Buy or Sell is, hopefully, a weekly feature on Trolls.gg where I will play “Mad Money” with the current goings-on of HGC. These will be fun articles where I tell you whether or not I think a team is on the rise, a team is falling, or something else in HGC is going well or needs a little work. Please remember, these are tongue-in-cheek articles, no one is really buying or selling anything, and this is just to start discussion about how the pro scene is going for NA and EU.
Much like my EU article this week, I don’t have any tweets or clips. Read the EU article, I’m not going to copy and paste it. I’m not that lazy.
This is going to be a busy weekend for NA. Week 7 showed us some very important things, and the first is that Gale Force Esports is not going “gentle into that good night” a la Dylan Thomas. GFE pulled off the reverse sweep on Team Twelve after having taken out No Tomorrow 3-1. They currently find themselves in 5th, behind a suddenly struggling Team Freedom and Team Twelve, and a HeroesHearth Esports team that is poised to take the #2 spot.
NA only gets one automatic bid to the MSB, so positioning for the playoffs is super important. It looks certainly like Simplicity will be in that unfortunate 6th spot, but right now 2nd through 5th are in a state of chaos, and nothing makes a lot of sense.
There’s only one thing that we really know for certain...
BUY – Tempo Storm winning every match until MSB
Look, if you don’t believe in the super team of Tempo Storm by now, I don’t know how to convince you. Tempo destroyed Simplicity and No Tomorrow, yes they are bottom teams, yes they are supposed to destroy them, but they didn’t drop a customary map as they have done in other series. This team is clicking, and they have the three most impactful players in NA: Fan, Glaurung, and Psalm. They will hit the MSB, 13-1, and expect them to go deep in the tournament.
At the Western Clash, Tempo showed they can hang with the best. They aren’t good enough to beat your Dignitas or KSVs yet, but this team is scary and dangerous. They are the top of NA, and no one else is close.
Other teams are not so lucky...
SELL – Team Freedom making MSB
Remember a couple of weeks ago when Freedom was undefeated and in first place?
Well, that might as well have been forever ago. Yes, they have won two of their three matches since the Western Clash, but they haven’t played anyone noteworthy - except for Team Twelve, and Team Freedom got swept. This week, Freedom has HeroesHearth, and the way HHE is playing, expect Freedom to give up the top spot to the up-and-comers from the Open Division. They also have to play Tempo Storm this weekend. By the end, they will have dropped from 2nd to 4th or 5th, and that means that they will be near the bottom of the playoff bracket.
BUY – HeroesHearth making MSB
Here’s how this goes: HHE beats Freedom. They beat No Tomorrow. HHE ends Week 8 in second place and they don’t lose that spot for the rest of Phase 1. This team is clicking and each week finding ways to win. I don’t think that they are the best team to go to Mid-Season Brawl, but they will have earned their spot if they get this done this weekend. Having that second place spot means that HHE only has to play one match, and it means that they can better prepare for whomever they will face.
SELL – No Tomorrow
No Tomorrow is in all the trouble in the world. They have a roster that is better than the position that they are in, but they cannot seem to figure it out. They need to upset HHE this weekend, or they are almost a lock for the crucible. With LFM and Simplicity in Week 9, the table is set for No Tomorrow to escape their fate, but I don’t think that they can do it.
I hope I’m wrong. This is my NA team. I do have a slight glimmer of hope, though. We’ll get to that, but first...
BUY – Team Twelve Figuring it out in Phase 2, but not before the Playoffs for Phase 1
Other than Tempo Storm, Team Twelve is NA’s best hope at internationals. If Fan, Glau, and Psalm are the most impactful trio of damage in NA, Goku, Kure and Danski are not far behind. However, after dropping a won match against GFE in a reverse sweep, and HHE taking them out, Team Twelve needs to figure out their identity, and I don’t think it’s happening right now.
When we get to Phase 2, after the MSB, look for Team Twelve to 1) pick up a sponsor and 2) challenge Tempo Storm for the top spot in NA. But right now, this team is falling out of contention.
BUY – Prismaticism and Jin
So, the new guys, Prismaticism for Simplicity and Jin for No Tomorrow, became official this week and I think this is the best thing for both teams. Prismat will grow into the off-lane role, even though it would be better to put him on the range carry and move Zuna over there, and Simplicity will avoid the crucible.
Jin for No Tomorrow frees Equinox from being a tank, which he should never be, and sets that team up better to survive the crucible that they are almost certainly heading towards.
There are some growing pains for both of these teams and players as they will have to get used to each other, but in the long run I think that we will see a better Simplicity and a better No Tomorrow heading into Phase 2.
Predictions for Week 8
These predictions were made on Trollin HGC, episode 40, go check it out, and unlike my EU prediction, I do remember these, because I called them all sweeps. Prepare for me to be very, very wrong.
- Tempo Storm over Team Twelve 3-0
- HeroesHearth over Team Freedom 3-0
- GFE over LFM 3-0
- HeroesHearth over No Tomorrow 3-0
- Team Twelve over Simplicity 3-0
- Tempo Storm over Team Freedom 3-0
Match of the Week
Just watch Friday’s games. The top four in NA all face off: 1 vs 4, 2 vs. 3. Yes, I think that these will be sweeps because right now, Tempo Storm and HeroesHearth just look that good. However, I am probably burying Team Twelve and Team Freedom a little faster than I should. If they are reading this, then this article just became classic “bulletin board material.”
Does that make me want to change my picks? Nope. If I’m right, then the playoff picture becomes very clear after this weekend. If I’m wrong, then Week’s 9 and 10 will be very interesting. Either way I win. I win by being right in one case, and in the other, I win by having a much better viewing experience because the stakes will really matter heading into the final weeks of Phase 1.