The group stage of the Heroes of the Storm Major League has just concluded, with four teams from both America and Europe having proved their strength and advanced to the playoffs. Featuring a prize pool of US$4,200 for each region, the teams will now have to play in a best of five double elimination bracket in order to try and claim the title of first ESL Major League Champion for themselves.
The American playoffs start tomorrow (Friday the 27th of March) and finish the day after, and will be brought to you by Jake "SolidJake" Kulinski and Corey "TheCooby" Hauver.
From Monday the 30th of March, the European playoffs, to be cast by our very own James "Kaelaris" Carrol alongside Thomas "Khaldor" Kilian, will begin. On April the 1st, Kaelaris will instead be joined by Yoan "ToD" Merlo to cast the semi and grand finals
Everything will be broadcast live on the ESL Heroes of the Storm Twitch channel, so don’t forget to tune in and watch the best teams in the world compete for the title!
New patch, new meta?
One of the most interesting things to note about the upcoming playoffs are their use of the recently applied patch, which came online this Tuesday and delivered a lot of balance changes, a new hero and a new map. The ESL Major League playoffs will be the first big event to be played with the patch, and the question of how it will influence the meta is in the forefront of everyone’s minds.
We got a chance to speak with SK Gaming’s Seth "Araragi" Fitzpatrick and Joaquim "Lowell" Fitas of Fnatic to ask them about their opinions and expectations of how the patch will influence their playoff experience.
ESL: Hello! First of all, congratulations on qualifying for the Heroes of the Storm Major League playoffs! Tell us: what changes do you and your team expect from the new patch and how will they influence the playoffs?
Seth "Araragi" Fitzpatrick: The new patch will bring a fresh take on drafts and will reward teams that break the mold of the meta. The changes to the health of structures and maps will most likely shorten the duration of games, leading to more intense and exciting fights.
Joaquim "Lowell" Fitas: I'm really excited for the upcoming ESL Major League playoffs! I'm curious to see how teams will adapt to the new patch, but I don't think there will be a lot of meta changes because triple range comps, which were already dominant at the end of the last patch, got buffed. I have high expectations for my team this patch as we started adapting to the meta very late with the last one but are more than ready this time!
Best of luck in the playoffs, guys!
- March 27th, 20:00 EDT (01:00 CET) - compLexity G. vs. Cloud 9 Maelstrom
- March 27th, 23:00 EDT (04:00 CET) - 2ARC Iliad vs. Tempo Storm
- March 28th, 14:00 EDT (19:00 CET) - Losers match
- March 28th, 17:00 EDT (22:00 CET) - Winners match
- March 28th, 20:00 EDT (01:00 CET) - Decider match
- March 28th, 23:00 EDT (04:00 CET) - Grand final
- March 30th, 18:00 CET (13:00 EDT) - Gamers2 vs. Fnatic
- March 30th, 21:00 CET (16:00 EDT) - SK Gaming vs. Team-LDLC
- March 31th, 18:00 CET (13:00 EDT) - Losers match
- March 31th, 21:00 CET (16:00 EDT) - Winners match
- April 1st, 18:00 CET (13:00 EDT) - Decider match
- April 1st, 21:00 CET (16:00 EDT) - Grand final
Next up: Season 2 and 3
The Heroes of the Storm esports action doesn’t stop here! Right after the playoffs will be the relegation matches, which will be played on April the 6th, followed by the beginning of the second season of the ESL Major League on the 7th of April.
If you think your team is up to the challenge, you might want to sign up for the Heroes of the Storm Open League Americas or Europe. You have until 23:59 CET on the 29th of March to sign up, and the best teams will advance to the Season 3 of the Major League, so it’s definitely worth a shot!