HGC Update - September 7, 2017
The race for Blizzcon is taking shape as the pecking order in each region solidifies. Teams are still fighting for the top 2 slots in their region for playoff seeding and to avoid the dreaded Crucible.
Deadlykittens once again qualified for international play out of Southeast Asia and will make the trip to Blizzcon in October.
World Elo Ratings
Fnatic continues to seperate themselves from the rest of the world, despite being in the region with the highest average Elo.
Gale Force Esports and Roll 20 lead the way in North America, both having 8 wins after 7 weeks of Phase 2. GFE has the advantage of having two fewer losses but faces a tougher schedule down the stretch. GFE will face Spacestation Gaming and Team Freedom this week, while Roll 20 has a much easier week facing only Even in Death. Both teams are heavily favored to get the automatic bids to Blizzcon. These two teams will face each other on Sunday of Week 9.
Team Freedom and Tempo Storm are sitting at the next tier down and are likely competing against each other for top seed in the final qualifying playoff. Team Freedom has the edge in game margin but Tempo Storm won the head to head in the first part of Phase 2. Barring upsets, this could come down to the Week 10 matchup between the two teams.
Spacestation gaming is only one game back but has seemed to fall behind the top 4 teams. They have a chance to redeem their season with games against Team Freedom and GFE.
The bottom 3 in NA are fighting to avoid the Crucible. With their 9 losses, Even in Death's fate looks sealed as it would take monumental upsets for them to avoid 8th place. Superstars currently has the upper hand on Lag Force in tiebreakers; while they split the head to head series, Superstars has a 5 game advantage in game margin. If Superstars can just maintain a tie with Lag Force, they will avoid the Crucible. For Superstars, this means they likely must beat Spacestation Gaming, as their other remaining matches are less winnable on paper.
Fnatic continues to be the global standard bearer, going 6-0 on maps in week 7. Fnatic is almost certainly the #1 seed for Blizzcon, although they aren't mathematically confirmed to get an autobid yet. Dignitas has performed much better so far this Phase, starting 3-1 with their only loss being a game 5 to Fnatic. Dignitas can also start to lock up the autobid to Blizzcon this week a win over Zealots.
The middle of EU continues to be a traffice jam with Expert, Tricked, Zealots, and Liquid all at 5 losses. They are all vying for that top seed in the qualification playoff. Team Liquid, who has been struggling, will look to get back into that race for third with games against Tricked and Playing Ducks. Meanwhile, Team Expert will is the next team on the menu for a Fnatic team that looks unbeatable.
The Good Guys and Playing Ducks are currently on the Crucible bubble. With Good Guys' remaining schedule it is unlikely they avoid it. Playing Ducks, who upset Fnatic in the first half of the Phase, will have chances to climb the middle 4 teams of Europe as they play each of them over the next two weeks. Their ability to pull upsets will decide their fate.
Nothing overly interesting to say about Korea. MVP Miracle did blank Team BlossoM 3-0, but MVP Black and L-5 continue to sit on top with Tempest being a clear 3rd place favorite. Saturday is an interesing day in Korea with Tempest playing L5 followed by MVP Miracle against Mighty. I wouldn't expect upsets in these series given how clearly striated Korea appears to be, but these are the best chances for upsets this week.
HGC China continues to take shape as SPT and CE start to seperate themselves from a crowded field. Both the new teams, Beyond the Game and TheOne, are performing quite well, as they are currently 3rd and 4th place. Hots Lady and RPG, on the other hand, have yet to outright win a match and find themselves at the bottom of the table. Elo for China is still very unstable, so take these numbers with a well deserved grain of salt.
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