Blizzcon 2017 HGC Power Rankings–Powered by Math!!

Professor giving class at the blackboard

Happy Power Rankings Day to you all!  Today, we’re throwing our hat into the highly opinionated world of analysis, taking a look at all the teams heading to Blizzcon this weekend. However, it would be crazy presumptuous of me to try and rank every team all on my own. This blog covers a range of esports, so there’s no way for me to watch every game in every region. With that in mind, I reached out to a few friends, LiQuiD and Bahgz from the Heroes podcast Trollin HGC These guys watch everything and can defend their opinions with actual data!  So, if you have any issues with the following rankings, go call em out and make them defend their opinion. Trust me, they’ll love it!

So, here’s what you’ll find if you scroll past all these words to just get the results. With a power ranking, we’re not necessarily examining or trying to predict who is going to win Blizzcon. We didn’t take into account groups, potential brackets, tournament format, anything like that. What we’re attempting to do here is to rate the strength of each team as they enter the tournament. Everything is based off of past results and performance.

To actually create the rankings, we broke each team down using the following seven metrics:

  • Rotation: How well a team handles the macro level strategy of Heroes. This includes objective control, wave management, xp soak, and lane ganking.
  • Teamfight: The micro strategy. Essentially, how consistently the team comes out on top of teamfights either at even power level or behind.
  • Comms: Team communication. Shotcalling, teamfight coordination, language barriers, etc.
  • Leadership: This is more focused on out-of-game leadership, including strength of the team captain as a leader, support/organizational staff, etc.
  • Pool: A combination of draft strategy and actual depth of the team’s hero pool. We’re not necessarily looking at “hey, this team played Nova one time and lost,” but more so how many different heroes have actually seen success for the team.
  • Experience: How long has this roster been together? How many players have played in a LAN setting before? Have they been to past Blizzcon finals?
  • Solo Lane: The Heroes meta has evolved to the point where most teams rely on a 4-1 lane split on most maps. As a result, having a solo laner who can consistently win lane and perform in the late game has become essential. This metric examines the individual skill level of each team’s designated solo laner.

All three analysts assigned these metrics a score from 1-10. Those values were then added together to assign each team an overall power score with a maximum value of 210. With all of that rambling out of the way, here are the teams in reverse order of strength.


#16 Beyond The Game – 95 points

It’s tough to give a team high marks for Comms, Experience, or even Leadership when most of your roster is stranded back home.

#15 Dark Sided – 135 points

This is a team with tons of promise and great leadership, but a lack of international experience hurts the team’s chances at adapting to the Blizzcon meta quickly.

#14 Super Perfect Team – 141 points

While SPT wasn’t extremely hurt by the Chinese Visa-pocalypse, the team has experienced several roster changes this year, so it’s very difficult to compare their play as a team favorably to more veteran opponents.

#13 CE – 144 points

This team is similarly missing just one member, but xuyu has proven himself a strong player in live tournament play. The team’s record internationally warrants a slightly higher rating than SPT, but that lack of synergy with a new member is still concerning.

#12 Team Freedom – 147 points

Team Freedom stunned everyone with their performance in the final HGC split, but Blizzcon is often where the competitive scene corrects itself. This is a team with potential, but still lacking in championship-caliber experience. Further, looking at the data, Kure actually compares poorly with most solo laners rated above him.

#11 Red Canids – 148 points

A staple at Heroes LANs, HGC fans have grown used to seeing the Red Canids this time of year. That experience will give the team a fighting chance against the best teams, and should help them prepare to surpass those ranked below. (Note: this rating was completed prior to the announcement that Red Canids would play with two subs)

#10 Deadly Kittens – 150 points

This is a tough team for analysts. If any wildcard region is going to make big upsets at Blizzcon, the Deadly Kittens are the most likely candidate. That said, they could just as easily wash out in opening week. That level of variance was reflected in the team’s scores.

#9 Soul Torturers – 155 points

We pretty much know what Soul Torturers are at this point when it comes to international competition. They can’t be slept on and will cause problems in the group stage, but they’ll ultimately be outclassed by the best teams from the major regions.

#8 Team Expert – 157 points

After Liquid’s unfortunate struggles this season, Expert quickly rose into a firm spot behind Dignitas and Fnatic. This is a team with plenty of options in the draft and a few veteran leaders. However, being a very firm third place in Europe doesn’t get you any further than middle of the pack at Blizzcon.

#7 Tempest – 161 points

There’s a simple rule in esports–you don’t bet against Korea. Tempest has had a tough road since their breakout performance in early 2016, but this is a roster that can make plays when it counts. With a strong solo laner and great teamfighting, no one should underestimate the third team from Korea.

#6 Tempo Storm – 162 points

Tempo Storm plays the macro game well. Psalm and Fury give the team a deep hero pool. However, we’ve also seen them consistently struggle this season with role swaps, and they’ve never been a championship contender at LAN events. Tempo can hold their own and keep things interesting, but no one is looking for this squad to upset the heavy favorites.

#5 Dignitas – 177 points

In an instant, Dignitas could swing anywhere within the top 5. The team has some of the best veteran leadership in the world and a great understanding of how to play the map in Heroes. However, we’re still waiting for Zaelia to push himself into the truly elite club of solo laners. That combined with Mene’s extreme preference for mages can be limiting for Dignitas when it comes to drafting against the best in the world.

#4 Roll20 Esports- 178 points

Based on the Mid Season Brawl, Dignitas should be ahead of Roll20. However, the last time these teams did battle, Roll20 was short exactly one Goku. The difference in Solo Lane prowess was exactly enough to give Roll20 enough points to break the tie and move into the fourth place spot.

#3 Ballistix (L5) – 185 points

The defending Blizzcon champions have reunited with their sponsor to take another shot at the crown. Ballistix is obviously a contender, but it’s tough to ignore the team’s most recent international showing at the Mid Season Brawl. We’ve also never seen the level of sheer domination from this roster that has come from our last two teams.

#2 MVP Black – 196 points

MVP Black slumped just as much as L5 at MSB, but the team appears to have returned with a hunger to win Blizzcon. This is a star-studded roster capped off by the best player to ever enter the Nexus, Rich.

#1 Fnatic – 197 points

The current World Champions, Fnatic have not slowed down a bit since the start of the year. This is a cohesive roster filled with veterans, all sorts of wacky pocket strategies, and one of the best solo laners in the world. This will likely be the West’s best chance to claim a Blizzcon championship where elite Korean teams are present.

 

So, there you have it. Every team has been weighed and measured. Who will be found wanting? The only way to decide that is to actually play some games!

Thanks again to the guys over at Trollin HGC for their help with research and analysis for this article. Check them out on Twitter, or take a look at my guest appearance a few months back. It contains lots of cool background on my history in esports, plus you get to look at my face for like two hours!!

 

 

TLDR IN ORDER CAUSE I’M LAZY AND SCROLLED TO THE BOTTOM

Fnatic 197
MVP Black 196
L5 185
Roll20 178
Dignitas 177
Tempo Storm
162
Tempest 161
Team Expert 157
Soul Torturers
155
Deadly Kittens
150
Red Canids 148
Team Freedom
147
CE 144
SPT 141
Dark Sided 135
Beyond The Game
95
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