Heroes of the Storm is a very new moba in terms of the competitive e-sports scene, and the competition is quite small in Australia but that doesn’t mean that there is no reason to create a team and try to become the best in the region, and potentially the world. Here are some key skills and practises that I make sure my team utilise while getting ready for big tournaments.
For Heroes of the Storm scrimming is really necessary for your players to grow individually and as a team. In Heroes of the Storm there is a lack of highly skilled competitive queues so we need to try and practise verse other top players in their teams as much as possible, this allows us to see what other teams are doing in terms of strategies and compositions, but we are also able have a high level of competition which forces the players to play at the best of their ability. We try to scrim at least once every 3 days, but due to lack of upcoming tournaments and the Christmas break just been teams haven’t been as active as they once were. I personally need to organise scrims with other teams which can be hard at times due to players having commitments outside of the game and trying to find a time where all of my team can commit to playing at least an hour worth of scrims.
Usually when we scrim another team, we play anywhere between 1 to 5 scrim, after these scrims we then all sit down together and watch the replays. When we watch the replays I as the manager will have written notes down on mistakes that I noticed through the game, if none of the players notice the mistake that I saw I will bring it up and we often have an in depth discussion on what we could have done instead to improve. Analysing scrims and even just Hero League games is a very productive way to improve on your gameplay as a player and as a team.
Luckily all of the players in my team get along very well as they have been playing together for a while, even before the team was created, this allows players to have the confidence to challenge other player’s decisions and everyone is on an equal level of authority. The players all also play together outside of team practise and are always in TeamSpeak together chatting about things that aren’t relative to the game itself, this really brings a positive vibe to the team environment which makes playing together on a regular basis very easy and enjoyable for all of the players.
Helping players individually
At times the players can feel down or not want to play the game on a certain day, this can be due to issues outside of the game or just being burnt out from playing the game so much, what I need to do as the manager is make sure that they are ok, try cheer them up and make playing the game as enjoyable for them as possible. As someone who also plays the game I know why the players at times will not want to play the game so I can relate to how they are feeling. Some players also get very worked up by other players in the community so I try to stop them from being rude to other members of the community, as a competitive team it is key to have the community supporting you when you are playing in events, locally or globally.
Analysis of Other Teams
I often watch a lot of competitive games in other regions, especially Europe and Asian countries due to them often play a very different meta in terms of team compositions and rotations, after watching these games I can tell the team what I thought of the games, if any heroes, combos or play styles stood out to me. This will help our team maximise their potential in terms of game knowledge and team compositions. While scrimming other teams I also watch to see if there are any teams trying out something unique or if they have players that exceed on certain heroes, this means that when it comes to tournaments we can ban some of their comfort picks and make them play heroes that they may not be as comfortable on.
Sponsors and Finance
At this stage we do not have sponsors for our team, we need to wait until some big tournaments are announced so that we can possibly receive sponsorship from an organisation and represent them as one of the best Heroes of the Storm teams in Australia and New Zealand. In terms of finance we do not need to pay any money for anything as entries to all HotS tournaments have been free and there are no LAN events so far in Australia. Our goal is to be able to compete at the next big worlds events for Heroes of the Storm which means that we would need to win the Australia qualifier. The winner of the Australia qualifier will receive travel expenses from Blizzard themselves.
Managing a Heroes of the Storm team in Australia is a very unique experience as it is quite different to other competitive e-sports. In Australia we have quite a small pool of top competitive teams but all of the players in each of them know who each other are and often have good relationships between each other, this makes playing the game generally have a good vibe while playing in competitive solo queues and while scrimming between each other. I have also personally helped out a lot of smaller teams with finding subs, finding new players and even filling in for their teams in scrims. I do want my team do be the best in the region but I also don’t mind helping out other teams when they require it.