bid. Teams that place 3rd-6th will play in a stepladder playoff (6 vs 5, winner of that vs. 4, winner of that vs. 3) to determine who goes to Blizzcon. Note that match record in Part 1 (pre Clash) carries over to Part 2 (post Clash). So all 56 games this phase are relevant for Blizzcon. Note that “0.0” doesn’t mean eliminated. When a team is eliminated, I will use a red “X” to denote eliminated. Similarly, 100.0 doesn’t mean guaranteed. When the spot is guaranteed, I will use a green checkmark.

Crucible % - This is the team’s current simulation odds of finishing 7th or 8th place at the end of the Phase. Teams that finish this low must face the Crucible to remain in HGC. All 56 games in the phase are relevant here. Note that “0.0” doesn’t mean safe from the Crucible. When a team is safe, I will use a green “X” to denote eliminated. Similarly, 100.0 doesn’t mean guaranteed. When the spot is guaranteed, I will use a red checkmark.

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