In this week’s article, we wrap-up Phase 1 and look ahead to Phase 2 of HGC 2017.

Phase 1 Wrap-up



Regional Strength

Phase 1 saw the rise of Europe on the international stage as Fnatic claimed the EU’s first global HGC Championship. Fellow Europeans Team Dignitas went 9-3 against Korean teams, beating both MVP Black and L5 in playoffs. Here are the average ratings for each major region (note that this includes all Phase 1 teams, including those relegated and disbanded).

  • Korea - 1583.3
  • Europe - 1565.8
  • North America - 1455.4
  • China - 1453.5

Despite Europe claiming the championship, Korea still holds the edge as a region top to bottom at the end of Phase 1. Among minor regions, Nomia out of AU/NZ and Soul Torturers out of Taiwan both had strong showings, boosting their regional strength up significantly. Southeast Asia was plagued with a tough division and wasn’t able to make a climb. With an 0-10 record from Red Canids, Latin America is now the weakest region by far in Elo.

Phase 2 Elo Adjustments

Heading into Phase 2, I am making several adjustments to Elo ratings of every team. This is for two reasons: 1) Roster transfers and retirements, and 2) Teams disbanding or being relegated out of HGC. To accommodate this, I made the following adjustments.

Note: At this time the elo rating is not factoring in teams from China. This is because there are rumors of substantial upheaval in HGC China that are impossible for me to verify. Further, I do not yet know what 8 teams will be in Gold League Summer. So for now, I’m balancing around the 6 Chinese teams currently in Gold League (including E-Star, who is rumored to be leaving HOTS). I will readjust averages after HGC China has a clear picture.

Roster Transfers

I assume each player is worth 20% of their team’s Elo since teams are 5 players. This means when a player leaves a team, they take 20% of their team’s Elo with them. For example, in the case of Gale Force eSports, their post Phase 1 team rating is 1566. This means each player on the team is worth 313.2 points. With Khroen and Equinox no longer on the team, this drops the rating to 940. Gale Force brought in KingCaffeine and k1pro from B-Step (1362 rating). These two players are worth 40% of that rating (544). This means GFE’s new Elo rating is 940 (GFE’s roster portion) plus 544 (B-Step roster portion) for a new rating of 1484.

When a player retires, they take 20% of the team’s rating into retirement. When a new player is added who was not previously on an HGC team, that player’s rating is 300 (1500 * .2). Remember that 1500 is the average. Afterwards, all teams are “pinched” towards 1500 by 10% of their difference. For example, a team with a 1600 rating would have their rating changed to 1590, while a team at 1400 would have their rating change to 1410. This adds some small uncertainty heading into Phase 2, since we haven’t seen many teams for nearly a month.

Disbanded and Relegated Teams

Several teams either disbanded or were relegated. These teams will no longer be tracked in the Elo standings. However, because all but one of these teams were below 1500, this artificially raises the average rating of HGC from the target of 1500 to 1521 even after retirements and players leaving brought the average down. As such, all teams have their elo reduced by 21 points uniformly to bring the average back down.

New Teams

New teams in HGC are added at the average rating of 1500. While this is somewhat arbitrary, historically it’s only take 3-4 weeks for their rating and predictive measures to move towards a stable and predictively useful point. These teams are:

  • Even in Death - North America (replacing disbanded B-Step)
  • Rrr - Korea (replacing disbanded GG)
  • Team Zealot - Europe (beat Synergy in the Crucible)
  • Team Good Guys - Europe (beat beGenius in Crucible as Team Gangang)

I add the caveat that I have no clue what’s going on in HGC China yet, so we’ll skip it for now.

Phase 2 Starting Elo Ratings

After all adjustments, we arrive at the following starting Elo ratings. Note that this table does NOT include HGC China due to the uncertainty in the scene over there.



I fully expect these ratings to change dramatically over the first few weeks of Phase 2, as teams start to find their place in HGC. With this, however, we have new regional averages:

  • Europe - 1574
  • Korea - 1533
  • North America - 1455

With so many new teams this week, and with a blank slate, I will not be doing simulation results yet. This is because the outcomes are simply the order their Elo ratings imply (example: No Tomorrow and Naventic are the highest NA probability of Crucible right now simply because they have lowest Elo from Phase 1). However, I will continue to track the season, and HGC China, as the weeks go by.

Personal Predictions

While I will not be doing simulations yet, I will look ahead to where I think each division will shake out.

Among the new teams, I expect Europe’s Zealots and Team Good Guys to perform the best. While Europe is the toughest region, I sincerely believe these teams both have potential to challenge Team Liquid and Team Expert for top 3 and get to Blizzcon. Both Rrr and Even in Death lost their Crucible series to teams in their league rather handedly. As such, I do expect these teams to ultimately be Crucible bound come the end of the Phase.

Specifically, since this is a Gale Force eSports page, I think Gale Force will still finish top 3 in NA, though it will be interesting to see how the roster gels. Given that Fan was at Dreamhack Sweden as a presenter for the Mid-Season Brawl, it will be interesting to see their synergy in Week 1. Gale Force faces the top 2 NA teams in Roll 20 and Tempo Storm over the first two weeks of the phase, in addition to playing rival Naventic. If Gale Force can go 2-1 over this stretch of games, they should be in group shape to make it to the western clash. If they go 1-2, their margin of error will shrink to zero, and they will need to win out.

Looking forward to seeing how the season shakes out.

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