Buy or Sell: #HGC NA – Week 9, Phase 1, Part 2 2018

Anne EliseNews

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.

So, Week 9 changed the game in NA. HeroesHearth Esports swept Tempo Storm in what has to be the shock of the year. Not that people didn’t think that HHE would be good, we all kind of assumed, but they enter Week 10 tied in match score (10-3) with the top of NA. If Tempo Storm loses their match against GFE and HHE beats LFM, HHE will go from crucible winners to Mid-Season Brawl.  

Think about that.

This time last year, Khroen was about to get cut from GFE. McIntyre was about to watch B Step dissolve as Caff and K1 were heading for GFE and iDream was off to Lag Force (nee Naventic). Arthelon had left Cloud9 back in 2016, sick of the game, which he made clear in a TwitLonger post, and there were no signs that he wanted to come back. No one really knew who BBJ or ishb00 were.

Now, this team of castoffs and unknowns is one Tempo Storm overaggressive call away from earning an automatic bid to the Mid-Season Brawl.

So, here’s what we know going into week 10:

  • If Tempo Storm wins, they go to the MSB
  • If HHE wins and Tempo Storm loses, HHE goes to the MSB and TS has to go to the playoffs
  • If HHE and TS both lose (HHE just has to lose; TS has to lose 1-3 or 0-3) and Team Twelve wins, Team Twelve will take the top spot in NA
  • Team Freedom, GFE, and Simplicity are all in the playoffs
  • LFM and No Tomorrow are in the crucible

So, let’s get into the Buy and Sell and end this quickly.

BUY – Tempo Storm bounces back

When Tempo Storm has their backs against the wall, that’s when this team shows up. GFE is going to be game this weekend, wanting to play spoiler, but Tempo Storm has just this to focus on and they do not want to give away their top spot. Tempo Storm is NA’s best hope at the MSB (not that other teams can’t get wins), and this is a team that will show up under the pressure. Expect Tempo Storm to put GFE to bed early and to make a statement. This is not a statement to the rest of NA, but to EU and Korea. Tempo Storm isn’t looking past GFE. They are determined and they have to show that their slip ups against Team Twelve and being swept by HHE were just that - slip ups.

SELL – LFM and No Tomorrow doing anything against HHE and TT

Basically, Tempo Storm has to win because both HeroesHearth and Team Twelve are going to sweep their matches. I don’t think that LFM or NT are going to sandbag, but they are heading to the crucible against hungry teams, and they will not want to give away anything to their upcoming opponents. Saturday will be the first time HGC matches start and end on time in NA.

BUY – Simplicity shows up this weekend with a statement game

Back on February 16th, Team Freedom punched Simplicity in the mouth with a 3-1 victory. Then Erho did what he did to get suspended and fired. Then Simplicity added Prismaticism. They have only had victories over No Tomorrow and LFM, and they only have one map win among their other four matches. All signs point to TF easily beating these Old Gods. Team Freedom will most likely win this series. But at some point in this match, Simplicity will show the pedigree of their team. Former world champions, players with global experience, pros who have been here since the beginning, this team will find a moment that will wow us this weekend. They may lose, but if this team gels between now and Phase 2, Simplicity will be a threat to the rest of NA. Look for them to make that statement. It may only be a single game, but they will catch Team Freedom flat-footed and show us a flash of what this roster can do.

There’s more I want to say about these teams, but most of that will be about the playoffs and the crucible, so I’ll hold off on that until next week.

Predictions for Week 10

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.

Friday

  • Tempo Storm over Simplicity 3-2
  • Tempo Storm over GFE 3-1

Saturday

  • HHE over LFM 3-0
  • Team Twelve over No Tomorrow 3 - 0

Match of the Week

Can it be anything other than Tempo Storm and GFE? GFE needs to be the spoiler to head into the playoffs strong, and Tempo Storm has to win because HHE and TT are on their heels, and TS has a much harder match. Tempo Storm has to keep their aggression in check as GFE has shown up a couple of times in Part 2, taking HHE to five games and upsetting Team Twelve. Now, Tempo Storm did beat GFE 3-0 in the last weekend of Part 1, so this might turn into a stomp. That said, the automatic bid for the MSB hangs in the balance. This is the match to watch.