We are joined today by a panel of some of the top Heroes Lounge players to discuss the upcoming Mid-Season Brawl taking place in Sweden.
Today on the panel we have:
Thank you all for your time to discuss the upcoming MSB. To start off, I wanted to briefly touch on the roster changes that have happened (several MSB teams have roster changes coming which come into fruition after MSB). Last year Yoda for Roll20 played at MSB knowing he had been swapped out for a new player, and a lot of people put his positive performance down to him wanting to prove a point. How much do you guys buy into this theory, and do you think the roster changes will have much of an effect on the teams performances?
Hidderino: Honestly I think it will differ greatly per person, YoDa might have wanted to prove something, I doubt the same goes for BadBenny with Fnatic. He's shown little more than animosity towards every part of the team the past few weeks, I doubt he'll show better play than in the regular season. I'm honestly expecting him to anchor even harder than he has been because of recent events. In the case of Quackniix I honestly dont know if he is going to try harder or not. Last but not least we have Method, who I think will try their damndest to redeem themselves from the failure that was the Western Clash where they lost to 2 NA teams. I think they will try whatever they can, even with imminent roster swaps, to prove that they are better than what they showed back then.
Epixors: So for MSB, the performance of the players won't affect where they end up in the next split, as the roster changes have already been locked. I think it does say something about your personality if you start slacking for a big tournament just because you'll be leaving the team shortly after.
As for the expected performance of the teams that are doing roster swaps, I think Fnatic will see the worst drop in their level of play. BadBenny already was one of the worse offlane players in the region, and is now splitting his practice between main tank and offlane. QuackNiix got kicked from the team, but is still their main shotcaller for the event, so how much that'll affect them is hard to tell, and will depend entirely on how QuackNiix approaches the situation.
Method made some changes as well, though every change for them was on good terms. Arcaner will be role swapping, but I'm not sure how this changes his practice.
Rozmex: I think this depends on the player. Yoda most likely had a good mindset going into the tournament and gave his best. Which I don't think is going to be true for BadBenny from FNC. His role swap to melee wasn't successful and he was one of the worst offlane players in EU this split, however it seems like he feels otherwise and this leads him to think that Fnatic's decision to kick him wasn't right. On top of this he's swapping to main tank for next split and started spliting practice between main tank and offlane so his play on MSB will be affected a lot. Quackniix also got kicked from the team, but I think in his case it is going to be better, he was on team with SmX and Breez for more than 2 years so I believe that he won't have any hard feelings and will do his best similarly as to how Yoda did last year.
Method did some roster swaps as well, but it doesn't seem that there was any drama. The only thing is that Arcaner is role swapping from main tank to ranged for next split so that might affect his gameplay on MSB.
Galnegunnar: When people get kicked I think it's pretty common that they want to prove that the team made the wrong decision by kicking you.
As for the performance of teams that roster changed I think FNC will do about the same as if they change roster after MSB. I think so because BadBenny is switching back to tank so he hasn't practiced much melee. But I think Quackniix wants to prove a point because they picked Schwimpi over him, so he is going to try his hardest to play and shotcall as best as he can.
As for Method I think the roster changes will not affect them much, but I think a little bit. I think so because Arcaner is switching from Tank to Ranged next split so his tank mechanics may suffer.
Froge: Depends entirely on the players involved, and whether the circumstances of the roster swap cause bad blood that end up making practice worse. I echo the sentiment that Fnatic will likely be the worst performing EU team because Benny seems salty about being kicked and is now splitting his practice between offlane and main tank. Method I feel won't really be hurt by swapping.
Mid-Season Brawl Group Stage
With the mention of NA, how do you think they are likely to perform this time around? They have shown some signs of improvement, do you think they can continue this trend and actually challenge some of the bigger teams?
Froge: Both of NA's representatives this year are a step ahead of their region. Tempo by now has a lot of international experience and stability, and they're in a group with Fnatic who may severely fall off. So I wouldn't be surprised to see Tempo advance ahead of Fnatic out of groups. HHE is more of a wildcard with way less experience, and showed some really wonky drafting patterns during playoffs to go to MSB. I think if HHE can correctly read the meta at clash they will be stronger than Tempo, but there's no guarantee they will. I'd expect at least one of the NA teams to make 5th place, despite there being 3 EU&KR teams
Epixors: I agree with Froge
Froge: Actually looking at how the bracket shakes out, there's a pretty high chance Method/FNC is one losers' bracket first round match and HHE/Tempo is the other
Galnegunnar: I think NA will do decently at MSB. As I look at the Groups I think both NA teams will be 3rd or 4th place in their respective groups. Tempo Storm are more likely to take 3rd and HeroesHearth is probably taking 4th.
At playoffs I think Tempo will make it to losers' round 2 but will probably fall to the team that loses in the upper bracket (they will probably take a map or two though). HeroesHearth will probably be knocked out in losers' round 1. If the teams face each other in Losers' round 1 I believe Tempo will win that.
Froge: The real question is: Will a KR team manage to get LULed due to disrespecting?
Galnegunnar: The competition in KR is too good at the moment so they are unlikely to clown, if they do I will REEEEEE
Hidderino: I'm going to predict both NA teams will make it to Jönköping, they're better than China, Taiwan and ANZ and they will likely be able to give FNC and MET a run for their money, though I dont think theyll be able to beat Korean teams or DIG
Rozmex: NA is gonna have strongest tournament ever in my opinion. I think both HHE and Tempo have chance to end top 5-6th. depends how Tempest/Method/Fnatic will perform.
Mid-Season Brawl 2017 Trophy
Are there any particular players or teams you think might make a name for themselves at this tournament? Or are we set for the usual names dominating?
Hidderino: Agree with Rozmex (editor note, see previous question) this will be NA best chance at doing well since Blizzcon 2015
Galnegunnar: I think this tournament will be dominated by KR and DIG. For names I would say look out for Good in Tempest. He is the new addition (with Dami) in Tempest and he has not been tested yet on the big stage. If he plays like he does in HGC Korea we will see tempest do really well in this tournament.
Rozmex: I agree with Galne, KR and Dig will be dominating. But the player to look out for is Khroen from HHE, he had fantastic split in NA HGC and if he continues playing like that HHE can go far in the tournament.
Epixors: Keep an eye out for the Sonya god Good from Tempest. He's one of the newer players in the scene and already proving to be an extremely promising offlane player.
Froge: The real competition will be between the Korean teams and Dignitas. Apart from the usual suspects, I'd look to HHE and Method for upsets. CE might show some interesting things, but Chinese teams have had a history of going all-in group stages and then flopping. So while they might show some interesting games in group stages, I doubt that'll translate to tournament results.
And finally, who is going to win MSB?
Hidderino: As much as I want to say Team Dignitas I think Gen.G will win MSB this year
Rozmex: My heart says Dignitas but its most likely gonna be Gen.G
Galnegunnar: Sorry to be boring but I have to say Gen.G as well, but I wish to see DIG or Tempest win.
Epixors: I'd expect Gen.G. They have an extremely strong roster, dominated Phase 1, and have one of the smartest players in the world as their coach. With Noblesse backing them up, I'm expecting them to have the best meta coming in, along with some of the best mechanical players in the world. Hard combo to beat.
Froge: Gen.G. If not them then Dignitas or Tempest. Gen.G has just never not been a powerhouse. They just came out of the last split without dropping a single map. Given how competitive Korea is at the top end, this makes them clear favorites.
Thanks to everyone for reading, this is our first attempt at Heroes Lounge to create some non-lounge focused content, so please feel free to send me feedback via our discord or our twitter! If you are going to MSB at Dreamhack Summer 2018 in Jönköping, come and say hi! Heroes Lounge will have nearly 60 people there, and we would love to hang out with you.