Are you excited for your first matches being rigged basically as we speak? Are you a first-time sloth trying out the Lounge in the largest EU season ever, now featuring 7 divisions, and more teams than ever before? Or are you maybe a returning sloth eyeing up who the toughest competition on your division might be? Both those sound like effort to you? Maybe you're just here to lurk and want to know more about the participating teams? In any case, we've got you covered with our preview of a completely subjective selection of teams from each division, soon to come to a Heroes Lounge near you! Disclaimer: If your team didn't make it onto the list, please give this sloth a break. There's only so much effort one can handle, and there's always chances to get covered by our growing team.
Since our Season 7 champions Project HIVE are absent from the roster of teams participating in Season 8, the obvious target on the back is instead of course painted on their championship finals opponents. 9-1 in the regular season and a 2-3 grand finals score would be enough to make this team favourites for taking home the coveted highest-grade plastic this season, but then there’s also Meneldor transferring over to “his” team from last season’s champions, which should only make them stronger.
epikk had an, allow me, epic run through the championship’s lower bracket with a string of three consecutive 2-1 wins, finally stopped in the lower bracket finals vs the previously featured Meme Machines. With a strong regular season, maybe we’ll find this team in the upper bracket of the championship in their third season. One of the advantages they have is that their core roster stuck together, unlike many other Div 1 teams. On top of that, they were even able to garner some LAN experience last season at the Zurich game show.
Four teams were tied 9-1 at the top of the standings of Div 1 last season, and only two of them are competing in season 8. Memeldor’s Meme Machines are one, you get three guesses which the other one is. You haven’t heard of this name before? This team used to be known as EPG Frozen and competed in the Lounge as well as Open Division. The big question is if the team can repeat the previous season’s success with a well-shuffled roster that features names such as GM hero league Genji disciple Aussenseider, the eternally hug-seeking Krisby and newest addition and last season Lounge champion SchlechteButter.
After a season’s hiatus, this team featuring original members Rozmex, Cascon and Galnegunnar is back and will hopefully bring us an entertaining season, although their main focus lies on their Open Division teams, where Nikurasu actually plays on a competing roster. Aztecopi is allegedly just here due to his dream of his own highest-grade plastic hardware. When asked about necessary Chen nerfs to finally bring his power level down to that of other heroes, the team has considered removing the shielding functionality of his trait and instead making it harder for him to walk in a straight line after excessive trait usage.
They are your season 7 cup champions coming out of nowhere. They made winning the cup look easy, eventually even defeating their kryptonite in the form of murlocs in the grand finals. While some roster shuffles have happened to BHG as well, their five core members chuckii, criss, a1mless, inKospor and Wolfy are back to try their luck against significantly tougher competition, reinforced by Zwickl, a previous Div 1 player, and spArk as substitutes.
Another team that managed to do quite well in their first season all the way down in Div 4 is Jormungandr. With a few departures from their main roster in the offseason, they’ve picked up Fefster for the tank position and Supreme as a flex partner for their assassin player Gougin, who became renowned for his Valla play over the last season. Furthermore, Cup standout Diablo player eren is joining the team as a sub. As a team, they are prepared to work hard to finish the season near the top of the standings, although they acknowledge things will be a lot harder with this set of opponents. They do however have one secret weapon in the form of not one, but two sister teams in the lower divisions, Jormungandr White, where their former tank player Camlos has found a home, and Jormungandr Pink featuring Lounge caster Reebs.
Talking about sister teams, there’s SFD Gaming’s newly formed second team Stagedive Nach Unten, or loosely translated, stage dive to bot lane. If you wonder where the name comes from, happy little accidents. Why is this team featured, you may ask? Well, they may be new as a team, but they are basically a mix of two successful German teams from previous seasons, Alt und Adipös and CoB old sGhoul, sprinkled with some previous Jaina the Frost Mage members. Especially B4ithoven as a German caster and my colleague and alleged Robb smurf juliandoom (or is it Juli and oom?), who wrote this preview last season, are names recognized around the Lounge.
Which brings us to our next team. Every sloth on our discord server that ever needed help should have heard of Undead, as it is customary to ping him first whenever something goes horribly wrong. And speaking about things going horribly wrong, can captain Bayaz right the ship and steer his team towards the playoffs again after narrowly missing out in season 7? Overall the expectations are slightly dampened due to the departure of Cephiro from the main roster, leaving Undead as their main shotcaller, so possibly TFA will be the first Lounge team to employ ping-only shotcalling. One thing they have going for them is chemistry, as Bayaz told me the team managed to meet up in real life 3 times over the last half year, so maybe they don’t actually need voice chat shotcalling to win games?
Team TableFlip did quite well in the Cup playoffs last season, which incidentally was also their first in the Lounge. Their core roster of Tulle, Hat, Eruca, Cydonion, and Phreak managed to stay together, shuffling roles around a bit and brought in Norre as a sub in the off-season. The fact that they also have a coach for this season speaks to their ambitions towards repeating last season’s success, however they are fully aware of how the power level in Div 3 has shifted since last season. As this group consists of real life friends who have competed in League of Legends before joining the Lounge, they have a lot to banter about and can approach some problems in the game with a different attitude than teams that only know each other on the Internet. They even have an official team mum supporting them from Twitch chat, and have told me that is in fact Phreak’s mother, who they swear is the most loveable lady on the planet.
Death by Monkeys is one of the Lounge success stories of the previous seasons. They started out in Div 5 two seasons ago with captain VashTheDoc, Azraul and Joshisnice and a couple of free agents, which they then got promoted to Div 4 with, where after some roster shuffles they repeated their success and now find themselves in the newly reshuffled Div 3. That's quite a leap from where old Div 4 was. They say about themselves that they are quite Sloth-like when it comes to practices and scrims, but their background from other Mobas and playing around a few core heroes seems to help them along on their journey through the divisions of the Lounge. Furthermore, they stress that theorycrafting and bouncing ideas for non-traditional comps off of each other is one of their added strengths. Despite missing out on the playoffs last season due to scheduling issues, they are ready to overrun their opponents as their name-giving monkeys a third season in a row, although they are aware of the added difficulty of that in this division.
Team Encore just finished their first season in the Lounge with a respectable 7-3 record, just a tiebreaker loss off of making it to the postseason in old Div 2. Now placed in Div 3 after a couple of roster shuffles, captain ebekasa is still looking to put his roster together for the upcoming season, but feels optimistic about his chances in this division after a brief warm-up period in the first few weeks. Overall they’ve had a very positive first season according to their captain, and enjoy the added team aspect the Lounge brings to the game. In his own words, “if someone loves this games [he/she] has to play in the Lounge, this will make him see [the game] differently and like it more”, which I couldn’t agree with more personally.
While this team would definitely be in the running for my personal best name in the Lounge award, they may or may not have gotten destroyed by some rouge Geth or gotten lost on their respective pilgrimages during the last season, but are back to pick up the pieces this time around with newly added shipmate Risk. As veterans of old Div 2, they look to be in a similar spot to EnCore when it comes to their chances for the upcoming season in this Division, but have to go up against teams that may have played in lower divisions, but come in with a bit more experience in terms of games played together.
Guided by the gentle mentoring sloth-paws of our Lounge master Petman, this former free agent team has successfully made the transition from an unpronounceable FAT team to a magical unpronounceable team in their second season together in the Lounge. They've had a successful start to the previous season, at one point even finding themselves at the top of the standings in their old Div 3, which is definitely an impressive feat, especially for a free agent team. Gaining some valuable lessons and experience in the form of losses in the second half of the season, the team eventually finished with a respectable 5-5 record. And most importantly, they have grown together as a team, eventually adding Evkatron to their core roster. On the subject of their name, captain Ocrion had to say that it "wasn't the easiest to pronounce, but we liked it". Furthermore, playing a full season as a FAT yielded these conclusions for him: "The competitive environment was new for all of us and felt a little intimidating at first. But from the help of our mentor, the friendly staff and other players in the Lounge we were given the best experience we could ask for. We'll continue to play in the upcoming season, no longer as strangers in a FAT team, but as friends on a journey for more experience and some great games together. We are Magical Liopleurodon!"
Also in Div 4, we have not one, but two teams heavily occupied by Lounge staff members. There’s Team Simple Geography (excellent name, by the way) with the likes of Hidderino, Rianor and Aloname and captain Ravatar, who appears to be back in the Lounge after his quick stint of subbing in the Cup playoffs. And the other side of this double feature is Dentro’s Sloth Sanctuary, that is still being defended against notorious baby sloth killers by our new chief rigger Pittor as well as ParadoX, TinyOwl, and the newly joined TyphoonHawk. Judging by last season’s results and the talent on both teams, these are sure to be contenders in Div 4, and even if not, we can hope for a matchup one team versus the other, which would surely attract the attention of more than one of our casters.
Another double feature in the list, the German Clowns ohne Beine community has been around the Lounge for as long as I can remember at this point, and Div 4 features not one, but two of their teams for this season. Both Saltshakers led by balabub and Antimeta led by Gwels, whom some of you might know through his Reddit Heroes surveys, have been around the Lounge for a long time now, the former continuously finding themselves in Divs 3 and 4, the latter usually a Division lower but with some roster changes coming into this season. A matchup between these two might make for another great Div 4 Lounge storyline.
The team with the subjectively best logo in the Lounge is back once again, and much like the Saltshakers has been hanging around Div 3 over the last couple of seasons. Ever since Jimmy became one of the most meta heroes last season, containing Raynor has become one of their primary objectives, if their hatred for some of the Overwatch heroes allows it. After ending that season with a 4-6 record, they’ve recruited the help of new offlaner Ouguiya. Other than that, they go into the season with the same core roster as last season, with GentleSwalot, who allegedly isn’t particularly gentle in reality, tanking for the team, notorious feeder and captain Gummibär probably playing Hanzo every game and support player VitaminC, who once turned up to practice with a fresh knife wound from a particularly rough Russian birthday party trying to keep the rest of the team alive at great personal cost.
This team comes in to Div 5 with 2 seasons of Lounge experience under their belts and 13 Cho’gall picks to boot. After spending the last two seasons in Div 3, they now find themselves in this new iteration of Div 5 trying to overcome their availability issues with regular practices and the firm goal of reaching the playoffs in mind. Like some other teams on this list, they’ve actually managed to build some team synergy through real life meetups and, along with a stable roster, are looking to turn that experience into Lounge wins.
As far as long-standing rosters go, the Sops can go toe-to-toe with some of the more consistent Lounge teams. Sneseglarn, Kisstank, sopmeister, LudwigVan, and Cygnus have all been together on this roster since its inception in Season 5 and have slowly worked their way up from Div 5 to Div 4 to the new Div 5 in the upcoming season. While that seems like a downgrade, looking at the distance from the lowest division, you are now 2 away instead of 1 away, which seems like an upgrade to me, even if traditional mathematics might disagree. Coming off of a 5-5 record last season, the Sops are once again looking to find a caster who manages to correctly pronounce their team name.
Treehouse Gaming managed to get into Div 5 after a very successful 8-2 season in old Div 4, and have only needed to make the small sacrifice of one Froge to get here. Eef has taken over not only the supporting and captaining, but also shotcalling and drafting duties for the team, which, according to her, will give them the opportunity to mix things up a bit when it comes to their drafts. Every single member of the team is involved in running the Lounge in some way, which, especially due to #Robbgates happening every now and then, sometimes puts some additional strain on their team in terms of being in the center of attention of those incidents, however, the fact that they all enjoy helping out in the Lounge also strengthens their team cohesion. Overall, they feel pretty good about their chances in Div 5, especially thanks to their consistent roster, but are aware of teams that might give them a run for their money, such as our next team on the list.
One of the stand-out successes Div 5 had to offer in the Cup playoffs last season, this former free agent team can look back on a very successful first season in the Lounge rallying behind their captain Jaldren and 25 Maiev bans against their assassin player Amirune, which has given their team a lot more freedom in other hero picks. Minor roster shuffles added ex-Cupcake MissyX to the team and turned Jaldren into their shotcaller and support main for the coming season. In terms of facing significantly tougher competition in the new Div 5 as opposed to the same one from the old five division system, it’s going to be hard to gauge how successful they will be, but their showing in the playoffs against fellow Div 5 team Treehouse Gaming shows they can definitely go toe-to-toe with anyone.
And as a small bonus, I’ve gathered the thoughts of several EDF members on the topic of being a free agent team, organizing such a team and playing together for your first season. Jaldren provided this list of points on how to captain a FAT:
As to the free agents that got sorted into Jaldren’s team, TarCrispo said. “It was a completely new experience for me. The only format I played was HL and QM. After joining EDF and playing a few matches with Ami and Jaldren, I had the feeling that I have discovered the game anew. In addition, thanks to them I started to climb in the rankings, and I came out of silver to platinum. I thought the linguistic blockade would be the biggest problem, but after a few conversations and forbearance from my teammates it is not a big problem anymore. It's a great idea to make new friends.” with the others echoing that sentiment.
Skylore’s boys have been around the Lounge as far as the records reach back (which is season 4, for anyone that was wondering). The team has continually improved over the course of those seasons, reaching Div 4 last time around and managing a 4-6 record. Adding Trackler, Cenix and Bataleur to the team coming into this season, they are cautiously optimistic about what the Lounge has to offer for them this time around, although the long-term goal they have in mind is making it to the playoffs at the end of the season, as they think that Div 6 is a good fit for them in terms of the opponents they are likely to face here.
Last season’s Div 5 champions, the Southgate Boiz are back once again hoping to bring it home this time around. With McBainTS as their new offlaner, they’re not quite sure on what their chances are of making another playoff run. If you’re up against them, your chances of seeing something like this happening are quite high though. FiL, their tank player, developed the habit to use spray on cooldowns as a focus exercise during his FPS tenure, and managed to spray a record-breaking 2159 times during the last regular season. To see how committed they are to winning the cup, FiL told me they were already planning an open top bus tour through London as a team in case they won the trophy last season, however it turned out that due to some roster issues they unfortunately didn’t get a shot at the playoffs, but there’s always next season, so maybe they can make that dream happen this time around.
MAD, thanks to a complete roster shuffle of 4 players, managed to drop down from playing in last season's Div 2 to this season's Div 6. Lounge veteran Pieczar is the survivor of that old roster around whom the team plans to rebuild with a number of players newly arrived in the Lounge. Due to that, it's hard to predict what will happen with their team in this completely new environment of competition in Div 6, but having an experienced leader on your roster is certainly never a bad thing.
The representing team for the Wings community for this post, On Emerald Wings comes into Div 6 with a 4-6 record from last season, which was the first season of Errtus carrying the torch for the team. They have acquired some fairly potent roster additions in the form of DDGG’s old captain Ljosapaldr, Calvisius, who is completing his collection of playing on all the Wings teams, Sense, Lounge caster Flubby Borry and Shon. In terms of the community featuring On Ruby Wings, On Azure Wings, and KittyKat Krusaders, Errtus thinks it’s definitely a big boon to have a supporting cast behind your team with coaches, regular scrim partners and a bit of friendly competition between the teams.
The Strap-on Wafels have been baked from the finest ingredients of a South African gaming clan that mostly focuses on Starcraft through captain Buster's sheer willpower. With the ping issues coming with playing from South Africa, the team hopes to have a fun time in their first season playing together and win a few games along the way. And in case you’re wondering, Buster special drafts are on their way to a Heroes Lounge match near you. As the team features several successful Starcraft players, look out for macro intensive heroes!
Running it down mid always seems like solid advice, and in some cases it goes so far as to become your team name, as happened with this team led by Lounge veteran Physicsman. They come with two experienced Lounge players in the form of Barracuda and JoeyBG86 as well as two players new to the Lounge in JudgeSpud and Cheeritup. And in the spirit of including the North American sloth to our great community, they have imported the knowledge of coach/substitute player Rayvenx.
The PLagueMakers also finished a successful first season in the Lounge with a 7-3 record last season and a close loss in their tiebreaker match for playoff contention, and are looking to build on that in the upcoming season. They said that playing in the Lounge gave them a realistic goal for what they wanted to achieve in the game as well as a competitive framework to chase those goals in, and, as a fun fact, actually heard about the Lounge first when Khaldor promoted the idea of organized amateur play during an HGC broadcast. They are one of the few teams in the division that didn’t need to make any roster changes, which should give them a leg up on many of their opponents in terms of their synergy and comfort level playing together.
FAT Optimus, featured here as a representative of all our FAT teams in EU Lounge play this season, alongside Megatron, Starscream, Rodimus, and Grimlock. The most important question up first of course, captain lampy and his team seem pretty happy with the name, saying that it was at least super easy to find a logo and banner and that Optimus is at least a recognizable transformer. What the other teams think about their respective mascots is unfortunately unknown at this point. Lampy himself is actually a Lounge veteran formerly of Low FAT Gamers and On Ruby Wings, who decided to sign up for the free agent team experience once again, which should help the team immensely when settling into the Lounge. On the subject of the first few weeks of a FATs existence, things went pretty smooth for them, losing two of their assigned free agents, but having found suitable replacements before the season starts. I hope they find their stride and enjoy their time together in the Lounge, which obviously goes for all the other newly formed teams as well!
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed. If you feel like I griefed your team by not selecting or misrepresenting you or you have any other feedback, feel free to contact me on Discord as Llarion#0127. With that, may the matchmaking odds be ever in your favour and enjoy the season as well as your time in the Lounge! *Kevin Announcer voice* See you in the Nexus!