Heroes Of The Storm Gets A Pro Tournament Next Year

BlizzCon 2015 has been good to Heroes Of The Storm [official site], it seems. Not only will it soon receive three brand new characters, an Arena mode and a new battleground, the Heroes Of The Storm Global Championship Circuit will run in 2016 playing host to three competitive events throughout the year. Oh, and Blizzard are also working to replace the game’s matchmaking system in response to recent player criticism. Trailers and deets after the drop.

Let’s start with the new heroes of Heroes: Lunara the “first daughter of Cenarius” is a ranged assassin and a dab hand with a spear; Grey Mane “Lord of the Worgen” is a shape-shifter who also prefers to pick off foes from afar; and Cho’Gall “Twilight’s hammer chieftan” is a two-headed brute who’s controlled by two players at once (one controls movement and basic attacks, the other more refined and more powerful hits) and commands brawn and brains in equal measure, apparently. The trio will be let loose in the new Towers of Doom battleground which sees a Lucky Number Slevin-type standoff between the Raven Lord and the Grave Keeper who’re each vying for support. Arena mode will also see 5v5 bouts in best-of-three competitions which to me sound far less interesting, but you can check out the trailer below and decide for yourself. Double-whammy incoming:

As there’s less to go on in the latter, here’s the Towers of Doom blurb from the game’s website:

This Battleground, however, is unlike any that denizens of the Nexus have experienced before. Each Core is protected by a barrier that cannot be destroyed by Heroes. Instead, teams must clash to activate the Altars that rise within the town. Once an Altar is claimed, each of the capturing team’s Bell Towers will fire on the opposing Core. Six Bell Towers in total guard this Battleground—but their allegiance is fickle. Upon destruction, a Bell Tower will turn against its former allies, each adding one more payload to the explosive volley that will fire when an Altar is captured.

Also announced at BlizzCon was The Global Championship Circuit which will run three events in spring, summer, and autumn next year. Just 12 teams will make up the finals stage of the tournament, thus you’ll need to battle it out at regional level first to prove your worth. Qualifiers open in January and if you think you’ve a chance of netting the $500,000 prize pot then Blizzard suggest you follow updates in the coming weeks on the HotS website.

Last but not least, game director Dustin Browder addressed the failings of Heroes Of The Storm’s current matchmaking system during a developers panel. Whereas the current system is similar to StarCraft, and appears to work well there, he admitted it becomes “too stressful” when applied to HotS. Currently, the game builds matches from a set group before trying to match good games within said set. The new system, however, will instead form a queue. What this means is that if the proposed match isn’t perfect, players can be placed on hold until Blizzard starts the match. In theory, this should pair players with more suitable companions. Browder says this fix will be put in place before the end of the year, thus I guess we’ll see if this works out as planned in practice.

8 Comments

  1. Koozer says:

    “one controls movement and basic attacks, the other more refined and more powerful hits”

    Aww I was hoping that both players would control movement, with each head having different special attacks. I suppose this way has a slightly higher chance of you actually getting stuff done and not coming to hate your partner within 5 minutes.

    • Nevard says:

      They actually do both have different special attacks.
      The Left head is the Melee head who does all the moving (his abilities are more range dependant) and has a charge ability, the power to set everyone in a radius around him on fire which also heals him, and can roll a magical orb forwards in a line.
      His partner is a caster, who can fire a beam of dark energy, throw a bouncing orb of shadow, or use his E ability to detonate the or. rolled by the Melee head for additional damage.

      While the caster head can’t control movement directly, his mount button gives his partner a short duration sprint, and later on he can get a talent that essentially “nudges” the pair in a direction, supposedly to avoid skill shots or ground targeted are powers that the other player did not notice.

      This is such a silly and original idea (it was an April fools joke for wow in 2004) that I am actually very excited to play it, especially as a couple with my romantic partner.

    • Freud says:

      The player not in charge of moving Cho’Gall will get access to a little shuffle move to dodge skill shots, so he still has to pay attention.

  2. Moraven says:

    One thing to point out is how to obtain Cho’Gall. You can not buy him.

    All BlizzCon attendees and virtual ticket holders will have access. People who group with them can play duo Cho’Gall with them. I believe they said after 4 matches as Cho’Gall, you will then have Unlocked him fully. The Arena is a lot of fun for quick games and random hero selection.

    • mouton says:

      Only for a time, of course. Later on, it will be purchasable like any other char.

  3. socrate says:

    so…when they run out of idea now blizzard use their past april fool…good to know.

    The thing is…wasn’t that supposed to be an extremely casual dota like?…oh riiight activision…always forget…need to sell these 7$ and 10$ hero skin right

    • Nevard says:

      Cho’Gall actually is a really casual-friendly character though.
      Got a friend or loved one who has never played a moba before? Queue as Cho’Gall and they are literally only played half a character.

      You, the veteran, control Cho, who does all of the moving. You share a health pool. Gall, the other head, doesn’t have to do half of the things any other character would. You just focus on hitting people with your spells.