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HOTS Mid-Season Brawl: Fnatic Finishes Top 2 in Groups

Live update: The group stage is now over and Fnatic finished top 2 in Group A (12 points, 8-2). This qualifies us for the Upper Bracket where we will face eStar Gaming on Saturday. The team has also beaten the record of fastest ever game in HGC which now stands at an incredible 6 minutes and 1 second.

The Mid-Season Brawl at DreamHack Summer is finally upon us! Since securing the first spot in the regular HGC season meant we could skip playoffs, it’s been almost a month since we’ve seen our guys play a competitive series. Our favorite Swedes haven’t been sitting around doing nothing though. On the contrary, they’ve have been bootcamping for the past few weeks, working harder than ever to make sure they can show their dominance in front of their home crowd.

If that isn’t reason enough to practice, then perhaps finally having their first major tournament victory within their grasp is. Crazy as it sounds, the ultimate achievement has eluded our guys since the roster got together last year, often being just one game away from that final victory. It’s time for us to break the curse. Let’s take a look at what we can expect in our group.

For starters, it’s important to know that the top 2 of each group will move on to the Upper tier of the Bracket Stage while the bottom 2 are eliminated and the middle two get seeded in the Lower. Our opponents are:

    • Deadlykittens (SEA) - Saturday, June 10th 2PM CET
    • Nomia (Australia) - Sunday, June 11th 2PM CET
    • Roll20 esports (NA) - Monday, June 12th 6.30PM CET
    • MVP Black (Korea) - Tuesday, June 13th 3.30PM CET.
    • SPT (China)- Wednesday, June 14th 3.30PM CET

Fans who follow the international competition will immediately recognize MVP Black as our strongest opponent. The Koreans have been dominant throughout HotS’ history but in recent times the gap has been closing. A good example is Blizzcon 2016, where we ourselves defeated MVP Black 3-1 in the semifinals and took a game from Ballistix (now L5 in Group B) in the finals. Korea is definitely still a region to be respected but Europe has shown consistently that they can match their level of play, and there is no reason to expect anything but exciting matches between the two at the Mid-Season Brawl.

Deadlykittens is our first opponent of the event. A team consisting of players that have been dominant in SEA for a while, they have yet to prove themselves on an international stage after an unsuccessful Blizzcon run last fall. Our boys are expected to start things off with a win.

Same goes for our series against Nomia. The Australians are probably the strongest team of the smaller regions but even so they still have plenty of catching up to do before they can really threaten the giants in the Heroes of the Storm scene.

Next there is SPT, a team that originally didn’t qualify for the MSB but will be replacing team CE due to visa issues. The team qualified for the Eastern Clash in March but proved to be no match for the dominant Korean teams at the event, ending up in a 5-6th place overall.

Finally, there’s Roll20 esports from NA, previously known as Team8. We didn’t get a chance to play against them at the Western Clash in Katowice but they did go down 0-3 against Dignitas, the other consistently strong team in Europe (and placed in Group B). If their performance against them is any indication of how they compare to EU teams then they can expect to finish third in our group, after ourselves and MVP Black, who will be fighting for spots 1 and 2.

The main event takes place on June 17-19th. Ending up in that Upper Bracket and staying there for the rest of the tournament will have the added benefit of being granted a one game advantage in the Grand Finals. It’s definitely something to keep in mind as games at the highest level are often very close and getting a free win is a big deal, even in a best-of-7.

One thing is clear, there’s going to be a lot of A-level Heroes of the Storm competition going on in Sweden and you’re going to want to tune in as much as you possibly can!

The full groups, brackets and schedule are available on the HGC website.