Hello everyone, this is RandomTask and I bring to you my Wildcard Weekend outlook for the Heroic division of the NGS playoffs. For arguments sake, I am going to assume every team that is able is going to participate in the Wildcard Weekend.
To preface this entire article, I’m going to say that I believe that the teams that show up and execute and bring out the best hidden strats are most likely to win. In a best-of-one it’s anyone’s game. Look out for crazy and wacky things this weekend to take games off of opponents. The randomness of the map selection also will play a factor in who has an edge.
Here’s a list of the teams that might participate this weekend, followed by a few of my thoughts on who might stand a better chance of making it to the playoffs.
The Real Ultimate Mosh Pit (TRUMP)
Bad Manners are the most likely to make the playoffs outright, they have one game left against a lower standing opponent. Get Stuffed is likely to get in as well, but have not been playing up to par as of recently.
TRUMP and GLITN could steal one of the spots as well, but they are a bit behind and will have to hope that things fall their way.
Everyone else will have to fight for a spot and run the gauntlet this weekend to make it in.
These teams all have shown the ability to take games off of anyone. They are playing well and are currently the more experienced teams. I think they all have a pretty equal chance of clinching a spot, however, if you twisted my arm and asked me to rank them, then I would probably put them in the order I listed. These teams essentially have not lost games to the teams beneath them so far this season and, as such, have positioned themselves very well going into Saturday.
These teams show promise, but haven’t performed quite at the level that the top teams have. They have taken games, but haven’t shown the same consistency as the frontrunners when it comes to execution and reliability. With that said, a best-of-one format can see any outcome emerge, so all they would need is one favorable matchup/map selection/draft.
These teams are huge underdogs. I don’t really see them having a decent chance, if any, to get top 2 in order to qualify for the playoffs. There is however, an opening as they have nothing to lose and could pull out some really big surprises. They would really be the teams to look out for to see some unorthodox strategies.
That being said, best-of-one means anything can happen, and considering the map selection is random, teams can simply run into an unfortunate/unfamiliar map and see their odds evaporate quite suddenly.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at priority picks and X factor characters I would look out for:
The usual Diablo, Genji, Deckard, and Yrel will almost certainly be highly prioritized for opening picks. I would also expect Tyrande and Whitemane’s value to go up considerably now that teams have seemed to figure out how to utilize them effectively. Raynor, Fenix, Hanzo, Jaina, and Maiev remain very strong picks in Heroic Division for assassin players, while Johanna and Garrosh seem to be the next strongest tanks after Diablo. Blaze might go down in priority due to his changes, but he’s still a strong pick regardless. After him, Dehaka is always a solid choice, followed by Leoric and Sonya. I might also look out for more appearances in the offlane and main tank position by E.T.C. and Arthas with their recent health buffs.
Now for the good part, Octalysis has shown us the way to a new meta, drafting double support with a bruiser slotted in their “main tank”. Xul has been the prototype pick for this, but a few other heroes exist to fill this slot as well. With Kerrigan’s rework out, expect her to get banned every game, as she has the potential to strike fear into the hearts of mortals. I think teams would be very unwise to let her through the ban phase unless there is some plan they have. Even then, she just seems incredibly broken and I personally wouldn’t take that chance. I cannot speculate on Brightwing very much right now because I really don’t know how her changes will affect her play, but I’d be surprised if no one gives the fairy dragon this weekend.
Mephisto is the pick I am most interested to see play out. I think he can provide a lot of value given the right circumstances plus his pure damage output is mouthwatering. I do feel like teams might pick him in less than ideal scenarios though and get easily punished with heroes that can stay on top of him a long time.
Other picks that might bring for a surprise appearance are Valeera, Samuro, and Abathur on heavy push maps while on more team fight oriented ones, teams may look to double support instead.
At the end of the day, expect all the teams to bring out the big guns to get in the playoffs. Good luck in the Nexus!
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