May 10, 2019 Division S EU Heroes News NA

The Heroes esports landscape

An interview with the captain of Granit Gaming; Henn1ng.

When HGC got cancelled Henn1ngs open division team disbanded. Only he and team member Tai had the motivation to keep playing. Talking to Lauber, bringing in Svamp from the Nexus contests’ team Sweden and lastly recruiting Fury as 5th, they formed a team of 5 players. Team members that are good friends, still want to play the game, are playing to win and are having fun while doing so.

Henn1ngs connections were fruitful for him, as he and KMF (Granit Gaming owner) are friends. KMF visited the Swedish bootcamp during the Nexus contest and expressed interest in the Heroes scene and picking up a team for Division S. As soon as ‘aLbeus'r fnaculb’ qualified for Division S after the 3rd qualifiers the team would play under Granit Gaming’s banner.

Since the cancelation of HGC a lot has been happening in the Heroes esports scene. We’ve seen organisations leave the scene, we see parties like Heroes Lounge rise up with Division S, new organisations join, or re-join the nexus and a lot more parties setting up their own tournaments. Like Masters Clash and the recently joining Heroes Hype Premier series. How do you feel the scene is evolving?

I was quite devastated after the news of the cancellation of HGC, especially since I was planning to put all my effort into making it during this spring season in 2019. But I decided to play Division S on the side of working as I found myself a great team with my good friends. Also especially after seeing how the community/the fans came together to scrape together the prize pool for Division S, which goes to show how loved this game was - especially the competitive scene.

I was still quite uncertain on how the scene would evolve during spring. Now I am pleasantly surprised on how many parties there is that still want to keep the wonderful competitive scene of this game alive, not only orgs like Granit, Wind and Rain and so on but also all the tournament organizers   - which I enjoy the different formats of. I am very much looking forward on how the scene is going to evolve even further but so far I am very content with what we have. Even though you can't sustain/live off of the prize money it's still very fine "pocket money" on the side of work, and it makes me very, very happy to still be able to compete in this game. So huge shout outs to all of you viewers and organizers for keeping this game alive :heart:

There definitely is a lot of support for the game still out there. With all the initiatives popping up some are afraid of splitting the scene too much. Having all sorts different initiatives compared to one larger one. Do you agree with this concern?

I don't think it's splitting the scene too much, one thing many people have said so far is that this format is very good for both the players themselves and the spectators as players can stream their own POV in most tournaments now. Also they (players) are not locked to play only one thing (HGC).

That's also the reason there's many organizers right now - cause there is time for everyone. It creates a closer relationship between the players/teams and the viewers, as they can also watch the POV's to learn.

I also think that the current organizers are taking each other into consideration, just so that the tournaments/cups doesn't collide and the players get the opportunity to participate in as much as possible, likewise for the viewers to get to watch as much as possible.

For sure! I think a lot of the organisers are indeed trying to accommodate each other as much as possible. Do you have any hope of the Heroes esports ever being on a similar level as it was before the HGC cancelation? 

I feel like as long as Blizzard won't lift a finger for the esport scene it won't.

I don't think it will ever reach HGC level  again in terms of neither money nor skill. But I have hopes of Blizzard seeing how much the community loves the game and the competitive scene and maybe (hopefully) doing an invitational or something like that for Blizzcon this year. But seeing as how they "killed" the esport scene without any regret I doubt they will pick it back up anytime soon sadly.

But then I'm still glad we have the likes of Heroes Lounge, Heroes Hype and Masters Clash that aren’t  giving up their hope for this game.

You mentioned already that for yourself this is good ‘on the side’ thing. And so it is for a lot of other players. What caused you to stick with Heroes of the Storm and these grassroot initiatives?

For me I felt it was because of two reasons, number 1 is that I love playing this game - especially the competitive part because of the intense, action packed and fast paced games. But also because I am a very competitive person and I can't really play any games for fun, unless it's single player games.

I didn't really feel like going back to League of Legends that I played before Heroes of the Storm, nor did I want to play Dota - mainly because they are so slow compared to Heroes. But also because I'd have to dedicate a year or two to be good enough to compete on high enough level in those games. Which I didn't really feel like doing. So I decided to stay with the game in my heart and compete in what was left of it alongside my friends in my team and hopefully gain some extra cash while doing it.

And right now I definitely feel like it was the right choice seeing how more and more tournaments are popping up. But also because of the many people that left the game to begin with are starting to come back after seeing the growth and also not having much success in their new games.

If you could make one wish for the scene, before the end of the year what would that be?

My biggest dream since I first saw the world championship in League of Legends back in 2013 was to be a esports pro one day, so to again have the possibility to be that in Heroes of the Storm - in other words to have the opportunity to be able to make a living out of playing this game competitively and professionally.

For this to happen some major sponsor or party needs to invest in the scene. Supposedly Blizzard or some other company.