Jun 19, 2019 Drakvor Amateur League EU

As we all know well, Division 7 is the highest tier of play that Heroes Lounge provides, at least in terms of entertainment. Many of you may already have seen a few plays, and definitely many misplays, from Division 7. After all, Khaldor and many other streamers have been generous enough to provide us with some publicity. Starting this week, I will be posting a series of articles providing useful information about the wonderful teams and players of Division 7. After all, Division 7 is the best Division.

The Playoffs are nearing as yet another season of Heroes Lounge comes to an end. Throughout the ten weeks of regular league play, teams have competed and fought for the opportunity to take part in this final test of skill and game knowledge. The playoffs are the highlight of each season, and it won't be any different this time. Every game will be streamed live for all you Heroes of the Storm enthusiasts. But since I know that many of you aren't very familiar with the Division 7 teams and players, this week's article will include a brief introduction to what the playoffs are and some insights from some of the players that have qualified.

The Playoffs

The Division 6 & 7 Playoffs is the final struggle between 16 of our greatest teams. The top 8 teams of each Division will prepare their most secret of cheeses and hero picks in order to go the distance. Even if you haven't been keeping up-to-date with all the action in Division 7, I would highly recommend watching these games, because they will provide you with everything you'd want from Heroes of the Storm. Each and every team here has worked very hard across the ten weeks of regular league play to get to this spot.

Good luck everyone taking part.

Date: 9th June 2019 - 30th June 2019

Format: Group Stage -> Single Elimination Bracket Stage

For more information, please refer to...

Participating teams

Now, there will be eight teams from Division 7 and another eight from Division 6. However, I am ashamed to say that I do not follow Division 6 of Heroes Lounge very meticulously and will only be able to introduce you to the teams from Division 7. But not to worry, since Division 7 has the best teams with the best names and the best players. All eight of these teams have worked very hard to qualify and there were both intense and funny moments along the way. Golden Power, the team ranked 7th in Division 7, could not make the playoffs, and was replaced by The Bacon Landlords.

Tactical Suicide

Ranking: #1

Record: 9-1

Tactical Suicide is the team to watch if you're rooting for Division 7. They have had a very successful first season in Heroes Lounge, going nearly undefeated during the regular league season. They seem to rely on solid tank picks such as E.T.C and Johanna, each one with an incredibly high win-rate thanks to their performance in the Lounge. Johanna, especially, has been played ten times with a 90% win-rate. They are the favourites from among Division 7, but only time will tell as to how well they can hold their own against the best of Division 6.

Turtle Team

Ranking: #2

Record: 8-2

The Turtle Team is the only team to have defeated Tactical Suicide and clearly have the play-making potential to take on even the best teams in Division 7. Both of their losses were early on in the season, while all of the teams were trying to adjust to the structure of the league format. Turtle Team seems to have all the momentum now, having won their past 7 matches. The Turtle Team seems to play a more varied range of ranks, while preferring to prioritise the Jaina or Greymane as their damage dealers. The one power pick, however, may lie in Tyrande, who sports a 100% win-rate over 8 games.

Gubba Gaming

Ranking: #3

Record: 7-3

Gubba Gaming have a very respectable record of seven wins to three losses. They were the only team to take a map off Tactical Suicide other than Turtle Team, and in fact, have beaten Turtle Team themselves, showing that they can compete with the very best of Division 7. They rely very heavily on mages, mainly Kael'thas and Orphea, with a Muradin and Deckard to protect them. Gubba Gaming clearly has the potential to go head to head with any team given the right circumstances, though they have a low win-rate on their favourite and most picked map of Battlefield of Eternity. 

Nexus' Most Wanted

Ranking: #4

Record: 7-3

Nexus' Most Wanted has qualified for their second playoffs. They have played together since Season 8 of Heroes Lounge EU, and have had many great moments. While they managed to defeat Gubba Gaming, they lost both the matches with Tactical Suicide and Turtle Team. Similar to the rest of Division 7, Nexus' Most Wanted rely heavily on Kael'thas, Deckard, Johanna and Li Ming. Interestingly, they have also played on a wider range of maps than most other teams, having played on seven of the available maps. One hero to look out for might be their Yrel, who has a 100% winrate across 4 games.

FAT Punisher

Ranking: #5

Record: 6-4

The only FAT (Free Agent Team) to make it to the playoffs, FAT Punisher has an impressive 6-4 record for a team that was formed at the start of the season. They lost both of the matches they played against Tactical Suicide and Turtle Team, and did not face Gubba Gaming or Nexus' Most Wanted, so their potential to contend with the best of Division 7 is still under question. But they have improved a lot since the start of this season, going through different role swaps and stages. You can find out more about this team in the interview later on in this article.

Ringo Dingo Bareback Boys

Ranking: #6

Record: 6-4

The Ringo Dingo Bareback Boys started off the season weak, with losses against FAT Colossus and the Rantners, both teams that ended up in the lower half of Division 7. However, they ended the season strong with a four match win streak, redeeming themselves. It might be important, however, to keep in mind that this team has avoided facing any of the top 4 teams and it is, therefore, difficult to judge their power level in Division 7. This team plays a wide range of heroes, with their highest picked hero (Brightwing and Thrall) only having seen play in 6 games each. They also have a few spicy picks in Kel'thuzad.

Goats For Hire

Ranking: #8

Record: 6-4

Goats For Hire prefer to rely on heroes that other Division 7 teams often overlook. They have played 9 games each of Tyrande, Junkrat, E.T.C and Sylvanas, a very different set of heroes from the teams we have seen earlier. Despite playing in a seemingly different meta, they have been fairly successful as a team, only losing matches against the likes of Turtle Team and Gubba Gaming, teams that have also made it to the playoffs. An interesting aspect of their play is that they like to play Cursed Hollow, yet have a low win-rate on that map. Their stronger maps seem to be Battlefield of Eternity and Towers of Doom.

The Bacon Landlords

Ranking: #9

Record: 5-5

The Bacon Landlord is a famous team, known throughout Heroes Lounge as the representatives of Division 7. This is their second season in Heroes Lounge, and they have played many very interesting compositions with varying degrees of success. Their quirky compositions took some teams off guard, but stronger Division 7 teams, such as Tacticial Suicide and Turtle Team were unfazed by the weird drafts, thus giving the Landlords a lowish record. In fact, the last week saw a close competition between 4 Guys 1 Nurse, The Bacon Landlords and Goats For Hire in order to claim the spot of #8. While the Bacon Landlords narrowly missed out, they have a second chance to prove themselves in the playoffs. Watch out for compositions involving Abathur, Murky or even Cho'gall.

Player Interviews

During the down time between the weekly league season and the Playoffs, I approached some top tier Division 7 players about their thoughts on the Playoffs. They were happy to share their insight with me, about how they are feeling, what they expect from the Playoffs, and how Heroes of the Storm is played in the lower Divisions.

I approached WhoAmI, a player in our leading team Tactical Suicide, and TheOneKnight, the captain of FAT Punisher, for interviews.

Interview with WhoAmI

How does it feel to have qualified for the playoffs?

A: Nice. Also, gz to the other teams who have made it to the playoffs. (‘gz’ is a German greeting)

How many seasons have you played in the Lounge? How many of those were with Tactical Suicide?

A: This is my first season in Heroes Lounge. Khaldor brought me here. I had never played competitive Heroes of the Storm before. The team grouped up at the end of last season and we have played and practiced together since then as much as possible and have improved significantly as a team.

What is your role on the team?

A: Hmm, I would say I fill in with whatever hero is needed for the team or against the opponents since my hero pool is one of the largest in the team. I also do research on our next opponent and give some advice for the tactics and strategies we are going for. I am also the main drafter and help decide our picks and bans.

Were there any challenges your team faced during this season?

We try to improve every time we play with each other while also having fun playing Heroes of the Storm. The biggest challenge, from the perspective of Grier, our captain, is arranging a match of a day everyone can play. We had a match, I think it was against Gubba Gaming in round 3, it was pretty hard to schedule that match. We just memed pretty much around and we try to take every match as a challenge to bring the best out of the team.

Now that you have qualified for the playoffs, what are your goals as a team?

A: We’d like to win as many matches as possible. We were happy to get that first place. We want to improve as a team and talk much about our matches and training so we should be able to do this pretty well.

You are ranked 1st in Division 7. Which other teams do you believe are strong contenders from your Division?

A: Ah okay. we had some issues with Gubba Gaming we couldn’t solve on that map. also Turtle Team did pretty well in taking advantage on our mistakes we did. Don’t get me wrong, there are some more strong div 7 team. It’s more about knowing the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses and so on and play around it.

What do you see as some of the meta picks and bans down here in Division 7 (if such things can be defined)?

A: It's pretty interesting. The Division 7 meta is quite different to the semi pro meta. It feels more like target bans on enemies or bans against heroes the team isn't comfortable against are prevalent here. For example, Kael'thas is not a priority ban in higher divisions, but in low divisions most of the players don’t want to play against him.

Do you have anything else you would like to add?

A: To every player, and it doesn't matter if they play in Heroes Lounge or not. Have fun playing Heroes of the Storm. There should be way more people playing the game, but as long we have fun playing this game, it never will be dead. Also, a big thanks to all the casters out there trying their best to cast the matches and bring the custom matches to everybody out there. #savehots

Interview with TheOneKnight

How does it feel to have qualified for the playoffs?

A: Fantastic, considering our aim was to be in the top half of the Division.

You are the captain of the FAT team, which stands for Free Agent Team. This means you were put in a team with other people you didn't know. What were some challenges posed by this set up?

A: Being in a FAT team was pretty difficult at first. We were very disorganised and almost missed our first match. Between this and the lack of communication, it was difficult to get things going. But the fact that we hadn’t known each other before wasn’t much of a problem.

How did you overcome these issues to reach the playoffs and have a successful season in Heroes Lounge?

A: We were lucky enough to have Bust3r on the team, who had prior experiences in the lounge and made it easier for the rest of the team to get going.

Honestly, what helped most with the communication issues was just spending time together, getting to know both each other and how everyone plays. It sounds cliche, but as soon as we got to know each other a bit, we all started picking up on each other’s shortcomings and we able to improve as a team.

Finally, having set roles that everyone would focus on helped immensely. You knew what you had to focus on. In my case, this was tanks. I knew what I needed to work on, and once we discussing strategies, I was able to identify that I needed to practice playing Garrosh and Johanna.

Now that you have qualified for the playoffs, what are your goals as a team?

A: Well, for us, getting here is already beyond what we expected. Now, we just want to take it as far as we can. I would love to get past the first couple of games and get higher up, but for most of our team, this is our season and we don’t know how competitive it gets. We’ll just have to wait and see.

How are you preparing for the playoffs?

We are changing quite a lot actually, for a start we are making some role swaps within the team to try and diversify our hero pool a bit more and give us more flexibility. We are also practicing a lot more and trying new team comps. We are really just trying to up our game overall, after looking back on our old games and some of our streamed games, we all got a good idea of our shortcomings and are focusing on patching up the holes in our gameplay.

What do you feel is your role as a tank here in Division 7?

A: To not die.

On a more serious note, my job is a mix of disruption, crowd control and protection. I have to lock down threats and stop them from escaping. And if necessary, I take the hit before the rest of my team does by blocking skillshots and being such an annoyance to the opponent’s backline that I can’t be ignored.

What do you see as some of the meta picks and bans down here in Division 7 (if such things can be defined)?

A: I don’t think a ‘meta’ exists in Division 7. The picks and bans are all over the place and it feels like most people just play their comforts. If I had to choose a few heroes, I would argue that we have faced many teams that favour Orphea, Li Ming and Diablo. As for our own picks, most teams have struggled to deal with Garrosh when we picked him.

I can also see Anduin making quite a splash on the Div 7 meta. We’ll see.

Do you have anything else you would like to add?

A: Honestly, I’d just like to say good luck to everyone. We joined this Division for a laugh and it has been great and we learned a lot.

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you are all enjoying the community of Heroes Lounge as much as I am. Special thanks to TheOneKnight and WhoAmI, who were kind enough to take the time to answer my questions.


Season 9 Epic Cup Preview

Jun 08, 2019 Poppinfresh Amateur League EU
Let's take a look at the teams competing in this seasons Epic Cup